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HOWLING,
YOWLING, MOANING,
ANGER WAILING

These sounds are long and often repeated vocalic warning signals usually produced by gradually opening the mouth wider and closing it again. Ususally combinations of vowels and semivowels like [ɪ], [ɨ], [j] and [ɤ],  or of diphthongs like [au], [ɛɔ], [aw], [oɪ] or [ɑo], resulting in long sounds, e.g. [awoɪːɛɔː], [jiɨɛɑw] or [ɪɪɪɪɪauauauauauawawaw] During a threatening situation, howls are often merged or combined with by growls in long sequences with slowly varying pitch (F0) and intensity. It is not uncommon for two cats to howl in choir.

In the picture to the right you can see the phonetic characteristics (waveform, spectrogram and pitch contour) and listen to an audio example of a howl. Below you can find additional examples of different howls and combinations of howls and other sounds.

KOMPIS HOWLS AT INTRUDER

Kompis howls in a duet with an intruder, who finally leaves our garden in slow motion.

RED AND INTRUDER HOWL

This video shows two cats howling in the garden at night. Red is the red tom cat with the darker (low-pitched) voice (to the left). He is howling in concert with an unknown black cat using an [oɪoɪoɪ]-like vowel pattern.

TWO CATS HOWL AND CRY (SCREAM) IN HAAPSALU

These two domestic cats are howling, anger wailing and screaming at each other in a garden in the beautiful Estonian town of Haapsalu one early morning in June 2014. They almost sound like crying children, and it is not surprising that human listeners react so strongly when we hear these kind of sounds. A photo of the two cats in question (taken shortly after this video) can be seen below.

THE TWO HOWLING CATS IN HAAPSALU

This photo shows the two cats that I recorded during an agonistic (aggressive) encounter in Haapsalu, Estonia, in June 2014.

DONNA HISSES AND HOWLS, VIMSAN GROWLS

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.

KOMPIS AND TEDDY ARE HOWLING AND MOVING IN SLOW MOTION

The two male cats Kompis and Teddy first howl at each other, and then Teddy tries to walk away with dignity using a slow motion balancing act.

PHONETIC CHARACTERITICS OF A HOWL-GROWL (OR A HOWL-GROWL-HOWL)

This picture shows the phonetic characteristics (top pane: waveform, middle pane: spectrogram, bottom pane: pitch (F0) contour) of an howl-growl. In the bottom pane you can see clearly how the tone rises during the howl ,then falls during the growl, and finally rises again during the following howl.