cat collar

Why Won’t My Cat Be Quiet?

Meowing, yowling, screeching and more… Cats love to make noise. Unfortunately, you might not want them to. The most frustrating thing is you may not understand why your cat is making so much noise.

Why won’t my cat be quiet? The answer could be hormones, both in male and female cats. Female cats yowl when they’re in heat. Your cat could also be hungry, and trying to get your attention. Or, it could be bored and need stimulation, either from you or from being given something to do. Feliway can help calm cats down.

If you can’t identify the cause, talk to a vet. They may be able to. If they can, they’ll advise you on how to stop your cat yowling so much.

Why Is My Cat Yowling So Much?

Is your cat meowing a lot? Whilst vocalization may be adorable, in excessive amounts it can drive even the most patient cat owners up the wall. Some breeds such as Bengal and Siamese cats tend to be a lot more vocal, so it is always important to do some research before taking on a new feline family member. If you like peace and quiet, then it is safe to say Bengals aren’t the cats for you. Potential cat owners will want to steer clear of the oriental breeds if they don’t like noise. On the other hand Persians will make the perfect pets. So will British and American shorthairs and Cornish Rex’s. If you’re adopting a cat from a shelter, always ask the rescue staff which breed would be best suited to your home.

A Cat Meowing A Lot When It Never Did Before

If you’re already faced with a cat meowing a lot but has only recently become vocal, there are many ways to restore harmony in your home once more.

Generally, cats are only vocal because they have something to tell you. They’ll tell you if they’re hungry. They’ll tell you if they want to go outside. Sometimes, they just want some love and attention! They can also vocalize if they’re trying to tell you that they’re in pain. That means it’s important not to dismiss their meows and shrieks as bad behavior.

Whilst it is understandable that you may be at the end of your tether with your cat, re-homing them or sending to the shelter because they’re a little loud shouldn’t be your first consideration. Even if you’re treated to hour-long vocal performances from your cat, there are many ways to nip the behavior in the bud.

A Cat Meowing A Lot: The Cause of the Commotion…

cat meowing a lot
A cat meowing a lot could mean anything. “I hate this cushion”, for example. Image from Wikimedia

There are numerous reasons why your cat may be being a little more vocal than usual. If you’re kept awake by your cat howling, let’s explore the most common causes of excessive vocalization. Your neighbors will probably thank you for getting to the root of the problem, too.

Cause 1: Female Hormones

Thanks to vocalization it is fairly easy to recognize when your female cat comes in heat. Even the quietest of female cats will become vocal while they are in heat. A cat howling on heat can drive owners absolutely insane! I was once a foster mum to a Bengal cat who was generally chatty, but when she was in heat it reached another level. It was like listening to an alarm constantly blaring as she wandered around the house, trying to announce to the outside world that she was in heat and in search of a mate. Unfortunately, the only option when your cat being excessively vocal when they are in heat is to get them ‘fixed’.

Contrary to popular belief, spaying your cat isn’t a cruel act. In fact, leaving your cat in hormonal hell is far crueler. Female cats tend to come in season every 18-24 days, so it happens all year around. It is important to fix your female cats when they are younger. The world’s cat population is already big enough, you wouldn’t want to accidentally add to the problem! Similarly, an unneutered male cat will ‘yowl’ if they sense a female in heat nearby. One cat howling makes a racket. More than one cat howling is an unwelcome concerto!

Cause 2: They Have Unmet Needs

Before you get angry or frustrated with your cat meowing a lot, take a step back and consider what they are asking for. Quiet cats are content cats, so if they’re telling you something is wrong, listen to them. Whilst they may not be able to tell you what the problem is with words (obviously) you will be able to tell by listening how their vocalization sounds. When a kitten is born, they will use vocalization to communicate with their mothers to let them know that they are hungry. When you take a kitten away from their mother, they will still vocalization to communicate their hunger to you too.

As your cat grows up they will never meow at other cats, this vocalization becomes reserved for feline-human communication only. The primary means of communication to other cats will be growling, hissing and yowling. This is a relatively little-known fact among cat owners but it is vital to understand what your cat is trying to say. Cats meows will sound different depending on what they’re trying to get across. Their ‘let me in’ meows will be different from their ‘in pain’ meows.

Cause 3: Attention Deficit Disorder

Yep, cats can suffer from ADD too. If you were under the impression that cats are simple creatures, think again. They’re complex, sentient beings who have the capacity to feel emotions similar to ours. They need love and attention just as much as we do. Simply making sure that your cat is fed and watered isn’t enough when it comes to cat ownership. Cats require sensory and emotional stimulation to be content and they also like routine. So, if you suspect that your cat has ADD try setting aside a certain time each day to play with your cat.

What to Do With A Cat Meowing A Lot

If your cat has become uncharacteristically vocal, do not hesitate in seeking advice from your vet. Whilst vocalization can be a behavioral problem, cats will also be vocal when they are in pain or discomfort. Vocalization is a symptom of a variety of health conditions. Look out for other symptoms and contact your vet for further advice.

Option 1: Get Your Cat Neutered

cat meowing a lot
“Stay away from my special bag” could also be a translated cat’s meow. Image from Flickr

If you’ve noticed that your cat seems to be coming into heat every three to four weeks and getting quite vocal about it, you’ll want to take your cat to get fixed. There are many shelters which run discounted rates on neutering and spaying cats to help prevent the increasing overpopulation of cats. Most vets will want to ensure that your cat is up to date with their vaccinations before performing the small operation. Cats bounce back from the simple medical procedure fairly quickly. Drop your cat off in the morning at the vet’s and they’ll be ready to take home in the afternoon or evening.

You’ll need to keep your cat indoors during the recovery time to ensure they don’t hurt themselves or tear their stitches. After your female cat has been spayed, you’ll notice that they become a lot less vocal after their desire for a mate is taken away.

Option 2: Provide More Stimulation

If your cat is bored, they are going to tell you about it. If you’re away from home a lot and your cat lets you know how disgruntled they are about that fact when you come home consider making your home a more entertaining and stimulating environment for them to be in. Cat toys and interactive cat furniture are great for enriching a cat’s life. Even though your cat may be domesticated, they’re still by nature hunters. So treat them to some toy mice to play with and pounce upon when you’re not around. When you are home, engage them in play with toys such as laser pens and wand toys.

Option 3: Take them for a Check Up

Even if your cat is not displaying any other signs of being sick or injured, contact your vet regardless. It is never normal for a cat who has previously been quiet to start being vocal. Your vet will want to know when the vocalization started to occur and need your cat’s medical history. It is likely that your vet will want to perform a full medical examination of your cat. If you believe that they may have been involved in an accident or in a fight with another animal, X-rays and other scans will be required to see to what extent they are physically injured.

What NOT to Do With A Cat Meowing A Lot

cat meowing a lot
This looks more like a ‘MEOW’ than a ‘meow’ to us. Image from Pixabay

Firstly, it is NEVER okay to punish a cat. EVER. Cats don’t understand why they are being shouted at, or why a shoe is flying at them. This will only terrify them, and pretty soon you’ll see more than vocalization as an unwanted behavior. When changing any behavior in cats, patience is key. So be sure that you are not rewarding heir negative behavior by reacting to it. If your cat becomes vocal about being fed, make it known to them that screaming at you for canned food doesn’t work. Instead, only place the food in the bowl when your cat has been quiet for a few minutes. Soon enough they will learn that meowing at you excessively isn’t an incentive for you to fill up the food bowl.

That being said, you’ll want to ensure that you’re feeding your cat at the same time every day, this routine will allow your cat to understand their daily routine and when they can expect their daily meals. If your cat becomes vocal at night, feed them their largest meal before you go to bed. Alternatively, you can invest in an electronic automatic cat feeder which will keep them occupied and fed whilst you’re asleep. If you start feeding your cat through the night, you’ll want to reduce their daytime meal sizes accordingly.

Thanks For Stopping By!

Thank you for checking our information page on what to do with a cat meowing a lot. If you have a cat meowing a lot, hopefully we’ve been able to give you some useful advice! If so, please consider sharing this page with your cat loving friends. On the other hand, if your cat doesn’t meow at all, find out what could be behind the issue right here.