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The Vocal Talents of Cats: Olga’s Repertoire of Sounds


Hi, I’m Christopher! Read my introduction to learn more about me and my silly Russian Blue cat, Olga.

I cared for a Siamese cat for nearly 20 years and grew accustomed to his constant chatter and howling. Unlike Olga, he never stopped talking unless I was petting him or he was sleeping. I wasn’t used to having a quiet pet when I adopted Olga, and when she was a kitten, she sounded more like a mouse than a cat because her meows sounded like squeaks.

She’s more talkative now, especially in the morning before breakfast, and her vocal range is more expansive. Olga doesn’t have the chops of my Siamese, but she’s much louder and harder to ignore than when she was a few years ago. She didn’t make a sound in her carrier when I adopted her, but after her first trip to the vet, she became more vocal during car rides.

Watch out! Your hand looks tasty.

The Carrier Meow

Convincing Olga to get into her carrier is a struggle. Since her veterinary appointments are always early in the morning, she knows she’s heading to the vet’s office if I don’t feed her breakfast. She hides from me and runs away until I finally catch her and put her in the carrier.

She doesn’t stop whining until I take her out of the carrier in the examination room. Her meows in the carrier are repetitive and sound sadder than the ones she uses to beg for food. They’re so repetitive that I’m surprised she has time to take a breath, and although I’m always patient with her, the constant meow, meow, meow is difficult to endure. Luckily, it’s only a 30-minute trip.

The Olga Grunt

Without opening her mouth, Olga grunts if I look at her when she’s hungry. She sits next to my chair and stares at me when it’s close to dinnertime, but sometimes, the staring begins a few hours early. I ignore her stare to discourage her from begging too early, which doesn’t help, but she’s quiet unless I make eye contact. She also makes the grunt if I pet her when she’s trying to sleep or show her a toy or paper ball I’m about to throw.

This is how I strut!
This is how I strut!

The Howl at Dawn

I usually get up before dawn, and even on the weekend, I can’t sleep very late because my Russian Blue turns into a feline alarm clock without a snooze button. She’s loudest in the morning, and the longer I try to sleep, the louder she gets.

I didn’t think she was capable of howling until recently, but now she’s nearly as skilled at it as my Siamese cat. She runs around the house, screams, and usually jumps into the bathtub so the sound echoes and carries farther. It’s a warning that if I don’t feed her soon, she’ll find something to destroy or bat around in the house.

When I finally wake up and walk to the kitchen to feed her, she’ll whine if I’m not moving fast enough. I’m happy she’s no longer a squeaker and is more talkative, even when the pleas for food become obnoxious.

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