Why Do Our Cat’s Meow?
20 October, 2014
While our cats are usually quiet little felines, and don’t ‘bark’ as much as dogs, they do meow as a way to communicate with us. Adult cats don’t actually meow at each other, just at people (unless they are provoked or attacked). Kittens meow to let their mother know they’re cold or hungry, but once they get a bit older, cats no longer meow to other cats. Cats also yowl—a sound similar to the meow but more drawn out and melodic (also known as the night meows).
Below are some of the reasons why our cat’s meow:
Cats will meow as a meet and greet
Your cat will usually greet you when you arrive home, when he or she meets up with you in the house or and when you speak to her. They will often look you in the eyes and meow to say ‘hello’. Or if not the meow…it’s the beautiful double closed eyes which means they adore you!
Cats will meow to get attention or noticed
Most cats enjoy social contact with people and some will be quite vocal in their requests for attention. Your kitty will meow because he or she wants to be pet or stroked, played with or simply talked to. Cats who are left alone for long periods of time each day may be more likely to meow for attention. They are lonely and want you to pay attention to them!
Cats will meow to ask for food
Most cats like to eat, and they can be quite demanding around mealtimes. Some cats learn to meow whenever anyone enters the kitchen, just in case food might be on its’ way. Other cats will meow to wake you up to serve them breakfast as they are hungry! Cats also learn to beg for human food by meowing.
Cats will meow if they want to go outside (even if you won’t let them)
Meowing is the cat’s primary way to let you know what she wants. If your cat wants to go outside, he or she will learn to meow at the door. If you’re trying to transition a cat from being indoor-outdoor to living exclusively indoors, you may be in for a period of incessant meowing at doors and windows. This is a difficult change for a cat to make and it will very likely take week for the meowing to stop.
An older cat will meow out of a pain and confusion
Elderly cats suffering from mental confusion, or cognitive dysfunction, may meow if they become disoriented—a frequent symptom of this feline version of Alzheimer’s. Or sometimes they just meow out the window for no reason at all. But, not to worry, this is normal.
If your cat meows excessively, take him or her to the vet
A cat that meows excessively should be checked thoroughly by a veterinarian to ensure a medical condition is not the cause of the cat’s distress. Numerous diseases can cause cats to feel unusually hungry, thirsty, restless or irritable, any of which is likely to prompt meowing. Even if your cat has a history of meowing for food, you should still have her checked by your veterinarian. As cats age, they’re prone to developing an overactive thyroid and kidney disease, and either one may result in excessive meowing.
When your cat meows, don’t ignore your kitty or scold him or her
Do not ignore your cat when she meows. The one exception is if you know that she’s only meowing to get you to do something she wants. Otherwise, it is safe to assume that there is something wrong. It could be as simple as he or she is hungry, the water bowl is empty or your cat might not have access the litter box. It also could be your cat is in pain.
Don’t ever scold your cat for meowing too much. While the yelling may just send your cat running away, it will not have a lasting effect on her meowing behavior but instead will make your kitty fearful of you. So, then you end up with two problems. Just sit down and pet your cat instead and the meow will most likely end up in a purring session.