Why Do Cats Answer To “Pss”? – 6 Surprising Facts

If you’ve ever tried to catch the attention of a cat by making the “pss” sound, you know, this trick never fails.

Whether that is your very own adorable cat or a stranger cat raving around the street with her tail straight up in the air, the hissing sound makes it stop and stare.

For ages, cats have been adopted all around the world. They have distinct ways of expressing themselves.

Why do cats answer to pss

If we talk about why cats respond to the ‘pss’ sound, it can be for multiple reasons. However, the most common reason is that they think of it as a rodent noise or a threat.

Although cats are pet animals, the fact of them being a predator remains unchanged. At the same time, they are feeble beings, and an unusual sound is all enough to scare them.

However, there can be several other reasons why a cat would respond to the hissing sound. To unleash the facts, stay tuned.

Interesting Reasons Why Cats Respond To ‘pss’:

1. Cats Hissing At Each Other

Anger and fear are the two abstract emotions that can transform any creature into a ball of fire. Cats can become very dangerous and ferocious when faced with exceptional circumstances. They turn out to be severely brutal when in a fight or, in other cases, when they fear something.

One prime reason for cats responding to the hissing sound is that they might be considering it a threat.

If you observe carefully, cats often produce sounds like ‘meow‘ or ‘pss’ when fighting with each other. It is made as a sort of threat or warning to the other cat before and during a fight. No wonder why wild fights are mostly referred to as “catfights”.

However, cats can recognize their owners. They can differentiate between humans and animals, and unless they are harmed, they won’t attack you back.

2. Pitch And Frequency Of The Sound

Another reason why cats would respond to the sound of ‘pss’ can be its pitch or frequency. The sound ‘pss’, is a sound having less volume but a high frequency and an even higher pitch. It resembles the sound that a snake produces when it’s just about to attack.

Such high-pitched sound would terrify humans too, and animals are just not different. Cats become alert upon hearing the ‘pss’ sound, for it could be the indication of something dangerous.

3. Noises Rodents And Squirrels Make

Cats are susceptible to hearing very low and high-pitched voices. They have the special ability to listen to sounds from far away and be warned for whatever is to come their way.

Rodents make a cat’s favorite meal. These are small mammals that live in trees and bushes and creep from one place to another.

When they move in between the trees, their skin brushes with the leaves and produces a rustling sound. Cats often comprehend it as the ‘pss’ sound and therefore respond to hunt them.

With their fine small skulls and funnel-like ears, cats are too sharp to feel the presence of their prey. Once they are sure about nothing being dangerous or threatening, they follow the sound until they have had their feast. This can be another reason as to why your cat responds to the ‘pss’ call.

4. Hey To A Cat

Amongst all the reasons stated above, this could be the most common reason for cats to respond to the ‘pss sound’. It might be possible that instead of perceiving the sound as a threat, they comprehend it just as a mere “HEY”.

Consider yourself walking down a street, and suddenly someone calls you from behind saying ‘HEY’. You would instantly turn around to see who addressed you, and they would have your attention.

Cats face the same ‘reflex’ action. At times, cats perceive the ‘pss’ sound nothing more than a greeting. Also, other times they might just listen to it and prepare to launch themselves right at you.

5. Mother’s Calling

A cat also tends to walk up to you when you produce the ‘pss’ sound, for it has been trained this way. A mother cat usually calls upon its children by making various sounds. One of those voices is ‘pss’ but is not used very frequently used among the mother and kittens.

A mother cat uses the hissing sound only to discipline its children. It is more often used to keep kittens from mischievous or harmful acts. A cat might take it as a soft rebuttal from her mother or owner.

6. Dissuade Cats From Misbehavior

If you are a cat owner, you know a loud ‘pss’ sound is all that you need to stop your cat from all the mischiefs it has been doing.

The hissing sound is commonly used by people to abstain someone from an undesired act or nasty behavior, be it another human or a pet animal.

Such a sound catches the cat’s attention at once, and it immediately stops doing whatever was being done. This expression is known to be quite effective, for it shows the anger and displeasure of the owner.

Similar regular practices train a cat to respond to such sounds with a pause instantly. And most cats would react to the ‘pss’ sound out of their instinct or training.


All of it comes down to how a cat perceives the ‘pss’ sound. It can consider it a friendly ‘come, let’s play’ invitation. Or such a sound might put your cat to an alert mode with her tail erect and ears arched.

Other times, it might just listen to the sound and sit in your lap. Or it may even listen to the sound by moving an ear slightly and then, without looking back, walk away.

Besides being a pet, a cat is, by nature, tempted to attention and is scared of attacks. It is perfectly normal for a cat to behave a bit differently at times.

There is no need to fret over it. Also, don’t sweat about all the variant expressions your cat might show up when being called by hissing. Every cat is different and has its reasons and logic that we must not mess with.