Cat's Meows and What They Mean
How to Understand the Cat's Meow
Cats can be very vocal creatures. They may meow for a variety of reasons. Your cat may meow if it wants something, like attention or food. A cat may also meow in response to distress or anger. If you want to understand your cat's meowing, pay attention to the circumstances surrounding the meowing and the actual noise your cat makes. With a little detective work, you should be able to figure out why your cat is meowing.
Evaluating the Situation
Watch your cat's body language.Cat's meows can be confusing as they may meow for a variety of different reasons. While a cat may meow to get your attention, it may also meow as a warning. You can pay attention to your cat's body language to help read the meowing.
- Pay attention to how your cat reacts to you when it is meowing. Does it arch its back and rub up against you? Does it reach its head up to meet your hand when you reach down to pet it? If so, your cat may be meowing because it wants your affection.
- Conversely, meowing may be a sign of aggression or fear. If your cat cowers when meowing, and ducks away from your touch, it may be meowing because it's distressed.
Consider whether your cat wants something.Your cat may meow while engaging in other behaviors. These behaviors may indicate the cat wants something. It may be trying to get you to do something.
- For example, if your cat is meowing while running to the kitchen, it wants to be fed. If your cat is meowing by the door to your bedroom, it wants to go in the bedroom.
- Cats often signal what they need in other ways while they meow. If you pay attention to what your cat is doing while it meows, you may be able to figure out why it is meowing.
Think about when the meowing is occurring.Cats may meow at specific points in the day. This can help you pinpoint the reason for the meowing. Meowing that occurs near dinner time, for example, probably means your cat wants food. Meowing that occurs when you first get home is probably a greeting.
- You should also pay attention to where your cat is when it meows. Cats dislike being alone for long periods. If your cat meows when it's alone in a room, it may be meowing out of loneliness.
Weigh in recent changes.Meowing is often the expression of a benign emotion or need. However, meowing can be in response to stress. Think about any recent changes to your home. Consider whether these could be the cause of your cat's meowing.
- Cats may get stressed in response to a recent move, a new pet, a new baby, or any other big changes. If your household has undergone major changes recently, your cat may be meowing out of stress.
- If you can adjust the cause of the stress, this may cut back on the meowing. For example, if your cat dislikes its new bed, switching back to an old bed can help. However, some changes, like a recent move, cannot be undone. In this case, give your cat extra love and attention as it adjusts to the changes.
Consider if your cat is spayed or neutered.If your cat has not been fixed, meowing is often hormonal. Female cats will yowl in heat in attempt to find mates. Male cats will yowl if they smell a female in heat nearby. As such noise can be frustrating to live with, consider spaying or neutering your cat to cut back on unwanted meowing.
Think about your cat's age.If your cat is getting older, it may meow more. A cat may meow if it becomes confused due to deteriorating senses. It may be a good idea to have an elderly cat evaluated by a vet to make sure it does not have any major health problems causing excessive meowing.
Considering the Type of Meowing
Evaluate the length of the meow.The duration of the meow may indicate what the cat is trying to express. Shorter meows tend to indicate your cat wants something, such as food or attention. Longer, drawn out meows, especially if they're throatier in nature, tend to indicate your cat is annoyed or stressed by something.
- A long and very drawn out moaning noise is almost always an indication of distress. If you hear your cat yowling, you should check in on it to make sure it's okay.
- The frequency of meowing can also indicate what your cat is communicating. Many meows fired off in quick succession usually indicate your cat is trying to get your attention.
Listen to the tone of the meow.You can tell a lot about a cat's meow by tuning into tone. You may hear purring or rumbling noises alongside a meow. This usually indicate a happy meow. Squeaky meows, or meows that sound like chirps, usually indicate your cat is happy to see you.
- In rare occasions, purring can actually indicate distress. Focus on your cat's body language when it purrs. If your cat seems tense, and is keeping its ears back, it may be purring out of distress.
Pay attention to chattering noises.If a cat clicks its teeth when meowing, making a kind of chattering sound, this is usually an indication of predatory excitement. A cat may chatter when looking at a bird outside or stalking a small bug in your home. A chatter can also indicate distress. If your cat is chattering out the window, for example, it may be frustrated it cannot get at a bird or other prey.
Listen for signs of distress.Cats often meow if they're injured or in pain. Long, shrill yowling meows may indicate something wrong. Very loud meows can also be an indication of stress or pain. Excessive yowling, with no identifiable cause, should be evaluated by a vet.
Responding to the Meowing
Check if your cat needs something.Meowing should never be entirely ignored. You do not want to encourage excessive meowing, but you should always check to make sure your cat does not need anything if you hear it meowing. A cat may, for example, be trapped in a room or be unable to reach its litter boxes. You should make sure your cat is not in need when you hear it meowing.
Do not punish a cat for meowing.Never scold, hit, or punish a cat in any way for meowing. If you want your cat to not meow for breakfast in the morning, ignore the behavior instead of punishing it.
- Cats do not respond well to punishment. A cat is unlikely to realize why it is being punished and will only become stressed. If you punish your cat for meowing, it can create a stressful environment that can lead to other behavioral problems.
Talk to a vet about sudden or excessive meowing.Your cat may start meowing excessively suddenly. In this case, take it to a vet immediately. Unexplained meowing can often be a sign your cat is injured or sick. You should never ignore unusual meowing in a cat that's normally quiet.
Accept certain cats simply meow more than others.If you're dealing with a new cat, you may be confused by excessive meowing. If the meowing does not sound distressed or frightened, it is probably okay. Certain cats are simply more vocal than others. Your new cat may simply feel the need to communicate through meowing more frequently.
QuestionMy cat keeps meowing at night. I give him food, water, and take him to the litter box. What more can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerHe may want attention. Try petting him until he falls asleep.Thanks!
QuestionWhy does my cat get scared of my dad when he comes home from work?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerHe might have a deep, loud voice, or a very loud walk - simple things like that can scare cats very easily.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I tell if a cat is frightened?Community AnswerIt will arch its back, hiss, swat at you, run and hide, and its pupils will be dilated.Thanks!
QuestionMy cat always wants to go outside! When we let him out, he jumps off the deck and runs in the woods. How can I stop this behavior?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGet him fixed. There might be some feral ladies out in the woods he wants to see or tomcats he wants to fight.Thanks!
QuestionMy cat is distressed, how can I help?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThere can be a lot of reasons for your cat's distress. When your cat meows like that, check all their favorite spots; their food could be empty, they might need a new scratching spot, or their litter might be full. If they have no apparent reason, it may be caused by cats outside your home causing trouble, and there's not much you can do for that aside from being a comfort for your cat.Thanks!
QuestionWhy does my cat always stare out of the window for most of the day?Community AnswerCats love to look outside! Windows are like TV's for your pet; they can safely watch squirrels and birds, and it's very fun for them. However, never let a house pet outside unsupervised for any reason.Thanks!
QuestionWhy does my cat hate me?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMay you don't leave the cat alone when it wants to be or you pet it when she doesn't want to be petted. Try to leave the cat alone sometimes and avoid eye contact when she comes in the room. When she comes to you, let her. Cats don't like to be held so tightly, so hold your cat loosely.Thanks!
QuestionWhy does my cat only snuggle with me at night and hate me during the day?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerShe probably doesn't hate you during the day, just isn't in the mood for cuddling. During the day, your cat may be more energetic and active. If you play with her, you might tire her out enough to want to snuggle after a while. If not, just let her have her space until the evening.Thanks!
QuestionWill my cat feel betrayed if I get rid of her after 5 years?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, she will.Thanks!
QuestionHow can you stop your cat from scratching your feet under the sheets at nights?Community AnswerUsually, cats grow out of that. Don't move your feet much, and when it bites or scratches your feet, make a sharp noise to startle it.Thanks!
Video: HOW TO UNDERSTAND YOUR CAT BETTER
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