If you have a cat, you have probably learned what their different meows mean by now. Even though the noises can sound pretty similar at first, they mean completely different things at different moments in time.
So why do cats meow? For the same reason babies cry. To get what they want.
Cats meow when they want attention.
Kittens will meow to let their mothers know when they are cold, hungry, or hurt — but as they grow older, they stop communicating in meows to other cats. They will only meow at humans, because they realize they can manipulate us.
Meows sound similar to the cries of an infant, which is why it sounds so cute to our ears. Cats quickly learn that when they make noises, they can get things from us.
They think of meowing as making a request. So if your cat is meowing, that means they want something and it’s your job to figure out what that is.
They might be hungry and waiting for you to put their food down in front of them. They might be in the mood to play and hoping you will grab a toy for them to bat around. Or they might be happy to see you when you walk through the door.
To put it simply, when your cat wants attention, then they are going to speak to you so that you will look at them.
Even though most people assume cats are loners who are perfectly happy being left alone all day long, they are actually pretty social. They don’t like being alone for long periods of time. They like attention as much as you do.
Cats meow when they are not feeling well.
When a cat becomes older, they might meow for no reason at all because they are experiencing mental confusion, the same way that your elderly grandparents might not be fully aware of what is happening around them.
Even if your cat is still young, if they suddenly start meowing out of nowhere, and you cannot figure out what is wrong, then you should visit your vet.
Sometimes, cats meow when they are stressed or when they are not feeling well. It is their way of telling you they are in pain. Even if there are no other signs of illness, their incessant meowing could mean something is wrong.
If your cat usually meows a lot and is suddenly quiet, that is another reason to worry. Any chance in behavior should be taken seriously.
From now on, start paying closer attention to your cat’s meows, because their noises will let you know whether they are healthy or feeling under the weather.
How do you stop your cat from meowing?
If your cat is too loud for your taste, then there are a few things you can do.
If your cat meows whenever they want food, then wait until the meowing dies down to give them their bowl. You don’t want to encourage their behavior by handing them food every time they make a noise.
If your cat is in heat (or smells another cat that is in heat), then they are going to be making a lot of noise. To fix this, you can have them spayed or neutered.
If your cat is meowing for attention because they want to play or want to get pet, then do not give them the attention they are looking for. Only give them attention when they are quiet, so they learn they will be rewarded when they are silent and ignored when they are loud.
Most of the time, there is nothing wrong with a meowing cat. It is perfectly normal for them to make noise. However, if your cat gets out of hand, then there are plenty of ways you can quiet them down without using a spray bottle.