Decoding the Cat’s Meow

Your cat may only know one word, “Meow,” but it can communicate many different attitudes and requests depending on how short, long, or repetitive that meow is.  Each cat may communicate some unique ques that only its owner can come to understand. Here are a few of the more common ways your cat may try to get your attention.

Whether you have a cat that hardly ever makes a sound or one that doesn’t seem to know it’s right to remain silent, your cat’s vocalization habits and voice are as individual as that of each persons. Different breeds will have different sounding meows such as Siamese cats who are known for their shrill wail.

The most common sort of meow is a mournful cry for attention. If accompanied by your cat walking back and forth in the kitchen, she probably wants cat food.  If meowing occurs when you’ve just come home, your cat is probably welcoming you and wants to be stroked or picked up.  When your cat meows consistently for no apparent reason, it may be related to mating.  A female cat in heat will meow constantly to advertise her availability to males. For some cats, this has been known to develop into prolonged wailing at all hours, day or night.

When prey drive is arroused, cats can make strange chattering or bleating sounds while pursuing prey that’s unreachable. Though we don’t know for certain, some suggest that they are showing signs of anticipation or frustration. Some have even suggested that it’s a ploy on the cat’s part to get its prey to come out and investigate the strange noise. A cat can pretty clearly demonstrate if it is angry or frightened by growling, spitting, hissing and shrieking. Purring is well known as your cats way of expressing a contented spirit.

If you have a quiet cat that suddenly starts meowing or a loud cat that suddenly stops, it might indicate your cat is sick. You should pay particular attention if your cat starts meowing constantly while using the litter box, cleaning itself or eating cat food. Any of these could be signs of distress and a trip to the vet is needed.

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