How to Stop Your Cat Meowing
You love your cat, they’re super cute and always seem to know when you need a cuddle. But when your cat won’t stop meowing it’s incredible how quickly that love begins to fade. We know the feeling- what started as cute kitten meows has now become a constant source of annoyance. Whilst you’re pleased that your cat has noticed you exist, you wish you could get more than a couple of hour’s sleep without disturbance. You can see your visitors getting irritated by the constant drone and to be honest, you don’t blame them. The meowing has got to stop.
Cats meow for a myriad of reasons, whether it’s to greet someone, ask for things, or tell us something is wrong. Kittens will meow to their mothers to let them know that they are hungry, although interestingly adult cats will not meow at one another, only at humans. This is probably because they have learned that meowing will get humans to do what they want. However, it can also be a sign that they are unwell or uncomfortable.
Many cats gear up the meowing at night which can be troublesome for humans who are trying to get a good night’s sleep. This calling can quickly become excessive and the temptation can be to give into your cat’s desires just to get some peace and quiet.
The problem is that by rewarding this behavior, you are teaching your cat that meowing will get them what they want. More importantly (from your perspective), you are setting yourself up for many more nights of disturbed sleep.
Some people say it’s impossible to train a cat but most cats will reduce their meowing once the cause is addressed. The first step is to understand why your cat is meowing a
nd resolve that issue, then your cat is more likely to stop meowing. It could be that there is a medical reason your cat is meowing, or perhaps they are lonely and craving your attention.
It could just be that your cat is a little spoiled and learned that meowing will get it what it wants. Let’s run through some reasons and try to get to the bottom of the issue:
There are a whole host of medical reasons why your cat might be meowing, and it’s obviously important to eliminate any possibility that your cat is suffering. Thyroid disease, hypertension, urinary pain, kidney disease and cognitive dysfunction are all possible reasons why your cat could be vocalising more than usual.
If your cat is getting older, it’s possible that their decreasing vision or hearing is causing them anxiety and they may not want to be left alone in the dark. Deaf cats that can’t hear themselves are also likely to increase the volume of their calls.
Take your cat to the vet and consult them about the meowing, especially if it has recently increased. They will be able to rule out any medical issues and help you understand why your cat might be meowing.
Your cat could be meowing at night because they are unhappy with where they are left to sleep, particularly if they tend to nap on your bed during the day. Cats like to be in warm, soft places which are raised off the ground. Perhaps your living room isn’t warm enough or they don’t feel safe.
Create a cozy space which fits their needs, fill up a water dish and leave some of their favourite toys in the area. Try putting a hot water bottle under a blanket wherever you want them to sleep, this should encourage them to snuggle up there and stop them meowing outside your bedroom door.
Despite the popular stereotype of hostile, uncaring cats, many pets need a lot of attention to feel reassured. Play with them before bedtime, especially focusing on running or jumping activities. This should tire them out and hopefully encourage them to rest whilst you do. Make sure to give them some cuddles and pet them as well so that they don’t feel so lonely when they’re on their own.
If other methods aren’t working then you my need to consider deterrents to prevent your cat meowing outside your door. Try putting some aluminium foil, sandpaper or sticky tape outside your door to deter your cat from standing there. The only problem is you will need to remember not to trip up on these things when you walk out of your room.
Alternatively, you can mix up a homemade cat repellant spray and treat the area. Mix a 1:1 ratio of water to apple cider vinegar and spray liberally around the door and floor area. You could also use an essential oil like lavender, peppermint, citronella or lemongrass mixed in a 3 parts water, 1 part oil solution. These smell nicer for you and work just as well.
If all else fails…
Give your cat away.
Just joking! But you may want to consider putting your cat in another space when you go to sleep. Make sure they have everything they need such as food, water, litter box and toys. Also consider setting up a little snuggle area with a hot water bottle and blanket to encourage positive associations with the room for your cat.
The most important thing is not to give into your cat if they are meowing or scratching. Don’t reward them with attention as it will encourage them to behave like this in the future. Of course, every cat is different so what works for one may not work for another.
Examine the times when you cat is meowing the most and imagine what they could want in that situation, then do your best to address the issue. You may need to try several of these strategies before something works, but stick with them and you should start to see results.
If you’ve tried everything and your cat still won’t stop meowing, try these suggestions…