Why do cats sigh? – Understanding cat sighing and sounds

Out all of the noises and sounds that they can make, why do cats sigh? If that is a major question that pops up in your head time and again every time your cat looks at you and sighs, then you should just calm down. We know that you love your cat too much and are observant of everything it does, but believe it too, cat sighing is just as normal as all other positive vibes these felines can give.

For some, a cat sigh can be a very strange sound as it is usually held to be a very humanly sign. Well, there can be many meanings to look for whenever you think that why does my cat sigh.


Cats and sounds

why do cats sigh

If you have been thinking that the various sounds that cats make are simply random mutterings, you may need to sync your senses closer. The noises and sounds that cats make carry the purpose of communication. They make different utterances for conveying different things and it may come to your huge advantage in certain cases if you can understand the message that your cat wants to give.

It can be both, physical or emotional messages that the cats may try to convey with the sounds they can make. Now, this isn’t that easy as it seems too, because there can be multiple meanings of the same sound depending upon the situation and importance. However, you just need to be patient and more observant with which you will learn to identify sounds and possibly also understand ‘why do cats sigh’.

Sighing of cats

Well, to be honest, a sighing cat can really be the most interesting and curious thing to come across. It is very unusual to see a cat sigh and also very vague to understand because of the multiple meanings of sighs that we humans make. At the same time, according to the incidents shared by many cat lovers, not all the cats sigh.

A sighing human can be indicating a lot of things, like resignation, boredom, depression, disappointment, or anything else. You would obviously apply your humanly sense and wisdom and try to find parallels in the cat world too but we suggest you take it easy and let us give you some hints.

Different meanings of sighing in cats

Cats can be in any mood when they sigh- assuming that let's move forward to seeing some possible meanings for why do cats sigh.

Indication of relaxing mood

The primary reason that can be attributed to the sighing in cats is contentment. Usually, a cat is believed to signal a feeling of ultimate relaxation when they release a small sigh. You can also believe that this is a complimenting signal from your cat where you have made everything comfortable enough for them to relax.

You can usually spot a cat sighing when they are about to sleep or when they snuggle up in their cozy beds. Another common incidence can be when you put them in your lap and pet them at their favorite spot. Cads love to cuddle and they can sigh then too.

Signaling the emotions about any ongoing experience

Cats, just like other animals, don’t have highly developed cognitive senses when compared with those of humans. Due to this reason itself, it can be believed that it is difficult for cats to know what lies in the future or project any hopeful scenarios for the future that is different from the harrowing present conditions.

You may have thought that why do cats sigh when they are at some challenging places, like at the vet’s place. The underlying idea is that when cats are in a situation which they don’t like, they can make sighing sounds. It’s just the disappointment or horrific feeling that they are having in the ongoing situation that comes out as a sigh, like the feeling of hopelessness.

Indicating the feeling of some positivity

Let’s take the same example as we took above, a cat at the vet’s place. While they can sigh for expressing the disappointment they are feeling as the grooming tools move over them, they may also sigh at the same time when they get the vibes of a somewhat positive end to the situation. A bored or rather hopeless cat may get some sudden stimulus and this may lead to them leaving a sigh.

Cats that get proper support and encouragement are more prone to calm down and get positive about the difficult situation. While they may sigh due to acceptance of the sad situation, they may also sigh due to the excitement of a happy end.

Understanding the sighing

From all that we discussed above about sighing in cats, the natural conclusion that comes out is that sighing is a natural reflex. It can be due to multiple reasons, like the sighing cats might just be bored, feeling threatened, or under some stress. At the same time, they can also be expressing calmness, comfort, or laziness.

If you want to get closer to understanding why does my cat sigh, you should try observing their behavioral pattern more closely and see their response to various situations. Observe all the conditions when your cat sighs and see if they do so when they get triggered by something or not. On the general note, the mechanism of sighing in cats can be understood in the similar light of the sighing mechanism in humans where both of them are natural breathing reflexes that tend to slow down the breathing rhythm and body towards comfort.


We hope that by now you have understood why cats sigh and your over-flowing concern about your sighing cat is relaxed now. Similarly, cats make a lot of other sounds like meowing, purring, hissing, yowling, etc. that have meanings too. The main idea is to observe the situation and accompanying behavior of the cat when they make the different sounds and this will take you closer to understanding the meaning of their sounds, like why does my cat sigh in this case.

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Luna Tran

My name is Luna and I am a great cat lover and a cat owner of three lovely cats. I have owned many cats till now and have dedicated many years to nurturing and caring cats. Through this blog, I am here to share my knowledge and experience about cats.