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do cats meow to communicate with each other?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
has anyone noticed this? my cat, when around other cats, never meows at them - instead they sniff, rub, lick. it seems that cats only meow to get the attention of humans and not to communicate with each other!
post #2 of 14
That true "MRRoooow" only seems directed at humans in my experience too. But there's a weird little whirring noise I hear them make at each other sometimes, among other noises, just not the typical meow.
post #3 of 14
I agree, the regular old meow seems to only be directed towards humans. I read that somewhere a long time ago too, cats only meow at people. They make a variety of other noises, some very similar to a meow but not really the same to other cats or at other things.
post #4 of 14
Ferris does not know about this at all: he is CONSTANTLY trilling to Ginger.

Here's a good article on cat communication.
post #5 of 14
I think they use all methods. Mom cats will call their kittens if not in sight. Probably use more physical signs with each other rather then "talking" and use "talking" more with humans.
post #6 of 14
My two have several trills, a few screams and a couple of yowls and some others I cannot identify but they only seem to "meow" at me. Interesting. I hadn't thought of this. Now I will not only be taking non-stop photos but will be listening to them all the time. Poor kits
post #7 of 14
Kittens call to their mother, and of course the mother cats call back. Fighting meows, the long drawn out angry cries. And there's the call for a mate type meow.
Other then that it's not really natural for them to. If you're among a feral group you really won't hear them meow at all.

They meow to us because we listen and respond, sometimes with food.
I think, by taking them in and caring for all their needs, that we keep them in a sort of kitten behavior in some areas and that's why the meowing persists in it's use towards us. They see us as the 'momma cat' and we don't give them a reason to see us else wise.
post #8 of 14
I think they miaow to humans more often than to each other simply because we do not understand or cannot sense the many ways that they use to communicate with each other - we can't hold our tail or ears in a variety of different positions all communicating different things, and our sense of smell is poor in comparison. So they 'dumb down' when they are communicating with us, it's the feline equivalent of speaking slowly and only using short words

Mine do vocalise with each other though, Radar only makes his pigeon cooing noises at Sonic. Actually he only miaows when he's fly-hunting so maybe he doesn't have a lot to say to me
post #9 of 14
This thread reminded me, when we came home from vacation this last time, Bird decided to check and see if we were still home (after we went to bed) and was walking in the hallway doing the momma cat "MrrtttOWWWW! MrrttttOWWWW!..." until I got up and looked for her and said "What?" LOL!

Usually, when she's talking to me, it's just the "Mrrttt" (and usually a head butt) or the "Meow (my bowl is empty!)"

When mine talk to each other, it's usually ugly talk *sigh* or the "Where have you been" or the "Are you okay?" sniff.
post #10 of 14
from the reading i have done, in the wild, only the kittens will make sounds at there mothers.

i have never seen any of are cats make any sounds beyond growling and hissing at each other from time to time, but heyu talks to me all the time,
in fact i think she is somewhat of a nag.
post #11 of 14
My three girls don't say anything to each other (with the exception of a hiss or a growl). But Buffy and Molly (Willow doesn't say anything, period) both talk to us humans AND to my dog. Molly will chirp and mrrrr when she sees her best buddy, Jake (and give him a head butt), and Buffy will scream all day long when Jake follows her around. I swear, all you hear all day long is annoyed meowing because Jake is following her around and getting too close. Then when we yell at Jake to COME HERE and leave her alone, Buffy will be quiet, but then she'll "casually" wander into the room with Jake and us and walk close enough to him and start her annoyed meowing again. I swear, she loves the attention she gets when she starts up that nonsense. We either tell Jake to leave her along, or we yell at Buffy to stop being a bitch, lol (usually the latter occurs after several instances of the former, when we realize what Buffy's really doing, lol). I find it interesting how cats won't talk to each other (not in meows, anyway), but they'll talk to humans because they realize they can get certain things by doing that (such as food or attention). But Buffy goes a step further and talks to another furry creature, while still being quiet towards her fellow species.
post #12 of 14
Yeah! I think the common meow is directed at us, humans.

I will , however, note that my cats get into weird danced and my dear, the nosies they make are absolutely adorable and amazing to observe lol.

Though I pretty much get their language and I know what meow means what lol
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by violet37 View Post
has anyone noticed this? my cat, when around other cats, never meows at them - instead they sniff, rub, lick. it seems that cats only meow to get the attention of humans and not to communicate with each other!
This would have made an excellent poll question. But yes, I believe they communicate with each other and in a different way than they do with humans (or dogs).
post #14 of 14
mine do communicate with vocalizations to each other. i keep reading all these articles that say cats don't, but i guess my cats didn't read the articles.

i've seen my 3 guys trill, and even a meow to each other. 2 of mine are littermates, i don't know if that makes a difference. all 3 are bonded to each other.
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