What Causes Excessive Meowing?
Some breeds are known to be exceptionally talkative, with Siamese/Oriental cats being the most well-known, but Sphynx cats and Devon and Cornish Rex cats are also chatty cats. Of course, it doesn’t just depend on the breed, some cats are just naturally talkative!
If your cat starts meowing excessively and it’s not usually in her nature to, the first thing to rule out is illness – is she trying to communicate that she’s in pain or that something is wrong? Once you’ve ruled out potential health issues with your vet, then it could be one of the following:
- Saying hello – Yes, that’s right, she might just be pleased to see you! If your cat always starts meowing a lot when she sees you, take it as a compliment – you’re her human and she appreciates you.
- Attention seeking – Some cats enjoy social contact more than others, and your cat will have learned that whenever she meows she gets attention. It might be that she wants to play because she’s bored, or she just wants a kitty cuddle.
- Asking for food – You may have a cat that always seems to want food, a trait that is often observed in ex-strays, so be careful not to overfeed her. This type of excessive meowing can often be heard at 5am, accompanied by a paw to the face.
- Stress – If you’ve noticed an increase in how often your cat meows, it could be down to stress. Have there been any changes in your cat’s routine or the household causing her to stress out? It could also be anxiety at being left alone.
- Getting older – Senior cats often suffer from deterioration in their hearing, which means that they can’t always hear themselves properly and their meowing can become loud and over bearing. There’s also the possibility of dementia, so the meowing could be caused by confusion.
- Wanting to mate – A female cat in heat will be very vocal to attract a male cat, and in fact this is a very specific type of meowing that’s more like a yowl. It’s essential to get your female cat spayed as soon as your vet recommends it.
How to Deal with Excessive Meowing
The first thing to do if you’re faced with excessive meowing is to figure out the cause, as well as ensuring that you and your cat have a regular routine of feeding and playtime. If there’s a health problem, stress or boredom behind excessive meowing, then you can deal with the root cause, which should resolve it.
Once you’ve ruled out any health issues for your cat, you need to decide whether it’s actually a problem for you. If her excessive meowing is something that you want to reduce, you can, but it’s important not to punish her for meowing because that won’t work. Instead, use positive reinforcement by rewarding her when she’s quiet, with a treat, praise or even with clicker training. How do you react to the excessive meowing? Just ignore it. Once she realises that she’s not getting any attention from it, she’ll soon stop.
How talkative are the cats in your household? Do you have a ‘chatty’ cat that meows excessively?