Cats are simple creatures: Aside from wanting to be petted, fed and offered a clean litter box, they don’t seem to ask for much. But if Patches has been making his presence around the house more known with a more frequent or louder meow, you should probably hear him out. Besides being hungry or thirsty, there may be other reasons your cat is suddenly so vocal. Veterinarians Dr. Mina Morkos and Dr. Sara Ochoa helped The Active Times translate a cat’s meow and offered some insight that cat every owner should know.
Your cat wants attention
Cats specifically use meows to get the attention of their owners, and more often than not, they just want to play. Ochoa says that this type of meowing, which is often short and soft, is most common in homes that only have one pet. “If your pet is an only cat and you are their entertainment, they may meow more often than one who has other cats to play with,” she said.
She’s in heat
If you’ve noticed that your female cat is constantly meowing, it is possible that she’s looking to settle down and have some babies. According to Morkos, if your cat is raising her tail more often and rubbing against you or the couch (or do you call it a sofa?), these are also signs that she is in heat. Although kittens are undoubtedly adorable, you may not be able to handle them. Most vets advise getting your cat spayed. Getting your cat spayed will also allow her to live a longer and healthier life, according to ASPCA.
Your cat is getting old
As cats age, not only will their meow transition from soft and squeaky to deeper and more mature, but you may also notice that the meows are more frequent. “Older cats tend to meow a lot, especially at night,” said Morkos. “It’s almost howling. They just want attention.”
Your cat is in pain
If a cat’s meows are louder and high-pitched, it is likely that they are in pain. Constant and aggressive meowing can be a sign that your cat has a fracture, a UTI or blockage in the digestive system. According to Morkos, these conditions are often signaled by additional symptoms, such as limping, littering outside of the box, vomiting or refusing to eat. If these changes accompany aggressive meowing, Ochoa advises to take your cat to the veterinarian right away, as it can be something very serious.
There’s a fly in your house
Trying to catch a stubborn bug that’s flying around is incredibly frustrating for both you and your cat. A cat meows because it is the best way to get a human’s attention, so they may be trying to tell you that there are unwanted guests in the house, like bugs or a mouse, that they are trying to kill. If this meowing is getting on your nerves, keep the peace by learning how to protect your home from the most common pest invaders.