It's not uncommon for cats to meow a lot. Some breeds, such as the Siamese and the Cornish Rex, are known for their frequent vocalizations. However, it can be worrisome if a usually quiet cat starts meowing frequently. If your cat has started meowing more than usual, you may wonder why the behavior started and what you can do about it. Here you will find answers to these questions.
Reasons Why Cats Meow
To determine why your cat may be meowing more than usual, you will first want to learn the primary reasons why cats meow in the first place. You are likely familiar with your cat meowing for food, but there are many other reasons why cats may meow. They may meow as a greeting, or because they want attention. Sometimes they will also do it if stuck somewhere or hurt, which is why it is important to check on your cat if they start meowing out of the blue.
Often, excessive meowing can be a sign of a health condition. Some health conditions associated with frequent meowing include kidney failure, thyroid issues, and feline hyperesthesia syndrome. Stress can also cause a cat to start vocalizing more. Cats may get stressed from factors such as a new pet in the house, death of a beloved owner, or moving to a new home.
Finally, some cats may vocalize more as they age. This is often due to confusion or difficulty performing activities that were once easy for them. Some elderly cats develop cognitive dysfunction, a condition affecting over 80 percent of cats in the 16-20 year age range. One key symptom of this condition is nocturnal vocalization.
What You Can Do About Frequent Meowing
If your cat has gotten more vocal recently, the best thing you can do is to take them to the vet. Vet clinics like Lamb's Gap Animal Hospital can help determine whether your cat's meowing may be due to a medical or stress-related issue. If you are able to rule out medical causes for your cat's behavior, you may follow these tips if you wish to change their behavior:
- Stick to a schedule: If your cat meows out of stress or a need for attention, creating a consistent feeding and playtime schedule may help to curb their meowing. If your cat mostly meows for food, feeding them at a consistent time each day should lessen the behavior outside of their designated feeding time. Playing with your cat daily will allow them to release pent-up energy and prevent them from meowing out of boredom.
- Reward your cat for being quiet: If you pay more attention to your cat when they vocalize, this will just encourage your cat to vocalize more. So to discourage this behavior, be sure to not "give in" to your cat when they meow a lot. Instead, reward them only once they have stopped meowing.