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Why Do Cats Meow Introduction

Our cats are amazing companions who provide us with companionship and endless hours of fun. As long as you treat your cat well it will make you feel happy even when you are alone at home. If you have been had your cat for a while, you might have noticed that your cat behaves in different ways in order to communicate with you. The most vocal behavior is meowing. This leads to the question why do cats meow.

It is an interesting fact that cats only meow to humans, especially their owners. A cat will hardly meow at another cat or any other animal. The way that your cat meows at you is specific to the bond that you share.

You might have noticed that your cat meows more at certain times. Cats also produce different sounds when they meow. The different sounds are meant to pass different kinds of messages depending on what the cat wants. You just need to know the different meowing sounds so that you can easily know what your cat wants.

There are different reasons why cats meow at different times. Some of these reasons are straight-forward but some are not so obvious. Here are the primary reasons

Reasons Why Do Cats Meow


A cat will meow when it is hungry so you can notice and therefore feed it. This especially happens when you have specific times when you usually feed your cat. If it is time to feed and you have not fed your cat she will start to meow in order to remind you. If you feed your cat something she is not fond of, she meows at you to let you know that the food is not up to her standards.


A stressed cat will meow a lot, more so than normal. Cats usually get stressed when they are bothered by something. It could be noises from the hallway from people. If you live on a busy street, the car sounds may be bothering her. The meowing can even be annoying especially if the cat starts to meow at night or when you want to concentrate.

Kitty is Hurt

Being hurt is also one of the primary reasons why cats meow. This is especially when your cat has been injured or is suffering from a certain health condition. If you have taken proper care of your cat but it is still meowing excessively you should inspect it to see if it is hurt. If you do not notice any injury you should then take the cat to a professional vet so that the cat can be checked properly.

Seeking Attention

When you are busy or not concentrating on the cat it might start meowing so that it can get your attention. This especially happens when the cat wants to play but you do not seem interested. During such times the cat will meow so that you can pay attention and play with her. Trying to get your attention is a common reason why do cats meow.

Open the Door

Sometimes cats go outside to play or hunt and we might forget to let them in. In such a situation the cat will come at the door or window and start meowing. This is a way of letting you know that the cat wants to be let in for it has finished playing. This may also happen if you close the bedroom door, and kitty wants to come inside.


When you get home your cat will most likely run to you and start meowing. This is the method the cat uses to greet you. The cat will just be showing that she has missed you and is glad that you are home. If you ignore the cat during such moments it will most likely follow you until you show that you have noticed the greetings.

Being in Heat

Female cats usually meow more than normal when they are on heat. This is primarily attributed to changes in hormones during this particular time. The cat will most likely be restless when it is in heat and as a result, you will notice that it is not staying in one place and it is not sleeping the way it usually sleeps. Male cats also meow more when they notice there is a female cat nearby especially if the male notices that the female is in heat.

Being Agitated

Cats can be agitated especially when they are threatened. This mostly happens when besides the cat you also have a dog. This can also happen when a dog passes near your home and the cat sees the dog. Kitty does not like anything coming into its territory and will become agitated and start meowing to defend her territory.


Cats live for about fifteen years and when they get old they can get confused and start meowing unnecessarily. If you notice that your cat is meowing without any particular reason you should know that if the cat is getting old, she may be confused. Be sure to take your kitty to the vet to have her looked at to make sure she is healthy.

Ways of Controlling the Meowing of Your Cat

Proper Feeding

When you feed your cat with the right foods and at the right time the cat will not meow unnecessarily. This is mainly because cats spend most of their time sleeping and if they are properly fed they prefer to sleep instead of meowing. You just need to follow a time-table for when to feed your cat.

Regular Checkups

To prevent your cat from getting sick you should make sure that you take it to the vet on a regular basis. This is helpful because the vet will be able to notice any health condition that might be affecting the cat. Consequently, your cat will not meow unnecessarily by being affected by certain avoidable health conditions.

Paying More Attention

Cats are emotional and they like to be treated in an affectionate manner. If you keep on ignoring your cat it will meow more as it tries to get your attention. You should take time to pat the cat on the back and let it rub itself against your legs. This will make the cat feel appreciated and it will not meow when you need silence. Be sure to dedicate some regular play time with your kitty.

Different Meows

Not only is it important to understand why do cats meow, but it is also very useful to know what they are trying to communicate.

Short Meow

When your cat produces just a short meow it means that it is simply saying hello. Most likely you will hear this particular meow from your cat when you get home. You cat will just be saying hello to you without needing anything. If you pet the cat just once it will appreciate it and know that you have answered the greeting.

Multiple Meows

When your cat makes multiple meows which are closely following each other it means that she is excited about something. Most cats produce these kinds of meows when they know they are about to be fed or are about to be allowed to go play. If you look at the cat when she is producing these meows you will notice that it restless primarily because she is excited.

Mid Pitched Meow

Cats usually produce the mid-pitched meows when they are distressed especially while they are hungry. The cat will produce this kind of meow when its feeding time has reached but you do not seem to remember to feed her. If you are in your room the cat will come to the door and produce this kind of meow. The cat will do this even when you are not at home hoping that someone will notice that she is hungry.

Drawn Out Meow

This kind of mew is primarily meant to demand something. When your cat wants something that she knows that she should have it will produce this drawn-out meow. Such situations include when you are sitting on the place where the cat usually sleeps or you are standing in kitty’s way.

Low Pitched Meow

This is another common type of meow and it is produced when the cat is hurt. If your cat is not feeling well it will produce this kind of meow so that you can check on her. When you hear the low pitch meow you should know that your cat has a problem such as an aching tooth or another health problem that is making the cat uncomfortable.

High Pitch Meow

When you step on the tail of your cat accidentally, she will produce this kind of meow. The cat produces this meow to show anger or pain especially if the pain is sudden. When it comes to this kind of meow you will react immediately to help the cat because she really sounds distressed.

Understanding the Different Kinds of Meow

The Body Language

Just by looking at the body language of your cat you can get an idea of what your cat wants. An excited cat will most likely be swinging her tail while being restless. This will tell you that your cat is healthy but there is something that she would like you to pay attention to. But if your cat is meowing while not even looking at you, she is telling you that she has a problem such as being hurt.

The Volume

Different breeds of cats have the ability to produce meows of different volumes. But if you hear that the meow of your cat is louder than you are used to you should know that the cat really wants to get your attention. On the other hand, if the volume of the meow is too low you should know that your cat has an issue that is depressing it. In such a situation you should go and check on the cat in case you are not near it.

The Urgency

If your cat is meowing repeatedly over a short time you should know that there is something making her excited. Such continuous meows show that the cat wants you to react immediately. If the meows are low pitched and there are time intervals between them then your cat is hoping that you will notice that there is something wrong. Such meows even mean that the cat is ready to wait for you to finish what you are doing so that you can turn your attention to her.


Sometimes cats produce meows that are longer than normal. Long meows mean that the cat is almost giving up in getting your attention. Such situations happen when the cats have been trying to get something for a long time. When you accidentally lock your cat outside it will start producing the long meows if it stays outside for a long time without anyone noticing that she is locked out.

Why Do Cats Meow Summary

It is evident that if you observe your cat keenly you can tell what she wants depending on how she meows. There are different signs which you can check so that you can interpret the meowing of the cat. Some of these signs are straightforward while others you need to observe more keenly.

It is also important to know the different kinds of meows that cats usually make. Some of the meows are unique and can only be made when your cats need specific things. You can pay attention to the variances in the meows such as the volume of the meows that your cat is making. By understand why do cats meow, you can better respond to the needs of your cat.


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Why Do Cats Meow Infographic