Why Do Cats 'Talk' To Birds?

why do cats chatter at birds

Cats often live in their worlds. They enjoy their independence and will do whatever pleases them on their terms.

You will often see domestic cats looking out the window and seemingly "talking" to the birds and other smaller creatures that they see outside. 

Usually, when these felines do this, they appear very tense, with their bodies slightly crouched and their jaws a tad open.

With all their focus on birds, you may start to wonder if something is wrong. And if so, what stories is your furbaby telling them?

Understanding Cat Chatter

Chattering, chirping, and twittering is a feline behavior that you may find weird, but it is something most cat owners are familiar with. These communicative sounds happen when your cat sees something that cats would naturally prey on—like a bird or rodent—but can't reach.

Cats that mostly spend their time indoors or those that enjoy little freedom to go outdoors exhibit this behavior. 

When cats start chattering at birds, they open and close their mouths quickly. While doing so, they produce a squeaking and almost chirp-like sound.

And while chattering, your cat's body language also adapts a predatory stance—a slow wagging tail with a focused look and alert, upright ears.

Reasons Why Cats Chatter At Birds

1. Feline Predator Instinct

Your cat chattering to the birds outside may be associated with their natural and profoundly rooted instincts to observe their prey and kill them promptly. Both small and large cats exhibit this behavior. 

In the wild, felines kill their prey faster without any dilly-dallying because this implies a lower probability of their getting injured during the hunt.

The cat jumps on its prey and holds onto it tightly using its front claws. And then comes the "fatal bite" or "killing bite" known to cats, both big and small.

The cat bites into its prey's neck while quickly vibrating its jaws. This allows its teeth to sink into the prey's vertebrae and cause maximum damage to its spinal cord.

2. A Sign of Frustration

Your cat may see a possible prey and, being unable to reach it and hunt it down, it may be dissatisfied. So your cat may chatter at the bird as a sign of frustration.

The chattering can be a way your cat vocalizes and show its irritation of not being able to become the hunter it is. And even more frustrating, such failure with prey that is very close!

3. A Sign of Excitement

Your cat may also chatter at the birds simply due to excitement. Seeing something interesting like a bird can make your cat feel a sense of eagerness and even delight and, as a result, can produce these special vocalizations.

If your cat tends to be mostly indoors, being re-acquainted with animals from the outside is certainly stimulating. Sure, your cat is simply observing from afar, but the thought of being out and catching the bird is not far behind.


Your cat chattering at birds is not something you need to worry about. It is the most natural thing. Your cat is just behaving like a cat and acting by instinct. Whether your cat is scheming on how to kill the bird or if it's just vocalizing out of pure joy, it is entertaining watching and listening to your cat chattering at birds.


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