If you're a cat enthusiast, then you know very well that the fluffy cuties are often mysterious creatures -- and their communication style is no exception. A loud meow can be anything from an enthusiastic "happy to see you" to an urgent and impatient demand for tuna treats.
If the first thing your cat does when he sees you is let out a loud meow, then he might just be saying "hi" to you -- nothing more, nothing less. Take the vocalization as a friendly and content one; your kitty is happy to be in your presence. The meow also could be a demand for your focus and attention; perhaps your kitty is lonely and wants to play or snuggle with you.
Cats also frequently meow as a request for food. If your fluff ball meows loudly at the mere sight of you, it might be because he associates you with food, whether he's hungry or not. Your cat might be hungry because it's approaching his regular supper time, or he might remember that you gave him some yummy salmon treats yesterday and wants you to repeat the kindly gesture again today -- cheeky thing.
A loud meow also might indicate that your kitty is feeling under the weather. The vocalization could point to anything from a little stomachache to the discomfort of thyroid disease. Because of this frustrating possibility, take your little one to the veterinarian if you notice any unusual or excessive meowing on her part. In fact, always consult with a qualified veterinarian about the health and welfare of your pet. In senior cats, cognitive issues also might lead to loud meows; think vision loss and disorientation. If a cat is feeling lost and confused in your home because he can't see, his meowing when you're near could be an urgent call for help.
If your cutie spends a lot of time outside, his meowing upon seeing you might be his way of asking you to open the door and let him out. On the flip side, if he meows loudly at you from outdoors, then he might want you to open up and let him back in.
Excessive vocalization in felines also could mean the desire to mate, especially if they're unfixed. If your cat seems to be meowing -- noisily -- the day and night away, whether he sees you or not, it could be a sign that he wants to get outside and mate, and he's calling out to all of the nearby queen cats. The persistent vocalization applies not only to male cats, but also to female cats during their estrus cycles.
- ASPCA: Cat Vocalizations
- The Humane Society of the United States: Understanding Your Feline Friend
- ASPCA: Meowing and Yowling
- Animal Humane Society: Excessive Vocalization in Cats
- The Humane Society of the United States: Understanding Feline Language
- Nevada Humane Society: Your Talkative Cat
- UC Davis Veterinary Medicine: Feline Excessive Vocalization
- George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images