Why do Cats Meow?

Why Do Cats Meow?

Some owners find that their cats meow almost constantly, where as others may only hear theirs meow rarely – so why do cats meow? The amount they meow varies from breed to breed, their age, as well as the cat itself.


Kittens meow to their mothers whenever they’re hungry, cold, or scared – making these meows necessity. Over time cats will start vocalising in different ways – such as scent, body language, growling, and hissing – to communicate to one another. They may still meow, but it’s normally reserved for communicating with humans. Paying attention to the different lengths and pitches of meows will allow you to figure out what your cat is saying to you over time.

Why do Cats Meow?

Cats meow for a variety of reasons, some seem to like hearing themselves talk, others meow for a more serious reason.

  • Attention seeking – despite the popular stereotype, cats like attention just as much as dogs and will meow to get it or to initiate play, and being lonely throughout the day will make them meow more
  • Stress – just like humans, cats get stressed too! A new pet, environment, or baby can contribute to this until they’re use to it
  • Hunger – cats tend to meow whenever you’re around food in the hopes of getting some themselves, in addition to when its getting close to when they eat
  • Illness – cats tend to vocalise more when they have the symptoms of a more serious problem such as kidney disease or an overactive thyroid, both of which can cause hunger, thirst, or pain, which causes excessive meowing
  • Greeting – when you see them in your home they’re likely to meow as they’re happy to see you!
  • Cats in heat – females will meow more when in heat, and males will meow more when they smell it
  • Age – as well as meowing frequently as kittens, cats meow more when they’re older as they’re confused so will often cry for no apparent reason

What should you do?

If your cat has started excessively meowing more than normal, take them to a vet to be checked! It’s better to be safe than sorry when your pet starts acting abnormally. If your cat is healthy, start changing your habits. For example, give your cat food once they’ve stopped meowing, or give them attention when they’re being quiet rather than when they’re meowing for it. Do not ignore your cat or avoid feeding them! These changes may help in cutting down meowing, but it wont stop it. Equally, you can switch to an automatic feeder to get them to meow at the feeder rather than you, or get various toys (interactive, balls, normal) to keep them occupied whilst you’re out throughout the day.

Team Shanklinpets