7 Reasons Cats Meow: Why Your Cat Is Being Vocal

What’s the cat’s meow? In urban slang, that refers to something hip, cool, or highly admirable. For example, “I love that outfit; it’s the cat’s meow!” But what about a real cat’s meow? What does it mean? What are some reasons cats meow?

why cats meow


Obviously, kittens will meow to alert their mothers when they are hungry, cold or scared. As those kittens grow, however, the sounds they make bring on different meanings. Cats become well-versed in yowling, hissing and growling as a means of communication within their own kind, but the standard meow is reserved for open communications with people. It’s almost like our own secret language with them!

The amount of meowing depends on the type of breed and even the individual cat. If you are not too keen on being with a true “conversationalist” at all hours, steer clear of the Oriental breeds, such as Siamese cats, as they love an engaging “dialogue.” Other cats can present like that pesky neighbor of yours who likes to stir the local gossip pot – they just love to hear the sound of their own voices. Others may just be trying to carry on a conversation with their owners.

If your cat is a bit more vocal lately, consider the cause first and then work on the solution to mitigate the extra vocalization. Some meowing may just be a nuisance, while at other times, it could be a signal to something more serious.

Here are some reasons cats meow as identified by pets.webmd.com

Reasons Cats Meow


If you suspect an underlying illness to be a contributing factor, be sure to have your cat thoroughly examined by your veterinarian. There are multiple diseases that can trigger the feeling of hunger, thirst or pain in your cat that will lead him to excessive meowing. Elderly cats are prone to kidney disease or an overactive thyroid and those can lead to excessive meowing.

Wanting Attention

You may just have a cat that wants your attention.  Cats appear to be independent and fulfilled in their own space, but in reality, they really don’t like being left alone. Cats might meow to get you to play with them, pet them or simply engage with them verbally.  I’ve been quite busy with work lately, and have noticed Marty has become much more vocal.

In order to reduce this type of meowing, stop responding every time it occurs. Give your cat attention when he is quiet. If he starts meowing again, look at him, but then walk away. No, don’t ignore your cat, but fine tune his behavior through your actions. Spend time daily with your cat playing, grooming and even conversing. Cats often answer when asked a question, Bo did and Marty does, too!


Does your cat meow when you come home? Perhaps he is merely greeting you and welcoming you back. This is one habit that may be difficult to break, but isn’t it nice to have your own greeting committee when you get home after a long day?


Just like babies cry when they want to be fed, cats will let you know, too, when you need to focus on the food bowl. Cats tend to get pretty vocal close to feeding time, but wait until your cat quiets down before feeding him.  Marty starts meowing about half an hour before mealtime. He knows the time and makes sure to remind me.


Your cat may just feel isolated, especially if left alone for several hours during the day. Consider hiring a pet sitter to stop by on occasion to break up the monotony or place a bird feeder outside a window for him to observe.


Think you are the only one with one nerve left? Cats experience stress, too, and that feeling can trigger excessive meowing. Do you have a new baby in the home or have you added another pet? Did you recently move? Are YOU experiencing stress? Your cat could respond to any of of these factors which manifests in excessive meowing.


Like humans, cats can become mentally confused and disoriented as they age and may resort to meowing as a means of expressing their frustration with the aging process.


As we’ve discussed here, there are many reasons cats meow. Consider all factors and discuss these with your veterinarian if your cat’s meowing has escalated from “Ahh, that’s so sweet” to “Please be quiet!”

Hopefully, you can find a happy balance and once again realize a bit more peace in your home. Wouldn’t that be the cat’s meow?





Written by Karen


Karen is Publisher of Fully Feline. She also owns a pet care business in Overland Park, KS called Joy of Living.

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