Explaining Feline Chirps: Why Do Cats Chirp at Birds?

As we all know, cats are natural hunters and they love to chase birds. And when a cat sees a bird outside the window or in the backyard, sometimes they make a unique sound that can be described as chirping. But what exactly does this mean? Why do cats chirp at birds?

Cat Communication

Cats communicate in various ways such as meowing, purring, hissing, growling and even chirping. Each sound has its own meaning and purpose. For instance, when your cat meows it may want attention or food while purring indicates contentment.

Reasons for Chirping

When it comes to why cats chirp at birds, there are several reasons behind this behavior:

Instinct: Cats are predators by nature; their instincts drive them to hunt prey. When they see a bird nearby and cannot hunt it down because of barriers like windows or screen doors etc., their hunting instinct kicks in resulting in making the chirping noise.

Frustration: It is common for indoor kitties who spend most of their time indoors staring out of windows watching birds fly freely outside without being able to catch them which makes them frustrated leading them to make these sounds.

Cognitive Dissonance: A recent study has shown that some experts believe that cats may vocalize due to cognitive dissonance – an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two opposing beliefs at once i.e wanting something but not being able to have it (for instance wanting prey but not being able to hunt.)

Theories Behind Chirping

Some theories suggest that cats’ unique vocalization could also be attributed towards imitating the sound made by small rodents (principally mice). By mimicking the squeaky noises made by small animals themselves with whom they’d hopelessly try catching with no success, cats would try to lure birds closer in the hopes of overwhelming them.


In conclusion, cats chirping at birds is a natural behavior influenced by their instincts and cognitive dissonance. It’s important for cat owners to understand this behavior and not be worried about it as it’s only part of your feline friend being true to its nature. However, it’s always a good idea to keep your cat indoors if you live in an area with high bird populations so as not to harm these beautiful creatures.