Why do cats meow? Cat communication includes a variety of noises, and each mean different things.
It’s quite common for cats to meow a greeting to their humans after they come home, or just as a greeting when running into each other in the house. The act of cats meowing is primarily meant to communicate with humans, not with other cats.
Often cats meow to signal they are hungry and want to be fed. They might follow you around and continually meow until their hunger is satiated.
An increase in vocalization or longer meows may indicate that your cat is worried. Often these meows will be lower and throatier noises. Spending prolonged periods of time alone can cause your cat to become stressed or anxious. In this case, they may begin to meow excessively.
“Let me in!”
Cats may meow when they want to be let in. If you have an outdoor cat, they might meow to be let in the house. Indoor cats may meow just because you closed the door to the bathroom.
Typically when a cat is happy, instead of meowing, they will purr. This deep, rumbling noise signals that your cat is content, which is often why cats purr when they are being petted, or when they’re sleepy.
Angry cat sounds include hissing, growling and screaming noises. If your cat encounters something it doesn’t like, it may make these noises to try to scare it off.
If your cat is feeling ignored or just wants some petting, it may meow to get your attention. This may be persistent meowing, or loud enthusiastic meowing to initiate play. If you notice your cat chirping, this is a technique kittens learn to get their mothers to give them attention.
Excessive meowing could indicate that your cat is injured, especially if this behavior is atypical. If you notice these symptoms, you should contact your vet.
As cats age, they tend to become more vocal. Older cats tend to experience more difficulties on a daily basis, so they meow when they become frustrated or when they want help. Decreases in cognitive functions can also contribute to increased meowing.
“I’m in heat.”
When female cats are in heat, they make yowling noises indicating that they want to mate, or that they don’t want you coming anywhere near them during this time. They may also yowl if something about their environment is bothering them.
There are a variety of cat sounds, all which mean different things. Now when you hear your cat talking, you may have a better idea of what they’re trying to tell you.