Why Do Cats Meow?

By September 08 | See Comments

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Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to speak cat? While we may be able to read a

cat’s body language or understand what certain meows mean after years of living with a furry friend, you might still be stumped from time to time about what’s causing your cat to call out.Cats meow for many reasons. Sometimes it’s serious, but other times your fuzzball might just be a little chatterbox. So why do cats meow? Let’s take a look.IllnessIf your cat has started meowing more than usual, or if they are meowing excessively, it’s time to check in with your veterinarian

. Most cats are very good at

hiding illnesses, so a cat that’s meowing may be under some serious distress.Boisterous BreedsSome breeds just love to jabber, including the Oriental

,

Siamese

,

Burmese

,

Maine Coon

, and

Siberian

. If you’re not one for lots of cat conversation, consider bringing home a more reserved breed.

RELATED STORY: Is My Cat Weird? 5 Freaky Feline BehaviorsHungerOnce a cat understands that feeding time happens in the kitchen or the hall, they may meow whenever someone walks in that area. They may also meow when you’re getting ready to feed them. If this is the case, wait until your cat stops meowing before giving them their food. This will encourage them to pipe down for a faster meal in the future.Happy HelloSome cats say “hey there!” with a meow when you walk through the front door or even when they come across you walking through the house. This is a pretty cute reason for meowing, and probably doesn’t bother you much. Give your cat a little pat on the head for saying what’s up?AttentionDespite popular belief, cats are social creatures who crave interaction, and many cats meow as a way to get attention, get affection, or get a game going

. To discourage attention-seeking meowing, ignore your cat when they are meowing, and then reward them with attention and

play when they quiet down.LonelinessSome cats meow or cry when they are left alone for hours at a time, usually because they are bored or lonely. Consider hiring someone to stop by during the day, or try some cures for cat boredom

, like

interactive toys, a bird feeder outside their favorite window, or a scratching post

.

Stress

Meowing can be a way for a cat to release stressful or

anxious energy, and may start happening when their routine or life changes in some way -- like if a new pet is brought into the house. Take steps to calm your cat, like providing alternative stimulation or using calming diffusers.RELATED STORY: Why Does My Cat’s Mood Change So Quickly?Breeding

If your female cat is not

spayed, they may meow excessively while going through heat. The same goes for an unneutered

male cat who senses a potential mate in the area. To stop this type of meowing, get your cat

fixed! There are lots of health benefits.AgingIt’s sad but true; many older cats

suffer from

dementia, and along with it confusion. Your cat may meow if they are confused or disoriented, and it commonly happens at night. While there is no cure for dementia, you can offer supportive care

with certain

medications

, enrichment activities, and

diet changes.

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