Why Do Cats Meow?

Cat Meow

“You wot?” ?

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Anyone who lives with a cat knows that every cat’s meow is unique and distinctive. Some are deep meows, some are squeaky little meows, some are more like a growl and some are like little meow-chirps! Some experts say there are more than 20 types of meows! 

There are a variety of reasons your cat might be meowing; here are just a few: 


Your cat may just be saying howdy when he meows at you. Some experts believe cats meow simply to communicate with their humans and saying hello is certainly a great way to do that! 


Cats that are in pain often vocalize. If your cat is suddenly meowing much more than normal, you may want to take him to the vet to get him checked out! 


Some cats might just meow to get your attention….they may want something, to be let in or out or they might simply want you to tear your eyes away from your Netflix binge so you can focus solely on them! Some breeds (like Siamese for example) are known as big “talkers” and seem to want to chat up their humans more than other breeds. 


Often cats meow when they are anxious or stressed about something, like being in the cat carrier, for example. Some cats become lonely when their owners are away and meow incessantly when they are by themselves. 


If you aren’t feeding your hungry cat fast enough, you very likely might be getting some meows that appear to be saying, “hurry up, slow poke, I’m HUNGRY!” By the same token, some cats don’t even wait until you are out of bed to start meowing for their first meal of the day. 

Silent Meows 

Silent meows are pretty cute, aren’t they? It may appear your cat is meowing but no or little sound is coming out…but some experts believe that there actually is sound coming out, but our poor little inferior human ears just aren’t capable of hearing it!  

Over time, many humans say they can distinguish their cat’s meows based on what they want to communicate. Can you? 

11 thoughts on “Why Do Cats Meow?

  • nelson bellingham
    March 5, 2019 at 7:13 am

    Yes its very lmportant to listen to your cats meows. They are telling you something every time they meow at there owners. After awhile youwill understand them better. Thats the only way they can talk too you. So listen tothem very good.

  • Donna
    March 5, 2019 at 7:55 am

    One of my cats will let out an ear shattering meow when walking into the room. Once we recognize her, she drops to a soft meow as if to say, “just wanted you to know I’m here!”

  • Shirley
    March 5, 2019 at 9:52 am

    I rescued a cat from the weather last winter. He was basically a silent cat until he figured out that making some noise was a great way to get things. So now, in the morning, he jumps up onto my bed and announces himself with a loud, distinct “meow.” When he knows he’s getting dinner, he makes a low “huff” sound encouraging me to hurry up.

  • D.G. Sifuentes
    March 5, 2019 at 10:22 am

    Kitty Sapphire is a talker–plain and simple. From the day I brought her home from the shelter as a kitten she always has something to ‘say’ about everything. I even spoke to her Vet about it, but we came to the conclusion that there is nothing wrong with her, she is simply is a talker.

  • Janice B
    March 5, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    We had a cat who figured out that when any of his humans used a rising inflection at the end of a word or sentence, an answer was expected. We humans always answered each other, and Minou noticed. Pretty soon, Minou started answering any question you’d ask him — as long as you made it an obvious question. His timing was good, but his answers were all the same: “meow.”

  • Cat Lover
    March 5, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    Maine Coons have the sweetest chirp I’ve ever heard. Our cats who are part Siamese sound like those cats on old cartoons when someone turned their tails like a crank. They have a lot to say, and talk all the time. One of them yells at the snow as it falls. We live in the snow belt; after 15 minutes of that we are not so pleased anymore, but we love him to pieces. Our tabby has meows that sound very much like “please” and “thank you” when she’s fed. She will meow back and forth at me for as long as I’m willing to keep it up!

  • Bridgid
    March 5, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    My Clem has more inflection in his meows than any other cat I’ve had. He asks to be fed, but once the lid is off the can he’s very demanding!

  • Marylew
    March 5, 2019 at 3:32 pm

    I had a cat once who I could swear was trying to say my name! His meow would sound something like “marroo”. He only used that meow when he was talking to me! Very endearing.

  • Carol R. Adler
    March 5, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    Today I took Luis to the vet because he has been driving me crazy with his extremely frequent whining. It seemed to start when I came home in November without one of my other cats who sadly had been euthanized. I tried “no whining,” “shhhhh,” I put him in a separate room and finally decided the vet must see him. It turns out his anal glands were impacted. Now I feel guilty, but he has been home for about 6 hours and not a whine out of him. I must listen harder to what each of my cats is trying to say.

  • Chanel
    March 5, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    My cat Marley howls all the time when he’s not eating or sleeping or staring out the window at the squirrels and the birds. Frankly it’s very unnerving at times. But I’m glad that he’s here with me because I wonder if anybody else would tolerate it.

  • Kittens
    March 11, 2019 at 12:53 pm

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