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HISSING AND SPITTING

Hissing and spitting (the more intense variation) are involuntary reactions to when a cat is surprised by an (apparent) enemy. The cat changes position with a startle and breath is being forced rapidly through the slightly open mouth before stopping suddenly; [fft], [ɧ] or [ç]. Hissing and spitting are agonistic (aggressive and defensive) sounds produced with the mouth wide open and the teeth exposed. They sound a bit like a long exhalations. The spit sounds similar to a hiss, but sometimes can begin with a t-like sound, e.g. [tʃ].

The image to the right shows the phonetic characteristics (waveform, spectrogram and pitch contour) and gives an audio example of a domestic cat hiss.

This image shows the phonetic characteristics (waveform, spectrogram and pitch contour) and gives an audio example of a domestic cat spit.

DONNA HISSES AND HOWLS

Vimsan approaches Donna, who startles and hisses before she begins to howl.

HISSING, HOWLING AND GROWLING

This video clip shows the two female domestic cats Donna (who hisses and howls) and Vimsan (who growls back, but retreats in the end) during an agonistic encounter as Vimsan was introduced to her new home with resident cat Donna.