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Cat Meowing – For Attention?  Food? or What?

The most common reason for cat meowing is for attention.  You know it’s true, that cat always wants something from you.  It could be because your cat is hungry.  Or even if it isn’t necessarily hungry, it could just want more food (what else is there to do right?).

Actually, that’s the number 1 reason for cat obesity (or why cats get fat) – when owners respond to the cats meowing by giving it food!

But maybe your cat isn’t hungry, maybe it wants attention in some other way.  If the meowing is excessive, it could be due to hormonal problems, such as a disease.  If your cat seems sick and is meows often, or if the meows sound painful – see your vet immediately.

More likely though, your cat wants your attention.  As you might know, cats are known to be “prissy”, or “high-maintenance” – which means they NEED that attention!

It could be that your cat is demanding something of you… let’s think about it, why do cats meow a lot?…

  • Maybe it wants to be pet – who doesn’t like a head rub?
  • Is the litter box dirty? – yes, they will vocalize the fact that you should clean their litter tray!
  • Demanding something specific: I found that my cat was meowing because he wanted wet food.  If I don’t respond, he will go downstairs and eat his dry food without a fuss.  But he had learned that if he meows loud enough, cute enough, or just enough, he might get some wet food.

So how do you control a cat meowing?  The most common, simple, and best advice is to ignore it.
*Make sure everyone in the house, including any guests, know that you are intentially ignoring the cat to fix his unwanted behavioral trait/problem.*

A question that comes up often is: why does my cat meow all night or when I go to sleep? Think of it this way:  Do you know someone who really likes to hear the sound of their own voice (we all know someone, and if you don’t – that someone is you).

Your cat doesn’t necessary like to hear its own meow, but if it knows that the meow is rewarded with some sort of attention that is pleasurable, then they will certainly look to fill any lack of sound with their own noise – that why they know they are being heard.  So why do cats meow in the middle of the night – because they NEED that attention or are demanding something, and a cat meowing at night is a cat that can’t be ignored.

*But that’s what you will have to do if you want your cat to stop meowing*
They are a relatively smart species, and will learn to not waste their energy if their actions are not rewarding.

*Please understand:  even when everyone in your household is working together to ignore the meowing, the cat will try harder at first*
It will do it louder and more often – and if you reward it then… like I said, cats are smart – they will learn to meow louder than you want!

Now for some cat meow sounds … “Meeow” – “Me.yow” – “mi.you” … do you have an audio or video clip of your cat meowing?  Send me an email:  chris [a] cat-training.com

*Another hint:  if you have to respond – do so by playing a game*… or doing something active with your cat.  That way, at least it is getting exercise and using its energy – and it could break the association of its meowing with whatever it was vocalizing for in the first place!

Now if you have an old cat meowing – or if your elder cat is eating and drinking more (that is, you find yourself filling the bowls more often), then seek your vet for advice.


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