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The Cat’s Meow

November 1, 2023

Did you know that nearly every language on the planet has a similar-sounding word for Fluffy’s vocalizations? Meow translates to Miaou in French, to Miau in Spanish and Portuguese, and Miao in Italian. There’s even a Latin version: maumō. A local Roswell, NM vet offers some fun facts about kitty conversations in this article.

The History Of The Meow

Our feline friends are very, very good at wrapping us around their adorable paws. This may have been going on for a bit longer than many people suspect. It turns out that Fluffy may have started meowing specifically to, well, manipulate us. You may have noticed that cats sound somewhat like human babies. They’re also roughly the same size. These things may all have worked in Fluffy’s favor, by helping make us form an association between cats and kitties. This of course benefited cats quite a bit, as we were soon smitten and offering food, shelter, lap space, and, later on, catnip and kitty furniture.

Breed Factors

Breed does play something of a role in how talkative Fluffy is, and what she sounds like. The Siamese, for example, has a very distinct yowl. Then there’s the Maine Coon, with a cute chirpy sound. Many of our feline friends have fairly ‘normal’ meows. However, there are also some that squeak, scream, or just have crackly voices.


Is your kitty a chatterbox? It can be pretty fun ‘talking’ to Fluffy. Your pet may not know what you’re saying, but she may very well reply to you. Try mimicking your kitty’s vocalizations. You may find that your feline pal gets quite happy when she realizes you’re communicating with her.

Health Issues

Changes in your pet’s vocalizations can be a sign that something is wrong. If your furry friend is usually quite loud and talkative, but suddenly seems withdrawn, she could be sick. On the other hand, a normally-quiet kitty that starts yowling for attention could also be ill. Contact your vet if you notice anything unusual about your pet’s appearance or behavior.

Meow Translators

Most of our feline friends are pretty good at making their points when they want something. However, sometimes it’s hard to tell what they want. Technology has come to the rescue with meow translation apps and devices, such as programmable paw buttons. There’s no harm in trying these out. (Results may vary.)

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your local Roswell, NM pet hospital, anytime!