March 28, 2023

Why cats chatter at birds is weirdly amusing

Why do cats chatter at birds
Dr. Chris Brown

In a life full of quirks, this one is right up there. So often, cats will stare longingly out the window (usually at a bird) chattering to themselves. But there’s a big debate around why they do it. What do you think?

It can look like they’re in a deep discussion with no-one in particular out the window. Or maybe a ghost. But look closely and all too often, you’ll see birds…somewhere!

So why do they make that strange chattering and chirping sound? Well, research says it’s one of two things. And no, talking to ghosts isn’t one of them…

For starters, there’s the SWEARING theory.

Somewhere deep inside your cat is a hunter. Somewhere. And seeing the fast movement of a prey or food animal (like a bird) outside sends a massive hit of adrenaline around their body. But there’s a problem.

They’re on the other side of the glass…and quite possibly not the athlete they thought they were.

So out of frustration over all this hopeless hunting situation, they mutter (or swear) to themselves. And that’s the chattering you hear.

Then, there’s the MIMICRY theory.

Truly believing they are capable of hunting that bird successfully, the chatter serves a more sophisticated purpose. In fact, it’s part of an elaborate camouflage to sound just like the bird and then allow themselves to get so close they could just strike. If they weren’t on the wrong side of the glass that is. The theory is actually based off research on Brazilian wildcats who imitate the calls of Tamarin monkeys when they’re hunting them. Quite literally, wild huh?!

I feel like the SWEARING and FRUSTRATED feline is more likely but those calls do sound quite accurate. What about you?! What do you think?

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