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Understanding Your Cat's Meows

March 13, 2023 2 min read

Closeup view showing half the face of both a person and a cat.

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The Science of Cat Vocalizations

As cat owners, we often try to decipher the meaning behind our feline friend's meows. Whether it's a soft purr, a loud meow, or a constant chatter, cats communicate with us through their vocalizations. But what do they really mean? In this blog post, we will explore the world of cat vocalizations and help you better understand what your cat is trying to tell you.

First, let's look at the science behind cat vocalizations. Cats use a variety of sounds to communicate, including meows, purrs, hisses, growls, and chattering. Each sound has a unique meaning and is used to convey a specific message.

According to research, cats primarily meow to communicate with humans, rather than with other cats. In fact, cats typically only meow to humans, not to each other. This is thought to be a learned behavior that has evolved over time to help cats communicate their needs to their human companions.

What Your Cat's Meow Could Mean

So, what could your cat's meow be trying to tell you? Here are some common meanings behind different types of meows:

Short Meows

Short meows are often used as a greeting or a way to get your attention. If your cat is standing at the door, for example, a short meow might mean "let me in." If your cat is hungry and you're in the kitchen, a short meow might mean "feed me."

Long Meows

Long, drawn-out meows are often used to express frustration or dissatisfaction. If your cat is meowing for an extended period of time, it might mean that they are bored, lonely, or in need of attention.

Chirping or Chattering

Chirping or chattering sounds are often heard when a cat is watching birds or other prey. It's thought that this behavior is a way for cats to express their excitement or anticipation.


Purring is one of the most common cat vocalizations and is usually associated with contentment and relaxation. However, cats also purr when they are in pain or feeling anxious, so it's important to pay attention to your cat's body language to determine the reason for their purring.

Hissing or Growling

Hissing and growling are warning sounds that cats use to communicate that they are feeling threatened or scared. If your cat is hissing or growling, it's best to give them some space and try to identify the source of their fear.


In conclusion, understanding your cat's meows is an important part of being a responsible cat owner. By paying attention to your cat's vocalizations and body language, you can better understand their needs and provide them with the care and attention they deserve. The next time your cat meows, take a moment and you'll hear them say how much they love custom cat offerings from Art Your Cat.

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