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Guest Lancelot Arnold

Vocalization Behavior Problems in Cats

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Guest Lancelot Arnold

You’ve just finally fallen asleep, when suddenly you hear your cat howling and crying at the top of their lungs outside your bedroom door. This behavior may be completely normal for your cat but it can also be a sign of senility in older cats. Some breeds of cats, like Siamese, are naturally more vocal than others and will just meow loudly for your attention at night. Cats, as a species, are nocturnal so they will be more active at night when you want to sleep. If your cat is not of an age where you feel senility could be playing a part in these late night vocalizations, they may just need something to keep them busy while you sleep, or get more exercise during the day so they are less active at night. If you feel senility is the main reason for the vocalizing, discuss supplements, medications, pheromones, special diets and other things that are designed to help cats with this problem with your vet.

If your cat meows and howls during the day it could be a sign of pain. Cats that are crying while eliminating in the litter box are usually crying out in discomfort or pain from trying to urinate or defecate. Other obvious signs of pain, such as cat fights or pinched tails in doors, are also reasons for these vocalizations. If you suspect your cat is in pain you should seek veterinary care for your cat immediately.

Meowing, crying or howling during the day could also simply be done as attention seeking behavior, especially if your cat wants food, to go outside or to be pet. The response you give your cat (i.e. giving in to their request for a treat) will train your cat to continue to make these vocalizations in order to get what they want.

If you hear changes in your cat’s voice, it could be because they have been crying for a prolonged period of time, they have had some sort of irritation to their throat (i.e. after surgery when a tube has been placed down their throat) or they are sick. Some illnesses, such as having lungworms or asthma, may also cause your cat to sound differently. If you suspect your cat is ill, seek veterinary care.

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