Why Is My Cat Yowling?

Why Is My Cat Yowling?

New pet owners can feel taken aback and overwhelmed when they hear their cats yowling and meowing out of nowhere.  it can be upsetting to hear your cat start crying all of a sudden and not know why.

So, what’s going on, you wonder? Why is my cat yowling or meowing so much?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Cats are complicated animals and the specific reason they may be meowing excessively can vary a lot depending on the circumstances.

That said, it’s important to note that cats will rarely meow at each other as they mainly use it as a means to communicate with humans. Still, there are some exceptions even to this rule: kittens often grab their mother’s attention by meowing.

What’s more, if your pet is calling out, it may be trying to signal a problem that it’s facing so that you can come and help. But before you panic, you should know your kitty is most likely making its ruckus for tamer — albeit still important — reasons

Causes of Yowling in Cats

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA, the most common reasons behind a cat’s excessive meowing include:


Dogs are often associated with friendliness and excitement at seeing their owners, while cats are sometimes seen as being moodier.

But in reality, cats are social animals as well in their own way. Sometimes, they’ll meow when they want you to spend quality time together with them, whether it’s in the form of petting them, playing with them, or even just talking to them. So while you don’t need to prepare talking points for a PowerPoint presentation, it won’t hurt to say a hello back when your cat greets you on your return home with a friendly meow.

But if you do insist on a presentation, make sure to cite your sources. While cats are not academic creatures, the confidence of knowing your speech is backed up by research will help stop yourself from sweating under the stern gaze of your tiny kitten!


Meowing can also be a sign that your cat is hungry.

Of course, if you feed a cat every time it meows, it will learn over time to assume that it will get food when it calls out, which means you could accidentally fall into the trap of overfeeding it outside of mealtimes if you’re not careful.

Needing Help

Sometimes, even a majestic creature like your cat has to rely on lowly humans to do things it can’t on its own!

You may, for instance, catch your cat meowing at the door when it wants you to open it and there’s no flap for it to go through.

Mating Call

Yowling is a type of mating call for cats, who often exchange very loud meows to signal their interest in one another. If there was a dating app for cats, you can bet their inboxes would be full of meows typed out in all-caps and ending in exclamation marks!


Cats can experience mental breakdown or even develop diseases, such as those related to kidney function, as they grow older.

These effects on aging can cause them to cry out with increasing frequency. It is therefore important to pay attention to the sound your cat is making and take it to a veterinarian if it is meowing excessively to make sure it’s alright.

What Should I Do When My Cat Yowls?

But with all the possible reasons your cat could be wailing, how do you identify the real issue?

One way to help you figure out the problem is to keep a journal in which you note down the circumstances at the moment your cat starts yowling.

In the journal, note down what was happening in the environment around your pet at the time it seemed upset, as well as what your cat herself and you were doing during this time.

In this way, instead of relying on only one instance to figure out why your cat is crying, you can have a wealth of consistent information to study in order to spot trends that point to the problem. How you solve the issue at hand depends on what it is in the first place.

In this section, you’ll find suggestions for what to do if you believe your cat is meowing excessively, arranged to address specific problems you identified in your logbook:

What to Do if My Cat Is Lonely

If your journal shows that you are leaving your cat alone for overly long periods of time, perhaps consider paying a friend to babysit your cat and spend time with her during the time you need to be away.

What to Do if My Cat Is Too Needy

On the flip side, if you feel your cat is overly dependent on your care, gradually wean her off her expectation of receiving it every time she makes a ruckus. When she next calls out for attention, attend to her only after a few seconds to start spacing out her connection between meowing and receiving immediate attention.

Vary this delay’s length as well to prevent her from learning that meowing still gets her a response, just after a set delay.

After a few days, once in a while, ignore her call, slowly increasing how often you refuse to respond to her until you feel she’s no longer receiving an unhealthy and obsessive amount of care.

If your cat needs your help to do something they can’t, make changes to the cat’s environment to help it achieve its goals without requiring you to step in. For example, if its favorite toy is always out of reach, try to either place it lower or to set a chair nearby to help the cat climb up to it.

What to Do if My Cat Is in Heat

Cats couple meowing with certain other signs when they’re in heat. Female cats in heat, for instance, tend to also purr, show affection and rub against your leg more than usual.

Some domesticated cats go into heat throughout the whole year. If you want them to stop meowing so much, you’ll have to get them spayed because as your leg sadly lacks the roguish charm of a male cat, she is otherwise unlikely to settle for your measly human leg!

Similarly, male cats — which often show agitation in their desire to mate — may need to be neutered to stop yowling constantly.

What to Do if My Cat Is Hungry

If your cat wants food all the time, consult a veterinarian for a diet plan that helps her feel full while letting you reduce the number of times you feed her. This way, you can shift her mealtimes to specific slots of the day.

This can both reduce your cat’s constant wailing as well as ensure that she does not overeat to a harmful degree.

What to Do if My Cat Is Sick

You’ll have to visit your veterinarian to deal with the discomforts your cat is experiencing as a result of illness, injury, or aging.

Remember: just because there’s no escaping age does not mean all hope is lost. Your veterinarian can still advise you on medicine to give to your cat and steps to take that may ease her troubles or offer relief from diseases.

Final Thoughts

yowling cat

No matter what’s causing it, as the ASPCA advises, don’t scold or hit your cat for yowling. It won’t help deal with the long-term problems she’s facing. In fact, it may make it harder for you to understand them as she could become scared of you and act more unpredictably. Treat the cause of yowling at its source for a happier, healthier cat—and a quieter household.

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