Excessive meowing in cats: What does it mean?

Posted by Maggie the Moggie. April 26th 2017.

For cats, meowing is simply a form of communication. Although some breeds are more vocal than others, it is an ordinary trait and usually isn’t a cause for concern. However, sometimes excessive meowing can be an indication of an underlying problem and should be looked into.

Excessive meowing in cats

Excessive meowing in cats is usually behavioural instinct but could also be a sign of physical discomfort. In order to manage it, it’s important to first establish the cause of the change in behaviour.


Health issues


When cats do lots of purring and whining, it can be an indication of a health or medical problem. It’s important to eliminate this possibility first, so booking an appointment with your vet should be your first port of call. Your veterinarian will be able to do a full examination of your cat and establish whether there’s something physically wrong.


Old age


If your cat is old, excessive meowing could be an indication of cognitive dysfunction – also known as feline dementia. Cats can show signs of old age by becoming increasingly vocal – particularly at night – and this may be accompanied by disorientation, peculiar sleeping patterns or a decline in friendliness. Dementia in cats can’t be prevented but early detection is important.


Attention grabbing


As in most cases, your cat could be meowing to grab your attention. If it becomes a regular occurrence during the night, it’s best not to reward the bad behaviour. As cute as it may be, you shouldn’t fuss over your cat when it’s behaving badly. By the same token, make sure you reward good behaviour and save feeding and play times for calmer periods.


If you keep track of when your cat’s being peculiarly noisy, it can make it easier to manage. If your cat is being loud during the day, divert its attention by providing toys for it to play with. Leaving time for playing during the day is also a good way to prevent nocturnal activity if your cat’s meowing is keeping you up at night. Your cat should play for at least 15 minutes each day to prevent it from getting bored.


New surroundings


Excessive meowing can also be a sign of stress or anxiety, particularly if you’ve recently moved house or had a new baby. New surroundings or circumstances can take some time for cats to adjust to. Familiarity is key here, so try and make new surroundings as recognisable as possible.




If your cat isn’t spayed or neutered, it will be noisier when mating. Male cats will meow when they smell a female cat nearby – especially at night time – and female cats will become loud when they’re on heat. This vocalisation can sometimes sound like your cat is in pain or distressed, but this is normal cat behaviour and shouldn’t be of concern.


It’s crucial to insure your cat with Argos Pet Insurance. We’re here for them throughout their learning and development to make sure they get any treatment they need. You can find lots of handy advice at www.argospetinsurance.co.uk

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