A person emailed me with the above question. My initial response was to tell him that you have got to know how much your cat meows normally before you can decide whether he is meowing more than normal and therefore “so much”. Then there is the person’s expectations…
Some cats are more vocal than others. So if your cat is vocal and he’s always vocal then that is normal and it should be accepted. This is provided that all the other boxes have been ticked with respect to health and circumstance by which I mean the cat is known to be healthy and nothing untoward has occurred.
The person who asked the question did not have a purebred cat but if he had an Oriental shorthair or Siamese then the answer would probably be in the breed’s characteristics because as we know these breeds are vocal.
Cats Meow at People
The meow is one of a range of sounds that the domestic cat makes. In fact it is said that cats rarely meow with each other but that the meow has been developed to communicate with us, their human caretakers. That said, kittens meow to their mothers when they’re hungry or cold and so on. People need to make sure they are differentiating between the meow and other vocalisations such as a growl. Cats will also have their own individual sounds akin to meows.
Oftentimes when a cat meows at their caretaker it is a request for something such as food or more generally a learned response to get attention. If the caretaker is not providing enough food then naturally the cat will meow more often which may explain why the cat is meowing “so much”. It may be the case that on occasions a cat may demand too much food for his own good perhaps because the food is addictive to a certain extent. It is said that some dry cat food is addictive resulting in obesity. The only answer is to not respond to the cat’s meow: tough love is probably be the answer under these circumstances together with providing better quality food.
The experts say that cats meow when they are attention seeking. Personally, I have never experienced this. I’m not sure that cats do attention seek in the conventional sense as a child might. If a cat is attention seeking by meowing a lot then it could be said that the human guardian is not providing enough attention. The experts say that if a cat is attention seeking the person should ignore the cat to stop the meowing. That’s what they say but I don’t agree with it and will leave it at that for the time being.
The most common time when my cat meows is when he greets me after being outside. He is excited to see me and happy to be inside with me. But his meowing is not excessive. I would doubt that a person would complain that their cat meows “so much” simply because he/she is greeting his human companion. Of course, people will have different expectations as what is a normal amount of meowing. Cats are generally quite quiet and don’t vocalise that much.
When ill, the domestic cat is generally quiet and passive. However, sometimes the pain can be bad enough such that the cat has to vocalise his emotions. An observant cat caretaker should be able to make a reasonable guess or assessment that their cat is vocalising pain because of the surrounding circumstances. Perhaps his cat has just returned from the veterinary clinic after being declawed and the owner has forgotten to administer painkillers.
When cats become very old they sometimes have dementia. Dementia causes confusion and confusion can lead to howling or meowing at night. This is normal for the condition and, in my opinion, the owner should get out of bed and attend to their cat to comfort him and alleviate the confusion.
Females yell when in heat and males yell when they smell a female in heat. However, this is not meowing. The sounds are quite different. Also, both males and females should be “fixed” meaning spayed and neutered and therefore this aspect of domestic cat behaviour should not be apparent.
In conclusion, if the cat is meowing a lot – more than normal – then I would look to circumstances that may indicate that he is in pain. Having eliminated that possibility (this may require an veterinary visit) I would then look to making sure that I was giving my cat enough attention and company. Both these points should cover about 80% of the reasons. However, the most likely reason why a person asks “Why does my cat meow so much?” is because the person mistakenly thinks that their cat is meowing a lot more than normal. The person should check that their expectations are correct. There are two sides to this topic.
These are my thoughts. They are not set in concrete. You may disagree.
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