If you have a cat, you’ve likely experienced moments where they begin meowing or yowling loudly for what seems like no reason at all. When these times happen, it can be confusing as you try to figure out what your cat is attempting to tell you. The truth is, there can be a lot of reasons why your cat is crying. The good news is that there are ways to figure out what the message is behind your cat’s meows.
Reasons Your Cat Is Crying
Meowing is one of the biggest ways your cat communicates with you. If you find them meowing, there can be many reasons behind it. However, here are some of the most common reasons your cat will cry.
Your Cat Wants Food
When your cat is hungry, it’s very likely that they will cry out to let you know they want to be fed. This is especially common if it’s getting close to your cat’s normal meal time because cats tend to be creatures of habit.
Your Cat Wants to Go Outside
If you have an indoor-outdoor cat, you may find them crying at the door to let you know they want to go outside. Before you know it, your cat will probably be right back at the door yelling to be let inside. Consider installing a cat-safe pet door on doors where it’s okay for your kitty to have full access.
Your Cat Wants Your Attention
Sometimes your cat simply wants to spend some quality time with you. If they feel like you haven’t been bonding enough, they may approach you and ask for some time with you. If you think this is the reason behind your cat’s crying, take the time to pet them or play with them so that they feel they have your undivided attention!
Your Cat Is Afraid
If something has happened that startled your cat, they may begin crying to express their fear. If you notice that your kitty’s cry has low growls or whimpers mixed in, there’s a good chance they are scared and could use some comfort. Try to find the source of the fear so that you can remove your cat from the situation to allow them to calm down.
Your Cat Doesn’t Feel Well
If your cat is sick or injured, they may cry to let you know something is wrong. Some cats will even yell out before they vomit or have a hairball. If your cat’s yelling is accompanied by any distressing symptoms, you should take them to the vet right away to see if something is going on that needs treatment.
Your Cat Just Likes to Talk
Some cats are simply more vocal than others. There are certain breeds that are more likely to be chatty, including sphynx, Bengal, and Siamese. However, cats of all breeds can be little chatterboxes if that’s their personality. If you answer your cat and talk back to them when they cry, you’re likely to have them continue the behavior.
Your Cat Wants to Breed
If you have a cat that isn’t spayed or neutered, they may be crying to let those around know they are ready to mate. Female cats will cry out to let those around them know they are in heat. Male cats will cry when they smell a cat that’s in heat. If this behavior is common in your home, consider having your cat spayed or neutered to stop it.
Different Types of Cat Cries
With so many different messages behind a cat’s meow, it’s important to know the different types of meows that your cat is likely to vocalize. Did you know that cats are able to vocalize more than 100 different sounds? You don’t have to know each one and what they mean, but here are some of the most common types of meows:
- Polite: if your cat is requesting something, they may let out a short meow in a moderate tone
- Delighted: these meows are often mixed with other vocal sounds like chirps or trills
- Demands: these tend to be a lower pitch and will likely be held out longer than calmer meows
- Stressed: these meows tend to be shorter and be repetitive in an attempt to really grab your attention
What to Do About Your Cat’s Cries
If your cat is crying excessively, you need to first determine the cause through the information above. Some causes won’t be ones you can solve or stop, but others can be answered and helped out. After you have determined the cause of your kitty’s cries, you can move forward with how to help.
If you have a cat that meows out for attention, you will have to train them to know that you will only give them attention when they are quiet. However, you never want to yell at your cat for meowing because it’s simply how they communicate. Be patient with your cat and wait until they quiet down. After they do, give them the attention they’re asking for so they realize their quiet behavior gives them the results they want.
If your cat cries for food, don’t give in by feeding them whenever they ask. Feed your cat at specific times every day in order to establish a schedule and routine. This will keep your cat from crying throughout the day for food. However, they may begin crying out when the time gets closer to mealtime, but you will still notice a decrease in overall crying.
If you believe your cat is crying because of loneliness, take the time out of your day to give them undivided attention when possible. If your schedule has you away for extended periods of time, consider hiring a pet sitter to check in on your cat at specific times. You can also consider adopting another cat if you’re able to because that will help your current kitty with their loneliness!
If your cat simply cries because they’re chatty, you may not be able to do anything about it. However, resist the urge to talk back or respond when they are meowing. When you respond to the meows, it will teach your cat you are accepting of their vocals, and they will likely continue. Staying silent may help curb the random outbursts.
What Not to Do
No matter which steps you take with your cat’s cries, there are some you definitely shouldn’t take. Don’t ignore your cat’s meows. Although you don’t have to vocalize back when they meow, it’s a good idea to check and make sure they have their needs met and that nothing is wrong that could be causing stress or discomfort.
You also should never punish your cat for crying out. Meowing is one of the main ways your cat communicates with you. You should never punish them for something that is natural.
There are many possible causes for your cat’s crying. When your cat is meowing at you, take the time to determine what type of meow they are using. This will help you determine the likely cause for the vocalizations, so you can help meet whatever need they are expressing.