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Do cats cry when its hot?

Meowing Mayhem: Why Your Cat is Meowing So Much and What You Can Do About It

Is your cat meowing because she’s happy, mad, sad, or not feeling well? As with everything cat behavior and health—it’s all about context.

janelle leeson
By Janelle Leeson Reviewed by Amy Shojai, CABC Updated January 03, 2023
Reviewed by Amy Shojai, CABC
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illustration of a cat meowing, setting in a contemporary living room; why is my cat meowing so much?
Credit: Daily Paws / Grace Canaan

When a cat meows excessively, it’s natural to wonder what they’re trying to say and why your cat is meowing so much anyway. Meowing can basically be attributed to one thing: cat-to-human communication.

That’s right—meows are typically reserved for conversations with humans and less commonly used for cat-to-cat communication. «Cat-to-cat communication revolves around body language, eye contact, growling, and hissing,» says Sheena Haney, DVM with Koala Health.

If your cat is meowing excessively and it’s just killing you that you can’t crack the translation, here’s your guide for decoding the cat’s meow.

9 Reasons Why Your Cat Meows Excessively

If you’ve ever meowed back at your cat (guilty!), Haney admits what you likely already know—your cat has no idea what you’re saying. But there’s no harm in talking back to your cat. And, pro tip, scientists say talking to your cat in a baby voice can achieve the best results.

Language barriers aside, cats—much like humans—have a lot to «say» when they need or crave something. «Learning and paying attention to your cat’s vocalizations and body language is a great way to bond with [and care for] your pet,» Haney says. Some of the most common reasons for meowing include:

  1. Seeking attention: If your cat is extra chatty, it may be a sign they simply want your attention or to play. When it works, your furry friend notices and associates meowing with a positive feedback loop.
  2. Saying hello: It may not feel like an act of love when a cat is meowing excessively, but it’s one of the best ways they know how to say, «Hi! I missed you!» (And «Where have you been? You smell weird. Did you bring me a treat?»)
  3. Asking to be fed or to have another treat: While beckoning for more food is hard to deny, it’s best to stick to a feeding schedule. «Offering a snack every time she meows may pave the way for weight gain,» Haney says. It also rewards the meowing and may make it worse.
  4. Fear, anxiety, or stress: Some cats may become subdued or frozen in posture when stressed, while others become more vocal, restless, or agitated.
  5. Pain or discomfort: Anything from arthritis to an ingrown nail could put the «ow» in «meow.» Usually a sign of contentment, your cat might purr when in pain, too. So, look out for clues such as your cat excessively grooming one spot or changes in mobility.
  6. A health condition: Unfortunately, there may be a more serious cause behind your cat’s meowing. «A geriatric cat may vocalize due to confusion or disorientation. This can be the result of cognitive dysfunction, much like humans with Alzheimer’s disease,» Haney notes. She adds that an increase in meowing could also point to other conditions, such as hyperthyroidism.
  7. They’re in heat: And in response, intact male cats will meow excessively if they hear or smell an intact female cat in heat.
  8. They’re pregnant: Female cats could become more affectionate and talkative when expecting. They’ll also meow more when labor begins.
  9. Your cat could just love to chat. Cat breeds including the Siamese, Oriental, Balinese, Tonkinese, Singapura, and Japanese bobtail are known to be extra talkative, Haney says.

How to Stop Excessive Meowing

If your cat is meowing more than usual, the first thing to do is take her to the veterinarian. Let your vet know what time of day your cat seems to be meowing the most and if it’s accompanied by anything else out of the norm, like accidents outside of the litter box or changes in sleeping habits or appetite.

If your veterinarian deems your cat to be healthy, then try these tips to reduce meowing. And if these tips and the trip to the veterinarian don’t help, you can always ask for a referral to a veterinary behaviorist.

Enrich Your Cat’s Environment

Cats should be played with every day, Haney says. Ideally, your cat should enjoy at least two 10-to-15-minute interactive play sessions, allowing her to stalk, pounce, and bite her toys like the predator she is. Enrichment also includes cat-appropriate furniture and toys that she can scratch, climb, and enjoy while you’re away—like scratching posts, cat trees, and cat feeder puzzles.

Use Calming Pheromones

«Your new cat may be meowing because of the stress and excitement of moving into a new home,» Haney says. To help a new cat or any anxious kitty settle in or adapt to a new family member, use calming pheromones in addition to providing an enriching environment with plenty of places to explore and hide.

Stick to a Routine

Cats crave routine. If they know exactly when playtime will happen, when dinner will be served, and when they’ll be groomed—they’ll be less inclined to meow for these things to happen. Plus, if your cat is stressed or anxious, clear expectations for the day will help calm her nerves and make her feel secure.

If you’re introducing a new cat to your home, there’s no better time to start a routine than on day one. But, of course, it’s never too late to create a schedule for your kitty.

Spay or Neuter Your Cat

If you’re wondering why your intact female or male cat is meowing so much, chances are they’re looking for a mate. You might also spot a cat in heat meowing a lot and rubbing on everything. «This can occur as early as 6 months of age,» Haney says. «Consider spaying or neutering your cat to eliminate the drive to find a mate.»

What Not To Do

You don’t always need to give in to your cat’s request for food or attention. But Haney says not to ignore your cat’s meows, either. First, rule out medical issues or environmental needs before chalking your kitty up to a chatty Cathy. No matter the root of the meowing, Haney adds, never punish your cat for their vocalizations. After all, they’re just trying to communicate with you in the best way they know how—even if some mews and meows come out as bizarre jibber jabber.

Why do cats meow excessively? 6 possible causes – and solutions that can help you both

Find out why your cat is meowing so much (and what to do about it)

Shannon Cooper

By Shannon Cooper October 31, 2022

Cats meow (and don’t meow!) for a number of reasons. It all starts when they’re kittens — they meow to their mothers when they’re cold, hungry, or scared. As they get older, little felines learn different ways to vocalize and interact with other cats, usually by yowling or hissing. But meowing is an adult cat’s way to communicate with people. It’s nice to have a little chat with your tiny tiger, though constant meowing can be really unpleasant.

If you regularly ask yourself, “Why is my cat crying?” and “Why do cats meow so much?” you’re in the right place.

Striped orange cat meowing

Why do cats meow?

To get your cat to quiet down, you need to figure out why they’re meowing in the first place. Crying for attention will require a different response than crying in pain. Here are some of the most common reasons why cats meow continually and solutions that can help you both.


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They’re lonely and want to chat with you

The problem: If your cat spends long hours at home alone, she may be lonely. While kitties are not the most social animals, they do enjoy company from time to time. Your cat may greet you when you come home or meow when she walks into the room. Some cats like to mimic humans and join in regular conversations, too.

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The solution: Consider leaving out some toys to entertain her while you’re gone. You can get a kitty condo or interactive toys. You can also put a bird feeder outside her favorite window to attract birds and provide hours of entertainment, or play a video created just for cats on YouTube.

Grey cat looking up at the camera and meowing

They want food

The problem: Is your cat crying nonstop anytime someone enters the kitchen in particular? She’s probably begging for food, even if it’s not her usual mealtime. Some cats become very vocal when they believe it’s time to be fed.

The solution: To train your cat not to do this, don’t feed her when she meows. Instead, wait until she’s quiet to put down her bowl. Over time, she’ll learn that being quiet means being fed. You can also try using an automatic feeder, which releases a portion of food at a set time every day.

Black kitten meowing

They want attention

The problem: Some kitties meow when they want attention. Cats enjoy being around people and may start talking when they want you to play or pet them.

The solution: To prevent her constant meowing, try giving her attention only when she’s quiet. If she begins meowing again, look away or stop what you’re doing, but be careful not to ignore her. Your cat wants to spend time with you! She needs quality time every day for playing, grooming, and chatting. Schedule some pet sessions with your furry friend, whether she’s meowing at you or not.

A cat sits on the couch and meows

They have a medical problem, or they’re stressed

The problem: Numerous diseases and ailments can cause your cat to be hungry, thirsty, or in pain, resulting in excessive meowing. Kidney disease and an overactive thyroid are two such medical conditions. Stress can also cause a cat to be more vocal. If you’ve moved recently, added a new family member, or gone through any other significant life changes, your cat may be feeling stressed out, causing her to meow more.

The solution: This can be a serious problem. If you suspect your cat is in physical or emotional pain, schedule an appointment with your vet for a complete checkup. They can give you tips on calming your anxious kitty or create a comprehensive treatment plan to relieve your cat’s pain.

Cat visiting the vet office for a checkup

They’re getting old

The problem: As cats age, they can begin to experience cognitive dysfunction and mental confusion. Just like older people, they may become easily disoriented. This can cause a cat to cry more frequently, especially at night.

The solution: Sometimes a nightlight can help your cat feel more comfortable if she gets disoriented in the dark. However, this issue is best handled with a vet’s assistance. They can determine if aging is causing your kitty to meow. Additionally, they can prescribe medications to alleviate her symptoms.

A cat looks up into the camera happily

They want to breed

The problem: If your cat isn’t spayed or neutered, she will be very vocal when she wants to breed. Female cats are often louder than males. They will yowl when they’re in heat (every two to three weeks throughout breeding season), and males will yowl when they smell a female cat in heat. Both, however, can be very annoying.

The solution: Get your cat spayed or neutered to prevent this sort of meowing. Not only can this procedure help with excessive meowing, but spaying or neutering your cat can also prevent a whole host of other medical problems.

Cat meowing

While cats’ meowing can aggravate, it could be a sign that they are unhappy. Whether they simply need more attention or require medical care, you shouldn’t ignore your cat’s cries. When your cat meows, check on her to figure out the reason for the noise. Once you know why your cat is meowing, you can help solve her problem. You may need to set aside time to play with her or schedule a vet appointment. But with this guide, stopping your cat from meowing excessively will be a little easier.

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Shannon Cooper

Freelance writer

Shannon Cooper has written about everything from pet care and travel to finance and plumbing in her seven years as a writer…

The newest TikTok trend is cute, but not great for cats

Seeing a cat cry because you’re chopping onions might look funny on TikTok, but it can be harmful to your pet

Cat walks on the counter in a kitchen

If you haven’t spotted the #onioncryingchallenge yet on TikTok, you’ll be surprised to see all the little square faces pop up as its stars. That’s right, cats will tear up when an onion is cut just like us. It can be cute and funny to see small tears squeezed out of their scrunched up eyes, but don’t reach for the knife just yet. There are risks to your kitty that might make you stop and reconsider this particular trend.

We can’t lie, we’ve watched a few of these TikTok viral videos and given an «Aw» for the adorbs cats who can’t help but shed a tear. They start out with a pet parent chopping up an onion with the feline nearby watching. At first, she blinks, then squints, and finally her eyes get leaky. If you’ve ever had this root bring on the waterworks, you know exactly where she’s coming from. Commenters were quick to jump in to share a laugh or offer tips on keeping the tears at bay, while many cat moms were distraught having just learned that onion tears work on furry friends too.

Being a cat person will help you get dates: Study
You’ll be glad you have a feline or a Fido after you read this

Person wearing a wedding ring holds cat in hands

All pet parents understand that our fur babies come first, even if that sometimes means scaring away potential mates. Still what many don’t realize is that owning a pet can actually attract a person to you (and your beloved animal). It’s officially time to retire the stereotype that having a cat means saying goodbye to meeting a special human someone. In fact, recent research claims the opposite — that being a cat person may actually make you more likely to score a relationship or a good date.

It’s official: there are romantic benefits to owning a cat
Luckily for us, new research conducted by OnePoll for World’s Best Cat Litter of 1,000 cat owners (and 1,000 non-cat owners) has discovered that kitty moms and dads are actually more likely to be in a relationship and equally likely to be married. But if you’re in the dating market, there’s even better news. 72% of everyone surveyed thought owning a pet was an attractive quality, and many stated they would be more interested in dating someone who had one. To top it off, 40% claimed they had gone home with a potential date to meet a particularly cute pet at one time or another, so your little kitty might help you out in that department too.
Cat people will still scare away a few dates (good riddance)
On the flip side, we all understand there are some drawbacks to living with a pet, mainly that some won’t be able to enter into a partnership with us (and our fuzzball) no matter how much they might want to. Research participants were very cognizant of allergies in particular, with 41% saying it would pose a potential problem. That’s just slightly more than the number who mentioned a dislike of cats would not stop them from dating someone (40%). It’s important to note that hating cats mostly crossed the line, and cat people generally do not want to date those who don’t understand their kitties.
Pets are part of the family for many
Every cat person knows that our pets are important to us and equivalent to family. “Even if you’re not the type to treat your pets like they’re your children, they’re still an important part of the family and can wield a lot of influence,” says Jean Broders, Director of Marketing for World’s Best Cat Litter, in a statement. “Cat owners clearly seem to know this, as our findings indicate they’re more likely to worry about making a good first impression on a partner’s pet.”

This adorable video of a cat and dog’s friendship is the cutest thing we’ve seen
You won’t be able to take your eyes off this tiny kitten and her giant best pal

Cat licks her kitten on the head

We have all been on the receiving end of tiny pet kisses that warm our hearts to infinity. Sometimes sweet kitties and puppies even give each other affection by delivering plenty of happy licks to their canine or feline friend. Everyone wants their dogs and cats to get along but this pair takes it to the next level.

Watch as the most precious kitten gives her giant dog friend «smol kisses» on the Animals Being Bros subreddit posted by u/westcoastcdn19. Keep in mind this little kitten is approximately the size of the dog’s head yet smooches with abandon. She’s totally engrossed in her job though, and dutifully cleans him with her tiny tongue. Meanwhile, the pooch opens his eyes and indulgently lets her continue, happy that they are besties.

The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Animals Happy & Healthy.PawTracks brings inspiration, tips, the best products on earth to ensure our readers and their pets are happy and healthy.

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