I’ve had my cats for almost two years now, and as they’ve gotten older, they’ve developed some less than charming habits. For example, my girl cat, Vespa, that’s a cute little gray tabby, has become a meower.
When it started, it was not a big deal at all. She’d only meow when she was in the bathroom with you, and she wanted you to fill a glass of water for her. This little communication was actually pretty adorable at first, and we praised her for figuring out how to ask for what she wanted. However, that may have been a bad idea because then she started meowing all… the… time.
And the problem now is that we have no idea what she wants, if in fact she wants anything. She meows to wake us up in the morning. We figure she must just be hungry, so we feed her, but the meowing continues. She meows at us while we watch TV, but when we come over to pet her, she walks away. Sometimes she’ll just spend hours sitting in the hallway meowing sadly at the wall.
When we give her attention, it stops for a while but then continues once she realizes we’ve moved onto something else. I came to the conclusion that she’s just conditioned now to meow to get our attention, even if she doesn’t really know what she wants. However, figuring that out didn’t make the meowing stop!
Thankfully, Kristine Lacoste, managing editor of Pet Adviser, had some great insight into, and advice on, the meowing matter.
Why your cat is meowing at you
Cats meow for a number of reasons, but if you’re finding your cat’s meowing has become excessive, here are some possible reasons you should consider.
1. I want attention!
Your cat may be bored, want to play or just want some love.
What to do: Don’t jump to attend to him/her immediately. Wait till the meowing subsides, then administer attention. Kristine says, “Keep rewarding the quiet behavior and ignoring the constant meowing. Rewarding your cat for his calmness can help curb the noises, but it might still be a long process.”
*We tried this one, and it’s starting to work after two weeks of being super-strict about it.
2. I’m hungry!
Both my cats typically start meowing when it gets close to meal time, especially if I’m in the kitchen.
What to do: Make sure there’s always a little something for them to nibble on between meals, like dry food, and also make sure they always have fresh water.
3. I’m stressed!
Changes to the household, like a new animal or even a new piece of furniture, can upset your cat. It’s literally meowing to say, “I don’t like this!”
What to do: Be extra sensitive to them during this time, and give them a little more attention so they know everything will be all right.
4. What up?
Cats like to greet their owners on occasion. If you miss it, or ignore it, they’ll keep it up until you respond.
What to do: Can’t really do much about this, but if you notice an increase in greeting meowing, there may be something else wrong, so call you vet.
5. I’m sick!
Meowing is sometimes a sign of distress from illness or injury.
What to do: If you notice behavior changes, like they’re suddenly more low-key than usual, a vet trip might be in order.
6. I’m old and confused!
Older cats can get meowy out of frustration or confusion, just like older humans.
What to do: Most likely it’s just a sign of an aging cat, but if the meowing is a new development, it’s always best to get it checked out by a vet.
Have you ever dealt with a cat that meowed too much? What did you do?