Why do cats meow back when you talk to them?

Why do cats meow back when you talk to them?

Cats utilize an extensive variety of vocalizations to correspond with different felines, yet appear to save “meows” basically to talk to their kin. 

Over-the-top meowing doesn’t as a matter of course mean there is an issue or that your feline is attempting to sound dissension. 

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Then again, it could mean there is something genuine going on.

Why do cats respond to your talks with meows? Cats evolved their meows as a means of communication with humans. 

They meow to attract attention or to request something. Due to the fact that it is a method of communication, owners who speak to their cats are more than likely to receive a meow in return.

If you want to learn more about the meaning of these meows and why your cat meows back at you, continue reading!

Let us begin!

Why Do Cats Meow Back When You Talk To Them?

Cats have a distinct meowing sound that is difficult to distinguish from other sounds

It is through their meow that cats interact with people, which they have designed and engineered. 

This means that if you meow at your cat, it will most likely respond by meowing back at you.

Cats meow at humans to greet you or to want something from you, such as food or permission to go outside

An animal’s response to a human’s meow or talks is known as reciprocation (or reciprocation).

Cats enjoy imitating their owners’ speech patterns, therefore they will speak in the same manner. 

Cats do not speak with other cats in this manner, despite the fact that meowing is a kind of communication.

Meowing does not serve as a substitute for typical human speech and instructions

In the same way that you can’t entirely realise the significance of what you’re saying, the cat won’t be able to precisely comprehend what the cat is attempting to communicate to you.

You can, however, engage in brief meow-based “conversations” with cats if you use them sparingly and in moderation.

Is It Okay To Meow At My Cat?

The meow of your cat is quite OK to listen to. Your cat will almost certainly respond with a meow. 

This is due to the fact that the cat appreciates your efforts. 

It will feel that it has been heard and will appreciate your efforts to communicate.

Cats, on the other hand, are born imitators. 

Your cat will meow in response to a noise that you have made because it is copying what you have done. 

The feline meow is thought to have started as a response to the cries of a human newborn child. Cats quickly discovered that this sound drew their attention immediately.

I’m sure the novelty of meows will wear off eventually. The cat is not meowing at you because it wants to have a conversation with you. 

Petting, feeding, and playing with it are all things it craves. 

In the absence of meeting these demands, your cat will become agitated. Verbal communication will shift, if not completely disappear.

Do Cats Recognize the Sounds of Human Meows?

Your cat will almost probably recognise that you are trying to communicate with it. 

It is important to remember that cats do not communicate with one another in this manner. 

As a result, your cat is unlikely to engage in a lengthy conversation with you.

Observing a cat’s reaction will tell you whether or not it understands what you’re saying. If the cat flees and hides, this indicates that you have scared it. 

If the cat comes up to you, it has interpreted your meow as a call for attention. 

If the cat cocks its head and stares, it is trying to figure out what you are trying to tell it through its body language.

The ideal scenario is for a cat to respond to your meow with a pitch-perfect replica of your voice. You might try it with a brief meow to say “hello.” 

If your cat behaves in a similar manner, take a look at its tail. If the cat’s paw points upward or bends into a question mark, it is enthusiastically acknowledging your greeting back.

Why does my cat Meow back to me
when I say NO

Our furry friends understand more than we think. They are intelligent as well as loving and kind.Despite what people think, cats are social animals. 

They do like each others company and not only vocalize to us but their own species. Studies have shown that the tones they use are different when talking to us or their own kind

I love it when they answer back because it means they are in tune with my voice.

We go for walks and I only mention “walk” and they congregate in the hall jumping around impatient to be off.

I say “bed” and they trot off in different directions to their special place.

Yes, they do get annoyed when you say “no” and do answer back with a short meow as if they are not happy at your decision !!!!

They also turn their backs to you if they are upset with you. Oh yes cats are argumentative when they’ve a mind to be, but would not be without them.

Most likely you have heard your cat make more than one type of meow sound. I know I have heard at least a few different tones from my cat.

The one that always gets me is when I show him something of new or surprise him.

He always comes back with a meow?? I can actually hear the hook on the end like he’s questioning, lol. People often give in to cats when they hear them cry. 

Sometimes my cat comes and sits beside me while I am watching TV and I don’t even notice him. He will then cry because he knows it gets my attention and I will react. 

Cats learn from our behaviours and know how to make humans react.

I have had my cat yowl at the door when I leave, almost loud enough for the whole building to hear him. He knows how to be very vocal when he wants something.

When I speak, my cat meows in response.

It is not necessary to meow at a cat in order to get a spoken answer. On many occasions, a standard talk will serve to resolve the situation. 

If you want to get your cat’s attention, you should talk plainly to him.

According to Animal Cognition, cats recognise the voices of their owners and associate them with them. 

This will be sufficient to stimulate the interest of a cat. It might come after you if it hears what you’re saying.

Unfortunately, cats are unable to carry on a full discussion because they can only grasp approximately 30 human words.

Use these words in the course of a conversation to elicit a meowing response from the other person. When you ask your partner what they would like for supper, your cat will hear the word “meal.” 

The cat will then begin to meow, as if he or she is requesting something.

It may not even be a straight word, but rather something that has the appearance of a directive. 

The question, “Has the cat been fed?” may be interpreted as “cat, bed” by the feline brain. 

The cat may then express his displeasure by meowing. It is not ready to sleep because it has not yet had the opportunity to enjoy playtime and attention.

Final Thoughts

Physical discomfort is the most obvious physical reason for Growling in cats. 

When it comes to cat Growling or hissing, it is necessary to address underlying physical or behavioural problems.

There are numerous possible causes, and thus recognising the triggering events may assist in easing and/or resolving aggressive issues entirely.

As cat owners are well aware, cats are capable of making a wide variety of sounds. There are a plethora of hidden emotions and body signals in feline behaviour. 


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Brudzynski, Stefan M. “Medial Cholinoceptive Vocalization Strip in the Cat and Rat Brains: Initiation of Defensive Vocalizations.” Handbook of Behavioral Neuroscience, Elsevier, 13 Jan. 2010, 


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“Handbook of Behavioral Neuroscience.” Handbook of Behavioral Neuroscience | ScienceDirect.com by Elsevier, 2020, www.sciencedirect.com/handbook/handbook-of-behavioral-neuroscience.

Crowell-Davis, Sharon L. “Feline Behavioral Disorders.” Handbook of Small Animal Practice (Fifth Edition), W.B. Saunders, 15 May 2009, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9781416039495501230.

Kelly, Cait Rohan. “Let’s Talk Cat Growling – Why Does Your Cat Growl and How Should You React?” Catster, 19 Jan. 2020, www.catster.com/cat-behavior/cat-growling-why-does-your-cat-growl-how-should-you-react.

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Why do cats meow back when you talk to them?

About Content Reviewer & Vet Expert OnBoard: Antonella, qualified veterinarian. Antonella is passionate about Cats and loves sharing her knowledge and research with you.

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