Cats are well known for their meows, growls, hisses, and purrs. But the list of sounds made by cats doesn’t end here; it’s more comprehensive than this.
Your cat is capable of producing different utterances depending on the situation. However, a meow is the most commonly heard cat sound.
Though researchers have only reached a few conclusions about cat meowing, much of it shows that a cat’s meow is mostly used to communicate with humans. And while it may be easy to tell when a dog is excited or upset, a cat’s language isn’t always easy to understand. A meow can signify many things. Many are the times you are left unsure of exactly what your cat wanted. You end up making a guess and often realize that you got the wrong message. If you are a cat person or live with a family that adores cats, you don’t have to guess the cat’s needs anymore.
I will give you a comprehensive guide on that cat’s meowing. With this guide, your questions of why, when and how a cat meows as well as what this means to you will be answered.
Why Do Cats Meow?
Meows are first uttered by kittens when they need their mothers. The kitten doesn’t forsake this vocalization as it grows. Instead, they maintain it throughout their lives. So why do cats meow all their lives? Well, it is what works. A cat is entirely dependent on you and seeing that you don’t pick up the body language she is trying to use, she resorts to meowing. In other words, meowing is a cat’s way of communicating to you. And meowing really works because it gets us to do whatever the cat wants. Some experts even say the sound of a meow developed because of we, humans, associating it with the need to cry in an infant. So, arguably, we can assume that cats too learned to associate a meow with a request.
There are numerous reasons for your cat’s meow. She may be saying a simple ‘hello’ or trying to convey her discomfort. The reason cats mellow at varying pitches, frequencies, tones, and volumes is because each mellow implies something different. A mellow by a cat proclaiming her hunger is completely different from the mellow she gives when you scratch her back before bedtime. Though much of the variation comes from a cat’s personality and current human-cat relationship, you can generally predict what any cat wants by her mellow. Clearly, a cat sends you messages through mellowing.
What it Means When Your Cat Meows at You
If you are like me, you will want to know what it means when your cat meows at you. I mean, we love our cats and desire for them to stay happy. Here are some of the possible messages that your cat may be trying to convey.
1. The cat wants attention
Maybe your cat is meowing because she is bored or needs someone to play with. Learn to play with your cat even when she is quiet.
Playing provides your cat with good exercise which is good for her well-being and also takes the boredom out of her mind.
2. She may be sick
Cats communicate through meowing and she might be trying to tell you that she is unwell. It is hard to tell when your cat is sick by observation but meowing and showing little interest in food should be a red flag of an illness that needs urgent attention. When your cat is meowing constantly, she may be suffering a kidney failure, urinating problems, and other health issues.
If this behavior is new to your cat, visit a veterinarian for a check-up.
3. A sign of hunger
A vast majority of cats meow because they are hungry.
If her bowl is empty, the cat will meow to let you know that she needs food. Some cats have a set diet and if time to feed comes and you have not served her, she will be sure to remind you. Your cat will end up getting enough food and taking it at the appropriate time.
When you are at this, remember to fill her water bowl so that when she is done eating, she won’t run meowing at you again.
A cat could be stressed by a change in home, new animals, new people and other causes.
If you find that your cat keeps meowing at such times, she is simply saying that she doesn’t like the current situation. Your cat can’t put this in words so it is up to you to notice that certain changes are annoying her.
When there are changes around your home, interact with your cat a lot so that she can feel that she still belongs.
If you add a new pet to your household, always socialize the new pet with your cat to avoid any issues with her behavior.
5. Old age or Confusion
Just like people, cats also grow old, forgetful or get confused.
Disorientation is common and you may find that your cat is meowing out of confusion and frustration. You will find her bumping into things or getting lost in the dark at night.
This is normal but if it persists for a long time, consult with a vet to ensure that your cat is alright.
7. Your cat just wants to say hi
Sometimes your cat will meow just to say hello to you. It may seem unusual but cats are social creatures who want to keep in touch with other cats or their owners.
So, it’s not that every time she meows an important message is being communicated. It could be a simple greeting!
We now understand the various reasons behind a cat’s occasional meow. But how do you interpret the meaning of every meow your cat gives. Some of the things you can do when considering the type of mellow are:
* Evaluate the duration of the meow
The length of a mellow may give a clue onto what the cat is trying to express. A short meow indicates that your cat is in need of something like attention or food while a long mellow tend to show that your cat is stressed, annoyed or sick. The frequency of the mellows can also indicate what the cat is trying to say with quick mellows being a way of seeking your attention.
* The tone of a meow
The tone can tell you a lot about a cat’s meow. When you hear rumbling or purring noises alongside your cat’s meow, it’s an indication that the cat is happy or she is excited to see you. In some rare cases, purring may be a sign of distress. You can always tell by studying your cat’s body language. If she seems relaxed, then everything is okay but is she looks tense, there might be a problem.
* A chattering voice
When you hear your cat meow, always pay attention for any chattering sound. A chatter shows predatory joy and your cat may be looking forward to attacking some prey, say a bird. However, a chatter could also be a sign of distress. If you find your cat chattering as she stares out the window, she may be disappointed that she can’t get out and play outside.
* Look out for any signs of disease
When cats are injured or in pain, they keep meowing. Very loud meows can also be an indication of sickness in a cat.
Why is My Cat Meowing Non-Stop
It is normal for a cat to meow but at times you will find your cat becoming very vocal to the extent of annoying you. This behavior signals a certain challenge that your cat has and can easily become problematic. In such a case, it is advisable that you seek veterinary help immediately. Some of the things that can cause your cat to meow non-stop are:
When cats feel threatened, they resort to meowing. You will also find a cat hissing when she is afraid of something. If your cat is feeling threatened by another animal that resides homestead, the meowing will become uncontrollable. However, in the event that the threat disappears, your cat will go back to her normal self.
For a case in which the threat is another pet of yours, you should get your cat used to it or send it away from your home altogether.
2. When the mating season comes
Cats use their vocal signals to convey a message to other felines during the mating season. And because most cats are active at night, it can become very annoying. You can neuter your cat if you want her to remain calm and obedient even during the mating season.
Depression can arise in a cat as a result of lack of affection, loss of a companion or a painful medical condition. When depressed, your cat can start meowing uncontrollably. You can try to calm the cat down by spraying her with water or keeping her busy so that she is tired in the evening.
How Can You Make a Cat to Stop Meowing
So your cat starts meowing and you want her to stop. Maybe it’s in the middle of the night and you need to sleep. Or you are just busy going about your house chores. Whether your cat stops meowing or keeps at depends on how you respond to her.
1. Check to see if your cat needs anything
Meowing should not be ignored. It will only lead to excessive meowing if you ignore it the first time. If you hear your cat meowing, always check to see if she needs anything. Most times you will find that the cat becomes calm after you attend to her. She may be trapped in another room or unable to jump from a certain height. Make sure she is not in need.
2. Never punish your cat for meowing
Do not hit or punish a cat in any way when you hear her meow. It’s her way of communication which she should not be penalized for. If you are too busy to attend to the cat’s needs, ignore her instead of punishing her. If you punish her, she will not realize why she was punished and will become stressed and begin to hate the environment she is living in.
3. Talk to a veterinary when your cat is meowing excessively
When your cat starts meowing excessively, all of a sudden, take her to the vet for a check-up. It is likely to be suffering from a medical condition that you aren’t skilled to handle.
4. Accept that some cats meow more than others
You may visit a friend and be surprised at how calm their cat is. Remembering your vocal cat at home can lead you to think that your cat has a serious problem. This is not always the case. Some cats simply meow more than others for no apparent reason. Accept your cat and learn to live with her.
Before deciding what you will do with your meowing cat, start with an evaluation of the situation so that you don’t end up worrying when your cat is all fine. There are several ways of understanding your cat including:
* Observing the cat’s body language
At times, a cat’s meow may be confusing. The body language of the cat can help you read the signal intended for the meow. If the cat is meowing as it tries to reach for your hands or as it tries to rub itself against you, then she is badly in need of affection. On the other hand, if the cat meows as she cowers or runs away from your touch, it is a sign of distress.
* Consider when the meowing is happening
Your cat may meow at specific times of the day. If your cat always meows before supper, she needs food at that time and if she meows as soon as you enter the house, it’s likely to be a greeting. Paying attention to the specific location a cat meows at can also tell you much. If the cat meows alone in a room, that may be a sign of loneliness or depression.
The Different Type of Cat Sounds and What They Mean
As I mentioned at the beginning of this guide, cats make other sounds besides meowing. Meowing just happens to be the most common of all. Let’s have a look at some of the other sounds made by a cat and what each of them mean.
One of the sounds that you can enjoy listening to from your cat is a purr. It is a soft and deep sound made by cats mostly when they are in a good mood. One way to bring forth this soothing sound in your cat is to rub her gently as she lays on your lap. When your cat purrs, it’s a show of contentment. Don’t fail to spend time with your cat because she is happy, stay with her and let her feel even more loved.
You can never miss a hiss from your cat. A hiss means that your cat feels threatened and is ready to do anything to defend herself from the danger. A big, frightening dog who is likely to make your cat hiss as she readies herself to attack the annoying dog. When hissing, a cat adopts the body posture of a frightened creature which is a bent back, open mouth, flattened ears, and puffed hair. When you spot your cat in this posture, back off or remove the threat immediately.
Hissing depends on a cat’s level of comfort and previous experiences. A cat that is friendly may never hiss while a shy, abused or stray cat hisses whenever unsure of a situation. If you bring up your cat in a social way, you might never see her ‘other side’ when she is hissing like a serpent ready to strike its prey.
Follow the link below and watch yet another cat hissing.
It is usually a drawn-out moan that signifies a territorial concern or worry. It can also show when a cat is having mating issues. Yowling is generally a cat-to-cat means of communication where a cat can be telling another cat to mind their boundaries or that they need to mate. A cat can also yowl when she isn’t feeling well or she senses discomfort in the environment. This may arise when a new cat is brought into the homestead and she doesn’t like the new cat. It also occurs in cats that are taken to new homes and they yowl since the new environment doesn’t feel like home. Some cats, however, just yowl when they are bored.
If you find your cat yowling unnecessarily, look for signs of any illness. If she is not sickly, be on the lookout for other cats that may be invading your cat’s territory especially if you allow your cat to go outdoors. Ensuring that your cat has adequate toys and that you have enough playtime with her can also go a long way to end your cat’s yowling.
If you have a female cat that goes outdoors she will scream to attract the males for mating. Cats involved in a fight also end up screaming. Normally, the scream comes after frequent yowls and usually occur after a painful bite. Outdoor cats are often involved in fights with other cats. To avoid injuries resulting from fighting on your cat, be sure to keep her indoors.
Snarl and Growls
Growls and snarls usually accompany a hiss in a cat. Just as in the case of a hiss, they indicate fear or threat. The snarl of a domestic cat is not similar to that of a lion or tiger, it is high pitched and starts with a yowl. When a cat is growling or snarling, she will have a defensive posture. Leave her alone unless she poses a threat to another pet.
A caterwaul is the sound produced by female cats when they are calling on male cats for mating. It is more of a yowl but with a higher pitch at the end. When a female cat is caterwauling, she will do everything possible to get outdoors and meet her prospective mates who will obviously be waiting. If you want your cat to avoid this period, spray her and then keep her indoors.
It can be considered as a mix between a purr and a meow. It is a soft sound uttered by cats when they are calm. Many cat owners claim that a chirrup is a form of greeting since most cats produce this sound when you get home. One of the fun things about having a cat as a pet is that every evening, you will be invited home with a chirrup.
It is the sound produced by a cat when she chatters her teeth. A chatter is uttered by a cat to communicate its excitement or disappointment in something. For example, you may find your cat chattering as she stares out the window. It’s likely that she wants to go out and catch a prey she has spotted but she is unable to get past the window. In such a case, consider letting your cat outdoors for a few moments. If you find your cat chattering as she preys on some creature, the cat is trying to convey its excitement.
Talk on Breed
Some cats are more vocal than others. Experts report that the shorthaired cats are more talkative than their longhaired counterparts. If you want an extremely vocal cat, consider getting one that is of the Asian origin.
Most people prefer the less talkative cats since they are less disturbing. Some of the breeds that are considered quiet include Persian and Maine Coon. However, guidelines on breeds are not foolproof and you could end up with a very noisy Maine Coon.
When you understand the message your cat is trying to send you, you will be in a better position to predict her needs and intentions. Whether your cat is sick, hungry, lonely or afraid, you will get the message and respond to it appropriately. The two of you will have a friendly relationship and build a happy home.
Remember that a happy pet can make your gloom life lively.