Why Does My Cat Meow When I Walk Up to Her?

"Meow. I smell food. Give me some of it!"
"Meow. I smell food. Give me some of it!" (Image: Siri Stafford/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Although meows are adorable, they can also be baffling to even the most experienced cat owners. If your cat has a penchant for meowing every time you approach her, she could be conveying a number of things, from the craving for a treat to the desire for a petting session.

Polite Hello

Don't assume that cats don't participate in social etiquette -- feline style. By meowing when you walk up to her, your kitty could be happily addressing you after not seeing you for a few hours. Perhaps you were cooped up in your den reading some important work papers for the entire evening, and your cat is simply surprised -- yet utterly delighted -- to see you again. Meowing might be your pet's version of a warm hello.

Feed Me Now

By meowing when you walk up to her, your cat could be requesting that you feed her. Perhaps your walking over to her reminded her that she was hungry. Maybe dinnertime is getting closer and she's ready for her canned food. She might want some of the tasty treats she knows you have tucked away in the kitchen cabinet. Your cat is fully aware that you're the food source, and could simply be "placing her order" with chef Yours Truly.

Out of Here

If your cat meows when you walk up to her, pay attention to your surroundings. If she's parked right by the back door of your home, she could be meowing to get you to open it up. She wants to go outside and explore -- perhaps she can see the birds from your window. If your cat was a stray who used to live on your street, for example, the habit of being outdoors might be a tough one for her to forget.

I Love Attention

By meowing at you, your cutie could be asking for a little bit of your time. Whether she's looking to play with you or snuggle up to you on the sofa, she wants to make sure that you don't miss her. Cats who spend a lot of time by themselves tend to meow for attention frequently.


Meowing sometimes serves as a notification in "cat talk." Maybe a mouse has been loose in your house all morning and your poor cat's been hard at work trying to catch the little rodent. In meowing at you, your cat might be asking you if you saw the little guy scurrying around.

Feelings of Disorientation

If your cat is older and experiencing some common signs of the aging process, whether eyesight troubles or memory loss, her meowing as you approach could mean that she's feeling disoriented and out of it. Perhaps she's uncertain about how to get back to her favorite napping spot by the bay window in the living room -- and therefore needs your help in getting back.

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