A huff is when a cat exhales through its nose. A cat huffs to tell its owner how it is feeling. It can mean that they are relaxed, or annoyed, or it can indicate an underlying health issue.
In the same way that a hiss is a warning for aggressive behavior and a chirp is a cat’s way of saying hello, a cat’s huff is another of the many ways cats communicate through vocal sounds.
If you want to know more about what your cat’s huff could mean, keep reading.
What kind of huff is your cat making?
The manner in which your cat huffs can say a lot about its mood or condition. These are some possibilities.
Cats can sigh, but not for the same reasons we do. Cats do not sigh because they are sad–a sad cat is usually quiet. A cat sighs when it is noticeably exhaling out of nowhere while resting. Cats sigh when they are relaxed.
If your cat is breathing audibly with its mouth open, it is having trouble breathing. This can be harmless, like when your cat overexerts himself while playing. But if you notice your cat panting regularly, take it to the vet immediately. Panting could be a sign of heartworm infection, feline asthma, or respiratory issues.
A cat wheeze is a lot like panting but with the mouth closed. It can be a sign of respiratory distress. A wheezing cat can mean that the cat has asthma. This needs immediate medical attention.
A straightforward huff
If your cat lets out a short, quick huff with its mouth shut, it might be mad at you. Though not common, cats can show their frustration through huffing and puffing. Maybe you forgot to feed him on time, or perhaps there’s a bird or toy they can’t quite reach. Your cat will huff to air out its frustration.
Why does my cat huff at me?
Cats will huff for various reasons as explained above. But huffing due to annoyance or grumpiness is expected in cats. Just remember that cats do not project morals the same way we do, so do not feel bad if your cat seems annoyed with you.
As long as your cat seems content and relaxed, he is probably happy. Your cat may get annoyed with you from time to time, but it will get over it.
How long does a cat hold a grudge?
Cats do not hold grudges because they have a poor working memory. They forget day to day events quickly and tend to live in the now.
If you worry whether your cat is still mad that you accidentally sat on its tail yesterday, don’t worry because it’s probably forgotten all about it.
Of course, cats still know how to associate actions, sounds, and objects with positive or negative outcomes. If the action gets repeated enough, they will form a lasting memory. If you do not reward them if they misbehave, they’ll know to correct the behavior. When your friend who always gives the cat a treat comes to visit, the cat will be excited to see said friend.
A cat’s huff is its way of showing mild annoyance to a person, animal, or thing. If a cat sighs, it is content. If a cat wheezes or pants continuously, take it to the vet immediately, because it might be due to a medical emergency.
Do not take a cat’s huff of annoyance personally. This is just a temporary mood for the cat and he will forget all about it in the morning.
Image: istockphoto.com / Santiaga