A Final Note On Cat Meow Sounds
If the cat starts doing an incessant meowing or a different kind of meowing something that is not usual and does it a few times there might be something wrong, and the cat needs to be examined by a veterinarian, she says.
Tell us: What cat meow sounds do your cats make? What do those meows mean in cat language to you?
Thumbnail: Photography by Casey Elise Photography.
This piece was originally published in 2017.
Cat Meow Sounds And What They Mean
Do you recognize any of these six cat meow sounds that kitties make to speak to their humans? Even in a household with six cats, a distinctive moaning meow leaves no doubt that my orange tabby, Tinsel, is lurking nearby with some mock prey in her mouth. Tinsel! I call out in response to the trademark, guttural meow-moan. Whatve you got for me?
Within seconds, Tinsel appears from around the corner with a pair of socks in her mouth or the occasional soft cat toy. Obsessed with socks, she loves hunting and carrying pairs around the house. I consider this Tinsels ersatz hunting, feeding her predatory instinct while living the life of a strictly indoor cat.
Trills Chirps And Chirrups
Your feline sidekick learned this when they were a kitten! These sounds are more akin to a bird than a furry little cutie. While mum cats use them to tell their kittens to pay attention or follow, adult cats utilize these noises to ask you to look at them or figure out something.
Typically, when your little kitty makes these trills, they are excited and happy. Like a child bouncing around or giggling.
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They Want Attention And They Want It Right Meow
Despite the common misconception to non-feline enthusiasts that cats are aloof and anti-social creatures, cats prefer to be social with those they trust and love. A cat may sleep an average of 15 hours per day, but when they arent sleeping, they prefer to spend time playing and being surrounded by their chosen humans. Remember, a tired cat is a quiet cat. If you engage in play with your kitty throughout the daytime than youre a lot less likely to hear them meowing at youespecially at night when youre trying to catch some sleep.
What Does It Mean When Your Cat Meows At You
What Does It Mean When Your Cat Meows At You? Cats meow to people for similar reasons. Your cat depends on you and has learned that you do not respond to scent messages or body language. They use meowing as a way to communicate and scientists believe they have refined this language to specifically converse with humans.
Almost all cat owners will tell you that their furry friends know when theyre sad. Its almost like cats have a sixth sense because they seem so in-tune with us, but can they really tell when we are sad? Much less research exists about cat behavior to tell us if cats are as attached as dogs are to their humans, but that is starting to change. According to a 2019 study from Oregon State University, the majority of cats form secure attachments to their owners. This is definitely a pre-requisite to cats knowing or caring if/when we are sad. Theres some really cool research that explains why cats prefer spending time with us. Another study from the Journal of Veterinary Behavior tested to see if cats engage more with their owner or a complete stranger when left alone in a room with them. A 2015 animal cognition study showed that cats behave differently based on if their owners are smiling or frowning. Another study from the journal of Animal Cognition showed that cats react differently based on their owners reaction.
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What Do Cat Meows Mean: When To Worry
Your cat meowing is not usually a sign of anything wrong. Frequent, fast meowing is often your pet’s way of getting your attention . Slower, quieter meows can sometimes suggest that they’re lonely, want attention, or maybe feel hungry. Cats can also meow when they feel anxious, skittish, can’t see well, or would like their humans to make sure they’re alright.
Cat meowing can also be a sign of illness or injury. If you have a cat that will not stop meowing no matter what you do, there’s a chance that they might be trying to tell you that they are in pain or are feeling sick. In this case, check your pet over to ensure that they are not exhibiting any of the symptoms of common cat diseases. If your pet is in a lot of pain, you may also hear cat howling, which is different than meowing. Howling is much more frantic and sounds “panicked” or “painful.”
When in doubt, trust your instinct. If you feel like something might be wrong with your pet, take your feline friend to the vet. It’s better to be safe and catch problems early than have to deal with much more complex issues later. If you do catch problems with your cat, be sure to consult your vet for treatment options. You can also look into holistic methods to treat your feline companion.
About Jennifer Shepherd Dvm
Jennifer Shepherd received her doctorate of veterinary medicine from Colorado State University in 2000. She completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship at the Ontario Veterinary College before entering private practice Dr. Shepherd owns Cloquet Animal Hospital in Northern Minnesota where she practices full time. In her free time she enjoys writing, photography, running and spending time with her husband, three children, two dogs, and one spoiled cat. She is pictured here with her best running dog Apollo, a Portuguese Water Dog who cant swim but loves playing in snow.
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What Not To Do
- Don’t ignore it without making sure theres no problem. Although you dont want to reward meowing, sometimes cats meow for good reason – they cant reach their litter box, theyre trapped in a room, the water bowl is empty. Check on them when they meow to determine if its something you can safely ignore, or a problem that must be corrected right away.
- Dont punish a cat for meowing. Hitting, shouting, and spraying cats with water rarely work to quiet a meowing cat in the long run, but all those actions will make your cat distrust or even dislike you.
- Dont give in. If your cat is used to getting what they want from meowing, they are going to meow more, and louder, when it quits working. In other words, it will probably get worse before it gets better. Just keep rewarding quiet behavior and ignoring meowing, and eventually theyll get the idea.
The New Kitten Wakes Me By Scratching At The Door
Cats are really good at figuring out what makes us react, especially when it comes to waking us for attention. Adult cats and kittens alike want to spend time with their humans, and will do so on their own terms if a cat is awake, it will try to wake you. By not giving in to its demands at night, youre telling the kitten that its time to sleep. Of course, you should make sure to spend plenty of time with the kitten during the day and play with it.
Long-term issues can be avoided by establishing a daily routine in which the cats needs for play and attention are fulfilled and ignoring its pleas at night.
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My Old Cat Meows For No Reason
As cats become older, they often start displaying a range of strange behaviors that dont make sense to their owners. While its common for aging cats to start vocalizing more often, frequent meowing could be the sign of an issue that requires medical attention.
If your cat begins yowling and letting out a distressing cry of distress, pain, or grief, get the problem looked at by your vet to rule out anything sinister.
While sudden meowing isnt always something to worry about, old cats are likely to do so for the following reasons:
I Trained The Cat To Meow Louder
When we tell you to ignore the cat, we mean ignore the cat completely and perfectly. This means no peeking, no talking, no sighing, no petting. Dont do anything that could be perceived as attention. Yelling, spraying the cat or punishing it are forms of attention and can encourage the cat to keep it up.
Ignoring the cat properly after previously giving in for a while will likely cause the cat to amplify the behaviour before stopping it completely. It may meow louder or find new ways of waking you, such as tripping things off the shelves, walking across your face this is called extinction. It means its working! Reacting then would be a big mistake, because the cat would understand that whatever it did worked, and will start with that going forward. Ignoring the cat through the extinction burst is of the utmost importance in order to stop the cat meowing at night, or to avoid worse behaviours.
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What Does It Mean When A Cat Half Meows
Generally, a meowing cat wants somethingattention or food or perhaps access to a room. Sometimes though, meows simply serve as a welcome home salutation. Occasionally, a meow can signify loneliness or even illness. In younger cats, the meow often gets shortened to an interrogative mew? when lonely or hungry.
Why Does My Cat Meow So Much
Different cats will meow more than others. Some cats, in fact, are very vocal and use meows all the time, while others do not.
Its important to pay attention to how often your cat usually meows. A change in how frequently your cat meows can be one of the first signs a cat is not feeling well. So if you think that your cat seems to be meowing more often, see your veterinarian.
For example, often one of the first signs of hyperthyroid disease in cats is that they start meowing a lot at night. Changes in meowing can also signal that your cat needs or wants, like food.
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Tips #2 Did You Know That Deaf Cats Emit Especially Intense And Noisy Meows
Kittens who are less than one month old emit a distress call which sounds like a very high-pitched meow and serves to warn their mother of an emergency situation. The calls of a kitten which is cold are very high-pitched . Those of a kitten which is left alone are especially loud and those of a kitten trapped somewhere, for instance under its mother, are long-lasting.
Cats understand each of these distress calls to perfection and react accordingly.
A Hiss Is Usually Not A Good Thing
Like the sound of air escaping a tire, a cat’s hiss is unmistakable. It is the cat’s clear message to back off.
For the most part, cats hiss when they are frightened or unhappy, and it’s often the final warning sound before the claws and teeth come out, as explained in Animal Planet. A hissing cat is probably not far from striking out at whatever is upsetting it, whether that’s a dog or the vacuum cleaner nozzle.
Plus, some animal experts theorize that cats learned how to hiss by imitating snakes, as further explained in Animal Planet. A snake’s hiss is a pretty universally scary noise in the animal kingdom, and it also means the reptile is feeling threatened and ready to fight. Maybe cats borrowed this noise for similar reasons.
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Was Your Pet Food Recalled
Disorientation is not uncommon, and your cat may meow out of frustration or confusion. Leave a light on at night if your cat vocalizes then or if they are bumping into things.
Especially if your older cat isnt just talking to you but is yowling very loudly, then please see the vet.
Finding and treating the underlying cause can do a lot more than give you back a good nights sleep it can add happy years to your cats life, as Dr. Debora Lichtenberg, VMD, explains in her article Why Does My Older Cat Yowl All the Time?
Why does my cat meow so much? Check out the range of noises this little meow-machine makes:
6. Your cat is in heat.
Female cats in heat can become very vocal suddenly. They do this to attract males. Males are also noisy if they detect a cat in heat nearby.
Do yourself and the feline overpopulation problem a favor have your girl spayed.
7. Your cat just wants to tell you hello.
Sometimes your cat may be meowing to say hi. Its as simple as that.
The 10 Main Sounds A Cat Makes
Cats and humans can be very much alike, but perhaps we haven’t dedicated enough time on getting to know them better and become aware of this.
Already in ancient Egypt the quintessential sound of a cat was meow, which meant cat. This sound can last between a fraction of a second and various seconds and cats produce it by opening their mouth and then gradually closing it again. In some cases the meowing can begin or end with another sound, such as a trill or a grunt.
There is no specific meaning. It can serve to call attention to something in its surroundings, making it possible for us to understand the cat’s message. A meow near a closed door may indicate the cat wants to go out and one near an empty feeder that the cat is hungry. It is believed that most meows are random sounds which the cat learns to use to communicate with the people around, so that each household with a cat has its own glossary of meows for food, caressing, playing, attention, etcetera.
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Does My Ageing Cat Need To Be Comforted
When an older cat suddenly starts meowing at night, you should pay attention. A change of behaviour should never be taken lightly. Without giving the cat any attention, for example under the guise of a trip to the washroom or the kitchen for some water, check on the cat discretely to make sure its okay. That way, you can take care of the cat if something is wrong, or keep ignoring the cat and go back to bed if everything seems normal.
If your senior cat keeps meowing for no reason, we recommend having it checked by your veterinarian several medical conditions may cause meowing at night and other sudden nightly behaviours.
In conclusion, when your cat meows at night, you must ignore it completely and perfectly in order not to encourage the behaviour. Keeping the cat busy at night may prevent it from getting hungry or finding creative ways of getting your attention. If your companion is an older cat, make sure to rule out any health concerns. Finally, if you still cant sleep despite our advice, dont wait any longer and contact us!
Why Do Cats Meow
Cats use dozens of different meows to communicate. But did you know that the majority of cat communication from one cat to another is through body language and scents?
In fact, cats rarely meow to each other, but will often meow to humans. Why is that? What are cats trying to tell us when they meow?
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Cats Don’t Often Meow To Other Adult Cats But They Quickly Learn To Use Sounds To Talk To Humans
When cats encounter each other, they rarely use typical meowing sounds to communicate. Towards humans, on the other hand, cats are generous with their vocalizations. They use their voice to tell us what they want, how they feel and just to say “Hello, good to see you!” How did they pick this up? And why do we like to talk back to cats in a higher-pitched voice?
Professor Bjarne O. Braastad at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences is the person to go to in Norway if you want to understand cat behaviour. He explains that meowing consists of instinctive sounds that kittens use to communicate with their mother.
Mama cat and her kittens meow to each other. When a kitten goes to a new home, it will try to use the same sounds with its humans, Braastad says.
If the kitten senses that were responding, it continues talking.
But if we ignore the cat’s meowing then it eventually stops, because it realizes that humans are stupid animals that dont understand them, he says.
What Does It Mean If The Cat Meows Too Much
First of all, it must be said that there are some cat breeds famous for long chats, such as the Siamese.
It seems that some cats like to hear their own voice for this meow constantly, while other cats want to communicate with the owner at times in an excessive way. If the cat seems to meow too much its important to try to understand the reasons to resolve the situation.
Cat meowing too much to require attention
If he disproportionately wants attention and meows, its better to pretend nothing has happened and give him attention only when he is quiet otherwise hell know that if he meows he gets attention and thus enters a vicious circle.
The same thing is good to do if the request is for food. Itll be important to feed him when he stops meowing.
He meows too much because hes sick
However, other causes can leadthe cat to meow too much, for example, diseases.
The meow is the communication of a need to be satisfied, such as thirst, hunger, the pain that some diseases can cause.
If it meows at night
If the cat meows at night, the advice is to try to leave a light on. It can often happen with older cats who feel disoriented.
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