Complaining Cat or Just Saying “Hi?” Understanding Why Cats Meow

There may be times when it seems like your cat is complaining. He or she meows incessantly and you find yourself asking, “What’s wrong? What are you trying to tell me?”

Meowing is how cats communicate with people. Excessive meowing doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem or that your cat is trying to sound a complaint. On the other hand, it could mean there is something serious going on. If your cat is a little more vocal than usual, the first step is to determine the cause. Once you figure this out, you can focus on how to get your cat to quiet down.

What is my cat meowing about?

There are many reasons why your cat may be vocalizing more often than usual. Below are some possible explanations and what you can do to remedy the situation.

Medical Attention Meowing

Certain diseases or conditions can cause your cat to meow too much. Could your cat be in pain? Is there something going on that you can’t see? You know your cat’s normal needs better than anyone else. But if you’ve ruled out all the typical reasons for extra meowing, a trip to the veterinarian for an examination can help determine if the cause is a medical one.

Me-Time Meowing

Some cats want to play, be petted, groomed or talked to, and they may complain if they aren’t getting the attention they want. Simply spending more time with your cat, or engaging in different types of play can often keep this type of meowing at bay.

Mealtime Meowing

Ever notice that your cat starts meowing when it’s time to be fed? At mealtime, try feeding your cat when it’s not meowing so there is no direct correlation.

Play-with-Me Meowing

Many people think that cats are loners and on the antisocial side. But if your cat spends the day alone in the house, try leaving out toys for stimulation or solo play, or have someone come in during the day to give your cat some attention.

Adjustment Meowing

If things are different around your house—there’s a new pet/baby, you’ve recently moved, the kids went back to school or some other substantial change has taken place, your cat may have anxiety about it. Again, spending some extra time with your cat may help ease the adjustment and reduce stress.

Maturity Meowing

Like people, when cats age, some suffer from a decline in cognitive function. Your veterinarian can prescribe medications that may help with this condition and the behaviors associated with it.

Mating-Cycle Meowing

If your cat has yet to be spayed or neutered, there will be a lot more meowing going on when a female is in heat and when the male senses this. A spay/neuter will help eliminate this sometimes annoying problem on both sides.

Beyond these scenarios, some cats are merely saying hello when they meow, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. They’re simply greeting you, and who wouldn’t want to hear their melodic voices anyway?

However, if you have any concerns about your cat’s meowing, we encourage you to err on the side of caution. Visit your neighborhood Banfield and talk with your veterinarian to discuss any potential medical issues and get advice on correcting unwanted behaviors in your pet.