Cat Won’t Stop Meowing? Tips to Deal With Excessive Meowing and Yowling
1 Sept 2023.
Your cat’s meow is how they communicate with you. And there can be many reasons why your kitty meows—they could be hungry, want attention, or simply like to chat. However, sometimes excessive meowing can be an indicator of something more serious. But how do you know if Mr Whiskers’ meowing has become excessive? And what can you do about it? Below, Cat in a Flat explains excessive meowing and tips on what to do when it happens.
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Why does my cat meow?
You may be surprised to learn that adult felines don’t typically talk to each other with meows. Meowing is how cats communicate with humans! Here are a few common reasons why felines meow:
- As a greeting. If you’ve noticed your cat meows when you come home, that’s just their way of saying hello!
- Attention-seeking. Contrary to popular belief, our furry friends do enjoy social contact with people—particularly with their humans. A feline might meow if they’d like cuddles, playtime, or simply want your attention.
- Because they’re hungry. Felines can get pretty demanding around mealtime. If your cat meows when you feed them, it just means they’re ready for snacks.
- They want in or out. If you have a kitty that spends time outdoors, they may meow to tell you to let them out or back in. It’s a good idea to invest in a cat flap (and train your cat to use it) so you don’t have to keep opening and closing the door for Mr Whiskers!
- When seeking a mate. Felines can get very vocal when in heat. This is why it’s safer and healthier if you spay or neuter your cat.
- Mourning the death of another pet. Excessive meowing can be a sign of grieving. If you’ve had another kitty pass away recently, your feline may simply be confused about what happened to them. Be sure to read up on how to help your kitty deal with the loss of another pet.
- A symptom of ageing. If you have a more senior kitty, excessive meowing could just be a symptom of ageing. Some senior felines may experience a decline in mental abilities, which can in turn lead to disorientation. They may express their confusion with more vocalisation than usual—especially at night.
How do I know what’s excessive meowing?
How can you tell the difference between normal meowing and excessive meowing? Your cat’s personality and breed will determine how much they normally meow. Excessive meowing will mean different things to different paw parents, and only you can tell if your feline is meowing more than normal. If you notice your cat meowing for no visible reason, their meows start to disrupt your daily life, or you are feeling distressed by it, then it probably is excessive meowing.
Let’s say Mr Whiskers tends to meow around mealtime, or when they want to play with you. This is normal meowing. However, if your kitty suddenly starts meowing in the middle of the night or at random times of the day, then it probably is excessive meowing. In this case, you should be concerned.
How to deal with your cat’s excessive meowing
DO: Take your cat to the vet. Excessive meowing could be a sign that your cat is ill or in pain. Your veterinarian can do a thorough check-up to make sure nothing is wrong. If your kitty is healthy, your vet might even be able to offer tips on what else could be causing the excessive meowing.
DON’T: You should never ignore your feline’s excessive meowing. Obviously, you don’t want to reward your cat if they’re just using excessive meowing to get attention. But this doesn’t mean you should ignore the problem. Always check first to make sure there isn’t something seriously wrong.
DO: Make sure Mr Whiskers has enough stimulation. Excessive meowing may point to a bored cat. Ensure your home offers enough stimulation for your furry friend and make sure to take time to play with your cat every day. If you spend a lot of hours outside the home, you may consider hiring a sitter for at-home cat care. A cat sitter can help alleviate your kitty’s boredom by popping in daily to play and spend time with them.
DON’T: Don’t leave your furry friend home alone for hours at a time. Cats are actually very social and a lack of stimulation and too many hours alone can have very negative effectives on your kitty’s emotional and physical well-being.
DO: Teach your cat that meowing doesn’t equal attention. If your kitty is constantly meowing for attention, it is possible to train them to tone it down. Simply avoid responding when your cat meows excessively, then reward them with cuddles or treats during moments of silence. Immediately stop if they start meowing again.
DON’T: Never scold or punish your cat for excessive meowing. Felines don’t take punishment well. To cats, any type of verbal interaction equals attention. And punishing your cat will only make them scared or wary of you.
DO: Feed your cat on a schedule. Every paw parent knows that felines can be dramatic about food. To curb excessive meowing, make sure to feed your cat on a schedule. Our furry friends love routine, and it may help curb excessive meowing if your kitty knows they’ll always be fed around the same time each day.
DON’T: Do not reward excessive meowing with food or treats! Stop feeding your kitty when they cry, and stick to a feeding schedule. Once Mr Whiskers figures out that’s it’s futile to meow for food outside their designated feeding schedule, they’ll stop doing it.
What should I do if my cat STILL meows excessively?
If your fur friend has a clean bill of health from the veterinarian, plenty of daily stimulation, and a good feeding schedule, but is still meowing a lot, you may need to seek outside help. A professional animal behaviourist can help identify what’s causing the excessive meowing and develop a customised plan for you and your feline. If you find you’re struggling to curb the issue on your own, this is a good option to consider!
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- cat meows
- excessive meowing
- normal meowing