Why Does Your Cat Meow at You?

If you own a cat, you’re probably used to hearing them meow at you throughout the day.

In the morning, in the afternoon, at night, essentially whenever they want to get your attention.

But if you think about it, you pretty much never hear cat’s meow at each other, right?

Well, there happens to be a reason for that.

Cat’s communicate with each other in different ways.

Instead of meowing at each other they communicate through scent, body language, facial expressions, and touch.  

They save their meow’s for when they’re talking to you.

That’s because, your cat has learned that you don’t respond to their “usual” forms of communication, which is why they meow.

In fact, some experts believe that cats have refined their cat language over generations specifically to interact with humans.

And you can bet that when they are meowing at you, they’re trying to tell you something. 

Plus, different types of meow’s mean different things.

Pretty cool, huh?

As a cat parent, you need to learn what each meow means and how to respond. Yes, it’s still ok to say no sometimes but it’s important to understand what they’re trying to tell you, especially if they aren’t feeling well.

So how do you translate what your cat is trying to say?

Well, if your cat is vocal like my Ziggy you’ve probably noticed that their meows don’t always sound the same.

They have different tones and a different overall quality.

When they’re hungry they’ll meow a certain way, when they’re upset or annoyed it’s a different tone altogether.

It’s pretty easy to recognize because essentially the happier they are the more pleasant their meow is, the more upset they are the less pleasing it can be to your ears.

And it’s unpleasant for a reason, it’s because they’re trying to tell you something important it is meant to get our attention.

Let's take a look at the different types of meows and what they mean.

Kitty says hello with quick meow

A short quick meow – This is typically a pleasant greeting or a hello

Meowing over and over again – You’ll usually hear this type of meow after you’ve been away for a while. It’s usually a sign that your cat is very happy to see you.

A midrange meow – This meow is essentially a begging meow, they want something.

Long drawn out meow – This is a meow designed to plead their case, they want something, and they want it now.

Meows that are low pitch – This is a complaining cat, you’ve done something to upset them and they’re letting you know.

Meows that are high pitch – This type of meow usually means they are angry or in pain (If the cat is in serious pain, it might also be followed by heavy breathing).

If you’ve ever stepped on your cat’s paw or closed their tail in the door (guilty) this is the type of high pitch meow you’d hear.  

Meowing isn’t the only way your cat communicates with you…

They also purr, chirp and even chatter at times.

The fact is, your cat will meow at you for a variety of reasons and it’s up to you to decipher your own cat’s language.

If you’re not quite sure…

Here are a few of the possible reasons your cat is meowing at you. 

They are stressed – Cats have a tendency to become more vocal when they’re feeling stressed out. If you’ve ever taken your cat to the vet and put them in a carrier you know what I’m talking about. That continuous, unrelenting meowing they do…means they are a little stressed out and they’re trying to tell you.

They’re hungry – Your cat is no dummy and when they’re hungry they’ll let you know. The interesting thing is that more than likely have perfected the meow. If you listen closely every time they want to be fed you’ll notice a consistent pattern.

They want your attention – There are times when your cat just wants you to give them a little attention. Next time your cat lets out a meow, try to decipher what they need. If they’ve been fed and everything else is fine, they just may want a little attention. Give it to them.

They want inside – If your cat is an indoor cat you may never come across this unless they accidentally get out. But if you have an indoor/outdoor cat they will also have a very specific meow that means…let me in!

They are in heat – If you have a male cat you won’t hear this, but for female cat owners it could be a sign that they are in heat. Don’t let them out!

Life is good – Sometimes your cat just wants you to know that you’re doing great. All of their needs are met, and everything is right in their world. This is usually a purr instead of a meow, but it does speak volumes as to their level of happiness. Keep in mind, there are times when a cat will purr during times of pain or discomfort too, so make sure you assess the reasons for the purring if it appears that they may be uncomfortable.

Bottom Line:

Cat’s don’t meow for the heck of it.

They are very deliberate in their communication and when they do talk to you, you can bet it has a meaning behind it.

The longer you have a cat, the more familiar you’ll become with their different meow’s.

And the more you pay attention and attend to their needs when they meow, the stronger your bond will be.