Why does my cat meow when I pet it?
The meow is one of the characteristic forms of communication of cats. This so typical sound of them presents multiple variants, which will depend on what our cat wants to «tell» us. There will be more or less «talkative» cats and, among those most likely to communicate in this way, we will have the opportunity to observe a wide repertoire of sounds. It will be our job to learn to interpret them and, therefore, to communicate with our feline companion.
Cat meows and their meaning
As we have commented, the meow is going to be a very important form of communication for cats with a greater desire to interact with us, since this sound is more used in relationships with humans than with other cats.
To answer the question of why a cat meows when petted, we must first know the meanings of the most common meows . These are the following:
- Greeting : it is the typical meow that our cat emits when we get home or when it meets us. It will have a cheerful tone.
- Request : it is an insistent and very clear meow. Especially if the cat wants to achieve something in a very intense way, for which he is going to use a high tone and will not stop until he gets it or gives up (which is usually rare!).
- Surprise : it is a brief meow, similar to a «scream», that our cat will produce in sight of something that interests and pleases him, such as when we approach him with his favorite food.
- Heat : if we have a whole cat, that is, not sterilized, when she goes into heat, which can happen at any time of the year, she will meow in a very high tone, insistent and almost like a scream. Spaying puts an end to this behavior, but in the meantime.
- Conversation : there are cats that especially like to interact with humans and are capable of establishing a «dialogue» with us, in such a way that they meow in «response» to our comments, being able to continue the «conversation» for minutes. Almost, it is as if our cat spoke .
- Call for attention : when our cat is bored or needs our contact, it can emit a soft meow, which perhaps evokes the one with which the cat communicates with its young.
- Location : also remembering the mother’s relationship with her pups, our cat can meow, in a high tone, when it is locked in somewhere or even if it has lost sight of us.
- Help : on occasions, a sick or injured cat may request our attention with a heartfelt meow, which will vary depending on its condition, and may acquire a more or less serious and deep tone.
- Disgust : when our cat is in a situation that makes him uncomfortable, he will meow in protest. It is what we can hear when, for example, we lock it in the carrier to go to the vet or, in some cases, when we leave it alone.
Reasons why your cat meows when you caress it
We must bear in mind that the first and most important thing is to get to know our cat in order to understand the meaning of its meows, since each cat will develop its own language with us. So, why my cat meows when I pet him is generally going to be due to what we can consider » feedback «.
The cat is comfortable with our caresses and reacts with request meows to request that we continue. Sometimes they even emit a kind of beep, a sign of pleasure and happiness, in addition to the purring that will be typical in this situation. Therefore, if our cat meows and purrs at the same time while you caress it, it is undoubtedly a great sign. So much so, that if we stop stroking it, it is likely that it will meow more intensely to ask us to continue, while rubbing its head and back against our hands or legs.
In any case, although this is the most common behavior, cats are not an exact science and therefore we must observe our partner to determine the keys to their communication with us, since, although it is less common for them to meow in this context, it is possible that we caress an unwanted area or that it feels pain and meows to «tell us» to stop touching it . Likewise, it is possible that the cat meows when we carry it in our arms for the same reasons: pain or discomfort. This meow will be totally different from the previous one, sudden and louder. In this case, it is convenient to check the animal and go to the veterinary center if necessary.
What happens when you pet your cat?
Given the meanings of some of the most common meows and what happens when we touch our cat, in order to understand why it meows when we caress it, it is essential to know how to caress a cat correctly . Some cats are averse to these contacts and for this reason we must respect them and never force them. The pattern that we can follow to caress a cat is the following:
- Head : cats accept, and the most affectionate ones request, caresses on the head, to the sides, between and behind the ears and on the neck.
- Loin : it is also an area that they like, especially towards its end, before the beginning of the tail. Some even react by moving their front legs as if «kneading», behavior that is reminiscent of their days as babies, when they performed this action when suckling to stimulate milk letdown.
- Paws : cats do not usually like to have their paws or feet touched, as they are very sensitive, so it is better that we avoid it.
- Belly : red alert zone, most cats do not allow their belly to be touched, since it is a very vulnerable part of their body. They may react by running away or even grabbing the hand with their paws or mouth.
Taking into account the feline language and the aspects that we have explained, encourage caresses that you know your cat likes and do not touch those «forbidden» areas for him, since you could take a bite and harm your bond.