Common reasons why your cat is meowing at you



Springtime Softpaws

A Cat begins meowing at you for several reasons. hunger, boredom even pain. Being vocal is a form of communication. Sometimes it is cute however in the middle of the night it can become a problem. Knowing the why behind the meow can be useful.

From birth, kittens can make a noise or a “cry” similar to a meow. Kittens depend on their mother for their immediate survival. They cry or meow to express their needs. A kitten will cry when they are hungry, thirsty, cold, scared, or lost. If you have ever heard a lost kitten, you know it one of the most effective ways to let mama cats know where they are hiding.

As kittens get older and don’t need their mother as much, their vocalization changes. As they become more independent, the need to cry for their mother cat dwindles. However, this is about the time kittens are taken from their mother and put up for adoption.

Enter their human pet parents.

Dare I admit, as a new kitten owner, we take on the role of a mama cat and baby our furry ones. We become responsible to feed nurture and care for our new family members. We speak to them often they also often hear television or radio. When they meow we respond. They notice how we talk to each other. In the wild a feral cat vocalized less often just to warn others.

about us pizza the wondercat
Pizza the Wonder Cat circa. 2010 approx. 2 months old

Common Reasons for being Vocal

How often do you chat with your cat? I personally talk to Pizza the wonder cat all the time. Studies have shown cats mainly meow to humans, not to each other. In addition to imprinting and purring, over time we have taught cats that vocalizing is a great way to communicate with us. (Who has trained who?)

What is my feline buddy trying to say?

Hunger or thirsty

I often get reminded that it is breakfast time ( or dinner time….or snack time ). I get a meow to remind me that my guy is hungry. There is a quick meow followed by happy insistent chirps as I open the wet food can. ( occasionally he will even offer a little paw for help… I’d be in trouble if Pizza had opposable thumbs). Undoubtedly though, if he meows enough he will get fed, or get a treat. ( Yes, I have spoiled him)

To make it known they want out

We live in a “blended household” which means we spend a lot of time in our space. There is a beautiful dog at home BUT given our unique circumstances, time with the cat and dog needs to be supervised. Occasionally my cat will meow at the door to be let out of the room. Sometimes I think it is because he is talking to the dog.

What is your pet really trying to say ?

Hello , I missed you

Pizza is very quick to let me know I was missed. Often he can hear me come in the front door and begins calling to me. This has been a life long habit of his, one he had done throughout all the different places we have lived.

Does my cat love me?

Fear or Pain

I don’t hear this type of meow from my guy very often. However, lately, if the dog does bark unexpectedly at him and scares him, he does let out a different meow than normal. It’s louder and with more “cattitude”. In our case, it is not usually accompanied by any other signs of fear (raised hackled or claws drawn) so I just make sure the dog and cat are monitored when together in a room. It is a warning to “watch out you are scaring me.”

Breed

Some breeds are just more vocal than others. Bengals, Siamese are known for their propensity to be more vocal.

Worrisome reasons the cat is meowing at you

Illness

If your cat suddenly meowing more than usual? It is possible they are extra thirsty because of disease. Thyroid or kidney disease can result in excess thirst. If you are concerned it is best to get your kitty to a veterinarian to rule out an issue. At times medications or supplements like CBD also cause dry mouth. Be aware and make sure your cat has enough water available.

Senility

It is quite common for an older cat to begin more frequent meowing as they age. Cognitive function lessens and old cats become more vocal because of it. They may forget what they want and verbalize their confusion. Perhaps it is equivalent to walking into a room and forgetting why you went.

Desire to mate

An unaltered male or female cat also meow or more likely yowl, when the urge to mate hits. I have heard the long loud, meow from feral cats outside. It is an undeniable sound, designed to attract a suitable mate. An altered cat generally doesn’t do this.

Finally

As you can see, cats are pretty smart. We have taught them the fine art of communicating to get their desires known. I think that is pretty clever. Cats definitely have a lot of things on their mind and are not shy about letting us know about it. It is fun and informative to pay attention to the ways your little buddy is trying to communicate with you.

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