Do Tabby Cats Meow a Lot? (Depends on These Things)

Do Tabby Cats Meow a Lot

Tabby cats can meow a lot, yes. Remember, ‘tabby’ is not a breed of cat, it’s the coat pattern. So, how vocal a cat depends on the breed, and some other factors like age, health, and personality.

What Makes a Tabby Cat a Tabby?

Many people think that ‘tabby’ is a breed of cat. It’s not, the word tabby is used to describe the pattern and markings on a cat. There are actually lots of breeds of cat that can have tabby markings.

The markings and coat patterns vary a lot. But, generally speaking, a tabby will have a distinctive ‘M’ shaped marking on its forehead, stripes by its eyes and cheeks, and stripes along its body.

There are even different types of tabby markings, such as:

Mackerel tabby – These tend to have darker, more slender lines and stripes on their bodies.

Classic tabby – The classic tabby has a more marbled or blotched pattern. You’ll see the distinctive ‘M’ on their forehead and strong liens on their faces.

Ticked tabby – Ticked tabbies have an interesting coat. Most commonly seen on Abyssinians, this term is used to describe the ‘sand-like’ fine pattern on their coats.

Spotted tabby – Most commonly seen in breeds like Maine Coons, Savannahs, and Maus, spotted tabbies are as the name suggests – spotted, not striped.

So, now you know; tabby cats are not a breed, it’s a coat pattern.

This is why it’s hard to answer the question, ‘Do tabby cats meow a lot?’ without knowing more about the breed and personality of the cat.

I can provide some further insights into why tabby cats meow, however….

Are Tabby Cats Noisey – Do They Meow a Lot?

As explained above, whether or not a cat meows a lot depends more so on the breed and other factors than it does their color or coat pattern.

All cats have a ‘baseline’ for how vocal they are. This largely comes down to their breed and personality.

For example, Bengals, Siamese, Tonkinese, and Ocicats are among the most vocal breeds. You can expect these breeds to meow more than other breeds just as a way of communicating with you.

Then there are reasons why cats meow to factor in. Generally speaking, it comes down to the following 6 reasons:

Are Tabby Cats Noisey - Do They Meow a Lot
That’s my Winnie, she can be very vocal when she wants my attention!


Some cats are just chatty by nature, regardless of breed. I’ve had tabby cats that were noisy, and some that didn’t make a squeak.

You’ll generally know from an early age if you have a vocal cat. There are some things you can do to train a cat to be less, or noisier. But as with most cat training, I wouldn’t guarantee any results.


A bored cat is an annoying cat. If you don’t have enough toys and cat furniture to keep your cat entertained, they might take to bothering you.

Knowing that being vocal with humans is the best way to get a reaction, most cats will meow. It’s time to put the phone down or switch off the TV and play with your kitty.

Illness or Injury

Cats are notoriously good at hiding when they’re injured or feeling unwell. Some, however, will make noise when they’re ill – and who can blame them?

If your cat is not usually noisy but is now meowing a lot, give them a closer look over. If you can’t see anything wrong, it’s best to seek the advice of a vet.

Related Sleeping positions of sick cats and what they mean.

Female In Heat

Female cats in heat will meow, or more accurately, yowl. It’s a natural, instinctual behavior, this is actually how females call male cats.

I recommend getting your cat spayed. You don’t want Tom cats hanging around your yard, I’m sure. Plus it reduces the chance of unwanted kittens and has some other health benefits.

Aging Cat

As cats enter their twilight years they tend to get more vocal. This is certainly true in the case of my eldest cat, she makes a hell of a racket at night sometimes.

This can become pretty problematic. Their sleeping schedules change, they can get confused, and often end up randomly meowing. All you can do is make sure they’re comfortable, healthy, and have easy access to everything they need.


If your cat has seen something interesting, is hungry, or needs to get your attention for any reason, they may meow at you.

It’s a way a lot of cats communicate with us. And, I bet it works, doesn’t it? If your cat is meowing at you, you try to figure out why so you can stop them. Clever kitty!

Why Does My Tabby Cat Meow So Much?

If your tabby is meowing a lot, you should be able to narrow down the reason from the list above.

It’s almost certainly going to be due to one or more of those reasons.

Now, whether or not you can do anything about it if their persistent meowing is annoying you, that’s another question.

Obviously, if it’s a health issue or they’re looking for attention that’s an easy fix. If you just happen to have a vocal cat, there isn’t a lot you can do about it.

If you want a vocal cat, get one of the breeds known to be more vocal than others. I had a siamese cat many years ago, and I can confirm she was the noisiest cat (in a good way) I’ve ever had.

In Summary

Hopefully, I managed to help you out with two things in this post; the first being that tabby cats are not a breed, despite what most people think.

The second being a list of reasons that explain why some cats meow more than others – tabby or not.

Whether you have a noisy cat or a mute one, it’s all part of their individual personalities, ways they communicate with us, and little insight into the mysterious and often secretive world of cats.


Image credits – Photos taken by author, all rights reserved

Most Vocal Cat Breeds – Purina

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