Why Do Cats Meow? The Reason Behind It

Cats are probably the second most preferred and loved pets after dogs. They are adopted as a member of the family and well taken care of.

Just like humans, pets also need to be taken care of constantly, and while humans talk to express themselves and their needs, cats meow. Cats start meowing for many reasons.

There are ways to find out if your cat is meowing excessively, and there are also methods to prevent them and help them to stop meowing. 

The Reason Behind Cats Meowing

Why Do Cats Meow?

Meowing: An Introduction

When a cat meows, it is her way of communicating with her peers and owners. Kittens and grown-up cats start meowing when they want to say hello when they ask for something, and specifically when something is wrong.

While kittens meow at anything and everything, cats only meow at other cats. What some pet owners don’t often know is that sometimes your pets can meow excessively. 

Meowing and Yowling

Cats make many sounds, and one of the most common ones, other than meowing, is yowling, which is a similar sound, just more melodic and drawn out, and only adult cats yowl at another cat, especially in the mating season.

Sometimes, meowing becomes excessive, and while some meow to a certain extent, some keep meowing, which irritates the owner. But, some breeds of cats are more prone to meowing and yowling than others, and every meow has its reason. 

Why Do Cats Meow

Cats, especially kittens, meow a lot to communicate with their mothers, but adult cats meow at other humans to interact more than with their breed.

Even though the sound “meow” sounds the same, they are not. Many kinds of meows depict many different reasons.

Some meows are mid-pitched in tone and mid-length in duration, while some can be high-pitched mewls, which is a short high-pitched meow that means “hello” in cat language. 

Common Reasons Why Cats Meow:

  • There are many reasons why a cat would meow. 
  • They meow to say hello, acknowledge, and greet people
  • They start meowing when they want to attract their owner’s attention
  • They meow when they want to ask for food since cats can be very demanding
  • Cats start meowing to let their owners know that they are not feeling well
  • Elderly cats that are mentally confused or ill sometimes feel disoriented and start meowing
  • Another common reason why cat’s meow is to attract and find a mate during the mating season

Cats Meow To Greet People

Every living being has a way of greeting people, and so do cats. Cats start meowing to get your attention, and they meow to say that they are there or say hello, and use their voice to make you acknowledge them.

When a person enters a room, their cat starts circling their feet and meowing immediately to greet them. Just a few pats and warm words are expected in return, and it is considered to be one of the joys of being a dog owner. 

Cats Meow To Solicit Attention

Cats are vocal animals when it comes to their request for attention since they are very social. When cats are left alone for a long period every day, they will start meowing to let their owner know that they need attention and want to be stroked or spoken to.

They remind us that they want to be played with. They simply come to you, rub against your feet, meow, and move away. As many cat parents know, this whole gesture means they need attention. 

Cats Meow To Ask For Food

Every sane human loves to eat, and so do cats. They certainly can be quite demanding when it comes to food, and some cats are smart enough to meow when someone is entering the kitchen just to let them know that they are hungry enough to eat something that comes their way.

Some cats even start rounding up your head in the morning in your bed, trying to wake you up so that you can serve them breakfast. It is also a pity that some cats even know how to beg for food by meowing if it is a stray cat. 

Cats Meow Because They Are Not Feeling Well

Cats sometimes start meowing to let their owner know that they are not feeling well. While happy and attention-seeking meows sound different, a sick cat certainly sounds different.

Another lesser-known fact is that cats tend to hide their illness from people, but if you notice keenly, their meows will sound slightly unusual. When you feel like your cat is sick, it is better to consult with the vet sooner than later.

Cats Meow Because They Are In Distress

Meows can be used to signal things, but distressed-sounding excessive meows mean something is not quite right with your furry friend.

They might be in distress if it starts making a screaming noise or a crying sound. When they are worried or in pain, cats have different kinds of vocalization, and their vocalization can indicate if they need assistance.

To experienced cat parents, these cat noises can be differentiated, and they will know whether their cat is in distress. 

Cats Meow To Ask To Be Let In Or Out

Meowing is any cat’s way of letting you know what they want, and they use this to get anything and almost anything they need.

When your cats want to be let out, they start meowing at the door, and if your cat wants to come back indoors, they will start meowing at the door again from the inside, letting you know that they want to go back in.

If your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat, and you are trying to get it used to the other way, be ready for consistent meowing and purring. 

Ways To Help Your Cat Be Less Vocal:

  • If your fluffy friend meows to say hello or greet people, there isn’t much you can do. Your cat is vocal and constantly lets you know how happy it is to see you.
  • When cats meow for attention, you should teach them that you will only pay attention after they become silent. Never shout at your cat. 
  • If your cat is incessantly meowing because of loneliness, try to get a pet sitter to visit them, play with them, and spend more time with them. 
  • Even if the cat is meowing at food, feed them only when necessary or at times prescribed by the veterinarian. 
  • If your cat is meowing because of a recent change in the diet, it is better to talk to the veterinarian about it. 
  • If your cat is constantly meowing to be let in or out, the best solution is to install a cat door so that it can come in and go out whenever it pleases. 
  • If the cat is elderly and is meowing, get it evaluated by the veterinarian sooner than later. 
Why Do Cats Meow?


Cats do start developing cognitive decline once they start aging. When cats experience cognitive dysfunction syndrome, become confused, irritable, and more disoriented as days pass by. This will lead to more vocalization.

Since some cats are naturally more vocal than others, it is better to notice their body language. Body language says a lot about a cat, and as soon as you notice drastic changes in your cat, you can contact your vet for a consultation. 

Cats Meow To Find A Mate

Cats meow to exhibit their reproductive needs. When a female cat is in heat, it meows differently.

Reproductively intact cats start yowling, and this is because female cats start advertising their receptivity to the males, and males start meowing and yowling to let them know that they are reproductively active too. 

Taking Your Cat To The Veterinarian

When your cat starts meowing, first find out the reason why it is constantly making noises. If the reason is distinguishable and satiable, try to satisfy your cat.

If the reason for meowing is unknown and puzzling, you can visit the vet and ask for their opinion.

Sometimes your cat can be affected physically or mentally, and at times like this, a visit to the vet can be really helpful. 


There are many reasons why a cat starts meowing and why it keeps meowing for a long time. Sometimes the reasons can be silly, while sometimes, they can be life-threatening.

Hence, always pay attention to your cat while it is meowing and find out the reason. Never give in to your cat’s meows, but stop punishing them since it could affect them greatly. 

Things A Cat Owner Should Not Do While Their Cat Constantly Meows:

  • Never ignore your cat when it constantly meows. 
  • If you know your cat is meowing to get you to do something you wouldn’t normally do, let it quiet down. 
  • Cats normally start meowing when something is wrong, so it is okay to assume something is wrong. 
  • Make sure that your cat’s needs are met before assuming something is wrong and getting mad at them for constantly meowing at them. 
  • Never hit your cat or scold him for meowing. These punishments can affect them adversely. 
  • Punishing your cat can lead to fear from its side, and this can be hard when you try to reach them emotionally. 
  • Never give in to your cat’s meows, how sad or irritating they sound, because this could become a habit. It will get worse before it gets better. 


What are the five common noises cats make?

Cats’ most common noises include purring, meowing, hissing, growling or snarling, and yowling. 

What are the most recurrent reasons that cause a cat to meow constantly?

Some causes include the requirement for attention, hunger, illness, pain, aging, communication, greeting, and distress. 

What activities come under the “Don’t Do” list while taking care of a cat that is meowing incessantly?

If your cat doesn’t stop meowing, start paying attention, and don’t ignore your cat. Don’t punish your cat; take them to the vet to be diagnosed properly. 

What should I do if my cat doesn’t stop meowing?

Try to distract your cat and help it break the habit. Don’t give in and check on them. If you recognize the type of meow, try to satisfy the requirement if it is reasonable, and if not, never give in. Take them to the vet and train them in a way so that they avoid meowing constantly. 

What are some of the cat breeds that meow the most?

While all breeds of cats meow at their owners, certain breeds are predisposed and like to meow constantly. Some of the breeds include Maine Coon, Bengal Cats, Siamese, Oriental Shorthair, and some others. 

Was this article helpful?

Leave a Comment