Does your cat wake you up in the middle of the night with loud and excessive meowing or crying? Or do they seem to meow and yowl all day, every day, no matter how much food and water is in their bowl? Sometimes our kitties just do silly thing out of sheer feline feistiness. And it often is shrugged off as natural cat behavior, but other times there can something more serious involved.`
Excessive vocalization can be caused by:
- Pain & Illness
- Cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS)
- Anxiety (car rides, changes in the home, etc)
- Territorial marking
- Non-spayed or neutered mating
- Attention-seeking behaviors
Some breeds, such as Siamese and other Oriental cats are more known to be more vocal. However, for most cats, they are meowing for a reason. In fact, in nature cats do not naturally meow to one another they way they do to humans. It’s a learned behavior from domestication and is primarily only used to communicate with us.
Meowing or yowling can be due to pains caused by injury or illness. There are many diseases that can cause cats to feel pain and excessive hunger or thirst. This in turn makes them vocalize that they are in need. Also, they may be suffering from Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) which often causes those terrible late night meows.
Your cat may also be experiencing anxiety. It could be from adding a new family member (human or pet), moving or furniture rearrangement, or other changes in or around the home. If your cat is intact, then the yowling may be due to mating behaviors. And of course, your cat could always just be seeking attention.
How to stop the cat meowing and yowling
The most important thing you can do is DO NOT reinforce their meows. This means with both positive or negative reinforcement. Don’t yell at them, or pick them up, or do anything to give their behavior attention. That will only cause more vocalization. Instead, reward them when they are calm and quiet. In turn they will associate being quiet with more attention and should stop meowing as much in order to get love and treats by being calm and quiet.
Make sure to talk to your vet about any concerns you have about your cat’s behavior.
Professionals will help you navigate what is normal and what is not. After all, a little bit of meowing, chattering and yowling is pretty typical cat behavior, but they shouldn’t be vocalizing in excess. When they do there is often an underlying cause that is making them feel the need to communicate more than usual.
Depending on their professional opinion your pet made need medications for anxiety or sedatives to help them through a tough time, such as a move or car rides. Your vet may also recommend a behavior specialist to help modify your cat’s yowling habits.
Have you had trouble with your cat meowing and yowling too much? We’d love to hear your story! Let us know if and how you were able to help them through the vocalization.