Why Do Cats Meow at People So Much?

Kittens meow to tell their mothers that they are cold or hungry. But once they get older, cats don’t usually meow at other cats. Instead, they use physical postures and movements, scent markings, and vocalizations such as yowling, hissing, and squealing to communicate with their fellow felines. Cats do continue to meow at humans, though, when they've got something to tell you. Animal experts say there are many reasons for this: A meow can be a simple greeting when you come home, or they may want you to interact with them -- playing, petting, or even just idle cat chit-chat. Meowing may also be a demand to be fed, or indicate a cat’s desire to be let in or out of the house.

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  • Elderly cats with some degree of mental confusion, or cognitive dysfunction, may meow because they’re disoriented.
  • A cat that meows incessantly should be examined by a veterinarian. There may be a reason for his or her distress. Some conditions make them powerfully hungry, thirsty, or just plain irritable.
  • As cats age, they are susceptible to developing an overactive thyroid and/or kidney disease. Either one can lead to excessive meowing.
More Info: ASPCA

Discussion Comments


Both of my cats are seniors, 11 and 15 years old.

They are both now vomiting their food and having diarrhea. I feed them supermarket name brand canned and dry food but in the last two weeks have been having those problems. I changed their diet to dry food only for two days and it seemed to help with the diarrhea. Today I fed them both foods but mixed up. Today they are back vomiting and with D. They have been to the vet and they found nothing unusual with them. How can this be? It has to be the food, I think.


My conclusion, adult cats look at humans as their parents.

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