Why Does My Cat Keep Meowing? Find Out Right Meow!

It’s 3:00 AM, you’ve just woken up to it again. She’s walking around through the entire house meowing over and over for no apparent reason. You’re wondering why you adopted this cat, you’re wondering if she is just doing this to drive you nuts, but most of all you are wondering why does my cat keep meowing?

This is an incredibly frustrating behavior for you to encounter as a cat owner, I should know, both of my cats Lexi and Beast do it from time to time.  The good news is that there are a couple of common reasons your cat might be doing this. Even better, there are a couple of simple methods to help decrease the frequency of this behavior.


A Few Things Worth Noting

Two things worth pointing out before we get into the why of this article:

  • Cats in general aren’t known to meow at one another. Meowing is a behavior that was picked up by cats to communicate with humans, they don’t use it among themselves.  This means if your cat is meowing they are trying to tell you something.
  • Cats are crepuscular creatures, but you can work with them to adjust their sleeping schedule to be in line with your own. While excessive meowing is annoying during the day, it is 10 times more annoying if it impacts your sleeping schedule.

Now that that’s out of the way let’s get to why you came here…


So Why Does my Cat Keep Meowing

So let’s get into the meat of it, let’s look at the most common reasons your cat is meowing up a storm and some of the easiest fixes in the book:

your cat is alone all day1. Your cat is bored our of her gourd: Just like a human a cat can get bored, really bored, especially if you are gone for long periods of time and your cat is left on her own.

  • Make sure you organize time to play with your cat and make sure she gets exercise. Without a good workout your cat is likely to strut around meowing to let you know she isn’t too happy. Check out my article on playing with your cat for a few ideas. Or go straight to checking out some of the top 20 toys StuffCatsWant recommends for your cat!

2. Your cat is stressed out: Stressed out cats tend to meow a heck of a lot more than their otherwise calm counterparts. My cat Beast meows 2-3 times as often when I have a foster cat in the house, even if they are separated into another room. Changes you might not think matter to a cat like a move or the loss of a family member can result in a lot more vocal cat.  

  • Do your best to identify the recent change and if possible remedy it.  If there’s not much you can do to remedy the specific cause then give your cat extra attention and be sure she has a quiet and safe location that can help soothe her.
  • If you do have a new cat in the home you can also check out Feliway Multicat, read my review of it here.

3. Your cat wants her breakfast or dinner: You know how your stomach growls when you’re hungry? My cats meow when they are hungry. Well, let me rephrase, Lexi meows like a nut when she is hungry and she knows she gets fed at 8 AM and 9 PM daily. Check out this video of her when she knows it is dinner time.

  • Do your best to set a schedule when it comes to feeding and talk to your vet about the appropriate amount of food for your cat. If you can’t be home to provide food on a consistent schedule consider an auto feeder. Free feeding your cat with dry food is not the answer.

4. Your cat is in heat: If your cat isn’t already spayed or neutered then they are likely to be a heck of a lot more noisy (some of the time). When they are in heat female cats are going to yowl and as soon as a male smells a female in heat he’ll start doing the same thing.

  • Do yourself (and the world) a favor and get your pet spayed or neutered.

5. Your cat wants to be where you are: Despite popular belief that cats like to be alone, most cats do actually enjoy companionship of their human friends. If you sleep in a room with the door closed at night and your cat is meowing outside this is a great example.

  • The simplest solution might be to simply open the door and let them come into whatever room you are in. If that isn’t an option you can try things like a treat puzzle to keep them busy while you are in the other room.

6. Your cat is getting older: While the average lifespan of cats is expanding with better medical care, there are many of the same problems that humans run into regarding staying sharp as they age. Cats can become disoriented and will meow for no reason other than to let their human know they are confused. This is especially common at night.

  • Veterinarians can prescribe medications that help these symptoms and they might have other recommendations depending on when and how the behavior is triggered.

7. Your cat is sick: If none of the other items here seem to be the culprit then a thorough checkup by your veterinarian is in order. Numerous diseases can cause a cat to feel hungry even when they aren’t. There’s also the potential problem that your cat might be in constant pain which can lead to constant meowing.

  • WebMD also indicates that elderly cats can develop an overactive thyroid or kidney disease and that both of these can result in excessive meowing.

8. Your cat is welcoming you home: Many cats meow when their people come home, mine both meet me at the door and then promptly run off if I try to pet them for some reason or another.

  • If this is the worst you have then I’d say you’re doing pretty well!.

Note that nowhere above did you see me indicate the solution is to yell at your cat. Yelling at your cat, spraying your cat with a squirt bottle, shaking coins in a can, these methods will not solve the root cause of the behavior. More than likely they’ll just make your cat afraid of you instead!  Do your best to identify the root cause and then work with your cat in a positive way to solve it.  Always keep in mind that a tired out cat with a full tummy is likely to get some sleep!


Time for a Quick Recap

So now you’ve got several answers to the age old question why does my cat keep meowing!  The general idea is that your cat is trying to communicate something to you. It is your job to figure out specifically what and do something about it.

I hope that the solutions under each of the major causes come in handy and help you make progress with getting your kitty to quiet down!  If you have any other thoughts on why your cat might be meowing incessantly or how you’ve managed to put a stop to it then please leave a comment below or send me an email at Craig@StuffCatsWant.com so I can update this article.

StuffCatsWant.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

If you find this useful spread the meows...
  • 6
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

25 thoughts on “Why Does My Cat Keep Meowing? Find Out Right Meow!

  • July 17, 2017 at 3:00 am
    Permalink

    This cat sounds like my husband. 🙂 I see cats are really no different than humans when it comes to communication. Surely a cat learns what to do to get your attention, and if it means meowing at night to disturb your sleeping, so be it. Cats are pretty smart. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • July 18, 2017 at 3:00 pm
      Permalink

      Hahaha. Funny :). I think men and women both do things to get attention so you can’t lay the blame all on the men! 😛

      Reply
  • July 17, 2017 at 3:17 am
    Permalink

    Thanks for this article. One of my cats never makes a peep …in fact, I’m not sure I have ever heard him make a sound. However, my Stormy is rarely quiet. He was a rescue and he follows me everywhere, meowing. He is happy, healthy, well-fed and loves to snuggle. He just seems to like to talk for attention.

    Love your website.

    Reply
    • July 18, 2017 at 3:00 pm
      Permalink

      Haha, can’t blame him! I think if I was a cat I’d enjoy attention and scratches and such all day long. Might as well get it while you can! He probably realizes how lucky he is to have you and is just thanking you profusely :).

      Reply
  • July 17, 2017 at 8:06 am
    Permalink

    Thank you so much for sharing all this important info. It’s true, I never seen cats use meowing among themselves… I always thought that they are only tired or hungry :&
    Silly of me, I guess I have a lot to learn about cats.

    thanks again for sharing

    Reply
  • July 17, 2017 at 3:29 pm
    Permalink

    I had NO idea cats don’t meow with each other but use this as communication with humans! That’s really interesting to me! Great information, and super helpful – as this is one of the top reasons I’ve heard my friends getting irritated with their kitties. I always enjoy your tidbits about what NOT to do – like spray with water bottles, etc. Love your perspective! Hopefully this will help more people share it! Enjoyed the video as well, Lexi is a cutie!

    Reply
    • July 18, 2017 at 2:59 pm
      Permalink

      Yeah, I never knew myself until I read Cat Sense. While the book was incredibly dry, it was still pretty darn interesting in a lot of ways!

      Reply
  • July 17, 2017 at 11:16 pm
    Permalink

    It’s really funny to me that cats will meow when they get board, because I feel like I am the same way sometimes. I’ll make loud noises and be a little obnoxious and inevitably people will become annoyed. I can definitely appreciate not wanted to be sprayed by water at times like this!

    For my cats, I would definitely say that they make the most noise when it’s time to eat. Not only their food, but when I’m making my own food and they get a whiff of it, they’ll let me know with enthusiasm that they want some of it!

    I didn’t realize that there were so many possible reasons why our cats meow! Thanks for the info!

    Reply
    • July 18, 2017 at 2:58 pm
      Permalink

      Haha, that’s funny. I like it. I’ll freely admit when I get bored I will start texting and calling people, I guess a different way of making noise :). I suppose we are all social creatures to some extent!

      Reply
  • July 17, 2017 at 11:36 pm
    Permalink

    Great Article!
    My cat tends to meow the most when it wants to be fed! Otherwise, she is usually fine with her meows. The only way to keep her from doing that annoying meow is to remember to feed her on time!

    Reply
    • July 18, 2017 at 2:57 pm
      Permalink

      Haha, that is definitely one I run into often with Lexi! They certainly want to let us know when they are hungry.

      Reply
  • July 19, 2017 at 12:06 am
    Permalink

    You know…I’ve read an article where the author depicts women are like cats and men are like dogs. And after reading this article, I’d say I have to agree. Cats appear to be complex creatures, yet fascinating at the same time. Can’t help but want to be around them. My cousin use to have cats when we were growing up and I would just watch and play with them the whole time

    Reply
    • July 19, 2017 at 3:48 am
      Permalink

      Haha, can’t say I’ve ever heard that story before, but I can certainly draw some of the some conclusions! Thanks for sharing Will!

      Reply
  • July 26, 2017 at 5:28 pm
    Permalink

    Good evening Craig,

    Now, this is a website after my heart. I love the different stories and you sensible advice for so called problems. I live in the south of Spain in an 180-year-old farm house since 1981. I have always had some dogs and often a lot of cats as there is so much space. Most of them are outdoor cats but come inside for breakfast each in their own room. If the weather is bad they might go in the garage and stay with Cindy my dear old Rottweiler lady. Old Missu has a bed, food and water and a toilet in the store room.
    Your website comes in ever so handy especially for people who live in the city and have reduced space.
    As I have Astra Satelite TV I look at a German program on animals Saturday afternoon. More than once I have seen how stressed cats be cause they were bored completely turned in to happy cats with a home program making them do intelligent things etc.

    Regards, Taetske

    Reply
    • July 29, 2017 at 3:42 am
      Permalink

      I’m glad you’ve found my website useful and I appreciate you visiting! If you have any questions regarding your large number of cats please let me know :).

      Reply
  • July 28, 2017 at 5:30 am
    Permalink

    Hey, Craig! Your cat Lexi is a real cutie. And your home looks so neat and tidy! My cat Archie usually meows most when he wants attention – a refill (even when he’s not hungry!), a 5-second rub, to go outside (harnessed of course because he’s an indoor cat) and play. And usually when I’m super busy. But luckily he doesn’t meow in the middle of the night. 🙂

    Reply
    • July 29, 2017 at 3:44 am
      Permalink

      So glad to see you also harness your cat up. Beastling and Lexi are both 100% indoor cats, at least in regards to their time not on a harness. We’ve been working with both of them on a harness out in our garden and they’ve been making great progress! It is a riot watching Beastling do her little army crawl every time we harness her up…

      Reply
  • October 23, 2017 at 10:18 pm
    Permalink

    This is interesting Craig. Some people don’t really stop to think about what meowing can mean. There are many, many different reasons as you explain here!

    One of my cats meows when he has “litter box problems”. He gets constipated! I feel so bad that it took me so long to find solutions but we finally did! He would always meow before he went to the box. That can also be the case if cats have a UTI or blockage that makes urination painful so it is important for owners to notice if meowing accompanies litter box use.

    Reply
    • October 24, 2017 at 4:05 am
      Permalink

      Awww, that’s terrible! Hopefully you’ve found a remedy that works. When I adopted Beast (my little grey cat) the same family had another cat that was having a similar issue to your poor kitty. She would meow like crazy before using the litter box due to a health issue. The family was working on getting it resolved, but it must have been horribly painful for her!

      Reply
  • January 17, 2018 at 11:57 pm
    Permalink

    I had a cat called Sugar. She was very sweet, but she meowed a lot. A LOT! It could be quite tiresome at times. She always needed the company of a person. I did not have her to begin with, but got her at PetCo during one of their cat adoption fairs. She used to be owned by a woman with cancer who stayed in bed most of the time, so Sugar got pet quite a bit then. The woman passed away, so she was put up for adoption. She spent a lot of time at PetCo. She was an older cat and it was a kitten adoption fair, so she was overlooked. I chose her because she loved the scent of my Dad and the backstory behind her.

    For the time I was with Sugar, she needed a person. Whenever I was with her, I could feel the love radiate off of her. After I was done petting her though, she always meowed. She could never get enough. It was because she was lonely and getting older. Unfortunately, at the end of her life, we had to put her down as she had a lot of problems with Arthritis. It makes me tear up every time I think about her.

    If I had read your article when she was around, then I think I could have done more to help her. Thank you for sharing and I hope you give your own cat the good purr it deserves.

    Reply
    • January 18, 2018 at 8:08 am
      Permalink

      That’s quite the wonderful story Alex, it was so nice of you to adopt Sugar and keep her company for her senior years!

      Just as we humans do, cats age and run into health problems as well. Arthritis is certainly one of the toughest ones for them to go through. It sounds to me like you made her life quite wonderful, so the world thanks you for taking care of Sugar! 🙂

      Reply
  • February 1, 2018 at 6:54 pm
    Permalink

    …none of this is true. At least not in the sense that it’s accurate to every cat. Mine meows for ansplutely NO reason ALL the time. She has food and water amd clean litter. I’ve taken her to the vet for a physical amd updated her flea medicine while there. He found nothing wrong medically. She has toys and food puzzles and furinture. She has windows and fresh air and sunlight. I harness trained her and I take her for walks and I play with her amd pet her a lot. But NOTHING I do makes her stop meowing whenever my door is closed. I kick her out when I have work to do like typing or paperwork for obvious reasons. I also lock her out at night because she doesn’t let me sleep.

    I’ve tried ignoring her for 4ish months. All it did was make her meow more and louder. I tried a squirt bottle and sprayed her whenever she meowed, but she’d continue after a few minutes. Eventuall y she started svratching the paint off my door with her constant meowing, and the squirt bottle didn’t have any effect. I got so pissed off once that I threw her in the bathroom for an hour and she WOULD NOT shut the fuck up. Again, she has food (organic grain free holistic … every possible buzzword), she has water (fresh filtered and changed every day; I even got her a ceramic water dish to keep it tasting fresh as she HATED the fountain I got her), I use organic pine litter and clean it/change it daily depending. She has TWO litter boxes even, so that isn’t the issue. Every month I put her in her varrie and take her to visit her grandparents. She doesn’t luke the car, but it doesn’t freak her out, either. They have dogs and a turtle and everyone gets along. She’s even friends with my dad’s hundred pound pitbull. So she does socialize, too.

    This cat gets A LOT of attention. I mean basically whenever I’m home. She loves to cuddle so much I think of her as a teddy bear. But she absolutely can’t give me any kind of reasonable space. I’ve had her about 5 months. She’s around 8 months old and so far has been easy to train EXCEPT for this one issue. Rehoming her isn’t going to do any good, as she will just drive the next human crazy, too. If I can’t train her to stop this and only meow as a greeting or for food I’ll likely have to put her to sleep. I REFUSE to rehome a cat that will just be returned to me.

    That said, I really like this cat. She’s cuddly and playful and positive. She isn’t vindictive or destructive like some more angry cats can be. I just need peace. I need quiet when I’m working and sleeping. So far it looks like there’s nothing I can do because I’ve done everythi bg else and wasted a lot of money trying to please her.

    I need an alternative that doesn’t involve losing her in some form.

    Reply
  • February 1, 2018 at 6:57 pm
    Permalink

    Are comments moderated? Mine appears to have been deleted by a bot or something.

    Reply
    • February 2, 2018 at 3:26 pm
      Permalink

      They are indeed moderated. Sometimes it takes me a few days to get to them though.

      Apologies

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *