Why do cats Huff?

by Anonymous

I have a very sweet (never scratches or bites me), recently spayed female who is very possessive, protective and territorial, with minor food aggression (she is an adopted stray). She stands like a warrior, swishing her tail at other incoming cats and growling.

Then she Huffs... I never have had a cat Huff. I love it! Is this just a release of tension, or a genetic trait?

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The huff
by: Kurt (Admin)

Cats can make a lot of different sounds. In my experience, I've heard cats make several kinds of sounds that could be called a huff.

The first is an exhale after exertion, like running up the stairs and into a room. I had a cat named Frankie who would run into the bedroom, jump on the bed, lie down, and exhale like that.

The second is when they're relaxed. When a cat is falling asleep or putting their head down to rest, they'll exhale and this can sound like a huff. Jazzy often does this when he first settles down or wakes up and goes back to sleep.

The third is the kind of annoyed, anxious, or angry huff you and Jim have described, often with tail swishing or other signs. This kind of huff sometimes almost sounds like a hiss, but not quite.

She's annoyed!
by: Jim W.

From your description, it sounds like she's doing the angry or annoyed huff. Whenever I've heard cats do that, it's almost like they're warning others not to get too close.

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