Is a new cat in your future? Each spring and fall, kitten season may bless you with a new feline friend. But can you predict talkative cats? You wonder, why does my cat meow so much? Heck, cat meowing may be one way cats show love. My Siamese wannabe Seren lived to be 21-years-old, and she talked constantly. We relished her kitty conversations, but some cats over-indulge and pet parents want to stop cat meowing.
Karma-Kat rarely talks unless we address him and doesn’t randomly meow. Mostly, Karma comments center around FOOD and TREATS. He also meows at Shadow–thank goodness the noise doesn’t scare him! Yes, he understands the words, and his “meow” is typically a “yes, please” answer to our questions. Oh, and Karma “announces” when he uses the (ahem) facilities.
How to Stop Cat Meowing
Recently we had a discussion with some of my Facebook friends and colleagues who have new kitties with — let us say — loud mouth issues, LOL! How to stop cat meowing can be a huge challenge, especially with kittens and demanding older cats.
I figured this was the purr-fect time to share some of the information from a couple of my books, particularly since kitten season is here. COMPLETE KITTEN CARE has some tips on choosing your new kitten based on breed (of course, strays may choose you!). When you want to stop cat meowing that pesters you, one of the best ways is choose a cat that meows less frequently.
A few cat breeds are famous for their loud voices. Siamese-type cats are known for their distinctive meows and love to hold long—and loud—conversations with their humans. If you adopt one of these kittens, they’ll always get in the last word!
BREED MEOW TENDENCIES (from Complete Kitten Care)
- Highly active, in-your-face: Abyssinian, Balinese, Bombay, Burmese, Colorpoint Shorthair, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, Egyptian Mau, Javanese, Oriental Longhair, Oriental Shorthair, Russian Blue, Siamese, Somali, Tonkinese
- Less active “lap sitter”: American Wirehair, Birman, British Shorthair, Exotic Shorthair, Himalayan, Persian, Ragdoll, Snowshoe
- Vocal, opinionated: Balinese, Color-point Shorthair, Japanese Bobtail, Javanese, Oriental Longhair, Oriental Shorthair, Siamese, Tonkinese
- Quiet, prefers watching: American Wirehair, Birman, British Shorthair, Chartreux, Egyptian Mau, Exotic Shorthair, Havana Brown, Korat, Scottish Fold, Snowshoe
- High-fashion models, requires lots of grooming: Exotic, Himalayan, Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cat, Persian, Ragdoll, Scottish Fold (longhair)
KITTEN MEOWING & CAT COMMUNICATION
Cat communication begins early in life. Kittens less than three weeks old vocalize a defensive spit, contented purr, and distress call (similar to adult meow) if the baby becomes isolated, cold, or trapped. Interestingly, the call for “cold” sounds much higher pitched and disappears from the repertoire once the kitten can self-regulate body temperature at about four weeks of age.
Cat Meowing Explained
Cats rarely meow at each other. They learn to direct meows at humans because we reward them with attention. Each cat learns by association that meowing prompts feeding, access to locations (let me OUTSIDE!), and other resources provided by humans. Learn how to foil door-dashing felines in this post. Some cats learn to produce unique meows for each circumstance.
Humans often overlook body language that makes up a great deal of cat communication, but feline yowls, growls, hisses and purrs get our undivided attention—especially at 5:00 a.m.
DEALING WITH CATERWAULING (from ComPETability: CATS)
In multi-pet homes, troublemakers (other pets pestering) may prompt problem meowing. Cats introduced to other cats or dogs for the first time often meow more as a result. Felines use a wide range of vocalizations to communicate with other cats, but seem to reserve “meows” primarily for talking to their people. Meows are demands: let me OUT, let me IN, pet me, play with me, FEED me! As the cats become more passionate and insistent, meows grow more strident and lower-pitched.
How to Stop Cat Meowing
Giving in to cat meowing demands tells Sheba that pestering works to get her way, and any response, such as putting the pillow over your head, yelling at her, or pushing her off the bed still gives her the attention she craves. The only way to extinguish this behavior is to totally ignore the cat.
That means you DON’T get up to feed her; you DON’T indulge in toe-tag games; you DON’T yell at her, spray her with water, or give any attention at all. That’s hard to do when she’s paw-patting your nose, or shaking the windows with yowls. It can take weeks to months to get rid of this behavior once established, but with patience, it can be done.
Before You STOP CAT MEOWING: VET ALERT!
For some reason, cats tend to become more vocal when suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure), which can be a result of kidney or heart disease. When Sheba can’t hear her own voice any longer, she tends to meow louder and longer. Excessive meowing also may be a sign of deafness in aging cats or even kitty Alzheimer’s (feline cognitive disorder). Check with your veterinarian about excessive meowing in any cat and learn more about cat health and behavior issues from A-to-Z in CAT FACTS.
Here’s a fun Infographic that was shared with me—does any of this look familiar to you? How do you deal with bedtime pester bugs? Do tell!
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book giveaways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!
Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!