Cat Talk: 10 Reasons Cats Meow

by catfood

Arden Moore, author of The Cat Behavior Answer Book, notes, “Cats are capable of producing at least 30 noises, including at least 19 variations on the simple meow.”

So, what causes cats meow? Here are several cat talk and feline language translations:


10. I’m hurt – If your cat suddenly begins meowing excessively, take him to the clinic immediately away. Meows from your cat may indicate that something is wrong with him, especially if the behavior is unusual. According to Catfoodsite, “many ailments can cause a cat to feel hungry, thirsty, or in discomfort, all of which can result in excessive meowing.”

9. I’m just saying hello – According to the ASPCA website, a cat will frequently meow to his human when you arrive home, or to greet you when you see each other in the house.


8. I’m hungry – The “I’m hungry” meow is certainly recognizable to all cat parents. “A lot of cats know just how to notify their families that it’s meal time,” says pet writer Jane Harrell. “If my cat Mojo thought supper would be late, she’d gallop around behind me, meowing the entire time.”

7. Pay attention to me – Cats may sometimes chat merely to grab your attention, and they’ve discovered that meowing does the trick. “Cats frequently meow to initiate play, caressing, or to urge you to talk to them,” notes Catfoodsite.

6. “If a door is closed, cats may meow to get you to unlock it,” Harrell adds. “I have a foster cat who meows every time I close the bedroom door.” She doesn’t want to come in, but she is bothered by the fact that it is closed.


5. I’m in heat – A female cat in heat may yowl incessantly, according to Moore. “Yet another reason to spay!” she exclaims.

4. I’m stressed – Agitated cats may become more talkative than usual, according to WebMD. If your cat meowed loudly in the car on the way to the clinic, you may have witnessed this personally.

3. I’m annoyed – According to Moore, “angry, agitated cats may commonly erupt into a shouting brawl if they feel threatened enough to attack.” According to her, this angered meow sound sounds more like a yowl.

2. I don’t want to be alone – According to The Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine’s Wendoor Pet Initiative, when some cats are left alone for lengthy periods of time, they may become anxious and, among other things, meow excessively.


1. I’m getting older – “Increased vocalization is very common in elderly cats,” says Manhattan Cats’ Dr. Arnold Plotnick, a veterinary specialist. Dr. Plotnick goes on to say that as cats age, they may lose cognitive function, which can present itself in a variety of ways, including loud meowing.

Cats occasionally meow for unknown reasons, as any cat parent knows. Maybe your cat is meowing in the middle of the night because the moon is shining brightly, or he wants you to change the channel on the television. Because cats are capable of producing a variety of vocalizations, your cat will most likely use different sounds with different meanings at different times. Although cats do not cry, observing the situations in which your cat meows or vocalizes, as well as the sounds he makes, might help you better understand your resident feline.

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