Is your cat's meowing excessively loud? Maybe it wakes you up early in the morning or keeps you up at night... Are the neighbors complaining about the noise? Read on to see what may be behind the issue.
There are a number of environmental factors that can cause changes to the intensity of a cat’s vocalization. If you are facing this problem, ask yourself the following questions:
HOW OLD IS YOUR CAT?
Some cats vocalize more as they get older because they can become disoriented and lose track of their surroundings more easily than when they were younger. If the vocal changes are accompanied by unexplained weight loss or gain, pacing or general restlessness, these could be signs of hyperthyroidism. Please contact your veterinarian to rule out health issues.
HAS YOUR CAT BEEN SPAYED OR NEUTERED?
Unaltered cats are prone to excessive vocalizing, so if your cat is not spayed or neutered please have this done as soon as possible.
WHAT BREED IS YOUR CAT?
Certain breeds, like Siamese, have a tendency to be very vocal. Avoid giving these cats any attention when they are vocal because this only reinforces the behavior. Instead, let 10 seconds of silence pass before giving treats or attention.
IS YOUR CAT STRESSED, LONELY, OR GRIEVING?
Vocalizing can be self-comforting and reassuring to a cat. If your cat is lonely, consider whether she may benefit from another feline companion. You can also provide new toys, rotate toys on a weekly basis, or even make a “kitty puzzle”: Take a shoe box, cut out cat-paw-sized holes in the sides, throw in a few catnip-laced toys, tape the lid back on, and watch your cat enjoy!
IS YOUR CAT SEEKING ATTENTION?
Some cats “talk” because we react to it. To discourage attention-seeking vocalization, simply ignore your cat when she meows. When she is quiet, let 10 seconds of silence pass, and then lavish her with love, feed her, or give her treats.
DOES YOUR CAT SMELL OTHER ANIMALS?
Try to block any gaps in outer doors so the cat is less likely to smell those creatures. You may also need to cover the windows with opaque material so she cannot see out, and provide extra stimulation indoors to distract your cat. If your cat persists in meowing at the door, try an aversive such as citrus spray.
If all environmental factors have been ruled out, or you are noticing other symptoms, be sure to take your cat to the vet to determine whether there is an underlying health issue. .