My Cat Won’t Stop Meowing! What is he trying to say to me?
Instructions on how to get a cat to stop meowing.
Here’s the thing about cats; some of them meow. Actually, most (but not all) of them meow and sometimes they can talk a lot! I’ve always lived with cats and I like it when my cat meows. I know that s/he is talking to me, my cat is really working on getting through to me and sometimes I can tell what s/he wants. Marigold, my female cat, has a special meow that means “I am over here and waiting for you, please come pet me. I will roll on my back so you can rub my belly.” It really means all of that. She wants me to come to see her and rub her belly in the other room. This means I have to get up! And most of the time, her meow works on me because it is so charming.
Ranger, my other cat talks a lot more than her. He wants me to know that he thinks it’s time to eat. Mostly he is wrong, cats don’t wear watches and dinner is a while from now. Ranger is thinking of dinner and he wants me to know this. Like right now, as I write this, he is reminding me that he is ready for his meal (and it’s not for an hour). Sometimes Ranger meows when I am making my dinner, this is because he is weird and likes human food. If I am steaming, sautéing or baking a vegetable he likes; he meows. So far, I haven’t found too many vegetables he doesn’t like. So he meows a lot and sometimes this meowing is very loud. But I don’t mind because he is telling me what he wants or expressing his opinion!
Cats meow when they are trying to get our attention. It’s a really great tool that the cats have. I grew up with “talky” cats and we always had conversations with them.
Did you know that cats evolved meowing to get our attention and not to get other cats’ attention?! You can learn more about that here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_communication.
Here are some ideas on how to get a cat to stop meowing:
Your cat wants your attention for something. Can you figure out what s/he wants?
1 - Does your cat want food? Your cat could be hungry like Ranger!
2 - When was the last time you paid attention to your cat? Does your cat want to be held? My friend’s cat Dennis yowls and yowls to her and what he wants is to be held close. When she picks him up, he becomes quiet.
3 - Does your cat want to go outside – I keep my cats inside for their safety (and the safety of other creatures in the environment) – but if you have a cat who goes out, this may be what s/he would like.
4 - Have you cleaned the litter box recently? Maybe it’s stinky and your cat wants you to get the message. A litter box should be cleaned at least once a day. Marigold has a warning meow about the litter box. (Yes, she does and I need to heed this warning song.)
5 - Is your cat bored? Maybe your cat needs more enrichment. Think about building shelves for your cat so your cat has vertical space to peer down from. Here are some great ideas from Best Friends: https://bestfriends.org/resources/cat-enrichment.
How to stop a cat from meowing all night: I got a referral from a vet I was working with because he had a client with an elderly cat who had some form of dementia and she was up meowing every night. No one in the household was sleeping and although cats are nocturnal, this cat was howling every night and it was blood curdling. Nothing was helping and they didn’t want to put the cat on tranquilizers. We tried Be Here Now and it worked like a charm. Now everyone in the household sleeps soundly, especially the cat.
Many of us think that a cat doesn’t require as much attention as a dog; this may be true but please remember that you are your cats’ world. Cats are creatures of place and you are part of their environment and they want to spend time with you. Consider increasing the amount of time you are spending with your cat. Are you playing with her/him? Are you brushing your cat? When Marigold sees the brush she starts singing a little song to me!
Most of all spend more time with your cat. Check out the enrichment ideas. Know you are an integral part of your cat’s world!
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