While cats often enjoy their company and keep themselves busy, they also like to communicate with humans and other animals, but not always.
So, why are cats so silent? The silent nature of cats arises from their hunting instincts, where they silently approach their prey to make themselves unnoticed. They can also hear sounds better than humans, and their body weight is less with thickly padded paws and silent retractable claws. However, if your cat suddenly becomes silent, there might be a health issue or other problem.
Let’s get to know more about why cats are so silent and discuss all the reasons for it.
Why Are Cats So Silent?
We often notice our cats silently moving around the house, and they might end up sitting by your side without getting noticed. Such gestures will definitely surprise you, and you might be worried about the exact reason behind your cat’s silent and quiet nature. It’s like everything they do is quiet and goes unnoticed.
So, let’s discuss all the reasons behind your cat’s silent and mysterious nature.
1. Lesser Body Weight
Cats are super easy to pick up because they are lightweight. You probably would have seen cats weighing around 8-10 pounds, which is very little.
Also, the body of cats is designed in such a way that their weight gets distributed around their body as they walk, instead of putting all weight on one side. However, they still keep their body low to the ground to keep control of their movements.
This fact also accounts for cats walking slowly and not giving a hint of their presence.
2. Hunting Instincts
The primary reason behind the silent nature of cats is their hunting instincts. We all know that cats love to hunt prey. However, when compared to dogs, the prey hunting skills in cats are much more evolved, and they’re always looking for something to hunt. Even if you have a domestic cat, it will show these instincts by hunting its toys and bringing them to you out of love. It may surprise you, but your cat is only following its instincts.
The hunting instincts of cats are the most significant factor that accounts for their silent nature, with others playing a minor role in it.
When in the wild, cats come to their prey closely and silently move in order to catch them. As cats are always looking for some prey, their instincts make them silent by nature.
Whenever they go out to hunt, they’ll adopt the silent nature, walk slowly, and stay quiet. They do this to keep themselves hidden from their prey and prevent them from getting noticed.
If your domestic cat shows this behavior, don’t panic. Whether domestic or wild, all cats have the same instincts. Domestic cats may hunt their own toys or bring small possessions to you to share their reward with you out of love. Also, they may go out of the house daily to satisfy their hunting instincts and look for prey.
3. A Protective Mechanism
As previously discussed, our cats are extremely lightweight and don’t have many protective mechanisms or fighting techniques at their disposal. Their only way to stay alive when confronted with the enemy is to actually avoid that confrontation by staying unnoticed.
So being silent is a great way for them to keep themselves safe in dangerous situations.
4. Better Hearing Capacity
Although cats have short and almost silent meows, their hearing ability is far better than humans. Humans can only hear sounds that are between 64 and 23,000 Hertz.
On the other hand, the better hearing capacity of cats allows them to hear sounds up to 64,000 Hertz, which is far more than that of humans.
This hearing capacity makes them different as they can even perceive almost silent sounds that go unnoticed by the human ears. So, if your cat is meowing slowly and you can see it saying something but cannot hear it, it only goes unheard by you. All other cats and even other animals can understand what they’re saying and listen to it too.
This huge difference between the hearing capacity of humans and cats makes them different when it comes to hearing. That is why cats can even sense sounds that come from 30 feet away, while humans cannot. So, you’ll see your cat often making short and low sounds, which it can hear but you might not.
Also, another factor that comes here is the shape of your cat’s ears, which are perfectly designed like a funnel that absorbs sound waves, helping in an even better hearing capacity.
5. Padded Paws
Mostly, only not meowing doesn’t make cats silent. They also walk slowly, and you don’t often get a hint of them coming to you even when they’re sitting just beside you.
While the lesser and evenly distributed body weight is one factor, the padded paws and retractable claws add more to it. All cats have thickly padded paws, which also act as sweat glands. When cats put their feet on the floor, their paws get perfectly attached to it.
So, whenever cats put their paws on the floor, they stick to it instead of producing a clicking sound.
6. Meowing Is Only For Humans
Have you seen your cat meowing only at you while staying completely silent when it’s with other cats and animals?
Well, if that’s the case, here’s the answer to your curiosity.
Cats talk to other animals and cats through their facial expressions, signs, and body language. They understand each other’s expressions and talk to each other even without meowing.
However, when it comes to humans, meowing is the only way of communicating for cats. So, they meow at humans to show their feelings and express excitement, hunger, or distress.
We already know that cats are curious animals. Their hunting instincts add more to it and make them interested in exploring different things around them.
That’s why you’ll mostly see your cat searching into things in the house. Sometimes, it’s just curiosity as cats want to know more about their environment and the place where they live.
So, they mostly like to stay silent and get into things to get rid of their curiosity.
A better idea is to provide cat toys and puzzles to ensure mental stimulation inside the house.
8. The Overall Attitude
Cats are graceful animals who don’t like getting their silent padded paws dirty if that can be avoided. Being silent complements these 2 distinguished cats’ traits of the character perfectly well.
By being silent they can move slowly and carefully, which will help them better analyze the surrounding area and see what is going on in a graceful sleek manner.
Although staying silent is common in most cats, illness might be the reason behind it in some.
Cats don’t like to show their illness and tend to hide in corners and places inaccessible to others. If your vocal and excited cat suddenly becomes silent, it’s a matter of concern as it might be suffering from a health issue.
However, staying silent is often common in senior cats because they suffer from health issues more often and don’t have enough energy to spend on meowing. So, they like to enjoy their own company and stay silent.
Many owners like to play and communicate with their cats but see them silent most of the time. While a sudden change may be a sign of an underlying medical condition, cats being quiet is nothing to worry about most often.
Cats have a better hearing capacity, thickly padded paws that stick to the ground, and hunting instincts that make them silent.
Also, cats don’t like meowing at other cats and animals because they communicate with them via facial expressions.
So, don’t worry if you notice your cat being silent most of the time. However, a sudden change can be a matter of concern.
My name is Katie, and I have had different pets at home for as long as I can remember. While I can definitely say I love all animals in general, my heart belongs to cats and dogs. I know you are supposed to choose one or the other, but I could never really decide. I’ve also owned hamsters and fish when I was a kid, and they filled my childhood with very delightful memories.