Have you ever heard a human-like sound from your cat but you are not sure what it was? Well, depending on what kind of sound you heard, your cat may have been sighing. Cats sigh due to multiple reasons, some cats sigh way more often than others, which is something we will look into in this article. So now to the main question, why does my cat sigh?
In this article, we will see what causes your cat to sigh, should you be worried about this behavior, and what you can do to stop your cat from sighing constantly.
Is my cat sighing something to be worried about?
You may notice that your cat is sighing very often sometimes. What does this mean? A cat sighing could just be expressing its feelings.
The emotions it expresses can be clear when you learn to recognize its voice each time it sighs. But generally, your cat sighing is not a very big deal.
There are instances where your cat sighs too often in a day, to the point where it starts to seem unusual.
So let’s say, if your cat is continuously sighing and you notice a severe loss of appetite in it, then you should take action and head to the vet immediately.
Another situation can be when your cat is lethargic and seems uninterested in everything. The sighing could be an indication of depression. If you suspect this, it is best to confirm it from a vet with a proper check up.
However, these are rare circumstances when we talk about cats sighing particularly. Sighing is a very normal action that you will notice in cats and most of the time, will only tell you about your cat’s emotions.
Difference between sighing and huffing
Before we dive into the reasons you may see your cat sighing, let’s first take a look at what huffing is.
Cats huff when they are tired. It will sound like a short breath that may be released more frequently.
On the other hand, sighing is more like a long inhale and exhale that is audible to others around the cat.
It is easy to get confused between these actions of your cats, you can think of huffing as more towards the aggressive side.
Cats are more likely to huff when they are tired, angry, or frustrated, but for sighing? It is a sign of comfort and peace.
Reasons your cat may sigh
Now that we know the difference between huffing and sighing in cats, it’s time to look into the reasons your cat may sigh.
It is in a relaxation mode
The next time you hear your cat sigh, take a glance at it- is it about to fall asleep?
It is very common for cats and even dogs to get comfortable, even out their breathing, and then finally let out a long sigh before they peacefully fall asleep.
This is a sign that they are comfy in bed and it is highly likely that they are down for the night and will not bother you.
Good for you!
If we look at the more ‘scientific’ side of things, exhaling releases carbon dioxide from the body, so a huge sigh plays the same role.
When this happens, your cats’ muscles start to relax, keeping them sound asleep for the night ahead. This is important because it helps your cat stay active for the next day!
Your cat is probably bored
Humans get bored, they sigh. When cat’s get bored, they may communicate through sighing too!
Your cat may simply sigh if it feels neglected. But oftentimes, if your cat has a good bond with you, just sighing is the last thing it will do.
It may jump on your back, stand on your foot, or try to grab your attention in any way so it can get the attention it needs.
If you know all of its tactics, you should be able to see when it is bored easily with just a sigh. So go ahead and play with it then!
It may be expressing content
Cats are not very expressive, but sometimes, it is pretty easy to figure out when they are satisfied because of their behavior.
For example, when your cat plays with other cats, it can casually let out a sigh as a sign of happiness.
Another example of this can be if it is doing something it likes, like spending time in your company if it enjoys it, then it will let out a sigh which will show its satisfaction.
Finally getting the feeling of warmth wrapped up in a blanket after spending time in the cold winter can also cause your cat to sign out of satisfaction.
In this case, you should be ecstatic that your cat is at peace and happy while living with you!
It is natural
Every mammal has lungs that help it breathe oxygen in and let carbon dioxide out. As cats are mammals, their lungs fill with air too and in the process of the gas exchange, a sigh can be let out.
This is because the carbon dioxide needs to be released out to the body in time or the cat can die because of carbon dioxide poisoning.
If your cat sighs, it can be a sign of it letting go of a long breath and paying oxygen back to its lungs.
Other than that, if you see it sighing too often, it can also mean that your cat may have breathing issues or internal respiratory problems.
Make sure to get your cat checked by the vet if you think your cat is going through respiratory problems.
Showing emotion about a certain experience
Us humans, we sigh when we are frustrated, disappointed, or simply bored. But when it comes to cats, you will see that they sigh when they are expressing an emotion- in the moment.
So if your cat is sighing, it may be expressing its excitement to you about something, or simply getting ready for something that it finds exciting like having its favorite dinner or playing with its new toy.
Hence, a sigh can indicate a bunch of things, but the bottom line is, there is nothing to worry about if your cat sighs a moderate amount of times.
However, as soon as you feel that it sighs multiple times in a day at very random times, then you should get it checked by the vet as soon as you can.
Should I stop my cat from sighing?
Now that you know the different reasons your cat may sigh, the next question that may arise is, should you stop your cat from sighing?
Well, the thing is that cats usually sigh when they are content with their owner in their homes, and since they do not express themselves much, many cat owners treasure this action of their cats.
However, if your cat is just signing out of boredom and constantly annoying you to play with it even when you are busy, then it only makes sense to try and stop it.
If your cat is stressed or having trouble sleeping peacefully at night, you can invest in some soothing toys or systems with your vet’s recommendations which will help improve its sleep until you can hear those small sighs again.
But of course, if you believe that your cat may be diagnosed with respiratory diseases or any mental health issues, you should take your cat’s sighs seriously and head to the vet immediately.
In conclusion, why exactly does your cat sigh?
There are multiple reasons a cat may sigh, somewhere you should be concerned, and others not so serious.
If we talk about the more serious side, a cat sighing too much around you could indicate that it has some sort of a disease or respiratory problem. It can also mean that your cat has a mental health issue.
But generally, if your cat sighs, it usually just indicates its comfortableness with you, and that it feels safe in your home which is the biggest compliment to any cat owner.
Moreover, it is important that you know the difference between huffing and sighing so you do not confuse your cat’s emotions when communicating with it!
Also, many cat owners wonder if they should stop their cat from sighing. The answer is, you do not have to, because this shows your cat’s bond with you, but if you feel that it sighs and bothers you too much when you are busy, you can choose to do so.
Lastly, keep in mind that occasional sighing is completely normal, but if your cat sighs an abnormal amount, then it is best to get it checked out by a vet.
It is vital that you do not delay this step because something as simple as sighing can be the cause of your cat’s death very easily.
Cats show strange behaviour such as sleeping between legs, moving its kittens, scratching mirrors, tail hitting, bedroom door waiting, eye sniffing, chin biting, black boogers, foot standing, back jumping, sighing, peeing in the bathtub and toe licking may actually have solid reasons behind. Its important we educate ourselves about possible reasons and then act timely for any fix.