“Meow, Meow, Meow:” Why Do Cats Meow?

All kitty moms and dads have been there at one time or another; wondered why their fur baby seems to aimlessly wander through the house crying and often during the quiet, middle of the night.
Here may be one or a few reasons why:

  • Bored or lonely – We see this more in single cat homes. Play with your fur-baby! They want your love and attention! If you have more than one cat they may be calling out to the siblings for play/attention.
  • Medical reasons – They may be in pain. Cats, in general, are pretty stoic and hide illness well but any animal in pain can and will cry out. A normally quiet cat who suddenly becomes increasingly vocal would benefit from a veterinary exam. These cries tend to be more persistent and often, sound more ‘urgent’ than a regular cry for attention. Hyperthyroid cats (common in senior cats and is often accompanied by a ravenous appetite, weight loss and increase in activity and other behaviours that your cat never typically presented with) tend to have a very distinct kind of meow (you’ll likely know it once you hear it) This definitely requires a veterinary visit for bloodwork and possibly medication to regulate the thyroid.
  • Loss of hearing/sight – Imagine being blind and deaf, imagine how lonely that could feel. The same goes for our pets. As they age, losing hearing and sight can and does happen. Your baby just needs a little reassurance.
  • Feline Cognitive Disorder (dementia) – Cats and dogs can develop this as they age. They can suddenly become confused, scared and disoriented. Not only will they begin to vocalize a lot, but they may also become ‘grumpy,’ lose coordination, become incontinent etc. The very same symptoms that you would find in a human. Remember, be patient with your senior fur baby and focus fondly on all the memories, fun and love they’ve given you over the years – they need you now more than ever.
  • In heat – Last but not least, if your cat is an intact female, she may very well have come into season and is ready to be bred. If you do not plan to breed her, she needs to be spayed as soon as possible.

Written by Lisa Michalik, RVT