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Your cat will doze peacefully on the windowsill or on the scratching post and look relaxed into the distance. Suddenly she starts chattering, cackling and scolding. Often her tail whips back and forth uneasily, the entire cat's body seems tense and highly concentrated. What do cats want to express?
Cats chatter on unreachable prey
This curious cat habit is most commonly seen when your kitty sees a bird or other prey prey outside, but it's too far away to catch it. Then cats easily open their mouths, focus on the object of their desire and seemingly chatter their teeth.
The cackling or chattering fluctuates between unvoiced and voiced sounds; it can be a very quiet, throaty crackle, but it can also grow into an indignant scolding tirade if there are even hoarse murmurs in there. You can see how it all sounds in this video, for example:
Cackling as an exercise for hunting?
Why cats chatter or cackle has not been scientifically clarified without a doubt. One theory is that the cat chatter and chatter its teeth to practice the fatal neck bite it performs on its captured prey. The movements of the jaw and teeth seem to be the same at least when chattering and killing bite.
Hunting behavior is innate in cats, so that they practice it when they cannot let off steam with real mice and other prey. The infamous "wild five minutes" of a cat can also be attributed to the fact that cats act out their pent-up hunting instinct. This behavior is not harmful to your cat.
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Cat chattering in frustration?
Another option is for your cat to chatter when frustrated or nervous. This can also play a role when cats see unreachable prey. This theory is also supported by the observation that cats sometimes chatter when you scold them or when the fur noses feel disturbed. Then they are on the one hand unsettled and on the other hand frustrated because they do not understand why they are getting into trouble or being disturbed in their well-deserved rest.