8 Common reasons your cat is meowing at you

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 cries 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.

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 and a 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.

Hello, I missed you

Pizza is very quick to show that he missed me. Often he can hear me come in the front door and begin calling to me. This has been a lifelong 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.”


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

Sometimes products like Feliway can be useful. It is plug-in diffuser that mimics the pheromones, promoting a feeling of calm.

Worrisome reasons the cat is meowing at you


Is 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 can oil cause dry mouth. Be aware and make sure your cat has enough water available.


It is quite common for older cats 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.

Sometimes if your kitty is starting to lose their hearing they may yowl more than normal.

Desire to mate

An unaltered male or female cat also meows 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.


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.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

Cats are smarter than dogs and other myths?

Well, MY cat’s smarter than a dog O.K., maybe I am just a proud pet parent. I live with both here at home. My cat has lived with me for about 10 years, and I have lived with my roommate’s dog for a little over three years. However, after spending the last eight months indoors with the pup on my left and a cat snoozing on my lap, the three of us have gotten a lot closer. Has it taught me anything about who is smarter the cat or the dog? Well, I do know they both the cat and the dog are clearly in charge of this household. As far as who is smarter? Keep reading as the answer might surprise you.

My dog is not my cat: owner perception of pets living in the same household.

Cats have a reputation for being aloof, and unaffectionate. Personally, I think they are just picky about who they love and trust. Who can blame them? Only recently in the last several forty years or fifty years have scientists begun studying domestic-cat/ human interaction.We are still learning every year. They have come a long way from keeping the vermin population under control in castles.

Love is in the Air at Softpaws.com

How smart are cats? Is it A myth?

The dog has been breed for domestication in mind for approx. 30,000 years. Cats have only been domesticated for closer to 9000k years. Dogs have been protectors, workers, soldiers, and family members, cats, on the other hand, have been idolized by civilizations like the Egyptians.

We are still trying to discover how intelligent cats really are but we do know they form tight bonds with their humans, just like their canine friends. I have always said that Pizza cat and I are bonded. He cries when I’m not home in time, and he spends a ridiculous amount of time trying to groom me. Cats even try to speak to us, with chips and meows and other forms of body language. In fact, cats don’t speak to each other verbally, yet they have learned to speak their mind to their humans.

Cats are not motivated to please people in the same way dogs are, so it is harder to test their intelligence. Cats do not make good test subjects however, they can do all the same things as dogs. And many of them even choose to do so, on a good day.

  • Read people’s expressions
  • Learn by observing
  • Intuitive
  • Can follow a finger command
  • Excellent hunters -cats lead a solitary life on their own
  • Some concept of time
  • Long term memory (and tie it to an emotion)

Why do cats appear smarter than dogs?, NOT…

Despite their occasional apparent lack of interest or concern, the cat is a master of procedural memory and shows excellent cognitive ability. When cats seem to be staring at you they probably are! They are excellent observers and learn by watching. My cat is defiantly clever and always remembers where he watches me put his treats. When I had an older cat he was very instrumental at “teaching” the youngster the necessary manners, like using the litter box. (He also taught Pizza to drink from the toilet. Annoying yet extremely clever that Ricky still had that habit after months with me, also clever the kitten followed suit.)

Because cats are excellent hunters, we can conclude they have “object permanence” If they chase prey behind a shelf cats are tenacious and can deduce it is is still there and will wait. A dog can be tricked, by humans, a blanket, and a doorway. Alas, cats just are not good test subjects. When they are done with the testing, they are DONE!

They prefer to live on their terms (maybe there is lesson in that?)

Cats love human socialization more than food.– Time Magazine.

Dogs are Smarter than Cats then ?

“Unlike the brains of dogs, the brains of cats have an amazing surface folding and a structure that is about 90 percent similar to ours. The cerebral cortex of cats is greater and more complex compared to that of dogs. The cerebral cortex is the part of the brain responsible for cognitive information processing. A cat’s cerebral cortex contains about twice as many neurons as that of dogs. Cats have 300 million neurons, whereas dogs have about 160 million. In fact, cats have more nerve cells in the visual areas of their brain, a part of cerebral cortex, than humans and most other mammals.”-


However, four years later new studies suggest the opposite!

“And, perhaps most relevant to pet owners, the researchers found that dogs have more neurons than cats, or even hyenas, which have much larger brains than dogs. Hyenas are, in fact, more closely related to cats than dogs. Specifically, dogs have roughly 530 million neurons, while cats have about 250 million, according to the study. Humans, by contrast, have about 16 billion each.”

Why dogs are smarter than cats 11/30/2017 – Newsweek

Clearly, there is more research to be done to answer this age-old question, Are cats are smarter than dogs?

We do know that dogs have bigger brains, it is undetermined if that equals a higher intelligence though. Scientists suggest over time dogs’ brains grew because they live in a social structure for so long, whereas cats have not. As we continue to domesticate, spoil, and share our lives with cats and dogs, I would imagine they are continually evolving as well, and that complicates things. Dogs still make great companions, where cats do in their own way, it is a different relationship.

Both cats and dogs have an excellent sense of smell yet, Unlike cats, dogs are able to respond to sweetness, thanks to their different genetic structure.

Both cats and dogs have been T.V. starts proving they can both be taught tricks and commands. In either case, personality may play a bigger part than intelligence.

In the End

While almost all pet parents I know like to praise the intelligence of their fur baby, the truth is we just don’t know if a cat or a dog is smarter. Comparing cats to dogs is a lot like comparing apples to oranges. Although they have common attributes, they do think differently. It just isn’t a fair comparison. Between temperament and breed and individuality, it is fair to say both are smart in their own way. Both are nice to spend time with and snuggle with. Fortunately, we as humans are smart enough to keep pets around.