I suspect everyone in this group is already familiar with the territory covered on this BBC related website, but just in case...

"The meow - everybody knows that cats meow, but they only do it to humans. Cats don't talk to each other using meows at all, and we'll explain why later in the section on cat psychology. The meow generally means that the cat wants something from the human, perhaps to go out, or in, or out again, or some food. Food is always welcome."

More here.

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Good stuff. I've always wondered (and laughed) about the chatter my cats make when staring intently at birds through my back window. Too bad nobody knows why the hell they do that...
I wouldn't doubt that someone will figure it out soon. I have a more scholarly study of cat behaviour squirreled away on my computer somewhere. When/if I find it, I'll post.
This is their attempt at bird calls, just like duck hunters use their weird kazoos.
I like this explanation, so I'm going to go with it.
Yeah, I hadn't heard people talk about that or the trilling.
Cats only meow for humans? Have they evolved this way? Wouldn't kittens meow at least? Also, I saw a documentary of a leopard and it was doing the low-voiced equivalent of "meow".
Hmm, I don't know about the statement that cats only meow with us and not with each other. I suppose it depends on how you define meow and at what point it stops being a meow and starts being a yowl.

I've been a dog person all my life and am fairly new to true cat employment (I almost said ownership, but it is they who own/employ us). I'm learning the difference between their various meows.

Diablo for instance has a distinct meow which means, "I love you. Cuddle me. Pet me. Love me. I want snuggly attention" and a very, very slightly different variant for "Fuck you, don't fucking touch me. Try it you filthy fucking primate and I WILL slash your goddamn ugly nose off your fucking face."

Very, very slight difference between the two. It has taken me and my now-altered nose a few months to learn the difference.




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