Why do cats meow? The short answer is that cats meow to communicate. Scientists believe that cats meow to "talk" to humans.
So how does meowing develop?
Kittens meow when they are alone or hungry, and want to attract their mothers' attention. Interestingly, adult cats rarely meow to each other.
Why adult cats don't meow to each other?
Experts believe that cats develop a relationship with humans similar to that of a parent and child, and remember that kittens communicate with their mother through meowing. So, cats use this unique vocalization to "talk" with their "human moms and dads", and to express their needs and wants.
Cats meow to...
Welcome their humans
Ask for food
Make their presence known
Be let in or out
Show their appreciation
Some cats may meow if they are anxious. One of my cats meows during thunderstorms. He sometimes meows when he's alone (or thinks he's alone).
Cats also use a high-pitched yowl to attract a mate. That's one of the rare instances in which a cat meows to another cat.
Do all meows sound the same?
Experts and cat lovers agree that not all meows sound the same. Apparently, cats have learned to use different sounds for different purposes. For instance, the meow to ask for food will sound differently than the meow they direct to birds and other animals.