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FlutherBug's avatar

If my cat meows, does that mean she wants attention or love?

Asked by FlutherBug (1100points) September 21st, 2016

My cat randomly meows throughout the day and night. Not really a lot, but I do notice it.

I always make sure she has:

Clean fresh drinking water
Yummy food that she likes
Her litter box is big and is always kept clean

Does she just want attention? Love? Me to play with her ?

When she meows I usually just pick her up and hold her like a baby or rock her back and forth.

Or is she just bored? Has anyone else had this issue? I think she’s a pretty happy cat from what I can feel / understand.

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11 Answers

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

My cat would do that every once in awhile. I always though she was either talking to herself or lonely for her own kind. She never seemed in any distress. Cats are very intelligent animals. Intelligent animals often get easily bored. Maybe the domestic life in my house was too boring for her at times.

I later had another who lived with me on my boat. He was never bored, always something to do and I don’t remember him ever meowing for no apparent reason.

Buttonstc's avatar

Interestingly enough cats don’t Meow to communicate with each other. That’s something that they reserve for humans.

Cats vary in the degree of how verbal they are. Some siamese types “talk” almost constantly all day long.

Other breeds are more on the placid silent side. When your cat meows to you it may or may not mean anything specific (like more water) It may simply mean that she’s checking in with you throughout the day.

Or it might mean that she wants a little cuddle or to play. What I would usually do when mine randomly Meow to me would be to talk back to them, letting them know that I acknowledged their communication.

I usually found that if the wanted to be petted they’d come over and rub up against me. And of course they were always up for playtime.

It’s great that you respond to your cat and make sure that her needs are met, bUT if you’re especially busy sometimes just talking back to her is enough.

If she needs anything further she’ll likely let you know.

And, just for the record, most owners don’t spend nearly as much time playing with their cats on a daily basis as the cats usually want.

Jackson Galaxy, a cat behaviorist, frequently recommends a specific series of play exercises to solve any number of problems, especially for indoor cats. Check out his website. Lots of good info.

It’s almost impossible to play too much with your cat. So if you’ve got the time and energy, kitty will definitely appreciate it.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^ The “checking in” thing makes a lot of sense to me now that I think about it. And verbally responding always seemed the polite thing to do.

Buttonstc's avatar

Well, we humans do the same thing (checking in) all throughout a typical day and cats consider us their family.

A lot of times mine would give me a little Meow or two after waking up from a nap. Most likely just to let me know that they’re awake now :)

Just in case I want to play :)

Brian1946's avatar

My feline friend meows to me when she comes into the house.

I also think it’s just her greeting me, and I usually meow back to her or say “Hi Sweetie” in the same tone that she uses for her greeting. I wonder what her reaction would be if I meowed back to her with a bark or a bass-toned meow of indifference (meowhatever). ;-p

Joell's avatar

“Mommy I want a cat for myself :( ”

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
Pachy's avatar

My 16-year old Siamese does that all the time, as did every cat/breed I ever owned. I think the meaning of the meowing (get that alliteration?!) can mean a variety of things. He may hungry, crave attention, or simply see something like a bug or a piece of lint. Whatever the reason, his cat-ments range from soft to loud, mellow to urgent, and they can come at the most unpredictable moments, even in the dead of night, the latter always rousing me from sleep and forcing me to check to be sure he’s okay.

Some breeds are more vocal than others. My Siamese, as I learned 7 weeks after I brought him home from the adoption agency, are extremely so—much more than the Persian I’d owned previously. Took some getting used to. Especially when he meows what sounds eerily like human words.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

The loudest and gabbiest cats I’ve ever seen are hairless Egyptians. And they are as protective of their owners as any Doberman. Very aggressive to strangers on their turf. I’ve never seen anything like those cats.

Coloma's avatar

Cats meow for a variety of reasons, but only to their humans. Cats do not meow to other cats unless it is kittens and moms communicating to each other. Fear, distress, hunger, staying in touch with where their mom and siblings are etc.
It has been surmised that cats see us as their mother cat and they have learned to meow to communicate with us.

It could be all of the above mentioned possibilities, wanting food, checking in to make sure their humans are nearby, wanting in or out, etc. My little female Siamese rarely meows but will chirp at me out of affection or when I talk to her. My big male Ragdoll is more the talker and he is very vocal about wanting to be let outside every morning and when he is wanting his “breakfast.” haha

kritiper's avatar

Food, water, or to go outside to do whatever.

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