Short, high pitched meows
Meowing comes in many variations, and each one means something slightly different. “Adult cats developed meowing specifically to communicate with humans. The only feline-to-feline meows are done by kittens to get fed by their mothers,” notes Susan Rubin, a pet expert and trainer. “A short, high-pitched meow is your cat’s way of saying hello to you.” She adds that several of these meows strung together could mean “I’m so happy to see you!” or it could be a “Hey, let’s play!”
Drawn out meow
A meow that sounds pleading or drawn-out – somewhere between a meow and a cry – is another way your cat tries to get your attention, says Rubin. This time it’s a little more serious, and could mean anything from “Please feed me!” or “Please let me out!” or even “Please pet me!”
A crying meow is longer than the pleading meow, and it tends to sound more urgent and perhaps even a little agonised. “Kittens will emit a cry when they are in distress with the goal of eliciting a search response from the maternal figure to look for them. If they have wandered from the nest, she will retrieve them and bring them back,” says Wailani Sung, a pet behaviourist with Chewy.com.