Why do Cats Meow Back at You? Cats can Absolutely Talk!

Cats are actually a complex type of animal and sometimes it can be difficult to tell why they are behaving in a certain way. After all, cats have been trying to be social for a long time, but they love to be severely independent. They try to convey a message in almost everything a cat does, which is often difficult to understand. 

Why do cats meow back at you? They may be trying to say a simple hello, wanting to express their feelings to you, trying to signal that they are hungry, or trying to convince you that they are in crisis.

History Of Meowing

How did the Meow evolve? This is a wonderful story. No other domestic animal has created another way of communicating authentically with humans. If you have more than one cat, you already noticed that they don’t talk to each other through meows.

Rather they leave a message for other animals by marking the territory which we have discussed in our other article: How Cats Mark Their Territory

They only say meow just to communicate with you. What’s more, even if you are not a cat lover, sometimes they will meow in a way that you can’t ignore even if you want to.

When you hear a dog barking, it can be easily avoided, especially if the dog is barking outside the house. In this case, the cat’s meow is completely different. It is very difficult to avoid a cat’s meow and if that call is a cry to save them from danger, it seems almost impossible to ignore it. 

This is actually one of the main reasons for the evolution of meow, and one of the main reasons cats use it to talk to us. Scientists believe that meow was developed as a unique way to attract people’s attention.

In fact, meow has been shown to share similar frequencies with the cries of babies, and this is a sound that inevitably produces a deep, innate human response that makes them impossible to avoid.

Because of this, when you hear the cries of a cat, it is your instinct that forces you to find the little animal and see if it is in danger.

You can try to stop your urges to look, but you may well discover that your brain is controlling you so much that you can’t avoid its desperate cry for help. This is a kind of manipulation, but it seems to work well.

Why Do Cats Meow

Meowing is a unique communication style, developed by domestic cats for human exploitation. 

According to the Journal of Comparative Psychology, the meow of a wild cat is incomparable to that of a domestic cat.

If you want to understand why cats meow back at you then you need to understand first why do cats meow?

When a cat sees its owner and starts to meow, its main purpose is to get the owner’s attention. This does not mean that the cat is in pain, although it is possible most of the time.

If a cat sees you and meows you must understand that it is expecting something from you. 

Types of Meow & What They Mean

Cats usually express their basic feelings through seventeen types of meow. Here is a brief summary of some of the meows that we were able to crack

  • Cats always make a short, sharp chirp for everyday greetings and often repeat it.
  • A relatively short traditional meow to take your attention completely to themselves. While this may also be a request for food or petting, pay close attention to your cat’s needs to find out.
  • Cats will meow in a short, traditional series when they want to express their enthusiasm and excitement to you about something. It could also be that your cat is waiting for a treat, meal, or game and is meowing to remind you of it.
  • When your cat misses a certain thing and asks for it,  it will do a prolonged, increasingly loud, and excited meow. Even if your cat wants to play or go out, you will hear this kind of meow from them. 
  • If your cat becomes hungry, it will do a low, baritone meow that sounds like the cat is staggering. This is because the cat’s feeding time has passed and you are late feeding him dinner.
  • If all of a sudden you hear a short, shrinking, ear-piercing meow around, feel free to assume that your cat has been hurt and is groaning in pain. This type of meow is done only when they feel severe pain.

Seventeen types of meows have been made from the variations of meows mentioned above. This is why sometimes it takes time for us to understand exactly what they mean.

4 Reasons Cats Meow Back At You

Cats tend to meow back at you,when you talk to them. Most of the time they understand that you are trying to establish a conversation with them.

They like it and meow towards you. Even though cats don’t always understand what you’re trying to say, they meow back at you to let you know that it’s listening and care.

Here are 4 of the many reasons why do cats meow back at you

1. Your Cat Cares About You

Your cat likes to remind you from time to time that you are not alone, they are there next to you as friends. They care about you and want to try to communicate with you.

2. Your Cat Is Trying To Understand You

If they don’t understand what you’re saying, your cat can meow back at you, but they’re paying attention to what you are saying.

Sometimes they meow at you because they don’t understand why you’re doing what you’re doing or what’s so interesting that draws your attention away from the cat or specifically on that work.

When they meow back at you, chances are your cat is trying to figure out what’s going on. This is partly because one of the ways cats show affection is to mimic the people who care for them. Imitating requires a special bond between you and your cat.

So if you ever think your cat is trying to understand, chances are that is exactly what’s happening.

3. Your Cat Wants To Get Attention

Your cat may meow back at you because it’s a way to get your attention and engage with you. Cats value their owner’s attention and time, so if meowing is a great way to get attention, they’ll probably do it more often.

4. Your Cat Is Expressing Its Love

We have already mentioned that your cat will let you know how much it cares for you. But sometimes it means more than just caring. Cats usually love their owners very much and they often want to express it. If your cat is constantly following you and meowing towards you you will see it as a sign that they love you.

Do Cats Recognize Human Meows

To some extent, cats understand human meows. Your cat must understand that you are communicating with it. We must remember that cats do not communicate with each other in this way. As a result, your cat is less likely to enter into lengthy conversations.

By observing the cat’s reaction, you can tell if he understands your meow. If the cat escapes and hides, you must understand that it is scared to hear your meow. If the cat comes to you, it has accepted your meow as a gesture of care and love.

If the cat cocks its head and looks at you in the same way for a long time, it is trying to understand the meaning of your meow.

The ideal scene is when the cat returns your meow in a pitch-perfect imitation. Try it with a short meow to say “Hi”. If your cat does the same thing, look at its tail. If it is upwards, or curves it as a question mark, the cat will gladly return your greeting.

Always consider how your meow will affect the cat. A quick meow is used to say hello, on the other hand, the meow associated with hunger is longer.

Cats can get upset if they don’t understand exactly what you’re trying to say. Will it ignore you or bring you a dead rat for nutrition?

If you are interested in avoiding the later situation, do not rely solely on the meow to talk to your cat. Equally, consider whether your meow is having a bad effect on your cat.

Anxiety can increase if you claim to be hungry because your cat basically puts its trust in you for food. So the response to your meow can also be a little bit depressing.

Thank you so much for reading our article. If you are interested in letting us know what your cat is talking about, please leave a comment.

Leave a Comment