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My cats are indoor cats but every day I sit out in the back yard with them for a few hours so they don't have to be cooped up inside all the time. I have bird feeders in the back yard which do attract birds. Both of my cats will try to stalk the birds, naturally, but as they move towards them I've noticed that both of them will open and close their mouths very rapidly and I swear they make a chirping sound. The sound they make doesn't sound like the birds but it sure as heck doesn't sound like any cat I've ever heard either! What in the heck are they doing?
 

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My two girls do the exact same thing, and I think it's adorable. I think the chirping is a sound they made when they're really excited about stalking something. I also hear it sometimes when they're stalking a leaf.
 

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Yup, very normal behavior for a cat. Usually called chattering.
 

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I've called it "chattering" and it is something cats do when they are *very* excited and *very* intent upon a subject.

I believe no one really knows 'why', though there are several theories:
Communication to draw the attention of the other housecats.
Practicing the delivery of the "kill bite". A sort of 'warm-up' exercise?
Frustration at not being able to reach the item that has so captured their attention.
 

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Yes, my Monty does this too...usually when there is a fly that he can't reach. He is the Great Fly Hunter I will have you know ;)
 

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I had no idea this was normal! :lol: I've had cats most of my life and had never seen it before. I saw Oliver do it first and I thought it was the funniest thing I've ever seen. Then after Kale was acclimated to Oliver and our dog I started bringing him out with the rest of the family. I thought Kale had learned a weird trick from Oliver because he started doing it too. Haha! I feel a little silly now :)
 

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Don't feel silly - the first time I saw Cinderella doing this, I almost brought her to the Emergency Room. Until I posted about it here. :oops:

I didn't know if it was a seizure or something....
 

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cats . . . just when you think you know everything about them, they surprise you with something! I've got video on DVD somewhere of my Lucy chattering I should download someday. Its fascinating to see them do it. It doesn't seem to be something they are taught, but natural.
 

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*I* can make a fast "ack-ack-ack-ack-ack" noise and bring cats running to whatever I want to call to their attention; bird/squirrel outside or a bug inside the house. It seems to be universally understood by all cats.
 

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Xanti said:
Yes, my Monty does this too...usually when there is a fly that he can't reach. He is the Great Fly Hunter I will have you know ;)
Kale is a fly hunter too. He cracks me up because he'll leap like super man with his legs stretched waaay out in front of him. I can almost hear him singing "I believe I can catch that fly" :lol:
 

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Boo does that too, and it tripped me out the first time I heard him do it. And the expression to go with it - classic. The other two just dive into the arcadia door or bay window trying to get to the birds. lol
 

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Xanti said:
Yes, my Monty does this too...usually when there is a fly that he can't reach. He is the Great Fly Hunter I will have you know ;)
Ah yes .. well he must have had lessons from the Champion of all Fly Catchers ... otherwise known as Toby the cat.

Does he eat them too? Toby does ... I can hear the crunching .... shudder.

Toby often chatters at birds in the garden from the window ... perfectly normal kitty behaviour.
 
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