Why Your Cat Is Meowing Loudly and How to Stop It

Begging cat portrait.
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Cats can make a variety of noises, as any cat owner already knows. Some breeds, such as Siamese, are known to be naturally noisy, but cats may meow loudly for a variety of reasons. This excessive meowing can become annoying to some owners. If you can figure out the reason for your cat’s loud meowing, then you can potentially do something to stop it, or at least understand why your cat does it.

Why Do Cats Meow?

A meow can come in many forms for many reasons, but most healthy cats are usually trying to communicate something when they meow. They may be trying to tell you they are hungry, stressed, scared, excited, or want attention, and the meow may sound slightly different based on the reason for making it.

Scared and angry meows are typically louder than other meows and painful meows or cries can also be very loud and are an obvious sign of distress in your cat. Hungry meows usually go along with excitement. If your cat hears a treat bag crinkling or food bowls clanging, they may come running and start meowing out of excitement. Attention-seeking meows are indications that your cat may want to be pet, chased, or played with and an attention-seeking cat who is also very excited may meow loudly when they see you. This often occurs when owners return home from being gone.

Deaf Cat Meows

Deaf cats may not even know they are making a noise when they meow, so it can be very difficult to interpret what a deaf cat is trying to communicate to you through their vocalizations. Meows coming from a deaf cat are also often much louder than a typical cat would make, especially if they can’t see you and are looking for you.

Some cats are born deaf while others become deaf over time. Deafness that develops in a cat may be concerning, so you should discuss this with your veterinarian to make sure your cat doesn’t have an ear infection or another issue.

Cognitive Dysfunction in Cats

Similarly to people who have Alzheimer’s disease, cats and dogs can develop cognitive dysfunction as they age. This dysfunction may cause a cat to appear confused and even vocalize more than they used to. Some cats will also stare and meow loudly, especially at night.

Cognitive dysfunction as a disease process is not completely understood, but some nutritional supplements are available to support your cat’s aging brain. Discuss your cat’s odd behaviors with your veterinarian to see if they think your cat could benefit from some brain support as they get older.

How Do You Stop Loud Meowing?

If you have figured out the reason behind your cat's loud meowing, then you may be able to stop it from happening by making a few changes.

Hungry cats will continue to meow loudly when they are hungry if you reward their cries with food and treats. To lessen or stop these types of loud meows, try ignoring the cries for food and wait until you cat is quiet to feed them.

Healthy cats that routinely meow loudly at night outside your bedroom door may need to burn off some extra energy. To decrease this attention-seeking meowing while you are trying to sleep, be sure to wear your cat out with toys and exercise during the day. Cats are nocturnal, so they are naturally awake at night but if your cat wants to play, they will try to get your attention, even if you are trying to sleep.

Cats that don’t feel well may meow loudly. This may occur while they are having trouble in the litter box or throughout the day to get your attention. They may be trying to tell you that they hurt or something doesn’t feel right. If you suspect your cat is sick or in pain they should be checked by a vet.

If you suspect your cat has developed deafness or cognitive dysfunction and is meowing loudly for no apparent reason, talk with your vet. Deafness may be temporary due to an infection that can be treated, but if it is ignored for a long time, it could become permanent. Cognitive dysfunction may be able to be supported with nutritional supplements and dietary changes or there may be other suggestions your vet has, to ensure your cat’s safety and well-being as it ages.

If your cat meows loudly when its left alone, it may simply need to be comforted. Make sure you don’t accidentally lock it in a closet or bathroom if its easily frightened. Provide your nervous cat with plenty of options for comfort, such as cozy beds or cat houses and consider using calming pheromones in the areas they frequent.