Why is My Cat Meowing so Much? 10 Reasons Why

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Last Updated: March 12th, 2024

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The question “Why is my cat meowing so much” is very common. Cat’s only vocal capability is meowing and sometimes there may be an important message behind the innocent “meow”.

a cute kitten meowing

A cat’s meow is far from just a simple cat call. From the gentle greeting meow to the persistent cries for attention, understanding the reasons behind these vocal cues is key to strengthening the bond between you and your pet. This article explores the top 10 reasons why your cat may be more vocal than usual, understanding underlying needs that drive this natural behavior. Whether it’s a plea for playtime or a sign of something more serious, getting to the root of your cat’s increased vocalization will help ensure your furry companion is both happy and healthy.

10 Reasons for Cat’s Excessive Meowing

Cats meow for various reasons, ranging from communication to indicating distress. Here’s a list of possible reasons why your cat might be meowing more than usual:

Meowing, for the most part, occurs in a variety of situations during friendly cat–human interactions and according to this study, more often than in cat–cat interactions.

Attention Seeking

A lot of cat’s behavior, like sleeping on you or following you around is to get your attention. Your cat may have learned that meowing gets your attention. Cats often meow to initiate play, petting, or to get you to talk to them.

Your cat may be meowing for attention as a learned behavior; if meowing has previously garnered your response in the form of attention, play, or food, your cat is likely to continue this communication strategy. It’s also possible your cat is seeking social interaction due to boredom or a lack of stimulation, especially if they’re a particularly sociable breed or have become used to constant companionship. Some cats also develop separation anxiety, which can cause them to meow excessively when they’re alone or anticipate being alone. It’s important to consider the context of your cat’s meowing—when it happens, for how long, and under what circumstances—to determine the cause and address their needs effectively.


A common reason for meowing is hunger. If it’s close to their feeding time, they might let you know it’s time to eat. Your cat meows when hungry as a direct form of communication to alert you to its needs. Cats are intelligent animals that often learn to associate certain behaviors with outcomes; if meowing has led to being fed in the past, they will continue to vocalize when they want food. This behavior is reinforced each time they receive food in response to their meowing, effectively training them to use this method as a reliable way to indicate hunger. This is a natural behavior for domestic cats, who rely on their human caregivers for food.

why is my cat meowing so much? cat meowing at owner

Health Issues

If your cat is meowing more than usual and you suspect it’s due to health issues, it’s likely because they are experiencing discomfort, pain, or disorientation. Conditions such as arthritis, dental disease, hyperthyroidism, or cognitive dysfunction in older cats can all lead to increased vocalizations. Since cats instinctively hide their pain, persistent meowing should be taken seriously as a possible indicator of health problems, and a veterinary check-up is recommended to diagnose and treat any underlying issues.


A new pet, a new baby, changes in the home, or the loss of a loved one can cause stress in cats, leading to more vocalization. When stressed, cats may meow excessively as a way to express their anxiety and discomfort. This vocalization is a form of self-soothing and a plea for attention and reassurance from their human companions, signaling a need for a safe and secure environment.


As cats age, they may meow more due to several age-related factors including cognitive decline (similar to dementia in humans), which can cause confusion and anxiety. Sensory impairments, such as hearing or vision loss, can also lead to increased vocalization as your cat tries to orient themselves or communicate their needs. Additionally, older cats may suffer from health issues like arthritis, hyperthyroidism, or organ dysfunction, which can cause discomfort or pain, prompting them to meow more frequently. It’s important to consult with a vet if you notice a significant change in an aging cat’s vocal behavior to address any medical concerns and improve their quality of life.

Loneliness or Boredom

Your cat may be meowing out of boredom if it lacks sufficient mental and physical stimulation, which is a basic need for cats. Just like humans, cats require regular interaction and engaging activities to stay mentally sharp and physically fit. Without interactive play, challenging toys, or environmental enrichment (like climbing structures or scratching posts), cats may vocalize their need for attention and activity.

cat sitting and meowing out of boredom

Breeding Behavior

Your cat may meow excessively as part of their breeding behavior, especially if they have not been spayed or neutered. Female cats in heat can vocalize persistently to advertise their availability to males, while males meow when they detect the scent of a female in heat nearby. This form of vocalization is a natural part of the feline mating process, serving as a means to communicate reproductive availability and to facilitate the mating ritual between male and female cats.


Your cat meows when greeting you as a form of friendly communication and to express happiness or excitement upon seeing you. This behavior is similar to humans saying hello when they see someone they recognize. Cats often develop a specific type of meow that they use consistently to greet their owners, which can be seen as a sign of affection and the strong bond they share with you. It’s also a way for your cat to solicit attention and interaction after a period of separation, reinforcing the social bond they have with you.

Wants to Be Let In/Out

This one is pretty self explenatory. Your cat meows when it wants to be let in or out as a direct form of communication, signaling a desire to change its environment—either seeking the stimulation of the outdoors or the comfort and resources inside. Cats are intelligent and quickly learn that meowing is an effective way to get their human companions to open doors for them. This behavior is reinforced every time you respond to their meow by letting them in or out, strengthening their understanding that vocalizing is the method to have their needs met.

Sensory Decline

Older cats may meow more with sensory decline due to confusion, disorientation, or anxiety as their ability to navigate and understand their environment diminishes. As a cat’s vision or hearing worsens, they might vocalize to help orient themselves using echolocation or to call out for the reassurance of their owners’ presence. Increased meowing can also be a cat’s way of expressing distress or seeking assistance when they find it more challenging to locate food, water, or their litter box, or to avoid obstacles they previously maneuvered around with ease. It’s a method of compensating for their loss of sensory input and a tool for communication when their primary senses are no longer reliable.


The main function of meowing in domestic cats is to communicate with humans. They carry important messages about your cat’s needs and overall health. If your cat’s meowing seems out of character or is accompanied by other symptoms (e.g., changes in appetite, excessive drinking, weight, activity level, or bathroom habits), it’s important to consult a veterinarian to rule out health issues. Regular check-ups can ensure that your cat stays healthy and that any concerns are addressed promptly.



Maja Sebenik is a proud owner of a Dachshund named Bimba. With three years of experience working as a researcher for a pet magazine, Maja's love for animals runs deep. Through her heartfelt writing, Maja shares practical tips, advice, and heartwarming anecdotes to inspire fellow pet lovers. Join her on a journey to explore the wonders of the animal kingdom, one paw at a time.

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