Why do cats meow?

Cats learn to meow when they are kittens to signal that they are hungry, cold, or need some love from their mother (much like human babies). Cats will make other noises when communicating with other cats, but reserve the meowing noises for talking with humans. This is most likely because they know it gets us to do what they want. Some cats are more vocal than others. Oriental and Siamese breeds are of the most vocal. Why do cats meow? We will explain the top 5 reasons why your cat is meowing at you.

  1. Food. Cats, like us, look forward to eating. They may meow every time you walk into the kitchen, or get extra chatty around meal time. You could be getting a meowful wake up call when it gets close to breakfast time.

  2. To say hello. You kitty may greet you when you walk in the door. They are excited to see you and have missed you while you’ve been away. Some cats my respond when you talk to them.

  3. Wanting attention. If your cat is left alone most of the day, they are probably lonely. Meowing can be a sign of wanting to initiate play or affection. Cats that spend a lot of time by themselves could benefit from having a cat sitter coming in during the day, or by adding another feline friend to the mix. Check out the post about introducing cats.

  4. Getting old. When your cat is getting older, they may suffer from mental confusion. If the meowing is happening it night, they may be disoriented. Veterinarians suggest nightlights to help with confusion. Your vet can prescribe medications to help with this issue.

  5. Medical problems. Your kitty could be meowing because of an illness or pain. Take your cat to the vet to make sure they are in good health.

The best way to train your cat not to be so talkative, is to ignore them. (Note: Before ignoring your cat, make sure there are no present safety issues. For example, unable to get to the litter box, trapped in a room, or medical issues). It may be difficult the next couple days, but by not giving your cat attention (this includes recognizing the noise or throwing a shoe at them) they realize meowing isn’t getting the result they want. Punishing your cat for meowing rarely works. Make sure to reward good behavior and ignore bad behavior.






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