Animals

Your Cat's Meows Are Meant Just For You

Cats are very good at making humans feel like they couldn't care less about them. Well, we know it's all an act. Adult cats don't meow at each other, which means that every time they pipe up, it's with a message that's especially for you. Don't you feel special?

Excuse Me, Human

When cats are kittens, they meow at their mother. Those tiny squeaks are made for a variety of reasons—to let mom know they're hungry, cold, or lost, for starters. But as they grow up, cats stop conversing with one another (adorable YouTube videos notwithstanding). With their inside voices, anyway—the deafening caterwaul of a cat in heat is still targeted at their own species.

Once cats are adults, they only meow at humans. The reason is probably obvious: it's to get what they want. Whether that's food, an open bathroom door, or some ear scritches, those demanding meows are precisely engineered to pull at your heartstrings and help them get their way.

When Meows Go Wrong

Cats vary in the amount of meowing they do, and even very talkative kitties are usually fine (we're looking at you, Siamese cats). But there are some times when meowing can indicate health problems. If your cat starts meowing a lot more than usual, it's a good idea to take them to the vet to ensure there isn't something else going on. According to the ASPCA, "Numerous diseases can cause cats to feel unusually hungry, thirsty, restless or irritable—any of which is likely to prompt meowing." But barring that, there's nothing wrong with a few extra meows. They're meant just for you, after all.

We're never gonna fully understand our feline friends, but this book gets close: "Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet," by John Bradshaw. We handpick reading recommendations we think you may like. If you choose to make a purchase through that link, Curiosity will get a share of the sale.

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Written by Ashley Hamer April 16, 2017

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