meowing at my cat

If I meow at my cat, does he understand that I am meowing at him, or does he probably think it is just another noise that humans make? Does he understand that I am making the same noises he makes?

I have no idea, but apparently, (According to a cat lover I know) Cats actually don’t(or rarely) meow in the wild. It’s something they only do for our benefit.

That probably doesn’t help though.

My cat meows back when I meow at him, as long as I’m willing to keep it up, so he must be making some connection between my sounds and his.


I can meow so realistically it scares some people, and I’d say your cat probably knows it’s you. A strange/new cat will often perk his ears and come to check me out (or find out where the sound is coming from) if I’m meowing/yowling.

On the other hand, my 8 y.o. kitty knows my “meow,” and completely ignores me unless I’m holding food.

(You can see pictures of her ignoring one of my paintings right now on my LiveJournal.)

My cat is very vocal, and will hold full “conversations” with me usually at least once a day. While I am certain that my cat knows that it is me who is meowing at him, he is far more likely to meow back when I meow, rather than just talk to him in “human speak”.

Like jinwicked, I have a very convincing meow, and have attracted the attention of other cats, out of eyesight of me(at least initially), by doing so.

Sorry for another non-answer answer! :wink:


Cats might not meow in the wild, but kittens do. I remember hearing somewhere that it’s thought that domesticating a cat causes it to remain in a semi-child state, depending on you (it’s parent) for survival. More adult, hunting cats which stay outside at night and leave you disemboweled animals on your doorstep certainly seem to be a lot quieter, and my roommate’s cat which is this overweight tabby who hasn’t seen the outdoors for years, meows whenever it’s lonely or hungry and I come in the room. This theory was proposed to explain kneading, when the cat jumps on your lap purring and seems to take great pleasure in flexing its claws into your stomach. Kneading is something that kittens do to their mother’s teats to stimulate milk flow.

I don’t think that the cat understands you as much as it is joining in the call of its fellow helpless kittens.

What I’ve heard regarding meowing in the wild is that cats are able to vocalize outside of humans’ hearing range, leading to what we see as a “silent meow”. Meowing within our hearing range is a learned behavior (i.e., cat sees that a certain pitch elicits a response from a human, such as food in the food dish). Perhaps in the wild, they use noises that are inaudible to us.

My cat will definitely meow at me when I meow at him—we can go back and forth for a long time. I’ve also been able to attract the attention of cats on the streetby meowing at them.

You should try singing with your cat. You sing a line and let them fill in the blanks, as in:

You: I’m a little teapot, short and…
Cat: Meow
You: Here is my handle, here is my…
Cat: Meow
You: When I get all steamed up, here me…
Cat: Meow
You: Tip me over and pour me…
Cat: Meow

My cat has a certain meow for:
I’m pissed off
I need love
My food bowl is empty
I missed you

Gee–I don’t know if she knows what I’m saying, but it probably sounds like:

Stop digging you claws into my leg
No you can’t sit on my lap, can’t you tell I’m reading?
Gee, wouldn’t a puppy be nice?
Poor kitty.

Our cat, Jane, understands a three “word” vocabulary.

  1. A quiet, sustained meow that he understands as “come here”.

  2. A double meow (meow-meow) that he understands as “it’s time for food”.

  3. A rather shrill meow that he understands as “No!”.

my cat understands everything I say. He pretends not to to get on my nerves

He is probably just correcting your pronunciation. Does he have that exasperated look on his face when he meows back at you?

Only one of our cats will come when called by name-the others only if you do the “HERE KITTYKITTYKITTYKITTY!” thing. But I can yell, “BUUUUFFFEEEEEE!!! HERE BUFFYBUFFYBUFFY!” and she’ll come running.

On a pbs show on cats they said that cats have about 21 different sounds they use to communicate. These sounds mean things. The meow is actually 2 sounds together (a kitty sentence).

The me part is sort of a mue which is to relay friendship or at least comfort w/ you being there. The ow part is a warning saying basically watch out.

Put together it means that the cat is fine with you being in his terratory but he is capable of defending himself if needed (but he could be bluffing)


I had quite a few cats who clearly understood sound meanings. I would emmit words at certain tones, usually high and drawn out. It was something i observed in my Bro’s cat. My SIL would yell “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEat!” (Like Yeast) and her cat would bolt across the yard to get to the bowl. I started yelling it at my boys. Initaly only one of them caught on, but eventually they all understood what it ment. They also responded to “Biiiiiiiiiiiiiites”, and “Owwwwwt”. But then again, I took thier orders too!

Guinastasia: I too had a young female who would respond when I yelled “Prissy Prissy Prissy”

I have a tendancy to make a point to NOT yell "Here Kitty,Kitty."Nor condition them to respond to it. It is a fairly common call and someone who was up to no good would use it to attract attention of the cat.

Every cat I’ve had always had an exasperated look.

Cat: Feed me! (exasperated look)
Cat: Pet me! (exasperated look)
Cat: Get out of my sunlight! (exasperated look)
Cat: Open the door! (exasperated look)
Cat: Watch while I flop down apparently completely bonelessly and nap! (exasperated look)

I thought the exasperated look was the only look they had. :slight_smile:

Oh wait, I forgot about the smug look. Nevermind, carry on.


My cats don’t go outside-so anyone who would use it for “no good” would have to be in the house. And it’s unlikely someone would.

There’s only the smug look, the exasperated look is mearly the bait that gives you a reason to do something and allow him the smug look.

A dog sees you feeding him, sheltering him, petting him, and thinks that you are god. A cat sees you feeding him, sheltering him, petting him, and thinks that he is god.