Cats' Meows: What Is Your Cat Trying to Tell You?

by PetCloud / Pet Owner Advice / 20 Sep 2020

cat meowing

Does your cat use vocal cues to communicate with you? Have you ever wondered what your kitty is trying to say? While it's impossible to know exactly what your cat is trying to tell you, there will be some cues in inflection and tone. Here are some common ways cats use their voices to communicate.

Long, Drawn-Out Whine

If your cat's meow seems to last more than a second or two, it's probably a plea for something. Your cat may make this sound when demanding attention or asking for a bite of whatever you're eating. Your cat may also be requesting access to a particular room or trying to tell you that there's a toy stuck under the sofa. Pay attention to physical cues as well, and you might be able to determine what your kitty wants.

Loud Wailing

A wailing noise is usually a sign of distress, indicating that the cat might be hurt or sick. The sound may also mean that the cat is deeply disturbed by something in the environment, such as a strange cat outside on the property. It's a good idea to check on your cat when you hear wailing.

Quick Chirps

A chirping cat typically wants to be followed. This is a sound that mother cats sometimes make when they want their young ones to come along. If your cat looks at you and chirps, follow the cat to find out what's going on. You'll most likely be led to a half-empty food dish where the bottom is visible. 


A hissing cat is angry, feels threatened, or wants to be left alone. When a cat hisses at a human, it's a warning to back off before trouble starts. If you don't listen, you might end up getting bitten or scratched. Separate cats that are hissing at each other.

Friendly Meow

It's a good feeling when your cat looks up at you and utters a sweet meow. That's one way a cat connects to you and shows contentment. It commonly happens when a human arrives home for the day or when the cat is looking for some cuddles. Your cat may be imitating you talking. This is a sign of a happy cat, so be sure to return the love. It's good for both of you to spend some time bonding when the cat is in a friendly, relaxed mood.

Spend time observing your cat to get a better understanding of the meaning behind vocalizations. You'll find that this strengthens the connection between you and your cat, and you will both be happier and more content in your relationship.

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