Run the Jewels, as part of the original album release, offered a series of absurd "deluxe releases" for large sums of money, parodying indulgent "stretch goals" offered on crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter. One of the less expensive of these was the group creating a remix album using cat sounds; a group of fans launched an online campaign to raise the money to pay the group the requested $40,000 to do this. The campaign in fact raised over $60,000, which Run the Jewels announced that the duo would be donating to charity. Several other record producers announced that they would be contributing to the remixes, including Just Blaze, Prince Paul, The Alchemist, Geoff Barrow, Dan the Automator and Boots, among others.
The album was released for free on September 25, 2015, while the pre-order for the limited-edition 2xLP was made available on the same day.
Meow the Jewels received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 74, based on six reviews. Neil Z. Yeung of AllMusic said, "Whereas the original Run the Jewels 2 was a perfect soundtrack for a night of mayhem, Meow the Jewels is the comedown after all that rabble-rousing." Randall Roberts of Los Angeles Times said, "Meow the Jewels deliver emotional depth befitting nature's most psychologically elusive creature." Adam Finley of PopMatters said, "Most of the internet's ideas end up in a wet mess on the kitchen floor, but this one, this one sticks." Ryan Dombal of Pitchfork jokingly awarded the album a cat emoji, in oppose to the publication's usual rating out of 10, saying "while some tracks unwisely try to replicate the source material's dystopian energy, the best moments come when remixers go blissfully off-script." Steve "Flash" Juon of RapReviews.com said, "The amount of enjoyment you take out of this is undoubtedly directly proportional to the amount of money you put into Meow the Jewels."