The video on this page tells you what a purr-meow sounds like, which is close to a feline trill. If not the same thing, it is very close to it. So, what does it mean? We can gauge what it means by observing the context in which it is produced. My cat purr-meows when he is excited, happy and requesting food which he loves and which he knows that I am going to give him. He often stands on his hind legs when doing as the cat in the video does. He wants to reinforce his request through physical presence. Not all domestic cats will produce this sound.
This feline vocalisation, which is probably only delivered by domestic cats, means that a cat is requesting something nice and expects to get it, which makes him happy. He expects success because in the past the request has always worked.
It is probably more accurate to describe this feline sound as a meow-purr! 🙂
That’s because I think the primary vocalisation is a meow. This is the sound that the cat wants to make but because he is happy in expecting something nice any minute, he also purrs. This is a meow-purr in my book. What do you think?
They say that the domestic cat developed the meow only through living with people. They say that it was almost exclusively developed through evolution over 10,000 years of living with people to request something, normally food. It might be a request for food, company or to be petted. But it’ll be something which the domestic cat likes. This is why feral cats rarely meow between themselves.
The purr is a more complicated vocalisation because it doesn’t just mean that the cat is content as is the case in this example, it can also be a request for friendship. Indeed, it might be a multifunctional vocalisation. If it has one flexible meaning, it is the one given by Dr. Desmond Morris in his book CATWATCHING at page 15 which is this:
“A more precise explanation, which fits all cases, is that purring signals a friendly social mood, and it can be given as a signal to, say, a vet from an injured cat indicating the need for friendship, or as a signal to an owner, saying thank you for friendship given.
The meow combined with the purr is a very sweet sound which adds emphasis to the request and makes it more effective. Cats are listened to.
SOME MORE ON THE CAT MEOW: