If you have a talkative cat, you’ve probably heard a lot of meowing already. Some cats will meow more than others, but they all make noise at some point or another.
Reasons for Cat Meowing
Whether you’ve had a cat in your life before or not, you may find it difficult to understand what your cat is trying to tell you when she meows. There are many different meanings behind the meowing of a cat, so read through the information below to find out more about the most common purposes behind the sounds your cat makes.
Perhaps the most common meaning of meowing in cats is simply because they want attention. If you’re focused on something else and your cat wants to be petted, she may meow at you to get you to look at her and interact with her.
The same is true of cats who want to be fed. If you walk toward the kitchen and your cat follows you, meowing all the way, she is likely begging for food. Some cats may do this even if they’ve just eaten or even if you have refilled their bowls recently—it’s just a part of normal cat behavior!
If your cat meets you at the door with a meow, she is greeting you when you come home. Some cats do this, and others don’t, and it really all comes down to the individual personality of the cat. If your cat greets you when you get back home, consider yourself lucky!
This type of meowing usually stops after you greet your cat in return or pet her for a little while. However, it may quickly turn into meowing for more attention or for food, especially if you have a cat who likes to talk a lot as it is.
When cats want to give you affection, sometimes they meow about it. They may meow while they’re being petted or brushed, or they may meow if you are holding them or playing with them. This type of meowing is normal and is associated with the cat showing you affection in her own way.
It’s important to pay attention to what you’re doing when your cat meows at you. Additionally, look at her body language to determine whether she is being affectionate or something else is going on with her instead.
If you have an intact female cat—meaning a female cat who has not yet been spayed—she will go into heat sometimes. Cats who go into heat are very prone to yowling and meowing, sometimes extremely loudly and sometimes all night long. This is because they are calling for a mate.
Less commonly, male cats (neutered and not) may sometimes yowl and meow if they can sense a female in heat in the area. If you have an intact female cat in a house with male cats, you may have a lot of meowing and howling to deal with during your female cat’s heats.
If a cat is in pain, she may meow as well. This type of meowing is like crying out in pain and sounds different than the meows associated with positive responses. A cat who is in pain may sound like she is sorrowful or moaning when she meows.
You should look for other signs of pain in your cat if you notice this type of meowing. For example, a cat in pain will usually hide under the bed, in a closet, or somewhere else away from the family. She will hunch low to the ground and keep her ears flat back against her head as well. If your cat is in pain call 843-571-7095 or book an appointment online with the veterinarians at West Ashley Veterinary Clinic.
Some cats may meow when they are hunting. This is all dependent on the cat herself, and it tends to be a little bit more common in female cats than in males, although all cats may potentially do this.
A cat who is meowing because she is hunting will usually make a chattering sound while watching her prey. This may sound like a stuttering meow or a chirping noise. She may also meow while in the process of attacking her prey—even if her prey is no more than her favorite cat toy.
Understanding Your Cat’s Meowing
Learning what your cat means when she meows is a challenging but rewarding part of cat ownership. The longer you know your cat, the more likely you will be to understand her meows and recognize what each one means.
When you reach this point with your cat, you will also be able to tell when something is wrong and be more capable of recognizing issues as they arise too. Your cat’s meowing can tell you a lot, so take the time to learn more about it when you can.