There’s nothing more precious than the gentle meow of a cat, but sometimes this meowing could be an indication your cat wants to tell you something.

The reason cats meow is to express themselves and their emotions. You should pay attention to their meows so you know what they want. Here are 8 reasons cats meow at you.

1. To Get Your Attention

Kittens meow at birth so that their mother can hear and find them as they are born unable to see. As a cat gets older, they start reserving their meows, saving them for when they want attention for whatever reason. Here’s a fun fact about cats; they rarely meow at other cats, using them as a means to communicate with humans.

2. They Want to Go Outside

The meow to go outside is usually a sweet one that is still loud enough to get your attention. If they meow by the door or window ready to pounce on the outside world, then this meow likely means they’re ready to enter the great outdoors and go exploring.

3. Meowing at Midnight

Cats are known for sleeping a lot – sometimes up to 16 hours a day. It’s hardly surprising they can be at their most active during the night. If you hear some little meows during the night it’s a sign that your cat is up and ready to play with you, even though that may be the last thing you want to do that late at night.

4. They Want Food

Every single cat owner has heard the bellowing call for food. Cats never shy away from demanding what they want, especially when hungry. They will constantly meow at you and try to get your attention until you feed them. You should hurry to the store if you’re a little low on food.

5. Something is Bothering Them

No matter what it is that bothers them, you’ll know what their troubled meows are about. This signifies that they are distressed and frustrated, and possibly in some pain. Get to them as fast as you can because this is a sure sign they want and need your immediate attention.

6. Long, Drawn Out Meows

A prolonged and loud meow could be a sign that you’ve got one angry kitty to contend with. If they aren’t angry, then this meow is another way to convey distress and a need for assistance.

7. A High-Pitched Meow

A high-pitched sharp and sudden meow is used to quickly alert you to something. It’s the kind of meow you’ll get if you bump into them by accident or – worse – step on their fluffy little tails. This high-pitched meow is a sign that they are in pain or something got their attention. Keep an eye on where you’re walking to avoid having an angry cat on your hands.

8. Animal Instincts Trigger Chatty Meows

This kind of meowing sounds like your cat is attempting to use their magical feline powers to entrance something. Well, really, that’s kind of what’s happening. This kind of meow happens when your cat is by the window and has spotted something – such as a squirrel or bird – that’s got them excited.