Why DO Cats Meow?

iStock_000004791061XSmall“Well, isn’t that the cat’s meow?”

I remember my mother saying this phrase, time and time again when she saw something she liked. But what the heck did that mean? I had no idea for sure, but I knew it was a desirable thing.

My first-hand experience with the term cat’s meows has changed dramatically since and now when I hear my cats actually meow, it just usually means that they are hungry. But what about when they meow at me 10 minutes after they just ate? What do they want then? Are they just stretching their kitty vocal cords?

Dr. Patyy Khuly over at VetStreet says cats have a very specific intent when they become vocal. “Behaviorists say that cats meow at humans because they want something and, most important, because meowing gets results.”

According to Dr, Khuly, kittens meow when they are born as a natural way of getting attention from their mother, so they naturally learn that when they meow, they get a response. In addition, humans instinctively liken the sound of a kitty meow to a human baby’s cry so it’s essentially a physiological response to respond to a meow.

However, my cats meow a lot… some more than others. We have three, and like everything else about a cat, each kitty’s meow frequency, pitch, and style is unique.  When I hear the resounding meow chorus, it usually means it’s mealtime. When I hear a lower pitched command-like cry, they ran out of water. Often, our black cat, Baby will meow at me whenever I walk past her. I say, “Hi Baby.” And she meows right back as if to say hello. As many times as I say hello, she’ll meow back the same number of times. I like to think it’s our way of getting caught up on the day’s events.

And hopefully she’s not requesting something other than some simple attention and love.

Image: iStock


Follow Danielle on Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest (where she maintains an ‘Adorable Pups’ board), or find her at her blog, Just Write Mom. 


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Article Posted 4 years Ago

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