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Top 4 Reasons Why Cats Meow

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Every cat parent has had to deal with several instances of their cat meowing now and then. Why? Because meows are your cat's way of communicating their needs and wants to you.

In fact, cats don't meow at each other. The vocalization is reserved only for humans. While you may not grasp the words in their meows or yowls, different meows communicate different things.

Read on to learn how to decipher cat meows, plus helpful tips to address excessive meows.

Top Reasons Why Cats Meow?

These are some common reasons why cats meow:

#1  To Greet You or Come Inside

According to the ASPCA, cats often meow to their humans when they come home or greet you when they spot you in the house. It shows they missed you, and you should reciprocate the concern with some affection and pets.

Your cat might meow to have you open closed doors.

#2 Need for Attention

Although cats come off as autonomous, we all know that they require some bonding time with family.

You can (and should!) habitually spend some quality time; playing, petting, cuddling, or any other form of interaction.

Cats need mental and physical stimulation. They should be regularly attended to empathically to feel loved, appreciated and don't get anxious or stressed.

#3 Hunger

Hunger is another common reason why your furry friend will meow. It's not surprising for your cats to get a little cranky when they haven't eaten for a while.

You might recognize the "feed me" meow as rhythmic and repetitive and (usually) short and low-pitched. Cat hunger meows are also characterized by them directing you to their feeding station/bowls or following you around every corner of the house.

The key to feeding your kitty is to have them on a feeding schedule.

#4 Pain, Stress, or Illness

If your fur baby meows a lot but is otherwise not hungry or in need of attention, they could be in pain, discomfort, stressed, or ill.

Pain may stem injury or common feline illnesses such as kidney disease, arthritis, diabetes, or urinary tract problems that cause your cat to meow excessively.

Pain and illness may also require you to look out for other symptoms, like restlessness, hiding, lack of or increased appetite. Such signs should be immediately brought to your vet's attention.

On the other hand, cat stress may be caused by disturbances, unfamiliar faces, or changes in your cat's environment. Be cautious of any intended changes you plan to make. If they affect your cat, be sure to keep them peaceful and calm.

No one knows your cat as well as you do. If you notice extra cat meowing above the usual or something is wrong. Some cats are masters of hiding pain or illness.

This is to say that just because your cat isn't meowing, they are fine. Learn your cat's body language to get ahead of such behavior.

Checklist for Cat Breeds That Meow A lot

While it's natural for all cats to meow, some cat breeds instinctively vocalize more than others. They include:

  • Siamese
  • Oriental Shorthair
  • Japanese Bobtail
  • Sphynx
  • Tonkinese
  • Ocicat
  • Burmese
  • Bengal Cats

Pro Tip: Senior cats tend to display increased vocalization.

What to Do if Your Cat Won't Stop Meowing?

Incessant meows can make cat parents feel powerless and irritated. Here are a few pointers to get you through:

Don't Ignore Your Cat

Meowing is one way by which cats communicate. Get to the bottom of the meows. It could be something serious.

Remain Calm

Sometimes cat meows get overwhelming at some point, specifically at night. Such situations call for calmness as you figure out the reason behind the meows. Never lash out, scream at or punish your cat.

Break the habit

If you spot your cat is acting out to get attention or extra food, discourage this behavior. Train your cat to stop loud meows and avoid giving treats or rewards for meows that have no real reason behind them. Only reward them when they're quiet.

Schedule a Vet Visit

Any vocalization that's out of the normal calls for vet attention. It may indicate underlying illnesses. Seeking vet assistance on the way can make a big difference by ruling out or confirming medical conditions at their root.


It's normal for cats to meow, so try to understand them. The best way to soothe a meowing cat is to know why your cat is meowing, so you can quickly address their needs. Remember, sometimes it can be more than just food or attention. Stay vigilant. 

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