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When Do Cats Start Meowing At Humans?

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by ScarlettSkater, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. ScarlettSkater

    ScarlettSkater Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Feb 21, 2018
    Hello again,

    I posted previously about my lovely five-month-old Siamese littermates (boy and girl) and they seem to be socializing well. At five months, I can pet and hold them (but only when they are in repose, I have to be somewhat slow and crafty to pick them up and pet them for longer lengths of time) and they seem to be more comfortable around me and my mom. Not cuddly by any means, they are quite adventurous and active, so I've come to get used to their states of relaxation (which is when I can pet them or pick them up) or high-energy craziness (when they race around the room, jumping over and at each other, climbing to hard-to-reach places, etc).

    However, I've done research and can't seem to find the answer to this question. I read somewhere that kittens (even Siamese) only vocalize to each other. I've certainly noticed this, as the cats will call to each other it seems (there is a quite distinct sound), because, for example, when one is not with the other, the lonely kitty will meow distinctly, and the other kitty will join him/her. But I don't think they are meowing at me yet for any reason.

    So first of all, how old before a cat is no longer considered a kitten, and most importantly, is there any age at which they tend to start "talking" to humans?

    I realize the littermate situation might make it a bit different since the kitties seem to have formed a stronger bond with each other than to their humans (me and my mom), but any help/advice would be appreciated. Thank you!

  2. susanm9006

    susanm9006 Willow Top Cat

    Feb 20, 2011
    I think this is very individual to each cat, Siamese or otherwise. I have had eight week old kittens who talked to me constantly, others than didn’t much until they were considerably older and still others who only meowed if they were hungry . One thing that encourages any cat or kitten to meow to you is if you talk to them often, making eye contact and waiting for a response.
    ScarlettSkater purraised this.

  3. Desertmouse

    Desertmouse TCS Member Adult Cat

    Feb 28, 2018
    Oh don’t worry, once they decide you need training they will start talking (or instructing) you :lol:. But really I have to agree with susanm, the more you talk to them the more likely they are to talk back.

    As far as how long they are considered a kitten, if I remember right the kitten stage goes to around 6 months? And then they are thought to be a teen from 6 to 18 months I believe.
    ScarlettSkater and rubysmama purraised this.

  4. rubysmama

    rubysmama Forum Helper Staff Member Forum Helper

    Nov 25, 2013
    I read in another thread that Siamese cats are "talkers" so be careful what you wish for. You may be coming here in a year or so, asking how to make your cats stop meowing all the time.;)

    As for cats meowing, I've also read that one way to recognize a feral cat from a stray, is that feral cats don't meow. That cats communicate with body language with each other, and that cats only "talk" to humans as they've learned that they get attention / response by meowing.
    danteshuman, ScarlettSkater and Desertmouse purraised this.

  5. ScarlettSkater

    ScarlettSkater Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Feb 21, 2018
    I've tried this, still talking to them, and nothing. Now I have a new problem, (posting on a separate thread) that the male is growling/hissing at everyone. Somewhat frustrated and hoping things change. I do appreciate your help, please send good thoughts that my kitties will start behaving better....

  6. ScarlettSkater

    ScarlettSkater Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Feb 21, 2018
    I'm still waiting for this wonderful moment, as I said to susanm, the male is now growling/hissing at everyone which just hampers any progress that might have been made. I think part of it is that they weren't socialized as well. It's rather frustrating but I keep holding on and trying hoping it will be better....thank you for your response!
    Desertmouse purraised this.

  7. ScarlettSkater

    ScarlettSkater Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Feb 21, 2018
    I've read that too, so I'm somewhat disappointed that this hasn't been my experience. They only meow at each other still, even after weeks of trying to engage and talk with them. And now I have a male kitten who is growling/hissing at everyone (even his sister, whom he adores) which I'm sure hampers any improvement that might have been occurring. Still, I hope things will get better...thank you for your comment!

  8. danteshuman

    danteshuman TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 27, 2017
    LOL careful what you wish for. They may be feral cats or more precisely semi-feral cats.... but our semi-feral has no problem meowing at us to feed him/open the door if we are to slow. Cats learn from each other. Have you tried meowing & purrring at them?

    That said my part siamese punk didn't calm down a bit until he was almost 8 _years_ old. He also hates being held. So how did I sneak my cuddles in when all he wanted to do was play? 1) If a cat gets on my lap they get 15 minutes at least before I sit up 99.999999% of the time. 2) Pet & play. I would scratch behind his ears for a few seconds, play for a few minutes, pet for a minute, play for 5 more minutes. I also would lure him onto my lap with toy wands, give him a scratch, then play some more.
    Desertmouse purraised this.

  9. jcat

    jcat Mo(w)gli's can opener Staff Member Moderator

    Feb 13, 2003
    Mo(w)gli Monster's Lair
    When they start meowing depends on the kitten, but it often begins during weaning when they start to associate you with food. If mom is socialized and meows at people, the kittens will, too. If mom is a feral, it takes longer.

    Your boy might just be going through a stage, or it's his personality. We had a female kitten at the shelter for almost a year who was very "hissy" even after she was tamed enough to pick up and cuddle. She grew to love cuddling, but still hissed rather than meowed.

    Our last cat, Jamie, was moody and a hisser his entire life. We've had Mowgli for over five years and have never heard him hiss.
    Desertmouse and danteshuman purraised this.

  10. sargon

    sargon High Priest of Freya, The Slightly Bitey. Alpha Cat

    Sep 22, 2016
    St. Louis Metro Area
    Siamese cats generally are very vocal. They are a very old breed, and thus (I believe) further along in the domestication process than most cats, which is why they tend to be more vocal (among other traits.)

    The first few days she came home with me she'd run around the house meowing pittyfully for her mother, she she's always been a talker. She also loves being talked to. she'll sit on a chair or perch and stare at me nd meow for attention. What that means is that she wants me to talk to her. I'll look right at her and tell her a story, just like she was a little kid. Sure enough, that calms her down, and she'll generally fall asleep contentadly after a few minutes of me looking at her telling her a story in the same "storytime" voice I'd use with my nephews. The story doesn't matter, just the tone of voice, as Freya seems to enjoy lectures on geopolitics and macroeconomics just as much as she likes stories about squirrels.

    So, you might try that. You may also want to try clicker training with them both.

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