When it comes to meowing and other vocalisations aside from purring, some cats are a lot more vocal than others! Some cats seem to only very occasionally meow and are otherwise silent, whilst some cats are real chatterboxes, and will meep and chirp away to you all day long!
Meowing is, for many people, a pleasant sound, and many of us like to have conversations with our cats, or have come to understand the meanings of different meows-but if your cat absolutely never stops talking or meows in a particularly loud, insistent or piercing tone, this can potentially drive you mad!
In this article, we will look at some of the most common causes of excessive vocalisations in cats, and some of the potential ways in which you may be able to quiet them down. Read on to learn more.
Some breeds and types of cats are well known for being very vocal, and this is something that you should bear in mind when making a decision about what sort of cat to get. The Siamese and the Bengal are probably the two most notable highly vocal cat breeds, and for many owners, this is all part of their appeal.
However, even knowing this does not necessarily prepare the first-time owner for the sheer volume and duration of noise that such small pets can produce, and this can come as something of a culture shock!
That said, even among breeds that tend to be fairly noisy as standard, it may still be possible to quiet them down a little.
If your cat is not generally overly noisy but suddenly seems to have realised that they like the sound of their own voice and intend to make sure that you can hear it all day and night, there may be something wrong with your cat. Whilst many cats that are feeling ill, unsettled or otherwise uncomfortable will hide away and try to do as little as possible to draw attention to themselves, others will make as much noise as possible to let you know that they are displeased!
If something has recently changed in your home, such as a move, a new pet or a new family member, this may simply be unsettling your cat-work to make them feel comfortable and secure, and they should quiet down again over time.
If nothing new has changed, it is a good idea to get your vet to give your cat a check over to ensure that there is nothing wrong with them.
One of the oldest jokes in the book about pets is that “dogs have owners, cats have staff,” and this is exactly how most cats think things should be!
Cats are actually fairly adept at training their owners to respond to them and do the things that they want, and vocalising can be one of the most effective ways to do this.
If your cat looks at you and meows or jumps on you and starts meowing at you, the vast majority of us will start asking (either out loud or in our heads) “what’s up Kitty? What do you need?” and then run through all of the possible scenarios, such as the cat asking for food, attention, a treat, to play, or something else-and then catering for it.
In this way, your cat quickly learns that by meowing at you for something that you will provide them with something that they want-and the chances are that you will soon learn to tell each individual meow “question” from your cat apart, and so know what they are looking for!
This serves to encourage your cat to be vocal and to ask for things, and sometimes, these questioning tones are the most insistent and voluble, and so, can be the most annoying-meaning that you are more likely to tend to your cat immediately!
Breaking your cat of this pattern by ignoring them when they are demanding something from you can be challenging, but is the best way to un-train yourself, as it were, and teach your cat that noise does not get them things!
Additionally, if you can find a loud sound that your cat dislikes (such as a whistle or a rattle) making this sound every time your cat starts making a lot of noise may serve to quiet them down.
Cats that have not been neutered are generally a lot noisier than neutered cats, for a lot of reasons. When they can scent a member of the opposite sex that is also unneutered, they are pre-programmed to seek them out to mate, and if you are trying to keep them inside or keep two unneutered cats apart, the chances are that you will hear all about it!
Additionally, cats that are primed for mating will often make a lot of noise to both attract a mate and go through the whole mating ritual, which can easily sound like one of the cats is killing the other when in fact they are not even touching!
Neutering your cat if you do not intend to breed from them is very important for a lot of reasons, and reducing excessive vocalisations is just one of the more minor ones!