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Why Cats Meow - Stop Excessive Meowing

Updated on July 29, 2010

Why Cats Meow

Cats can meow just as much as a dog will, so that's just something that you can't get away with if you're looking for a pet that isn't going to make much noise. If that's what you want, try getting a fish or reptile instead of a cat or dog, as they do not use their voices for communication, they don't communicate at all.

Cats will communicate. They will meow for many reasons, and you'll find that some cats are more vocal than others. In some cases, that will be dependent on the breed of the cat, as some cat breeds are more vocal than others. Siamese cats are known to very vocal, meowing and even growling.

Other cat breeds that are prone to being very vocal include:

  • Abyssinian
  • American Curl
  • American Wirehair
  • Bengal
  • Bombay
  • Burmese
  • Egyptian Mau
  • Japanese and American Bobtail
  • Koret
  • Maine Coon
  • Manx
  • Sphinx
  • Turkish Angora
  • Turkish Van

Cats will meow to notify that something is wrong, they're interested in something, they're hungry or thirsty, they meow to get attention, and them meow and make noises during breeding season. Cats make noise, and after a while, if you have a cat, you'll start to realize that she may make different types of meows depending on what she wants.

Just remember that meowing is your cat's form of communication, so all cats will meow at some point in time. It's your opinion as to what becomes excessive meowing.

Why Cats Meow

Common reasons that cats meow include but are not limited to the following:

  • To greet people.
  • To get attention.
  • To ask for food. (Stop feeding your cat when she meows while you're in the kitchen; you're rewarding her by feeding, as that's what she's asking for)
  • To be let inside or outside. (It may take weeks or even months to stop the meowing, especially if you're trying to transition the cat from an outside to an inside one, or vice versa. Cats that are inside and outside may not stop meowing, as meowing gets them what they want, either in or out.)
  • Because of health issues, especially in regards to older cats who may suffer mential confusion or cognitive dysfunction.
  • To find a mate.

The Meows and Other Noises

Depending on the pitch and pace of the meow, your cat may be telling you something different. So nice time your cat is meowing, try to listen to the type of meow, so that next time you hear that meow, you know what she wants.

Other noises that cats make include hisses, growls, screams, chirps, and chatters.

Hisses, growls, and screams are sounds usually made by a scared cat; when the cat feels threatened and wants to discourage an attack, you may hear these sounds. Chirps and chatters are noises a cat may make when she's watching a potential prey (bird, mouse, lizard, etc.).

How to Stop Excessive Meowing

If your cat is not normally vocal and talkative, you may want to consider taking her to the vet to ensure that there's not a medical condition going on. There are some diseases that can make a cat feel hungry, thirsty, restless, or irritable, which can cause a cat to be more vocal in attempts to get what she wants. If your cat is an older cat your vet may suspect an overactive thyroid or kidney disease, as both of these conditions may illicit excess meowing.

Once medical conditions have been ruled out, you can try to stop the excess meowing by figuring out why your cat is meowing so much. Once you figure out the cause, you'll be able to stop the meowing a little easier.

  • If your cat is a greeting meower, it will be hard to stop her, but if you think about it, it's just a once in a while meow versus a constant meowing.
  • If your cat is meowing for attention, ignore her until she stops. If you give her the attention she's asking for, you're just rewarding the meowing. Wait until she has stopped meowing to pet her and love on her. If she starts meowing again, stop and walk away.
  • If your cat is meowing from loneliness, consider spending more time at home, getting your cat a playmate, or getting a pet sitter to watch your cat while you're not at home. Cats are social creatures, so if left alone, a cat may meow constantly when you're home. If you don't see a change in your schedule, you may even want to consider re-home her, as cats need social interaction.
  • If your cat is meowing for food and treats, stop feeding her when she meows. Just like petting when your cat meows for attention, treating when your cat meows for food is just treating the behavior that you want to stop. Your cat may meow and meow all day long waiting for a treat, but eventually she'll learn that meowing just doesn't earn her that reward anymore. If your don't really give your cat treats, but she meows for breakfast and dinner, either start feeding on a set schedule, wait until she's not meowing to feed, or provide an automatic feeder. She'll start waiting at the bowl when she learns the schedule instead of meowing at you. This will help if your cat is one of those who wakes you up early in the morning wanting breakfast.
  • If your cat is meowing to be let in or outside, consider putting in a cat door so that you don't have to be her doorman.
  • Consider altering male and female cats that haven't been altered. Unaltered females will become very vocal and affectionate when they come into heat; they will rub on you, purr, and meow constantly for 4 to 10 days every 18 to 24 days. Unaltered males will meow excessively when he smells a cat in heat; he may pace and meow constantly.

Always remember to reward your cat when she's not meowing, and you know that it's a situation when she would normally meow. Make sure to provide your cat with plenty of attention and love. Make sure that your cat is mentally entertained, as well as physically; remember that cats get bored.

What Not to Do When Re-Training Your Cat

  • Do not ignore your cat, as they general meow when they need something, so check that all the cat's needs (water, access to litter box, etc.) are met before assuming she just wants attention.
  • Do not punish your cat.
  • Do not use any negative devices (collars, etc.)


  • You want to Always Be patient and consistent.


Other Tips to Reduce Cat Meowing

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    • Judy Filarecki profile image

      Judy Filarecki 

      5 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

      My cat is a meow greeter. When I walk into a room where I haven't been for a while, He picks up his head and just gives one small meow of hello and then resumes what ever he was doing. He does meow every time I go in the kitchen, and I'm finally succeeding in ignoring. When he really is hungry, he doesn't meow. He just gets up on something where he can tap my shoulder with one foot and one nail.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Awesome! voted up! Two of my cats meow a lot. One looks part Siamese, and the other is his littermate. Sometimes it's because they want food or for me to turn on the water faucet. At other times, I don't know. I think they're just talking to me. haha. Maybe I'll try ignoring when it gets excessive. Thanks for the tips!

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      8 years ago from Canada

      I linked here via K9keystroke hub on cats and glad I did. I love how cats each have their own unique ways of communicating, some like to talk, some don't. I have one cat that talks a lot and another that rarely makes a sound. If the quiet guy makes a noise I know something is wrong, and when the talkative one gets quiet I start paying more attention.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 

      8 years ago from Northern, California

      Really nice information, and outstanding layout.


    • profile image

      gwennies pen 

      9 years ago

      My male cat cries when it is hot! I make sure his water is clean and cool, and that we are near a fan, but he wants to be out of the room at night. My room is the coolest in the house, and we have birds, so he has to stay in with me while I sleep. I get frustrated, but just have to make sure he is kept cool. Thanks for this hub. Great one! : )

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I bred Siamese and had the grandmother, mother and son.

      Mom & son very close had to put down the son 1 month ago, mom is very sad and cries a lot, I can't sleep because she cries all the time. HELP have any suggesions. She is going to the vet Soon to rule out illness. God I love her but she is driving me crazy.

    • girly_girl09 profile image


      9 years ago from United States

      Great hub. I have a cat who is 1/2 Maine Coon and he has to be one of the happiest little cats in the world. Can't even imagine what full Maine Coons must sound like. He is always chirping and trilling and loves to "greet" me in the morning and when I get home. It's absolutely adorable. If I have a rare morning where I can sleep in or where I'm sleeping during the day because I'm sick, he'll jump on my bed to wake me up and shriek his head off to alert me that it's time to get up.

      My other cat, Lily, is a tabby cat who we joke around is such a malcontent. She constantly meows and howls and dramatically blinks her eyes. Sometimes, I swear she knows how to be manipulative. We have had her checked out by the vet because sometimes the meow is a howl, which sounds painful. But each time, she got a clean bill of health. This has been going on for a few years and the vet said she isn't really old enough to have "cat dementia" yet. I really think she just does it for attention. It's hard to ignore her, because I don't think she'll ever stop. I always give in and pick her up or talk back to her.

      Cats are funny little creatures!

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      9 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I have two cats. The boy is more vocal than the girl, but they both have their ways of letting me know what they want.

    • myawn profile image


      9 years ago from Florida

      my calico is not a big meower when she does talk it is very soft not loud. Nice to know what the different meow's mean from cats.

    • SEO IT! profile image

      Karla Domanski 

      9 years ago from Cadillac, Michigan

      Our lynx point siamese is a big talker. We realized quickly that when we asked him a direct question, he would meow as if answering. My husband loves to show his friends: "Hey Joey! What does a cat say?" He always gets a response "Rower.."

      When he's in distress, such as when we commit the horrible offense of moving furniture around or even worse -- moving the family, he sounds like he's crying for me all the time. It's so clear that I've had people ask, "Is your cat saying "Mom"?!

      Luckily, most of the time he is more of a conversationalist than an attention grabber; though he makes it easy to know when he's hungry or when his litter box needs changed. :)

    • cluense profile image

      Katie Luense 

      9 years ago from Buffalo, NY

      Awesome Hub! I rated it up a notch! Keep up the great Hubs!

      I just raised a kitten from birth 05/22/10. I am her mommy and she meows with a barely audible sound when she wants to tell me she loves me. She is now 2 1/2 months. She is my first baby cat ever to raise. It was a wonderful experience. Thank you for this informative hub!

    • Mih36 profile image


      9 years ago from New York

      Great hub on cat meowing. I have two kittens and they meow when they want food lol or need something.


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