Kittens meow in order to solicit attention, express hunger or demand care. Cats' meows are used for communicating with humans. The only time a cat meows to another cat is when a kitten meows to its mother.

A kitten may meow to its owner because it is sick, lonely, stressed, excited or wants to say hello. A kitten may also be more inclined toward vocalization depending on its breed. For example, some breeds of cats, like the Siamese, are more characteristically vocal. Kittens can also be behaviorally conditioned to meow more frequently depending on the actions of their owners. An owner reinforces a kitten's meowing with treats, toys or attention. This causes the animal to meow more frequently to get what it wants.

The length, tone and pitch of a kitten's meow can also express the animal's desires. A short meow is a kitten's way of greeting its owner, while multiple meows express excitement. A mid-pitch meow is a plea for food or attention, while a long, drawn-out meow is a demand for something. A long, low-pitched meow is a complaint, while a long, high-pitched meow is used to express anger or pain. Owners should never ignore or punish a kitten for meowing by using physical force or spraying it with water. This causes kittens to distrust their owners. Veterinarian care may be needed if a kitten meows for no particular reason.