Why Do Cats Meow?

cat is meowing

Cats are known for making all sorts of noises, but the meow is definitely the most common. 

There are actually numerous reasons that cats make this sound that you’ll want to know about. The more you understand about your cat’s behavior, the better equipped you will be to care for it.

1. They Are in Pain

It is possible that your cat is meowing because it is injured or in pain for some reason. If your cat is meowing more than usual in an urgent manner, this could very well be the case. 

The first thing you’ll need to do is to check your pet for any wounds or injuries it might have sustained. If you have a cat that spends a lot of time outdoors, it is very important that you do this on a regular basis.

Your cat could be meowing because it has a chronic condition like arthritis, which can cause them quite a bit of discomfort. While this is more common with older cats, it can also affect these animals when they are still fairly young.

2. They Want Your Attention

A cat’s meowing is often a way of getting their owner’s attention. It is crucial that you spend enough time with them each day. These animals can seem very independent and even aloof at times, but they need to be played with just like dogs.

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When you start spending more time with your cat, you’ll like to find that they won’t pester you quite as much. Sometimes a cat will do this even though they normally get lots of attention—it’s just something that you’ll have to endure on occasion.

3. It’s Feeding Time

It doesn’t take very long for cats to figure out when feeding time is. If you are a little late feeding your cat, you’ll probably hear them meowing over and over. This is basically just your cat demanding food. It is a not-so-gentle reminder that you are slacking on your responsibilities as an owner a little bit.

little british kitten meows e1583399483344

4. They Want to Come In

If your cat is meowing outside while looking into the house, it probably means they want to come in. As much as your cat might adore spending time outside, they will eventually want to return home.

Sometimes cats meow from the other side of a door in the house as a way of saying “I want to come in and join you”. This can be more than a little irritating, especially if you happen to be going to the bathroom.

5. They Are Mad

Cats will sometimes meow and make other sounds when they are in an irritated state. You should take this as a clear sign to leave your cat be, at least for a while. The last thing you want to do is to try petting a mad kitty, as you might get clawed up.

6. They Are in Heat

If your cat happens to be in heat, you’ll very likely hear them vocalize a lot more usual. This is perfectly normal behavior, as annoying as it can be. You can keep this from happening by simply getting your female cat spayed.

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An unneutered male cat also tends to meow and make all sorts of noises when they are around a female that is in heat. If this is the case in your household, you should get the male cat neutered right away.

7. They Don’t Like Being Left Alone

A lot of cats meow and make noises when they are left alone. This could explain why you hear your cat start making a fuss once you close the door to your house. Cats can have separation anxiety just like dogs. 

This can become a major problem, especially if your cat starts tearing up the house or engaging in self-harm. If it gets to this point, you’ll want to consult with your veterinarian. You definitely don’t want to just let this sort of behavior continue without doing anything.

8. Just a Greeting

Sometimes a cat will meow when they see their owner as a simple greeting. This usually happens when they come home after being gone all day. You could interpret this as your cat being excited that you are back. 

This likely means that you have established a strong bond with them, which is definitely a good thing. It is an expression of excitement because your kitty just loves you that much.

black cat meows

9. It’s a Sign of Their Aging

Older cats tend to meow more than younger ones, and there are numerous reasons for this. It could be due to a painful condition like arthritis, or an indication of cognitive decline. As a cat becomes increasingly senile, it will typically start vocalizing more and more.

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Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot that you can do for your cat if the cause of their frequent meowing is cognitive decline. You can, however, try to make them as comfortable as possible. Try to maintain the same daily routine for your kitty—this will make their life a lot easier. Cats, in general, are not a big fan of a change in routine.


  • Your cat’s meowing could be a sign that it is in pain due to a medical condition or injury is sustained.
  • If you have a cat that spends a lot of time outdoors, make sure that you check it for injuries on a regular basis.
  • Cats will often meow as a way of getting their owner’s attention. This can be an indication that you need to play with your feline a little more.
  • A cat will typically start meowing if it is hungry and past their usual feeding time. This serves as a nice little reminder to fill up their bowl.
  • If your female cat is in heat, it will most likely meow and make other sounds until its cycle ends.
  • Unneutered male dogs will also meow very loudly if a female cat in heat is nearby.
  • Sometimes a cat meows when their owner comes home or walks into a room as a simple greeting.
  • A cat’s meowing can be a sign of cognitive decline if they are getting on in the year