Contrary to public opinion and generally by those who have never been devoted cat parents, cats are not wise, bright, or brilliant. Cats sit low in the rankings of intelligent critters to those people who know no different.

I have heard this assessment more than once by people who dislike cats and think they are one of the dumbest animals created. These people do not know how much intelligence is compacted in little cat brains.

When I hear statements like this, it makes my blood boil, and I am so glad our six fur babies are inside cats and away from these types of people in our society. I have a few relatives and friends who do not understand how I can devote so much money, time, and love to my cats.

I need to tell those not as intelligent as my cats that this species is wise and intelligent beyond words and undoubtedly much smarter than most people.

Why Does My Cat Meow When I Call Her Name?

Cats know their name when you call them. When I rescued Lil’ Luke at the age of eight months, he was prone to the outside. I will never know if someone abandoned him or if he was born in the wild. I worked hard on getting him to adapt to an inside life versus life on the street and be free to roam wherever and come home when the notion hits him. Too many bad things can happen to a cat who is free to roam.

One of the first things a new cat parent learns is that when you name your cat and keep calling your cat by its name, it does not take long before the cat knows its name.

Cats respond to their name in different ways. It took Lil’ Luke a few days, and he knew his name. I knew his name finally got embedded in his little brain because when he was outside, I never knew where he went and I was afraid he would get into trouble. I had to call “Lil’ Luke” a couple of times, and he would be on our front step quickly.

Since Lil’ Luke cannot stay in his yard and is the only one of our other five cats who jump our privacy fence, he is training to become an inside cat. Lil’ Luke is untrustworthy, and there is no reason for him to run free throughout the neighborhood. I would feel awful if Luke got hurt or worse hit by a car.

All of our six cats know their name, and they acknowledge their name when we call them. Cats answer their names in different ways. For example, when I call any one of our cats, this is how each could respond to me.

  • Mia gives me a silent meow. She opens her mouth, looks at me and does not say a word.
  • Wee Willy comes when I call him, meowing non-stop, as if to say whatcha want, I’m right here, it had better be important!
  • Willow comes when I call her name, but she says nothing except to walk circles around me or brush against my legs.
  • Sophia comes but is silent.
  • Isabella, Sophia’s sister, comes but has little to say.
  • Lil’ Luke almost always comes when I call him, and he looks at me like, “Well, I’m here. What do you want?”

I have discovered over the last 30 plus years of being a cat parent that if you call your cat and they do not come, it is because they are busy and will get back to you later in their time. Other reasons could be,

  • They are asleep somewhere.
  • They are in trouble. Seriously, your cat could be hurt, held captive by one of those who do not like cats or could wander too far from home and become lost.

When your cat meows when you call her name, she answers you the best way she knows how. It is like someone saying, “I’m coming” or “I’m here. What do you want?”

If your cat never comes to you when you call their name, you have not instilled their name in them. It would help if you used their name frequently. Try calling your cat and when they come, give them a treat. It could also be that your kitty is busy and will get back to you later. In case you did not know, everything is done on “Cat Time.”

According to professional cat researchers, it is found that the following is likely.

  • A short, abrupt meow says, “I am here.”
  • A loud meow means it is time to eat. “Where’s the food?
  • A trill or chirp means that they want you to follow them. Your cat wants to show you something. I noticed this with Lil’ Luke. He will sit at the door and trill on our enclosed front porch when he wants to sit.
  • A low growl means you or someone had better be aware.
  • A cat who displays a short yet loud meow is a warning of danger.

Sometimes I find myself meowing back at one of my cats just for fun, and I often wonder what I am saying and hope I am not cussing or saying something terrible, so I do not make a habit of meowing back. I have no need to do this because I believe my cat understands me purr..fectly fine.

Is It Good If A Cat Meows When You Call Their Name?

According to researchers who study cat behavior, not all cats will react the same. If you call your cat and it meows when you call their name, this is their acknowledgment that they heard you call their name. They recognized their name, and therefore they responded to their name. This is all excellent and certainly nothing to worry about.

Why Does My Cat Meow Back When I Talk To Her?

As mentioned above, all cats react differently when they answer you by calling their name or if you are simply talking to them. Some meow while others zip their pretty lips and say nothing. When talking to your cat, perhaps you hear no meow, but watch its movements. Sometimes you know your cat is listening to you because they move or perk their ears.

  • Perhaps they do not know everything you are saying, but they pick up words here and there. When your cat meows back, they tell you that they hear you and acknowledge that you are there speaking to them.
  • Another idea is that perhaps your cat is feeling ill or is in pain or discomfort. In this case, its meow will sound panicky and excessive. Often, times cats meow like this to alert you that something is not right and you need to take a look.
  • Perhaps a meow back simply means your cat is saying hello. Most cats love attention and are social butterflies. Other cats are loners and prefer not to mingle with people. We have a couple of each in our family, and we honor their likes and dislikes. We do not try to make any of our cats into something they are not.

When your cat meows, look around to see if something is missing, such as are food and water bowls are filled? 

Does your kitty eat wet food and is hungry?

Sometimes one of my cats wants a toy that slipped under the couch? Lil’

Luke is the only cat that meows while sitting on his cat scratcher. He is telling me he wants a bit of catnip. If you cannot understand what your cat likes, sometimes they want you to follow them, and mine will show me.

  • Is your cat frightened?

All the cats I have had over the years meow loudly and non-stop when we need to take them to the vet. They do not like the car’s motion or the car’s speed. They do not like the smell of the doctor’s office and are telling you how scared they are.

  • Do your cats go outdoors?

My Lil’ Luke sits and meows at the door when he wants to go outdoors. Luke no longer goes outside except to the enclosed front porch. He still meows and trills when he wants to run the neighborhood.

Never worry about your cat meowing at you and never worry if they do not meow at you. Always be vigilant of your cat’s needs and wants and you will soon learn what your cat is saying or not saying to you simply by watching its behavior.

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.