Cats do most of their meowing when they want something but they do occasionally meow to say hello. (Mine usually meows 'hello' when I arrive home from work. Although if I'm late is generally more of a 'Where the hell have you been I'm starving' than a friendly greeting!)
It is estimated that cats have roughly 100 vocal sounds and that they reserve all of them for communication with their owners. (They very rarely meow at other cats.) It can take a while but, if you listen to the different types of meow, you'll begin to pick up on what each one means (much like the different cries of a baby). As I mentioned before, they usually meow when they want something and the most common reasons for meowing is to say:
- I'm Hungry
- I want to go out
- I want to come in
- I want some attention
Each of these meows will be different and some are easier to understand than others. The 'I'm hungry' meow is usually easy to work out as cats a pretty good at standing by their empty food bowl or the cupboard their food is kept in when they make this noise.
All of the sounds need to be evaluated alongside your cat's body language and facial expression. Over time, as you get familiar with your kitty, you'll be able to recognise what each meow means. If all else fails, just ask them what they want.
Article continues below advert...