Are Cats Quieter Than Dogs?

Cats vs. dogs is a debate that will never end. It has caused a lot of fights and division among pet owners for decades.

But let’s not think about how loyal and cute they are right now. Today, we’re going to talk about a different part of our pet friends: how loud they are.

Every pet owner knows that cats and dogs make a lot of different sounds, from soft purrs to loud barks. But when it comes to volume, who really wins?

Come with me on a trip through the world of cat and dog noises to find out which one is the best partner for peace and quiet.

Are Cats Quieter Than Dogs?


For centuries, cats have been known for their independent and solitary nature, leading many to believe that they are quieter than dogs. However, as a cat owner myself, I can attest that this is not always the case. While cats may not bark like dogs, they can still make a variety of sounds that can be just as loud and disruptive.

So, let’s dive into why it’s not always accurate to assume that cats are quieter than dogs.

Different Sounds, Same Volume

Cats may not bark, but they have a range of vocalizations such as meowing, purring, hissing, and even yowling. These sounds can be just as loud and disruptive as a dog’s bark. In fact, some cats may meow excessively or yowl loudly when in heat or looking for a mate. So, while they may not make the same sound as a barking dog, they can still contribute to noise levels in a household.

Breed and Personality Play a Role

Just like dogs, different breeds of cats have different personalities and tendencies. Some breeds are known for being more vocal than others. For example, Siamese cats are notorious for their loud and persistent meows, while British Shorthairs tend to be quieter and less vocal. Additionally, individual personality also plays a role in a cat’s noise level. Some cats may be naturally more vocal while others are quieter.

Communication Differences

Dogs use barking as their primary form of communication, while cats use a combination of body language and vocalizations. This means that even if they may not be making a lot of noise, they could still be communicating through their body language which can be just as effective in getting their message across.

Living Situation Matters

Indoor cats may be quieter than outdoor cats due to their environment. They do not have the same stimulation and potential triggers for vocalization as outdoor cats who may encounter other animals or loud noises. Additionally, cats can be trained to be quiet or vocal depending on their owner’s preferences. Positive reinforcement training can help them learn commands and behaviors, making them either quieter or more vocal.

Individual Differences

Just like people, each cat has its own unique personality and behavior. Some cats may be naturally more vocal while others may be quieter. So, it’s not fair to make a generalization that all cats are quieter than all dogs. It ultimately depends on the specific animal.

Meowing vs. Barking: A Comparison of Sounds

Meowing and barking are two of the most well-known sounds that cats and dogs make, but they serve very different purposes. As an expert on the topic, let me break down the differences for you.

Meowing is a form of communication for cats, and it can mean a variety of things. From a simple “hello” to a demanding “feed me now,” cats use meows to express their needs and wants. They may also meow to get attention or indicate discomfort or distress. However, it’s worth noting that not all cats meow – some breeds, like Siamese cats, are more vocal than others.

On the other hand, barking is a form of communication for dogs, but it has multiple meanings. Dogs bark to alert their owners of potential danger, express excitement or frustration, or communicate with other dogs. They may also bark to indicate their needs or wants, such as needing to go outside or wanting to play.

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In terms of volume, meowing is generally considered quieter compared to barking. Cats have a wide range of vocalizations and can produce softer and more subtle meows. On the other hand, dogs tend to have louder and more intense barks, making them seem like noisier animals overall.

However, this is not always the case as individual animals can vary greatly in their vocal tendencies. Some cats may have loud and persistent meows, while some dogs may have softer barks. Factors such as size, breed, and living environment can also play a role in the volume of their sounds.

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It’s important to note that while cats may be considered quieter animals compared to dogs, it’s not a definitive rule. Each cat and dog has its own unique personality and communication style. So don’t be surprised if your quiet cat suddenly starts yowling for attention or your typically loud dog is uncharacteristically quiet – they are just expressing themselves in their own way.

Breed and Size Differences in Cat Vocalization

When it comes to how much they talk, cats and dogs are very different. If you want to know more about how type and size affect a cat or dog’s ability to meow and bark, I’ve spent years studying it. This is what I’ve learned.


Nobody needs to tell you that cats meow, but did you know that some breeds are louder than others? Cats like the Persian are known for being quiet, while Siamese and Bengal cats are known for meowing a lot and loudly. In the same way, smaller dog breeds like Chihuahuas bark more than bigger dog breeds like Great Danes.


When it comes to sounds, cats are better than dogs. While dogs mostly talk by barking, whining, and crying, cats can talk in many different ways, such as by meowing, purring, hissing, growling, and even chirping. This means that cats have more chances to make noise than dogs do, which might make them seem louder generally.


It’s important to remember that a cat’s meow might not always be louder than a dog’s bark, even though cats may seem louder when they meow all the time. A cat’s meow can sound louder and more startling because its voice is higher pitched than a dog’s. In contrast, dogs’ voices are louder and might not travel as far as a cat’s meow.


The amount of noise a cat or dog makes can also depend on the size of its vocal cords. Cats’ vocal cords are usually smaller than dogs’, which could explain why their meows are softer. It’s especially true for small dog types with bigger vocal cords that can bark louder.


Cats and dogs each have their own traits, just like people do. This can also affect how loud they are when they talk. Some cats may talk more than others, and some dogs may bark more often because they are anxious or have other behavior problems. When comparing your pet’s vocalization levels, it’s important to think about what makes them unique.

Other Noises Made by Cats

While they may not bark like dogs, cats have their own unique set of noises that they use to communicate with us and each other. From soft meows to loud yowls, understanding these sounds can help us better care for our feline companions. So let’s dive into the world of cat noises and what they could potentially mean.

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Meowing: The Universal Language

One of the most common noises made by cats is the meow. It’s their primary form of communication with their owners and can vary in tone and intensity. A soft meow could indicate a simple greeting or request for attention, while a louder, more persistent meow could mean they want food or to be let outside. Pay attention to the context and body language accompanying the meows to determine what your cat is trying to tell you.

Purring: Not Just for Contentment

Contrary to popular belief, purring does not always indicate contentment in cats. While it can certainly mean they are happy and relaxed, cats also purr when they are in pain or distress. It’s their way of self-soothing and can also be a form of communication with their owners. If you notice your cat purring in an unusual situation, such as at the vet or during a car ride, they may be trying to calm themselves down.

Chirping and Chattering: Hunting Instincts

If you’ve ever seen your cat staring intently at a bird or insect through the window, you may have noticed them making a chirping or chattering noise. This is a natural instinct for hunting and can be quite entertaining to watch. It’s their way of mimicking the sound of prey and getting ready to pounce. So next time you hear your cat making these noises, you’ll know they’re just practicing their hunting skills.

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Hissing: Defensive or Anxious?

Hissing is often associated with cats as a defensive sound used to scare off potential threats. But it can also be a sign of anxiety or fear. If your cat is hissing, try to identify the source of their discomfort and remove it if possible. It could be a new person, animal, or noise that is making them feel uneasy. In these situations, it’s important to give your cat space and time to calm down.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Cats: Does Environment Affect Noise Levels?

From the adorable meows to the intense yowls, cats have a unique way of communicating with us and each other. But have you ever wondered how their environment can impact their noise levels? In this post, we will explore how a cat’s environment, specifically their indoor or outdoor status, can affect their vocalizations.

Indoor Cats: Quiet and Content

Indoor cats are known for being quieter than their outdoor counterparts. This is because they do not have the same stimuli and instincts that outdoor cats have. Indoor cats do not have to hunt for food or protect their territory from other cats, which can lead to loud vocalizations. They are also less likely to encounter other animals that may trigger their natural instincts to communicate.

However, it is important to note that every cat is unique and can have varying noise levels regardless of their indoor or outdoor status. Factors such as breed, personality, and training can also play a role in a cat’s vocalizations.

Spayed or neutered cats also tend to be quieter as they do not go into heat and display loud mating behaviors. If you have an indoor cat that seems overly vocal, it may be worth considering spaying or neutering them to help reduce excessive vocalizations.

Outdoor Cats: Loud and Communicative

On the other hand, outdoor cats may be louder due to their natural instincts and need to communicate with other cats in the neighborhood. They use vocalizations to mark their territory, attract potential mates, and warn off potential threats.

It is important to keep in mind that outdoor cats are exposed to more stimuli, such as other animals, weather changes, and unfamiliar noises, which can also contribute to their vocalizations. Some outdoor cats may also have learned to meow more frequently for attention or food from humans.

Enriching the Indoor Environment

Providing an enriched indoor environment for cats, such as scratching posts and toys, can help reduce excessive vocalizations. Cats need mental and physical stimulation to stay content, and by providing them with a variety of activities, they are less likely to resort to loud vocalizations to entertain themselves.

Training Cats to Be Quiet or Vocal

Unlike dogs who bark, cats use meowing as their primary form of vocalization. But have you ever wondered if you can train your cat to be quieter or more vocal? The answer is yes. With the right techniques and understanding of your cat’s behavior, you can effectively train them to be quiet or vocal according to your preferences.

Understanding Your Cat’s Behavior

First, let’s debunk the myth that cats are naturally quiet creatures. While they may meow less frequently and at a lower volume than dogs, this does not mean that they are completely silent. In fact, cats have their own ways of communicating with each other and with humans. Meowing is a learned behavior that they use to communicate with their owners. This means that with proper training, you can teach your cat to meow less or only in specific situations.

Positive Reinforcement Is Key

The key to training cats to be quiet or vocal lies in using positive reinforcement techniques. Rewarding good behavior and ignoring unwanted behavior is crucial in shaping a cat’s behavior. For example, if your cat meows excessively for attention, ignoring the behavior and only rewarding them with attention when they are quiet can teach them that meowing does not result in getting what they want. On the other hand, if an owner wants their cat to be more vocal, they can encourage the behavior by responding positively when the cat meows and giving them treats or attention.

Factors That Affect a Cat’s Vocal Tendencies

It is important to note that each cat is unique and may respond differently to training. Some breeds may naturally be more vocal than others and may require more patience and consistency in training. Additionally, a cat’s age also plays a role in their vocal tendencies as older cats tend to meow less than younger cats.

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The environment in which a cat was raised also affects their vocal tendencies. Indoor cats, who are exposed to quiet surroundings, may be quieter than outdoor cats who are constantly stimulated by the sounds of nature. To reduce excessive noise levels in an indoor environment, it is essential to enrich your cat’s surroundings with toys, scratching posts, and perches to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.

Factors That Determine a Cat’s Noise Level

From purring to hissing, cats have a range of vocalizations to express their needs and feelings. However, every cat is different and has its own unique way of communicating. Some may be more vocal than others, while some may be quieter and only meow when necessary. But have you ever wondered what factors determine a cat’s noise level? Let’s delve into the world of feline communication and explore the various factors that can impact how much your cat meows.


Just like humans, cats have different personalities and traits based on their breed. Some breeds, such as Siamese or Burmese cats, are known for being more talkative and vocal than others. These breeds tend to have a wider range of vocalizations and may meow frequently to express themselves. On the other hand, breeds like Maine Coons or Persians are generally quieter and may only meow when necessary.


Just like humans, cats have their own unique personalities. Some cats are naturally more talkative and will meow frequently, while others are quieter and may only make noise when necessary. This can also depend on their upbringing and the level of socialization they received as kittens. For example, a cat that was raised in a busy household with lots of human interaction may be more vocal than a cat that was raised in a quiet household.


Environmental factors can also play a significant role in a cat’s noise level. Cats are sensitive creatures, and changes in their environment can cause them stress or anxiety, leading to excessive meowing. For example, moving to a new house or introducing a new pet or family member can trigger a cat to meow more frequently. Similarly, if a cat is happy and content in its environment, it may be quieter.


A cat’s age can also be a factor in its noise level. Kittens tend to be more vocal as they are learning how to communicate and explore their surroundings. As they grow older, they may become quieter and only meow when necessary. Senior cats may also become less vocal due to age-related changes in their vocal cords.


In conclusion, there may never be a clear answer to the age-old question of whether cats are quieter than dogs. Cats don’t bark like dogs do, but they do have other ways of talking that can be just as annoying and loud. Our cat friends can meow, purr, hiss, and yowl, among other sounds. The sounds they make can be very different based on their breed, attitude, surroundings, age, and health.

Let’s not forget, though, that teaching can also change how loud a cat is. With the right kind of positive feedback and knowledge of how cats act, we can teach them to be quieter or noisier, depending on our needs. After all, each cat has its own personality and way of talking, and it’s our job to learn how to understand and work with them.

When your cat meows or purrs loudly in your ear at 3 a.m., remember that they are just trying to talk to you in their own way. Isn’t that part of the fun of having an animal friend? Our relationship with them and the love they bring into our lives are what matter most, not how loud or quiet they are.

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