Whether you own a cat or not, you've probably heard a cat meow. This sound is typical in households with cats and is one of the first sounds that a kitten learns to make. The meow is a form of communication, but cats meow for many different reasons.
From Mothers to Human Beings: the Development of the Meow
Meows are one of the most common cat-to-human articulations, but cats seldom use them with their cat peers. Felines communicate with each other through olfactory communication, face and body movement, and vocalization. Vocalizations made in cat-to-cat communication include:
- Caterwauls for mating
- Hissing to ward off an intruder
- Blaring when hurt or afraid
Kittens meow to get attention from their moms. Once the kittens are grown, they stop meowing to other felines. Meowing is generally not part of grown-up cat-to-cat communication. Adults cats almost exclusively use it with people. So why do cats meow to people? Because meowing is what works!
Researchers have compared the vocalization of the domestic cats to perhaps its closest relative, the African wild cat, which also vocalizes a lot. They found that the domestic cat vocalizations have developed to be more favorable to the human ear: less threatening, more high-pitched, and more kitten-like. Meaning, felines have improved their meows precisely to control people! Cats can customize their meows' qualities, such as their frequencies or period, to let people understand exactly what they desire.
Cat People Know Cat Language
Not surprisingly, the more experienced people are with cats, the better they understand what their felines want when they meow at them. Some study suggests that, based upon the noise alone, skilled feline owners can recognize the meaning of 40% of cat meows.
That's a pretty impressive result, considering that the respondents did not have any visual clues to help them!
A Long Partnership
Our feline friends are independent. They do virtually as they please, yet people and cats have had a close partnership for a very long time.
Cats probably began to be close with human beings as early as 10,000 years ago, when human beings started planting grains. Rats love to hang out in the grain stores, which brought in wild cats. The farmers likely assumed it was great to have cats nearby that kept the rodents away.
Domestic cats are not genetically different from the wild cats they stemmed from and were not tamed like dogs. Some researchers believe that felines subjugated themselves by choosing to live near to human beings.
Need And For-Fun Vocalizations
Meowing by adult cats is a language developed explicitly for people.
But we're not always excellent at identifying the significances of various cat vocalizations. A meow isn't simply a meow - it can hide nuances that can indicate significantly multiple things.
One key to unlocking their meanings is to see which part of the cat vocalization are the tenses.
- The m- or mrr-sound is an enjoyable noise that the cats use for individuals. The mother cat also uses this noise for her kitties when she comes home.
- If the meow is stressed out, it can signal physical pain, such as that the cat is starving or is chilly.
- The meow that felines make use of most with humans has a lengthy ah-sound—it a cat's way of demanding something. When the feline does not get what it wants, it meows with longer ah to ensure that at some point, it ends up being a me-ahh-ow. The longer the ah-sound, the much more persistent the need. After that, you'll know that your feline friend wants something from you.
If the human does not react at this point, the feline becomes frustrated, and the ow-sound ends up being a lot more obvious, nearly like a shout.
Chatty Cats Might Have Talkative Owners
Some cats meow a great deal, and some do not. There might be numerous factors for this. Some pet breeds, like the Siamese, are known to meow more than others.
The cat's age is also a factor. Old cats may have age-related problems. They might get mental deterioration as well as end up being a little dizzy, or their body may hurt, and then they could begin to meow more,
A cat's personality likewise affects how much it meows. Some are highly active, interested, and extroverted, and they may meow more than felines that are reserved.
Cats that are tranquil and positive and feel that they do not have to say that much may also pick to meow much less.
It is theorized that the more we interact with the cat, the more it will meow back.
Why Do Cats Meow?
These are the most typical reasons why felines meow:
To welcome people. You can anticipate your cat to meow when you come home, when she meets you in the house and when you talk to her.
To get attention. Felines appreciate social contact with individuals, and some will be pretty vocal in their want for attention. The cat might want to be rubbed, played with, or merely talked with. Pet cats laid off for long periods every day may be more likely to meow for attention.
To ask for food. The majority of cats like to eat and can be pretty demanding around mealtimes. Some cats learn to meow whenever any individual enters the kitchen area. Others even meow to wake you up to serve them their meals.
To ask permission to be let in or out. Cat meowing is the feline's primary means to allow you to understand what they want. If your cat likes to go outside, it'll likely learn to meow at the door. Similarly, if your cat outdoors and wants in, they'll meow to let you know that they want to go back inside. If you're trying to change a cat from being indoor-outdoor to living exclusively indoors, you may be in for a duration of unrelenting meowing at windows and doors. This is a challenging change for a cat to make, and it will probably take weeks and even months for the meowing to stop.
To mate. Unneutered cats are more likely to yowl. Women yowl to market their receptiveness to males, and tomcats yowl to get females.
When Do You Need To Take Your Cat to the Vet?
A cat who meows a great deal needs to be checked thoroughly by a veterinarian to ensure a clinical condition is not the source of the cat's distress. Many illnesses can make cats feel abnormally hungry, thirsty, agitated, or short-tempered--any one of which is most likely to result in meowing. Even if your feline has a history of meowing for food, you ought to still have her inspected by your Veterinarian. As cats age, they're vulnerable to developing an overactive thyroid and kidney disease, and also, either one may lead to too much meowing.
What NOT to Do
Do not overlook your cat when they meow. If you understand that your cat is only meowing to get you to do something they want, the one exemption is if you know that your cat is only meowing. In every other circumstance, it's best to think that something's wrong: they might not have access to their litterbox, or their water dish might be empty, or your cat might be locked up in a room. Constantly make sure that their needs are met before presuming that they're just being demanding by meowing at you.
Do not reprimand or hit your cat for meowing too much. While these punishments might send them running initially, it is unlikely to have a long-term impact on their meowing behavior. It may even result in them frightened of you.
Bear in mind that meows are not the only method a feline interacts with individuals. Purring is another sound felines make that may show comfort and also happiness. Hisses are notoriously a way to warn other cats, and it is justified to say that these warnings extend to their human buddies. They also have body languages that we can observe in conjunction with the sounds they make.
A Better Understanding of Cats & Why They Meow
Hopefully, this meow guide has helped you learn more about why and how your cat connects with you. The better you comprehend her unique language, the better you will be able to understand your feline.