Why Does My Cat Meow so Much?
Why Does My Cat Meow so Much?
Cats can be vocal for any number of reasons. The main reasons for cat vocalizations include:
- Illness/Pain—Hyperthyroidism is an example of an illness that leads to excessive vocalization in cats. Cats also tend to keep their pain to themselves, but if severely injured or sick, they will meow loudly and often. Keep an eye on your cat's physical condition if they suddenly begin meowing much more frequently or loudly.
- Attention-seeking or loneliness—Cats who are attached to their owners will often meow when the owners leave, or even when they go to sleep! Ensure that you spend enough time playing with your cat and engaging him or her in play so that the cat feels satisfied. Another option is to get an additional cat to keep the cat company!
- Hunger or thirst—Cats tend to meow when hungry and ready for feeding time, and some will meow at the food that their owners enjoy! Ensure that your cat's water supply is fresh and replenished regularly and that he or she is eating at regular times to reduce this behavior.
- Greetings—Many cats meow to greet their owners and to encourage the human to pet them! This should not last long beyond the initial few minutes after the owner returns home; it's a sign of love!
- The cat is in heat—A cat in heat will vocalize excessively. The best way to prevent this is to spay or neuter your feline!
- Anxiety—Anxious cats tend to go one of two ways: either the cat will silently hide or they will meow and cry constantly. This is especially common after the introduction of a new cat to the household, a visit to the vet, and/or a move to a new home.
- Breed—Siamese cats are known to do the most meowing of all cat breeds.
Can I Reduce Meowing?
After determining that the cat is not meowing due to illness, injury, or any other physical or medical condition, it is possible to address the problem of meowing constantly in a few ways.
First, ensure that the cat isn't trying to signal any kind of problem to you. For instance, a cat who has run out of water or who cannot access the litter box may meow in order to indicate that they have a need that is not being met.
If the behavior is more constant, check to see if it is reinforced in any way. For instance, many kittens and cats will meow until their owner gives them attention or pets them. However, if they do receive that attention after meowing, they learn that meowing constantly will get them what they want. In this case, it is best to reward the cat for their quiet times, by petting them and giving them attention after a period of silence.
Similarly, a cat may cry in order to get you to open a door. If you open the door (even just some of the time), the cat will learn to associate meowing with getting the door opened. Instead, try to provide the rewards that the cat is looking for (petting, open doors, or treats) when they are not meowing! It can take some time, but this type of behavior modification does work well.
Another tool for reducing meowing is the Feliway Diffuser. This is a product that has been shown to work well for calming cats by using pheromones that mimic their own. This works especially well for cats who are meowing due to anxiety.
A Helpful Product for Calming Noisy Cats
I have had a great experience with Feliway as a calming tool for my cats. It has reduced their anxiety and aggression, assisted during cat introductions, and helped calm my very vocal and always meowing kitten!
Always do your best to ensure that the meowing doesn't have a medical cause and that your cat has enough food and water. Once these major issues are ruled out, it is easier to discern the cause of constant meowing!