Cats are notorious for making the rules in their homes. They will walk wherever they like, sleep on top of anything, sprint around the living room at 3 in the morning, demand food whenever they want and roam the neighborhood for hours on end until they decide they’ve had enough. The one time I lived with a cat, I often felt like I was in her apartment with the way she made herself at home sleeping on my desk and burrowing into my chair so she could hide in the cushion. It can be impossible to get a cat to respect any boundaries you set, but they certainly have their own. And one way they’ll demand personal space is by yelling.
In honor of all the furious, excited and scared cats that let out hilarious screams, the MEOW meOW MEOw subreddit was born. We’ve gone through MEOW meOw MEOw, or Cats Who Yell, to find some of the best pics of adorable cats who just want to be listened to and gathered them all down below. So enjoy these photos, and be sure to upvote the ones that you wear you can almost hear. And then if you’re interested in even more cute cats screaming, check out Bored Panda‘s last post on the same subreddit right here.
It’s no secret that the internet loves cats. From viral memes featuring coughing cats to the obsession millions had with Grumpy Cat, people just cannot seem to get enough feline content. So The Cats Who Yell subreddit came along at the perfect time. The group was created in June 2018 and has amassed 590k members since then. Full of photos of cats with their mouths wide open, the community’s description states, “Cats yelling. Shame yawns, not yells! No breeders/breeder-purchased cats.” It’s great that even on this page that’s just for fun, they still care about promoting adoption rather than buying pets from breeders.
Common posts on the page include the flairs “Feed me right meow!”, “Ol’ Yeller”, “Human Conmeowsationalist”, “Baby Cat mew mew mewmew mewmew”, and “Scream Team”. The moderators have even had to take a stand against yawning photos, as it is imperative that “the cat is actually making sounds” when a photo or video is taken. So when you see the pics on this list, you can rest assured knowing that the sounds you are imagining probably did come out of these cute little cats’ mouths.
If you have ever had a cat, you know that they can be quite vocal. And according to the ASPCA, cats meow to communicate with people. “Meowing is an interesting vocalization in that adult cats don’t actually meow at each other, just at people,” they explain. So rather than meowing being like a secret cat language, it might be more like cats attempting to speak our languages. The most common reasons the ASPCA lists for cats being vocal are to greet people, to solicit attention, to ask for food, to ask to be let in or out, elderly cats suffering from mental confusion, and to find a mate.
Have you ever heard a cat meow and swear that it sounded like they said “hello”? Well, they might have actually been trying to mimic our sounds. So when you come home after a long day or wake up in the morning, be sure to greet your cat. They might just say hi back. If they are trying to solicit attention, they might be looking for some pets, to be played with or just some conversation. “Cats who are left alone for long periods of time each day may be more likely to meow for attention,” the ASPCA explains.
Like some other animals, and plenty of humans, your cat might also be meowing because it’s “hangry”. If it happens when you’re anywhere near their bowl or if it’s breakfast time and you are still sleeping, that meow might mean, “Feed me, please!” A meow could also be a request to be let in or outside. This one tends to be easier to decode, as your cat might stand right at the door and scream until you open it.
“If you’re trying to transition a cat from being indoor-outdoor to living exclusively indoors, you may be in for a period of incessant meowing at doors and windows,” the ASPCA explains. “This is a difficult change for a cat to make, and it will very likely take weeks or even months for the meowing to stop.” So if you feel safe letting your cat outside to explore and get some fresh air all alone, they will definitely tell you when they want out. And from my experience, they will also find any open window to meow at when they want back in too. Even if it seems physically impossible for them to perch on a tiny windowsill, they will find a way.
If your cat is aging and starts to meow more than usual, there is a small chance that it could be a health problem. The ASPCA explains that, “Elderly cats suffering from mental confusion, or cognitive dysfunction, may meow if they become disoriented—a frequent symptom of this feline version of Alzheimer’s Disease.” Keep a close eye on your cat if it’s starting to reach its ninth life, and don’t be shy about getting it checked out if you are concerned about mental health issues. Lastly, the ASPCA explains that sometimes cats “yowl” when they are looking to attract a special someone. “Females yowl to advertise their receptivity to males, and males yowl to gain access to females.”
But any cat who is extremely vocal might need to see a vet, just in case. “Numerous diseases can cause cats to feel unusually hungry, thirsty, restless or irritable—any of which is likely to prompt meowing,” the ASPCA explains. “Even if your cat has a history of meowing for food, you should still have her checked by your veterinarian. As cats age, they’re prone to developing an overactive thyroid and kidney disease, and either one may result in excessive meowing.”
If you have a very vocal kitty who you wish would sometimes exercise its inside voice, the ASPCA also provides some tips for helping your cat quiet down. First, they note that it is important to understand the cause of the excessive meowing before trying to silence it, but once you have determined what is upsetting your cat, you can work to make them feel more comfortable. If your cat is just extremely friendly and loves to say hello, there might not be much you can do about it. But if your cat is demanding attention, you might be able to teach it that you will only pet it or play with it when it’s quiet. “Resist the urge to shout at her or give her any form of attention, even angry attention. Instead, be patient and wait for a brief moment of silence,” the ASPCA explains. “Immediately give her the attention she craves. If she starts to meow again, walk away, and only return to her when she’s quiet. If you’re consistent, she will catch on.”
If you suspect that your cat is meowing out of loneliness or sadness, try to have a pet sitter come visit it for part of the day when you are at work. When your cat has someone to play with for an hour or two in the middle of the day, they might not feel so anxious when left alone. If you think your cat is meowing at you to demand food, don’t give in when it starts being vocal. Stick to a feeding schedule and don’t allow your cat to eat at other times. The ASPCA also recommends investing in an automatic feeder if your cat just won’t stop begging. At least then it will learn that you are not going to fill the bowl, so it will probably stop pestering you.
If your cat can never decide if it wants to be in or outside, it might be time to invest in a kitty door. This way, it can come and go as it pleases without disturbing you every time it wants to go for a walk. However, the ASPCA recommends keeping all cats indoors to protect them from danger and diseases. If you can handle the time period of incessant meowing at doors and windows and attempted escapes any time a door is opened, you may be able to fully transition your cat to an indoor lifestyle. “Another option is to build an outdoor cat enclosure so she can spend time outside but remain safe,” the ASPCA notes.
Another solution for some excessively vocal cats is to get them spayed or neutered. An unspayed female cat will be in heat every 18-24 days throughout the breeding season (or year round for indoor cats), which can cause her to become more affectionate, rub up against you more, roll around the floor all the time, purr more often and meow much more than usual. A male cat that has not been neutered might also meow excessively and pace around if he hears or smells a female cat in heat nearby. It is always wise to have your cats spayed or neutered in the first place, but especially if you are trying to keep them from screaming all the time, this might help.
In terms of what not to do when your cat just wants to talk and talk, the ASPCA warns pet owners never to just ignore them. “The one exception is if you know for certain that she’s meowing to get you to do something she wants. In every other instance, it’s safest to assume that something’s wrong—she may not have access to her litter box, or her water bowl may be empty, or she may be locked in a closet. Always make sure that her needs are met before assuming that she’s just being demanding by meowing at you.”
Cats are really amazing creatures. Though they are very different from us, they still learned that yelling is a surefire way to get attention. We hope you enjoy the rest of this adorable list of screaming kitties, and remember to upvote all of your favorite pics. Then if you want to find even more cats demanding affection, food, to be let outside, or to be left alone, don’t forget to check out our last story on Cats Who Yell right here.