Did you know that adult cats only meow for the sake of communicating with us (humans). In fact, they have developed the meow exclusively for us! How cute!?
So what is a cat’s native language?
Cats that live in the wild and away from humans communicate with other cats differently. They speak mainly through scent rather than meows. They also use sounds such as caterwauls for mating, chattering when they spot prey, hissing to fend off unwelcome intruders and shrieking when injured or scared.
Kittens however, do meow to their mothers when they require attention or care. But once they grow up the meows cease (that is if they aren’t a household pet).
So why do cats meow to humans?
Your cat quickly learns that you cannot understand the scent messages left on your belongings or the body language they are using towards you, so they must grab your attention some other way. They discover they can get what they want by being vocal and meowing at you. How clever considering it’s a second language they have developed to communicate exclusively with you.
Some scientists actually say that cats have fine tuned their meows specifically to manipulate people. And experiments suggest that the more experience people have with cats, the better they are at interpreting distinct meows.
So what do the meows mean?
There are many different meows cats use, and they vary in pitch, length and volume. Most cat owners learn to translate the language quite easily.
Here are some different types of meows and their meanings:
- Short or quick Meow – Greeting, “Hello”
- Multiple Meows – “I’m so excited to see you”
- Mid Pitch Meow – Plea for something, “I’d like to eat now”
- Drawn out Mreeoow – Demanding something, “open the door NOW” or, “clean my litter box”
- Low pitch mrooow – Complaining about something you have done wrong
- High pitch RRREOOW – Expressing anger or pain
Cats don’t only communicate by meowing though, they also purr, chirp, and even chatter. They meow at humans for many reasons, and no-one really knows their cat like their owner. So just use your intuition and you’ll get to know their mood through their meows.