When your Cat Meowing Might be a Bigger Problem

If you have been a cat owner for a little while, you have probably already noticed that your feline friend meows for all sorts of reasons, many of which change as your kitten grows into an adult cat. In the beginning, kittens mostly meow to their mother to indicate hunger or fear. It is a common misconception that felines use meowing to communicate with one another. In fact, when cats’ meow it is often to get your attention.

How do cats communicate with each other then?

Once your kitty grows past the infant stage, she will start to use a variety of different sounds to communicate with other cats, both inside and outside of your home. These sounds may include growling, yowling and hissing, but will depend on the breed of your cat and her own personal vocalization preferences.

​​​​​​​What is my cat trying to tell me when she meows at me?

Learning to ‘speak cat’ is akin to trying to understand what a baby wants with different cries. However, with time, patience and a process of elimination, you may be able to begin to pinpoint different types of meowing for different reasons.

Some of the most common reasons for your cat to meow will likely include:

Saying hello. Many cats meow when someone comes into their home. This should be viewed as a kitty greeting.

Wanting to interact with you. Although it may often seem like your furry friend is somewhat apathetic to your presence, cats actually don’t like to spend extended periods of time alone. One of the main reasons that cats meow is to grab your attention, perhaps because they want to be petted or because they want to play. However, this is a habit that can quickly become excessive if your feline seems to have an endless need for attention.

Hunger. The ‘hungry’ meow is one that most cat owners know well!

Heat. Female cats are well known for being much more vocal when they are in heat, sometimes to the point of distraction. Spaying your female kitty will help to control meowing in this instance.

When meowing may be indicative of a bigger problem

Most meowing shouldn’t be any cause for concern. However, sometimes meowing can indicate that there may be a bigger problem that your cat needs your help to address.

She’s hurt. If your usual placid kitty suddenly starts to meow excessively, you should seek the advice of The Little Cat Clinic's veterinarian as soon as possible. There could be an underlying medical cause for her behavior. Alternatively, she may have had an accident or injury that has no obvious outward symptoms, but is causing her discomfort or pain.

She’s stressed. Cats have been known to meow more often in times that they are stressed or anxious. While this may be tolerable and understandable in temporary situations, such as a journey to the vets or a stranger entering your home, if she is meowing excessively when everything is routine, there may be something else causing her to feel anxious, fearful or otherwise tense. If you are still unable to deduce what is causing the problem, seek the advice of our veterinarian.

She’s agitated. Although cats are largely very laid-back creatures, there are times where they become agitated or aggressive. Normally this is a result of feeling threatened, and many cats will meowl excessively as a warning to others to back off and leave them alone.

Paying attention to your cat can help you to better understand the reason for her meows, but if you are concerned that there may be a more sinister reason for her behavior, get her checked out and contact The Little Cat Clinic's veterinarian as soon as you can.