Felines have a reputation for being quiet but chatty cats can be the most natural thing in the world. Many breeds of cat are naturally vocal, especially the Asian breeds such as Siamese and Peterbald, who appreciate “talking” with their owners. Many cats are not, however, and vocalization demands attention. Some of the most common reasons why your cat may be talkative are:
This may seem simple, but it’s a big one. Cats often tend to go ignored, even by loving owners, who believe they will be fine with a lack of attention. While this can be true for some, it isn’t guaranteed. Cats require stimulation as much as any dog and some simple games can help eliminate excess energy. Hiding small treats and toys around the house before you leave can make a great game during the day. Making certain they have a window and warm place to sit or lay while watching the outside world can also help–remember, the window is the cat’s TV. Hanging toys from door handles or even the ceiling (over a shelf or other surface they can easily reach) will also help mitigate their energy. And remember to always greet your cat and schedule some one-on-one playtime when you get home.
If you have recently lost a family member, pet or otherwise, your cat may simply be grieving. Vocalization can be a normal part of this process for them. Keeping their schedule as close to routine as you can, and making sure to give them extra snuggles and attention should let them work through it at their own pace.
They’re Looking for Attention
If you’ve made a habit of giving your cat attention and/or treats when they start vocalizing they’ve likely learned to expect rewards for talking. If you enjoy your cat’s voice there’s no issue. But, if you would like the behavior to stop, it is important to ignore them—even when they get louder. Reward them when they are quiet, instead, and the behavior should gradually stop as they learn. But before you assume this is right, schedule a vet visit because the next reason is…
They Have Medical Problems
Cats are notorious for hiding illnesses and pain until the problem is severe. One of the few ways they may try to tell you is by vocalizing more than usual. If the cat’s meowing has started recently, become increasingly excessive, or sounds pained in any way, scheduling a vet visit is a good idea.
She’s in Heat
If your female cat has not been spayed, she may simply be in heat. Heat begins when a cat is six-months-old and will happen several times a year for the rest of her life if she remains unaltered. During these periods the cat will become exceedingly affectionate and yowl often, if not constantly, in hopes of attracting a mate. The only way to stop this behavior is to have the cat spayed. Fortunately, having a cat spayed comes with many health benefits for the cat, reduces the amount of strays hanging around your house, will reduce her natural urge to wander, and cuts down on the number of kittens you’ll be responsible for.
They’re Getting Older
As cats age their senses begin to dim, just like a human’s. As they reach their golden years their day/night cycle may become confused, and their eye sight weaken. This frequently leads to more vocalization when the cat is distressed, disoriented, or simply attempting to find their way around the house.