Cat Yowling, Meowing, & Howling… What Does It Mean?


Why do cats yowl?

Like us, cats use various ways to communicate; yowling and meowing is a way they are trying to express something to us. There are many reasons why cats meow, and it’s good for us to try and understand what they are saying!

Newborn kittens meow to their mothers as a way to communicate with them when they are hungry or feeling cold. However, as they grow older, the reasons they meow can evolve.

Older cats don’t tend to meow to one another in a type of conversation. More often they use meowing as a way to communicate with their parents – us! Different breeds of cat can meow more or less as well. If you are uncomfortable with a lot of meowing (who isn’t!?), try and find a breed that is not too talkative.

Why do cats cry?

why is my cat yowling

If you have a problem with your cat crying, yowling, or meowing, it’s best to try and understand the cause before trying to do something about it.

Once you know why it’s happening, you should be able to better stop your cat howling!

Here are some of the common reasons that cause cats to meow excessively and cause disruption and frustration in a household.

1. They are hungry

How often do you feed your cat, and do you follow a regular feeding routine?

The main reason cats meow is because they are hungry. This reason for meowing is also the easiest to diagnose… the cat is probably following you to the kitchen and wrapping itself around your legs as you approach the fridge!

Make sure that you are feeding your pussy the right amount of dry and wet food, and that the food is healthy and nutritious. Ensure your cat also has enough water.

Shift workers and those who share the cat feeding responsibilities are among those who might have a more haphazard feeding schedule. Well-fed cats in a regular happy routine won’t meow too much!

2. They are greeting you

stray cat meowing at my door

This is another easy to identify, and a worry-free reason that cats meow.

Most cats are happy to see you when you get home after being out for a while, and many will eagerly greet you with plenty of meows!

Some cats are exceptionally affectionate, so hopefully, you don’t mind it if you’ve got one of these pets!

This kind of meowing should not worry you since the pet is not in trouble. It is also short-lived.

3. Loneliness

If you leave the cat home alone a lot, this can also bring on cats yowling. Especially if they are locked inside and cannot get out to explore.

As you know, cats are playful pets, and they like the company of their owners, other pets, or other things they can play with. If they are left alone with nothing, they can feel lonely and meow all day until you come back.

To ensure your cat does not get bored while you are out, here are a few ideas:

  • set up a bird feeder near the window
  • install a cat door so that your pussy can get out
  • leave other cat toys around the house
  • have two cats so they can keep each other company
  • have a friend, family member, or neighbor stop into the house if you are going to be away a long time and spend some time with puss

4. Attention Seeking

why do cats meow to go outside then wait

Cats can meow when they feel that you are ignoring them, or if they are particularly needy and require extra attention.

This can even happen when you are around but not acting warmly enough towards them. A yowling cat can be an attention-seeking cat! As with kids, whenever you are able, make time to play with your cat.

What can you do to show you care? Pat them, brush them (if they like that sort of thing), throw a toy with them, let them sit on your lap while you are reading a book or watching TV – just all the usual things!

However, it’s important to not reward them with attention when they are meowing! Give them attention while they are in a quiet patch, otherwise you will be training them to meow for attention, and reinforcing that behavior.

5. Cat meowing while on heat

Is your female cat on heat, or your male cat around a female on heat?

If so, a higher level of cat yowling and meowing is to be expected. This is natural and there isn’t too much you can do able it! Female cats will meow when they are on heat. Male cats will meow when they smell a female on heat.

The best way to get rid of this type of meowing is to get your cat spayed. Talk to your vet to see what they recommend, and find out everything you need to know about getting your cat desexed.

6. Illness

Your cat may be excessively meowing because it is sick.

Could the yowl or howl be related to pain the cat is feeling? Some illnesses in cats can also lead to elevated hunger and thirst.

Make sure you take your cat to the vet once or twice a year for a complete check-up. This way you can be sure your pussy is healthy and in good condition. Your vet will pick up on issues like nose pad cancer while treatment will be most successful.

How NOT to Respond to Cat Meowing

how to stop a cat in heat from meowing

It can be super frustrating when your cat won’t stop meowing, but we’ve all got to be patient!

Try to keep positive and work with your cat, rather than against it.

Here are some of the things to avoid when the cat meows:

1. Don’t punish your cat

Your cat is trying to tell you something – whether warranted or not!

Kicking or shouting at your cat will not help the situation. Rather, try to find the problem and address it. Mistreating the cats when they meow will likely make them worse… plus it’s cruel!

2. Don’t ignore your cat

Cats meow for genuine reasons.

It could be your fault the cat won’t stop meowing… check the food and water situation. Make sure it’s not in any pain. If in doubt, take them to the vet to get their advice. Your vet is seeing cats all day every day, so they will have a good idea!

3. Don’t give in to their meows

Sometimes the answer is just that you have a meowy cat!

Try to give your pussy plenty of attention when it’s not yowling, and build up your relationship. Take care of the cat’s need for attention and stimulation, and the rest should follow.

Let us know down below if you have any questions and comments about cat yowling!


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