If your cat meows back at you, this post will show you why and what you can do about it.

So, why does my cat meow back at me? Possible reasons why your cat meows back at you are that it is being affectionate, it wants you to stop touching it, intimidation, or that it wants something from you.

There are a number of possible causes and your cat might be doing them for a number of different reasons. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.

Reasons why your cat meows back at you

Below are likely causes and what would make them more likely.

It is being affectionate

It might be the case that your cat is showing affection back to you. This would be much more likely to be the cause if it also does things such as purr, knead and it does not try to move away from you.

It wants you to continue touching it

If your cat meows back at you when you are touching it, the cause could be that it wants you to continue touching it. This would be more likely if it does things such as rub itself on you, purr and knead.

It wants you to stop touching it

If your cat meows when you are touching it, the cause might also be that it wants you to stop touching it. This would be more likely if it also does things such as push itself away from you, flick its tail, hiss and scratch.

It is intimidated

The cause could also be that it becomes intimidated. It might be intimidated because of the way you approach it, how loud you are or how aggressively you touch it. This would be more likely if your cat does things such as try to move away from you. Instead, it would help to be gentle with it and to be calm around it. 

It wants something from you

Another possible cause is that it wants something from you. This would be more likely if it does it more when it has not been fed or let outside yet.

Encouraging the behavior

It could also be the case that it has learned that it is rewarded for meowing back at you. If you give your cat things such as extra attention, when it meows back at you, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main cause.

If your cat has always meowed back at you

If your cat did not always meow back at you, it would help to consider what else happened when your cat first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be because you started interacting with it differently or because you started giving it things such as food at a different time.

What is different when your cat does not meow back at you

If your cat seems to do it a lot more in specific situations, it would also help to consider the timing of when your cat does it. For example, if it tends to do it when you are touching it, the cause could be that it is showing that it likes how you are touching it or that it actually wants you to stop.

The body language your cat shows

It would also help to consider the body language your cat shows when it does it. If it shows positive signs such as purring, kneading and rubbing itself against you, it would be more likely that it is showing affection back to you. Whereas, if it does things such as push you away, hiss and bite, it would be a lot more likely that it does not like the way you are touching it or interacting with it.

What to do about your cat meowing back at you

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Interact with it differently

If it seems like your cat has been doing it because it does not like the way you have been interacting with it, it would help to interact with it in a more calm and gentle manner. Often, you will find that cats prefer things such as having their chin rubbed instead of a full back rub.

Let it do it

If your cat seems to be doing it due to showing affection back to you, another option would be to allow your cat to continue doing it.

Get help

If your cat has started doing it suddenly when you touch it and it seems like it could be due to an injury, it would help to take it to a vet for a checkup. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular cat and to rule out the possibility of it being due to injury.

Why does my cat meow when I talk to it?

If your cat meows when you talk to it, the cause could be that it is showing affection back to you, it has learned that the behavior is rewarded, or that it is telling you that it wants something such as to be fed.

Author

I created and currently run Kitty Cat Tips, the website that you can go to when you have questions about your cat's behavior. It's my hope that you find Kitty Cat Tips to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your cat. You can read more about me and my website here.