The sound I’d like to know is that made by a man toward a cat and a horse, not made by animals.

According to a dictionary, when a man chirrups, it means to make clucking or clicking sounds with the lips, as in urging on a horse. However, it doesn’t help me at all when I try to imagine the sound. Also, I have another chirruping noise in a Harry Potter book.

Filch made a chirruping noise to Mrs. Norris, who stared blankly at Harry for a few more seconds before turning and following her master. (Harry Potter 4 [US Version]: p.474)[Bold font is mine]

N.B.: Mrs. Norris is a cat.

Would you happen to know any ‘sound dictionary’ on the Net? I’d like to hear the sound to a horse and a cat. (I couldn’t find them on YouTube.)

Edit: (after answers by @Thursagen and @Hydrangea)(Thanks for joining me!)

The sound I’d like to know is that made by a man toward a cat and a horse, not made by animals.

The reason I asked is my country’s people have a standard way to call a cat. They make a tut-tut-tut like noise, using their tongue. So I wanted to know if the chirruping noise is different from that. From your explanations, English speaking people seems to have no united way to call a cat. (I didn’t know that!). I guess the chirruping noise in this scene might depend on audience’s imagination.

However, I still would like to know a chirruping noise which a man makes toward a horse, because some dictionaries define the meaning by referring to a horse. I’m thinking the definition might make people imagine almost the same sound.

Edit 2: The second reason to ask this question is my mother tongue has a wide variety of onomatopoeia. If I can get a clear idea of the sound, then I can link the noise to some onomatopoeia in my mind, and I can get a clearer image from that.

2 Answers 2


A "chirrup" is a variant spelling of "chirp". A chirping sound is basically a sound made by a bird. If you want to hear it, you can wake up early one morning and listen to the birds. Especially the sparrow, finches, and robins.

If there are no birds, try this site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KFUGfurMek

The reason Filch was making a chirruping noise to Mrs. Norris, was because Mrs. Norris was a cat, and Filch was trying to attract her attention. Perhaps, I don't know, it was Filch's signal to Mrs. Norris to follow him as he is about to leave.

  • I also associate "chirrup" with the sound of a cricket. Birds make a wide range of sounds, only some of which I would call "chirrups".
    – GEdgar
    Jul 29, 2011 at 13:58
  • Have you ever woken up to the sound of a flock of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos in Australia? ;-) ibc.lynxeds.com/sound/sulphur-crested-cockatoo-cacatua-galerita/…
    – CesarGon
    Jul 29, 2011 at 17:18
  • 1
    @CesarGon, yes several times. It's not... soothing
    – Thursagen
    Jul 29, 2011 at 18:02

It is a different sound than tweet, here's a recording of one kind of chirrup (there's a 30 second preview just below the Facebook share button). The birder I know uses it to distinguish repeated sounds versus something like a call. Wiktionary supports that usage.

I imagine Filch making a repetitive whistle to the cat.

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