Why Is My Cat Meowing Loudly in Mishawaka, IN
Cats meow for a few reasons, but it usually isn’t because of other felines. Normally, the only time cats meow to each other is when a mother and her small kittens communicate. That’s not to say cats never meow or trill with each other. Sometimes they do, but meowing is mostly used with people. And it’s often used to get something they want. This article will explore feline communication and what you need to know to take the best care of your cat.
The Language Of Cats
Felines use verbal language for people.
Cats communicate with each other through body language using their ears and tail to express mood. When angered they may raise their hair and arch their back to appear bigger. They also use different sounds which might include hissing, yowling, growling, snarling or spitting. Scents are also used. Cats communicate through pheromones by rubbing on people or objects and sometimes urine to mark their territories and remind other cats that a person or object belongs to them.
And when it comes to “talking” with people, cats often aren’t shy about making their wishes known. The only problem is that sometimes we humans aren’t sure what our felines are trying to tell us. Some cat breeds, like the Siamese, Sphynx, and Peterbald, one of the most vocal cats known, are just natural talkers. Additionally, some cats are very social and enjoy interaction with their people. They will meow just because they like their human companions. But if your cat isn’t normally a loud chatter, and she suddenly begins meowing loudly and it isn’t apparent why, you need to investigate and get to the bottom of her vocalizations.
If your normal routines and environment (you haven’t moved or altered your residence) haven’t changed, your cat’s loud meows could indicate illness. Never ignore a change in your cat’s behavior. Have your cat examined by your veterinarian to make sure everything is okay physically. Loud meowing can be a cry for help when your cat is in trouble.
There are many health problems that can cause a cat to meow loudly.
- Urinary tract blockage. If your cat meows loudly in the litterbox and appears to strain to urinate, this could be due to a urinary tract blockage. This is always an emergency as a blockage can quickly become fatal. Take your cat to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
- Hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid. The thyroid gland helps regulate important body functions. This is a common feline disorder in cats over ten years old. In hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland is enlarged and it produces too much thyroid hormone.
Hyperthyroidism is manageable with veterinary care. But if left untreated, it can develop complications including heart disease, raised blood pressure, kidney failure, sudden blindness, and eventually becomes fatal.
Cats with hyperthyroidism often have a big appetite and thirst, but remain skinny. And they yowl at night.
- Kidney disease. Aging increases the likelihood of kidney disease developing in cats. More than half the cats past 15 years old are affected by this devastating disease. If your cat is 7 or older, she could have kidney issues.
- Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS). Cats older than 10 can develop cognitive dysfunction which is essentially feline Alzheimer’s. They may meow loudly or excessively.
- Diminishing vision. Aging cats can also meow loudly from associated problems with focusing and disorientation.
- Deafness. Deaf cats don’t know how loud they meow and have no way of controlling it.
- Anxiety/Stress. Meowing loudly at night can be a sign of anxiety. Though a cat might also meow at night because she wants attention. Stress can come from a lack of essentials…food, water, toys, a window to look out, a cat tree, hiding places, a clean litterbox.
Stress can come from many places, a new family member, a new pet, moving to a new home or changes to the home, and the illness or loss of a loved companion…human or animal.
- Walking Around Meowing. A cat that doesn’t feel well may wonder around meowing, seeking relief. Any number of health issues could cause a cat to roam around meowing.
Your Cat is Lonely and Bored
There are known non-health reasons for loud meowing too.
- Loneliness. If your cat doesn’t have a companion and spends many hours alone. She may be happy and excited to see you when you come home and will greet you vocally, asking for attention. If your cat is alone all day, a companion might help relieve their need for attention while you are away.
A companion wouldn’t necessarily have to be another cat. Cats are, after all, territorial. But many cats maintain good relationships with other cats, and smaller, well-tempered dogs, such as a Beagle, Dachshund, or Shih Tzu, for example. Rodents, birds, and reptiles are not good choices and should be avoided for obvious reasons. You don’t want a pet that will trigger your cat’s hunting instincts and result in a disaster, or a bigger, aggressive pet that will keep your cat in a state of stress. Additionally, all introductions with a new pet should be supervised and handled carefully for the well-being of both animals.
- Boredom. Like loneliness, boredom can effect a cat that’s left alone all day. Make sure they have toys to play with and stimulate their mind. Access to a window will allow them to see passersby, birds, and squirrels. Position a cat tree where she can have a view of the outside world to help alleviate her boredom. There are even videos made especially to entertain cats that you could use for TV entertainment.
- Stimuli/Excited. Cats are natural predators and when they see prey, such as a bird or squirrel from a window, it triggers the hunter in them. Chirping or trilling with excitement, they express their desire to follow their natural need to give chase. They may also meow when engaged in play with their human companions. Cats love feather wands and some love to play fetch with toys. Some cats will carry toys like prey, meowing as if announcing their “kill.” Other times, cats may race around in apparent joy, mowing to their people with excitement. Playtime is important for your cat. Find some toys you both love and let your cat unleash her urge to jump and play. Playtime has another benefit. When cats tire themselves out from play, they will sleep more soundly. If your cat tends to meow loudly at night to seek attention, engaging in play before bedtime might help your cat sleep instead of wandering around meowing.
- Hunger/Thirst. If your cat is hungry, in need of hydration, or her food is late, she may meow to try to get you to fill her dishes. She may also come running if she hears “food sounds”, bowls being set down, food bag being handled, a can being opened. These are all triggers to set your cat running for their feeding area, meowing in eagerness. If you don’t want your cat begging for food, wait until she stops meowing. Otherwise, if you keep feeding on her demand, your cat will keep meowing when she wants food. Fresh, clean water should always be available for your cat. If her water dish is dry, she may meow loudly for you to fill it.
- Wanting A Door Opened. Cats will sometimes meow loudly because they want to go outside. And then meow to come back inside. Likewise, if a cat wants in a room with a closed door, they may meow and possibly scratch at the door to get entry.
- Angry/Scared. When cats are frightened or angry they will meow loudly and the meows may be more intense. Try to find what is upsetting your cat and mitigate the situation if at all possible.
- Heat. Females will call loudly when they come into heat and are seeking a mate. Males will respond to the female with loud yowls. These calls can be very loud and annoying in unaltered cats. Females can reach sexual maturity at six months old. It’s wise to spay and neuter cats before they have a chance to produce offspring. In addition, altered felines lead healthier and more content lives.
These are many reasons why cats may meow loudly. Sometimes, especially if you know your cat well, it’s easy to know what they want. Some cats will have different meows to indicate a desire for certain things. When you know what you cat wants, her meows can easily be decoded.
It’s the meows that aren’t familiar that shouldn’t be ignored. Any out of the ordinary behavior of your cat should never be ignored. Even thought our feline friends can’t speak to us in our own language, they can let us know something is wrong. Listening to what your cat is trying to tell you could be vitally important to her well-being and survival.
Never assume everything is fine if your cat is crying loudly and you don’t know why. Take her to the veterinarian as soon as possible and have a thorough exam done. Your cat depends on you to give her the care she needs.