10 Cat Talk (Meow) Every Cat Parent Must Know

a cat meowing

As a cat parent, you know that your cat's way of communicating with you is through their purring, meowing, and the rare times they show affection. A cat meow can mean a lot of different things.

Their meowing is a distinct vocalization because cats don't meow at each other. They meow at people.

Kittens meowing would let their mommies know that they are hungry or cold, but once they are past the kitten phase, they stop directly meowing to their fellow felines. But they would continue meowing at humans and other animals.

But why do they do it? What’s the meowing all about?

10 Reasons Why Cats Meow:

  1. I am just saying “Hi!” – cats meow to greet you or other people in your household. When you come home, your cat meows to welcome you back, or when you meet somewhere within the house, you will get a meow from your feline friend. Usually, this is also the sound they give when you talk to them, and they meow in response.
  2. Come and notice me – although they are entirely independent and certainly snobbish, they do need attention too, so they meow to let you know they need to be spoiled. You can talk and play with your cats and even stroke them until they purr contently. Cats who are usually left alone most of the day may likely meow for some TLC from you.
  3. Feed me, human! – cats love to eat, and they can be pretty demanding when it comes to meals. Almost all cats meow to ask for food. They meow at you in the morning demanding their breakfast, or if they usually chill in the kitchen, they tend to meow whenever they get there. This is a trick they do even after just eating in the hopes that someone will give them a treat or two.
  4. It’s time to breed the next generation – Cat meow to attract cats and mate. A female cat meowing may indicate that she is in heat and is finding a mate. Note that reproductively intact felines are more into yowling than just meowing. Females yowl to confirm their receptivity to the male cats while males respond the same way to get access to the female cat.
  5. Let me in, let me out – some cats can be pretty demanding, and meowing is their vocal way of telling you what they want from you. When they meow at the door, they most likely want to go outside, and if your cat is out and wants in, it will meow to get your attention so you can let it in.
  6. I’m pissed off – the sound of cats meowing angry is more of a yowl and will let you know that they are upset or feel threatened. This would be the start of a catfight meow or a screaming match between or among agitated felines.
  7. Stress alert – meowing can also be an indication that your cat is stressed especially if there are recent changes in its environment or even in your family dynamics. It can be moving to a new house, having a new human around, or an additional pet.
  8. Something's hurting – if your feline buddy suddenly starts meowing more than usual, it might not be feeling well, and might be in pain. If a cat is experiencing excessive pain, thirst, or hunger, it will meow more often. If you notice that your cat's meow's tone is different and it appears distressed, visit your vet as soon as possible.
  9. Keeping up with age – an elderly cat is prone to health issues. There may be moments where they meow because of mental confusion or if they get disoriented. A visit to the vet is necessary in such cases because it might be a sign of feline Alzheimer's disease.
  10. Meowing comes naturally – all cats meow, but certain breeds meow more than the others. Notably would be Siamese that is prone to plenty of meowing and yowling. They love their loud meowing vocalization and are fond of chit-chatting the meow way.  The Maine Coon, Bengal Cats, and Oriental Shorthair also meow at almost all things.

Being keen on their method of communication is essential as feline parents. You have to be able to distinguish your cat's happy meowing from a distress call so you can respond accordingly. If you doubt the sudden change in behavior in your cat, you can always rely on getting support from your vet.


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