Did you know that cats make a variety of sounds
as do other animals, but the average person just thinks in terms of noise, we just don't stop to think that animals have intelligence and can really communicate their wants, feelings, and intentions. Listen to your cat and you will realize what I am telling you is very true.
Cats can make a variety of sounds, some are a meow, and others make a meow that sounds like a combination of a purr and a meow. Sometime a cat will purr out of contentment other times the purr will mean he wants your attention. So we really need to listen to what our cat is saying.
A few common cat sounds are:
Meow of kittens- distress, cold, hunger
Purr- contentment, relaxation, sometimes a loud purr means he needs attention or perhaps close contact.
Hiss- fear or a threat is near
Yowl-scream- can be offensive or defensive, or a threat
Meow-Yowl- a catcall as a cat does in heat, or if he wants out.
Sometimes you will hear cats out in the yard at night and it is called "caterwauling" and is the vocal accompaniment of feline face-offs: two males can be rivals, sometimes over a pretty female. Then you will hear meow-growls and yowls, snort-growls, and yowl-screams as one tries to intimidate the other, but sometimes watch their eyes as they will try to outstare the other.
Sometimes you just have to put yourself in the place of your cat and wonder just what he is wanting with his various sounds, such as a loud meow, is it time to go out to perhaps potty if you don't have an inside litter box for him, or perhaps he is telling you, feed me, I am hungry.
In time paying close attention to your individual cat you will be able to sort through the various sounds and see exactly what he is trying to let you know and also by his moods with the sounds.
Don't forget that sound is a very primal and primitive form of communication: changes in respiration, sudden expiration with an alarm or even relax inspiration and expiration leading to a contented purr gives us information about what our individual cat is trying to communicate to us and to other cats or other animals, just listen and watch closet and you will learn so much from your loved pet.