My cat keeps to himself and is a generally happy guy, but sometimes you can’t shut him up! These random noise fests have me wondering: Why does my cat meow constantly?
There are a few explanations to explore.
1. Cry for Attention
Your cat may simply want your attention. This could be for play time or just wanting your attention. Don’t respond every time your cat meows but provide attention when he becomes quiet. If he keeps singing the meow song, walk away until he calms down.
Walking away is for excessive meowing. You should still make sure to spend time with your cat every day, especially playing to provide a proper amount of exercise. Exercise and play are essential to your cat’s well-being.
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Keep rewarding the quiet behavior and ignoring the constant meowing. Rewarding your cat for being quiet can help curb the constant meowing, but it might still be a long process. What rewards should you provide? Before you reach for the cat treats, consider using your cat’s kibble instead. If you’re working with this method consistently, you don’t want to increase the junk food factor.
2. Under the Weather
Meowing is one way a cat communicates, and he may be trying to tell you that he doesn’t feel well. Cats are very good at hiding illnesses, and meowing or making noise without showing interest in the food or treat could be a warning sign of an illness that needs attention.
The constant meowing could be a sign of an overactive thyroid, kidney disease, problems urinating or many other health issues. If the meowing behavior is something your cat hasn’t done before, it’s worth a trip to the vet.
My cat usually only meows for two reasons. One is potty-related and the other is food. If his bowl is empty he will let me know. Once a day, usually in the evening, he gets canned food instead of dry food. He seems programmed to this ritual and will meow when walking around the kitchen waiting for his special meal. Check to make sure the water is full while you’re at it.
Changes in the home, people, guests, new animals or other causes could make your cat stressed. This can be another reason your cat is meowing. It could be an occasional, “I don’t like this” meow to a constant, loud, “I’m really mad about this!” Of course your cat can’t tell you this, so keep an eye out for new changes that might upset Mr. Floofy. If you are adding an animal to your household, properly socialize the new pet with your cat to avoid problems.
5. Old Age and Confusion
Cats, just like people, can become forgetful or confused in old age. Disorientation is not uncommon, and your cat may meow out of frustration or confusion. Leave a light on at night if that is a common time for the meowing or if your cat is bumping in to things. It also wouldn’t hurt to have the vet take a look in case it’s something more serious.
6. It’s That Time of the Month
Cats in heat can become very vocal all of a sudden, and they do this to attract males. Males can also become very noisy if they detect a cat in heat nearby. Do yourself and the pet overpopulation problem a favor and have your cat spayed or neutered.
Sometimes your cat may be meowing simply to say, “Hello!” Does your cat meow at specific times, like when you walk in from work or wake up in the morning? (I usually get a paw to the face, but not all cats do that) If your kitty quiets down after offering a greeting, it’s not problematic. If you notice the behavior increases substantially, something else may be the cause.
Interact with your cat and try to calm him if the vocalizations become worrisome. Please don’t yell, hit or scold your cat as this can cause fear and insecurity. A trip to the vet for a checkup can rule out sickness, and talk to your vet about methods you have tried and what more you can do to ease your kitty’s behavior.
- ASPCA: Meowing and yowling
- Sophia Yin, DVM, MS: Cat constantly meows and drives owner crazy