Cat meowing

Key takeaway

Excessive meowing in cats can be due to numerous reasons. Cats can meow a lot due to being ill, in pain, feeling lonely, or stressed. Unspayed cats can also cry when they are in heat. Determining the cause of excessive vocalization in cats can help you treat such behavior properly.

We all know that cats meow. In fact, cats can sound very cute when they meow and purr while being affectionate with you. However, your feline friend’s meowing can become concerning — and even a little irritating — when it’s excessive. A cat that meows excessively can bring about many questions for owners and caretakers. Is there something wrong with them? Are they in pain? Are they scared?

We created this blog post to help you determine why your cat is meowing so much and what you can do about it to take care of underlying issues.

Why Do Cats Meow? 

The first step in helping pet owners deal with their cat’s excessive meowing is understanding why cats meow to begin with. Cats vocalize their feelings through meowing. The way they meow can tell a lot about what they are feeling. Here’s a list of why cats meow1:

To Greet

Cats can meow to greet their owner or other human or animal companions. The ‘greet’ meow by cats is usually a short meow. Such a meow is a way for owners to tell that their cats are happy to see them. Pet owners will usually get to hear such a meow when they come back home from work.

To Ask For Something

Cats will meow when they want something. Cats meow a lot when it’s time for them to be fed or when they want their litter box to be cleaned. You might also see your cat meowing if they want to go outside. Such a type of meowing can also indicate that they want you to pet them. A cat that wants something will tend to meow a lot, often touching their head or body to your leg in order to make you give them what they want.

To Express Fear, Stress, Or Anxiety

Fear, stress, pain, or anxiety can also lead cats to meow. Repeated meows can be a cat’s way to let you know they are under stress due to pain or because they are scared or anxious due to a person or animal in the house.

Graphic listing reasons cats meow

To Warn Others

Cats can meow to warn others not to mess with them. A cat who doesn’t want to play or feels threatened (by a person or an animal) can meow as a warning.

Yowling

Meows that are longer and more expressive are considered yowls. Excessive meowing or yowling can be indicative of your cat experiencing a medical issue. Dementia or hyperthyroidism can lead to cats yowling. Unspayed cats may yowl when in heat.

If your cat yowls a lot, it’s recommended that you contact a vet to check your pet cat for any illness or dementia and get to learn about the proper treatment regimen.

Excessive Meowing: Causes

While cats meow as part of their normal behavior, excessive meowing can indicate something more serious. Excessive meowing in cats can be due to various factors, such as1:

Illness

Excessive meowing can be your cat's way of letting you know that it's in pain or dealing with an illness. Excessive vocalizations can be due to kidney disease or hyperthyroidism. A number of illnesses can make your cat meow excessively because they are feeling hungry, thirsty, or are in pain.

 Cat meowing

Loneliness

Cats can meow a lot because they feel lonely and would like some attention. If you leave your cat alone for hours because you need to go to work, it will help if you hire a pet sitter. You can also look into keeping your cat entertained while you’re away. Cat toys can help with keeping your cat calm while you’re out.

Certain pet owners opt to have a home video camera installed to keep an eye on their cats when they aren’t at home. You might be able to find a model that allows you to communicate with your cat and calm them down while you’re away.

Aging

Cats age also. And similar to humans, aging can cause certain cognitive issues in cats as well. Older cats have a higher chance of becoming disoriented, leading them to excessively meow.

It’s common for older cats to meow during the night. A nightlight can help address such an issue. If the symptoms are severe, you can have a vet prescribe medication to help.

Stress

Stress can make cats meow a lot. Even though domestic cats are known to be curious by nature, they also don’t like changes being made to their home. Cats can feel stressed out due to the arrival of a baby or new pet. Cats can experience a lot of stress when you change apartments or move out of state. Due to specific changes being inevitable, you can try and address your cat’s stress by paying more attention to them and slowly introducing them to changes in their environment, like a new pet.

If the condition persists, you can help treat your cat’s anxiety through reliable treatment options that Dutch offers. Dutch.com is an online telemedicine service for pets that allows licensed vets to prescribe cat anxiety medication. The medication will even arrive at your doorstep.

Graphic with list of reasons cats meow excessively

Unspayed/Neutered

Not neutering your cat can lead it to yowl a lot when it’s in heat. The yowls of an unspayed female cat can last for up to a week when she’s in heat. Male cats tend to yowl when they smell a female cat in heat. It would be best if you considered spaying your cats to prevent yowling and provide other benefits.

Hunger

Cats can make it a habit to meow when they want food. It’s common for cats to meow when you walk into the kitchen because they want something to eat, too. It’s recommended that you not give them food or even a treat when they cry. Let them calm down a bit before you feed them. You can also look into buying an automatic feeder so that they have access to their food during specific and expected meal times. 

Graphic explaining what to do about excessive meowing

What To Do About Excessive Meowing

There’s a meaning behind cats meowing. If your cat is meowing excessively, you should try to decipher the reason. Do they need something? Are they unwell?

The best way to deal with excessive meowing is by contacting your vet. A professional veterinarian will help you treat excessive crying properly by prescribing a treatment plan or recommending other adjustments.

Excessive Meowing: Frequently Asked Questions

What does excessive meowing mean?

Excessive meowing or vocalization in cats can mean a lot of things. Cats only know how to communicate vocally by meowing. The way they meow is what can help you determine the cause of their behavior. Excessive meowing or yowling can be due to an underlying illness, pain, loneliness, or stress. Unspayed cats also yowl a lot. If your cat is meowing more than normal, we recommend talking to your vet.

How do I fix excessive meowing?

In order to address excessive meowing, you’ll need to consult your vet so they can rule out any underlying conditions. Before your visit, you should observe your cat and record any associated symptoms you notice. A video of their meow or yowl can be a helpful resource for your vet.

Cat being pet by owner

Final Notes

Cats have feelings, too, and they don’t hesitate to make their feelings and emotions known with a meow. While it’s normal for cats to meow, excessive meowing could indicate a greater issue.

Fortunately, Dutch.com offers a safe and reliable platform for treating your cat. Through Dutch.com, a platform that provides telemedicine for pets, you can connect with licensed veterinarians from the comfort of your home. The licensed vet will determine the best treatment plan, including medication that might be required, to help your cat live a happier life.

References

  1. Monica Tarantino, DVM. “Why Do Cats Meow?” PetMD, PetMD, 2 Apr. 2020, https://www.petmd.com/cat/behavior/why-do-cats-meow