Why Won't My Cat Meow?

picture of cute tabby cat face

Do you wish your kitty was more talkative? Her cat meow can be encouraged and developed; you just need to know how to go about it.

Some kitties are much more vocal than others, and if yours has always been the silent, mysterious type you may never turn her into Chatterbox of the Year. But you should be able to get her to talk more than she does at present.


If you've landed on this page but have the opposite problem - i.e. a cat that just won't shut up, click here for advice on dealing with excessive cat meowing.


Kitty Speech Class

The amount of time it'll take to get your kitty talking more will depend on the sort of relationship you, or previous owners, have had with her. If she's never really been talked to before, and her cat meow hasn't been encouraged, she'll take longer to start chatting than if she has been encouraged but is just being coy.

There are easy methods to encourage Kitty's cat meow which you can do as part of your everyday routine. It may take weeks or months to get Kitty talking, but you'll develop and improve your relationship with her over that time, so it's really worth persevering.

Here are the steps I suggest to mastering the art of kitty conversation:


1) Talk to Kitty

The only thing a lot of cat owners ever say to their cats directly is "here, Kitty Kitty, psss psss psss." They don't call them by their name or really talk to them. Cats are very intelligent creatures. Over time, they do come to understand more and more human vocabulary, but, only if humans talk to them directly and often. It's similar to training a child to speak and understand human language.

If the only thing that's ever said to Kitty is the above or something similar, she won't bother to respond. She'll find it boring!

So, what do I mean by talk to Kitty? Have a conversation with her. For example, when you're cooking the dinner and she's sitting watching you, tell her about the sort of day you've had. Tell her what you're doing. Ask her if she wants a treat, then get one for her. Say good night, good morning, hello and goodbye to her. Talk to her as much as you can when she's around you.

I promise you, the more you talk to Kitty, the more interested she'll become in listening to you and understanding you. And the more inclined she'll be to talk. When she thinks you're taking an interest in her, she'll want to reciprocate so that it continues.


2) Call her by her name

Cats can learn their names very quickly, but only if it's said directly to them, frequently. Call Kitty by her name as much as you can. Click here for advice on training a kitten or a cat to learn her name.


3) Make eye contact with her

This is important. Under normal circumstances, you're towering above Kitty, and she can't even see if you have any eyes, never mind look into them. If you establish eye contact while talking to her, she'll start to bond with you, and be more inclined to firstly listen, and then start to talk back.

The best way to make eye contact with your cat is to get down to her level. Yep, lie on the floor and talk to her, looking into her eyes. She may look or go away at first, but as you persevere, she'll become more inquisitive and less shy.

Once she's used to making eye contact with you, you can start to do it by just bending down when you're talking to her, and looking into her eyes. Over time, she may even start to put her paws up on your legs when you're standing up, because she wants you to talk to her and look into her eyes. This is extremely cute, as well as a great relationship builder.


4) Listen to her

When Kitty does break her vow of silence, listen to her. If she makes a noise, ask her to make it again. Praise her when she talks. Listen to the different sounds she makes and try to interpret what they mean. You won't guess all of them straight away, but over time, you'll start to understand her.


Encouraging a quiet kitty to meow more benefits both you and her. She becomes more stimulated, less bored and happier. Even if it takes months to bring out her best cat meow, it's well worth the effort.


Go from why won't my cat meow page to cat sounds page

Go to Cat Behavior Explained home page