Cats and Excessive Meowing

Open discussion about pets: training tips, stories, etc.

Moderators: windsong, cj-, BlueGobi, Moderators, Frame

User avatar
dandelion
Posts: 1393
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:57 pm
Contact:

Cats and Excessive Meowing

Postby dandelion » Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:08 pm

Cats and Excessive Meowing

The cat’s meow is her way of communicating with people. Cats meow for many reasons—to say hello, to ask for things, and to tell us when something’s wrong. Meowing is an interesting vocalization in that adult cats don’t actually meow at each other, just at people. Kittens meow to let their mother know they’re cold or hungry, but once they get a bit older, cats no longer meow to other cats. But they continue to meow to people throughout their lives, probably because meowing gets people to do what they want. Cats also yowl—a sound similar to the meow but more drawn out and melodic. Unlike meowing, adult cats do yowl at one another, specifically during breeding season.

When does meowing become excessive? That’s a tough call to make, as it’s really a personal issue. All cats are going to meow to some extent—this is normal communication behavior. But some cats meow incessantly and drive their pet parents crazy! Bear in mind that some breeds of cats, notably the Siamese, are prone to excessive meowing and yowling.

Why Cats Meow
These are the most common reasons why cats meow:

To greet people. Your cat can be expected to meow in greeting when you come home, when she meets up with you in the house or yard, and when you speak to her.

To solicit attention. Cats enjoy social contact with people, and some will be quite vocal in their requests for attention. The cat may want to be stroked, played with or simply talked to. Cats who are left alone for long periods of time each day may be more likely to meow for attention.

To ask for food. Most cats like to eat, and they can be quite demanding around mealtimes. Some cats learn to meow whenever anyone enters the kitchen, just in case food might be forthcoming. Others meow to wake you up to serve them breakfast. Cats also learn to beg for human food by meowing.

To ask to be let in or out. Meowing is the cat’s primary way to let you know what she wants. If she wants to go outside, she’ll likely learn to meow at the door. Likewise, if she’s outdoors and wants in, she’ll meow to get you to let her back inside. If you’re trying to transition a cat from being indoor-outdoor to living exclusively indoors, you may be in for a period of incessant meowing at doors and windows. This is a difficult change for a cat to make, and it will very likely take weeks or even months for the meowing to stop.

Elderly cats suffering from mental confusion, or cognitive dysfunction, may meow if they become disoriented—a frequent symptom of this feline version of Alzheimer’s Disease.

To find a mate. Reproductively intact cats are more likely to yowl. Females yowl to advertise their receptivity to males, and males yowl to gain access to females

Take Your Cat to the Veterinarian

A cat who meows a lot should be checked thoroughly by a veterinarian to ensure a medical condition is not the cause of the cat’s distress. Numerous diseases can cause cats to feel unusually hungry, thirsty, restless or irritable—any of which is likely to prompt meowing. Even if your cat has a history of meowing for food, you should still have her checked by your veterinarian. As cats age, they’re prone to developing an overactive thyroid and kidney disease, and either one may result in excessive meowing.

Helping Your Cat Be Less Vocal
Before you try to curb your cat’s excessive vocalizing, you need to determine its cause. Look at the circumstances around her meowing and make note of what seems to get her to stop. It may help to keep a log book so you can look for any patterns in when she becomes especially vocal . Once you identify when she’s likely to meow excessively, try these suggestions to help her control her vocalizations:

>> If your cat meows to say hello, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to do much to change things—you have an especially vocal cat who is telling you how glad she is to see you!

>>If your cat is meowing for attention, teach her that you’ll only pay attention to her when she’s quiet. Resist the urge to shout at her or give her any form of attention, even angry attention. Instead, be patient and wait for a brief moment of silence. Immediately give her the attention she craves. If she starts to meow again, walk away, and only return to her when she’s quiet. If you’re consistent, she will catch on.

>>If you believe your cat cries out of loneliness because you spend too much time out of the house, consider having a pet sitter come partway through the day to visit and play with her. Please see our article Enriching Your Cat’s Life for other ideas to keep your cat entertained while you’re away.

>>If your cat meows at you for food, stop feeding her when she cries! Feed her at prescribed times so she learns that it’s futile to ask for food at other times. If that doesn’t work, buy an automatic feeder that you can schedule to open at specific times. At least then she’s more likely to meow at the feeder than at you! This is especially useful if your cat wakes you up in the morning to be fed—she’ll switch from bothering you to sitting and watching the feeder, waiting for it to open.

>>If you’ve recently placed your cat on a diet, consult with your veterinarian about high-fiber diet foods or supplements that can help your cat feel satisfied with her reduced intake.

>>If your cat isn’t prone to gaining weight, consider leaving dry food out for her all the time so she never has to feel hungry. If you feed a high-fiber diet food, your cat can feel full without taking in too many calories. Check with your veterinarian before trying this.

>>If your cat is meowing to get you to let her inside/outside, consider installing a cat door so you don’t have to serve as her butler. The ASPCA recommends that cats be kept exclusively indoors to protect them from danger and disease. If you have a cat who’s accustomed to going outside and you want to keep her in, she’s likely to go through a period of meowing at doors and windows. There’s no easy way to get through this, but as long as she never gets outside again, she will eventually adjust to her life indoors and stop meowing so much. Please read our article on Enriching Your Cat’s Life so you can keep her happy by enriching her indoor world. Another option is to build an outdoor cat enclosure so she can spend time outside but remain safe. Our article, Preventing Your Cat from Getting Outside, has more information on this subject.

>>If your female cat isn’t spayed and she periodically meows excessively, she may be in heat at those times. Female cats in heat typically become increasingly affectionate, rub against you more, purr, roll around on the floor--and meow a lot. This lasts 4 to10 days. An unspayed female cat who isn’t bred by (doesn’t have sex with) a male cat will continue to come into heat every 18 to 24 days throughout the breeding season (roughly February through September in the Northern Hemisphere). Indoor cats may continue to come into heat all year round. The best way to reduce excessive meowing caused by the heat cycle is to have your cat spayed.

>>If your male cat isn’t neutered and he periodically meows excessively, he may be hearing or smelling a female cat in heat. He is likely to pace and meow relentlessly throughout the time the female stays in heat. Unless you can completely prevent him from being able to detect females in heat, the best way to reduce excessive meowing in an intact male cat is to have him neutered.

>>If your cat is elderly and has just started meowing excessively, make sure to have her evaluated by your veterinarian for medical conditions, sensory deficits and cognitive dysfunction. Medication may alleviate her discomfort.

What NOT to Do

Do not ignore your cat when she meows. The one exception is if you know for certain that she’s meowing to get you to do something she wants. In every other instance, it’s safest to assume that something’s wrong—she may not have access to her litter box, or her water bowl may be empty, or she may be locked in a closet. Always make sure that her needs are met before assuming that she’s just being demanding by meowing at you.

Do not scold or hit your cat for meowing too much. While these punishments may send her scurrying at first, they are unlikely to have a lasting effect on her meowing behavior. They may, however, cause her to become fearful of you

Copyright ©2009, WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved
Last edited by dandelion on Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
In the hopes of reaching the moon, men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet.
- Albert Schweitzer

aim
Posts: 974
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 4:40 pm
Location: USA

Postby aim » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:48 pm

Hey Dandy - that was pretty amazing! But I have a dog!! Have you got any advice about why dogs pull? How about why they pee on your carpet??? ;-)
Please feel free to come by and view my blog. Amy :-) -> Depression Blogs / Anxiety Blogs / Depression Chat Rooms / Anxiety Chat Rooms

User avatar
dandelion
Posts: 1393
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:57 pm
Contact:

Postby dandelion » Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:30 pm

((((((((((((( aim ))))))))))))))))

hehe..i will try and look it for you :)

dandelion
In the hopes of reaching the moon, men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet.

- Albert Schweitzer

User avatar
Warmsoul/Jeanie13
Posts: 29196
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:46 pm
Contact:

Postby Warmsoul/Jeanie13 » Wed Dec 16, 2009 3:16 pm

((((((((((((((((((((( Dande ))))))))))))))))))))

My problem with Ebony is, he doesn't meow! Hasn't for a long time, so what's with that?

LOL

Warmie
“If we admit our depression openly and freely, those around us get from it an experience of freedom rather than the depression itself.”
--- Dr. Rollo May
Sunshine, smiles and love.

Depression Forums | Depression Chat Rooms | Depression Blogs

http://www.depression-understood.org/

User avatar
crystalgaze
Posts: 2511
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:11 pm
Location: USA

Postby crystalgaze » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:38 am

You too Warmie..... The gray kitty hasn't meowed at all.... It's amazing....
~Crystal

I'm not exactly digging myself out of the hole but creating a tunnel to get out another way. Throwing dirt from one end of the pit to the other isn't going to get me anywhere. Instead, I'll create my own path.

User avatar
Warmsoul/Jeanie13
Posts: 29196
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:46 pm
Contact:

Postby Warmsoul/Jeanie13 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:15 pm

((((((((((( crystal )))))))))))))))

Vet said that apparently I do all needed for Ebony, he is happy so he doesn't see the need to meow. Except when he gets his tail stepped on, oh dear, LOL.

Warmie
“If we admit our depression openly and freely, those around us get from it an experience of freedom rather than the depression itself.”

--- Dr. Rollo May

Sunshine, smiles and love.



Depression Forums | Depression Chat Rooms | Depression Blogs



http://www.depression-understood.org/

User avatar
Djkatscan
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:41 am

Postby Djkatscan » Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:50 am

Really? My cat hardley meows so i hope that means that he is so happy that he doesnt need to meow. I like that thought!

User avatar
Warmsoul/Jeanie13
Posts: 29196
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:46 pm
Contact:

Postby Warmsoul/Jeanie13 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:16 am

(((((((((((( Djkatscan )))))))))))))))

I was concerned as well, but after the visit with the Vet, I am very pleased. I got him when he was only 8 days old, and talk about meowing. Poor little guy, no mother cat, totally confused, but over time I am his source and he is a very content and happy cat.

Goes to show that love can be given and received in all ways.

Warmie
“If we admit our depression openly and freely, those around us get from it an experience of freedom rather than the depression itself.”

--- Dr. Rollo May

Sunshine, smiles and love.



Depression Forums | Depression Chat Rooms | Depression Blogs



http://www.depression-understood.org/

khalid

Postby khalid » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:21 pm

Thanks

User avatar
juice
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:00 am
Location: Oxford

Postby juice » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:29 pm

Mine didn't meow at all when I first got him from rescue. He does now, and it sounds like he's crying. He does that when he doesn't know where I am, but he's OK if he actually watches me drive away in my car. It's actually rather endearing and I suppose it shows he likes me.
. The measure of mental health is the disposition to find good everywhere. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Apple2
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:19 pm

Postby Apple2 » Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:07 pm

Great article. Some of that I did not know.

madjon
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:04 am
Location: east yorkshire

Postby madjon » Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:28 pm

thats a great bit of info. Hi one of my cats meows constantly while shes being fussed, think its a family thing, her mother is the same, and her daughter who lives with my mother is the same. they have been like that since birth so i dont think theres anything to worry about.
if you've never done nowt wrong to me your ok


Return to “Pets”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests