Why Do Cats Meow?

Green Eyed Long Haired Tabby Cat Meowing

Meowing is your cat’s way of communicating with you. Interestingly, cats don’t meow to get other cat’s attention. Their meow is solely for their owners and other humans.

Meowing is innate in young cats to get their mother’s attention when they are hungry, cold, or hurt. As they mature, cats would naturally outgrow meowing as they have less vocal forms of communicating with other cats. However, domesticated cats retain their meow as they learn that this gets humans’ attention. Cats have a variety of meows based on what they want to communicate. Here are some of the reasons why they get meow:


As greetings.

Cats meow at their owner when they come home or when they see you in the house. They meow just to say hi and be friendly.

To seeking attention.

Cats meow because they want to play, be petted, stroked, or talked to. They want your attention, and meowing is their way to do it.

To ask for food.

When they are hungry, when someone walks to the kitchen, or when it’s mealtime, cats meow to remind you to feed them.

To asking to open doors.

Cats who want to be let in or out of the house will meow incessantly by the door or window.

To express negative emotions.

Meowing can be a sign that your cat is stressed, agitated, lonely, or scared.


To signal confusion.

Older cats that start to suffer from cognitive dysfunction start meowing aimlessly due to the disorientation they feel.

To find a mate.

Cats don’t exactly meow to find a mate; rather, they yowl to signal other cats that they are receptive.

Over time, you, as a cat owner, should understand the different types of meows your cat makes so you’ll know how to best address their concerns. Understanding your pet is key to keeping them healthy and happy and having a harmonious relationship between cat and owner.

Green Eyed Long Haired Tabby Cat Meowing