Why Cats Meow – Understanding the Reasons and How to Stop Excessive Meowing


Cats can meow at humans for a variety of reasons. Once you know why your cat is meowing, you can work towards solving the problem – if there is one.

Cats meow when they want something from you. It could be food, water, cuddles; or if they are in pain. They will also meow if they are irritated or uncomfortable.

Cats only meow at other cats when they are kittens up to about 2 to 3 months of age. When they grow older, they stop meowing at each other and only meow at humans.

The Most Common Reasons that Cats Meow

To Ask For Food or Water

Cats will meow at you when it is feeding time. Not only will they meow continuously, but they will also come to you and rub against your legs or stay in the place from where you take their food out.

If the water in their bowls is over or the water is dirty, cats will meow at you to fill the bowl with clean water.

I feed my cat meat, which I keep in the fridge to thaw out. So when it’s time to eat, he just stands or sits in front of the fridge and meows periodically.

When I used to breed cats, I would keep their food in a room which they couldn’t get into. But when I entered that room from another side, they could see me through a glass panel in the door. And of course, they could hear me fill their bowls as well.

Whenever it was close to feeding time, the cats would just sit in front of that glass panel door, waiting for me. At the first sign of me entering that room, they would immediately run towards the door and meow endlessly, until I gave them the food.

When They Want Cuddles

Cats are quite moody creatures. Sometimes they choose to ignore you, but other times they will actively demand to be pet. And they won’t stop meowing until they get what they want.

They will come in the middle of whatever you are doing and you will have to stop it to cuddle with your cat for a few minutes. Luckily, if you’re doing something important, cats only cuddle for a few minutes before going off to do their own thing. So you can get back to work soon.

However, if your cat isn’t leaving you alone, it may help to make it sit next to your (or on you) while petting it occasionally. Talking to it in a calm voice will also help.

To Move From One Room to Another

If a cat is stuck inside a room with a closed door and no way out, it will meow to get your attention. When you open the door, it will simply become quiet and move to where it wants to go.

This type of meowing is also common if the water bowl or litter tray is in another room and the cat needs to access it.

Or maybe it is just bored and wants to stretch its legs a little bit.

When They Want a Mate

Cats that are not neutered will become very loud and noisy when they want to mate. Males will literally yowl loudly for hours on end, especially at night, making it impossible for you and your neighbours to sleep.

Females also yowl very loudly when they come in heat, but they are relatively quieter compared to males. But they can still disrupt your day. If not given a mate, this behaviour can go on for several days for males and as long as the heat lasts for females; which could also last many days.

It is one of the reasons you should neuter a cat if you’re not going to breed it. Neutered cats don’t need a mate, and so won’t call out to attract other cats.

If They Are Uncomfortable

Cats will meow if they are feeling too hot or too cold. It can be difficult sometimes to determine why your cat is meowing, but you need to guess the reason from the cat’s viewpoint.

It is good to start by checking the water bowl and replacing the water if needed. Cats tend to avoid using the litter tray if it is ‘full’. So you should clan it multiple times every day. Sometimes you may notice that your cat goes to use the tray as soon as you clean it up.

If They Are in Pain

Cats will also meow when they are in pain. They let out a low volume meow, and you can tell when they are in pain if you know what it sounds like.

If your cat isn’t normally very talkative and you can’t figure out why it’s meowing so much recently, you should take it to the vet for a check up.

If They Are Under Stress

Cats can get stressed out if you shift to a new home, or if it visits the vet, if people new to the cat visit, or even if you bring a new cat home.

A stressed out cat can meow a lot. But once the cat is in a comfortable environment, it should stop meowing so much.

When They Want Your Attention

Another reason cats can meow a lot is to attract your attention. They may want to ‘talk’ or play with you. They will also meow if they are bored or haven’t interacted with anyone for a while.

It is necessary to play with your cat daily, especially if it is an active breed like the Abyssinian or Bengal. If there is no one at home who can spend time daily interacting and playing with your cat, you could get another cat. They will play with each other and keep themselves busy.

So these are the reasons a cat will meow. Apart from this, some cats are just more talkative than others. The Siamese breed is known to be very talkative as well.

Syed Baseeruddin Hyder

I’ve been keeping fish and invertebrates in aquariums for over 5 years. Over the years, I’ve kept more than 15 different species of fish and invertebrates. Through ParadiseInATank.com, I hope to guide new and experienced fish keepers alike with as detailed information as I can get.

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