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Cats meow for all sorts of reasons, and their persistent vocalization is not usually a cause for concern. Surprisingly, cats don’t typically meow to one another. These sounds are used to communicate with their humans, and it’s our job to translate exactly what our pets are trying to say. Depending on your cat’s age and breed, you may have a pet who meows on occasion or you might find you’re the owner of an excessive talker who meows constantly. Just like people, each cat will have its own communication style.

Let’s explore some of the reasons your cat may meow, so you can know what he’s trying to say, and whether he needs your help.

To Say “Hello”

Your cat will probably meow when you return home or if you enter the room they’re lounging in. Think of it as your pet’s way of saying “hello” when he sees you. Feel free to greet your pet as well, and give him a little scratch under his chin.

He’s Hungry

Cats are smart, and they love to eat. Some cats learn to meow whenever an opportunity arises for food. This may be when you walk through the kitchen or have a snack that looks particularly delicious. If your cat’s meowing is bothersome, try to avoid feeding her when she meows, and give her food when she’s quiet.

To Get Your Attention

Just like humans, cats like to communicate, and if your pet has been alone all day, he may want to catch up when you get home. If your cat is meowing for attention, he may be asking for you to play or pet him, or he may just be seeking some quality time.

Illness and Pain

Many illnesses can cause your cat to feel hungry or thirsty, or your cat could be in pain. If your cat suddenly becomes an excessive talker, it may be time to visit the vet. Your veterinarian can help to determine whether your cat needs medical treatment.

She’s Lonely

Cats that spend a lot of time alone can become very vocal when their owner is back home. That’s because your pet enjoys your company, and she’s lonely when you’re gone. If you have to leave your cat alone for long periods of time, consider getting a pet sitter, or provide plenty of exciting toys for your cat to play with while you’re gone.

He’s Feeling Stressed

Cats don’t do well with change, and if you’re experiencing something new like a new baby or pet, or if you’ve moved, your cat may need some time to adjust. In the meantime, he’ll probably express his displeasure with you by meowing constantly. Cut him some slack and try your best to comfort your cat by giving him extra attention while he adjusts.

Old Age

Cats, like humans, suffer from cognitive problems as they age. If your cat is showing signs of confusion or if she’s acting disoriented, she may meow often, especially at night. The ASPCA offers a great resource for caring for your cat as she ages.

Maybe Your Cat Just Wants to Breed

Cats who haven’t been spayed or neutered can become agonizingly loud when they want to breed. Female cats yowl loudly when they are in heat, and when a male smells a female in heat, he’ll yowl just as loudly back in her direction. To avoid this frustrating experience, get your pet spayed or neutered.

No matter whether your cat is quiet and reserved or a “chatty catty,” you can learn to interpret what she’s trying to say. If you’re concerned that your cat is meowing too much, or if you’re worried that he’s trying to tell you something’s wrong, schedule a check-up right away. Contact us at Pine Creek Vet and we’ll help you translate what your furry friend is trying to say.