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Cat Crying

Cat Crying

by Michael
(London, UK)

This picture is humourous but the reason for a cat crying is probably serious.

What is cat crying? ANS: A cat that meows continuously. REASON: The cat is probably in pain1. There are other reasons, however.

When this happens a trip to the veterinarian is usually called for and as quickly as possible, it seems to me. Although sometimes a crying cat can simply be seeking attention for one reason or another. But in my experience these are rarely continuous.

Cat crying for long periods can strain the voice - cause laryngitis.

Some examples when cat crying occurs:

Cat in Heat The cat is not in pain. During estrus the second stage in the heat cycle and when the queen is sexually receptive, she makes more noise and the meows are louder and more frequent. See Cat heat behavior

A kitten crying indicates that he or she is cold, sick, hungry or perhaps in pain. A kitten that is distressed for these reasons might crawl about and move away from the mother. The crying meow may continue for 20 minutes or more. The mother may reject the kitten. This situation can be reversed if the cause it treated.

Pseudorabies: This disease has symptoms that look like those of rabies. It is caused by a herpes virus. It can be acquired by eating infected uncooked beef or pork or an infected rat. It is 'highly fatal'1. The cat suffers intense pain and cries. It drools excessively and scratches the head and shoulders where there is intense itching. Collapse and coma follow.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy is rapid onset. It progresses over 2-3 days as the heart fails. There is laboured breathing. The cat strains for air. The pulse is rapid. There is weight loss, weakness and cat crying. See Cat heart murmur symptoms

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease is the most common lower urinary tract disorder in cats. The symptoms are prolonged squatting and straining when urinating. Cats pass bloody urine and urinate in strange places. Cats cry out when voiding.

Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome commonly known as cat senility. Very old cats tend to cry at night. My lady cat does. She looks confused and I think it is this that makes her cry out.

Feline Hyperthyroidism a disorder of the glands tending to affect older cats. Read about it here.

There are obviously other reasons why cat crying occurs. The advice as mentioned is immediate veterinary care if pain is suspected. Other signs will firm up the diagnosis.


1. Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook by Drs Carslon and Giffin.

Cat Crying Cat Health Problems

Comments for
Cat Crying

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Nov 11, 2011 @Ruth (Monty)
by: Jack

Hello Ruth, did you let a vet examine Monty?maybe its something physical and he is constantly in pain or discomfort at least,and maybe what he has is not directly fatal,and therefore you didnt notice anything more serious

May 16, 2011 My sister's cat cries a lot
by: Ruth (Monty's Mom)

My cat Monty will cry when he wants something, but when he gets it, he stops. It's always clear what he wants. He's such a little actor. He'll do a pitiful meow to indicate he's starving when begging for his third breakfast. He'll meow like he's being tortured if he wants outside and no one wants to take him out. But it's always clear what he wants and if he's content he doesn't usually vocalize, except a lot of purring.

My sister's cat meows constantly all the time, and she doesn't know what's wrong. His name is Kobe and he came with our house. His former owners were going to toss him out because he didn't get along with their other cat. We convinced them we would take him. He didn't want to live downstairs-- the upstairs apartment of our duplex was where he lived before and it's where he wanted to keep living. So he became my sister's cat.

Kobe only likes my sister and has not really bonded with any other human being on earth, ever, as far as we can tell. We wish we knew why he always seems so unhappy now, ten years later, and why he cries so much. It just seems like nothing is ever right in Kobe's world while my sister follows him from room to room trying to figure out why he is crying.

I got him a big scratching post with lots of perches and he does seem to like that. He's started a game of jumping from sofa to sofa and up to the highest perch on his scratching post, which is impressive for an older cat. But overall he's a very easily frightened cat who seems quite upset a lot of the time with no clear reason for his unease or for his almost constant meowing.

Nov 18, 2010 Cat Crying.
by: Rudolph.A.Furtado

As Fin Frode commented on his cat , my tom cat "Matata" has an unusual habit of crying loudly daily in the morning between 0400 to 0500 hrs, seeking attention, waking up the household. He is a very pampered cat, akin to a little spoiled brat, always seeking our attention, loves to be petted.Luckily, i also normally wake up around this unearthly hour for my daily cycling exercise to the Mumbai race-course and back, excellent in the dark early morning weather.Normally throughout the day matata is quiet,does cry sometimes occasionally for seeking our attention, but cry's loudly regularly only in the early morning hours.His other behaviour and food eating habits are very normal, a healthy cat.

Apr 30, 2010 Crying to attract attention
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Our almost 16 year old Norwegian Milly usually has her morning craze around 4 AM. She picks up her favorite cat wand and drags it from the living room to our bedroom door, crying all the time as if she is presenting an exciting prey to her kittens. She never had kittens btw, but she thinks of her humans as kittens.
As soon as the door opens, the wand is no longer interesting and she just jumps into bed, so apparently she has to be carrying prey in order to get the crying right.

Apr 25, 2010 Cats crying
by: Sue

Very interesting.
Yes I too have noticed very old cats crying in the night.
It's the most heart rending sound ever to a cat lover.
One of my present cats is elderly,I dread the time she may start doing this "getting ready to leave you" crying.

Apr 25, 2010 Siamese
by: Lenore

Please don't forget that siamese are also quite chatty adn do cry for every little thing (eg: hungry, sleepy, love me etc.) however, if a siamese is in distress, the cry is very different and alarming!

Apr 25, 2010 Thanks Ruth
by: Michael

Thanks, Ruth, for adding your knowledge to this page. It is very useful and welcome.

Apr 25, 2010 Cat crying
by: Ruth

I'd like to add that very old cats are sometimes very vocal especially in the 'wee small hours'
Our Bert who lived until he was 17 used to cry a lot as dawn approached and so did Ebony who died a few years back at 17 too.
Neither cat was in pain or distress so I think with old cats it's definately attention seeking, and who can blame them ! They need a lot of love and comfort and time spent with them and that's what we gave ours.
A friend is going through the very same experience at present with her very old cat,he's well looked after and eating fine but just keeps on crying and waking her up for attention.
Do very old cats sense when their time on earth is coming to an end and want to have as much time as possible with us before they leave us ?

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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