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PET HEALTH CORNER: Common reasons why cats “Meow” at their owners

Though some cats are more vocal than others, most pet owners will have experience conversing with their feline friends. But why do they do it? The ASPCA has a very helpful tip sheet that covers some of the common reasons cats meow or yowl.

Read the full post for information on how to teach your cats to be less vocal, and what not to do in the training process.

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photo credit: Sergiu Bacioiu Meaw Meaw via photopin (license)

Common reasons why cats meow

  • To greet people. Your cat may greet you when you come home, when you speak to them, or when they meet you somewhere in the house.
  • To solicit attention. The ASPCA says cats enjoy social contact with people, and some will be quite vocal in their requests for attention. This may mean your cat wants to be petted, played with, or just talked to. If your cat is left alone for long periods of time during the day they may be more needy for attention.
  • To ask for food. Cats like their food and can get demanding around mealtimes. The ASPCA says some cats learn to meow whenever anyone enters the kitchen, just in case food is a possibility. Others will meow to wake their owners up for breakfast. The ASPCA says cats also learn to beg for human food by meowing.
  • To ask to be let in or out. Meowing is the cat’s primary way to let you know what they want, according to the ASPCA. This means to be let outside, they’ll likely meow at the door, and vice versa for coming inside.
  • Elderly cats suffering from mental confusion, or cognitive dysfunction, may meow if they become disoriented—a frequent symptom of this feline version of Alzheimer’s Disease, according to the ASPCA. For more information, please read the ASPCA’s article on Behavior Problems in Older Cats.
  • To find a mate. Reproductively intact cats are more likely to yowl. Females yowl to advertise their receptivity to males, and males yowl to gain access to females. For information on spaying/neutering your pet visit

We hope you found this information helpful! For the full article, click here.

Feb 23, 2018
by Emily Cook