Tip 43 – Meowing cat – excessive meowing
Although usually quiet when left alone, cats can be quite vocal when they need to be. Hissing, growling and screaming are all vocalizations that cats make usually when they feel scared or threatened. Other familiar noises include purring and of course the meow.
Cats meow to get human attention. Except from mother to kitten cats rarely meow to one another. Occasional meowing is cute and adorable but excessive meowing can be a problem. As with most behavioral problems there is always the underlying possibility that it stems from some physical ailment. It is important to rule this out before treating any behavioral problem.
Treating Excessive Meowing
Excessive meowing can be most annoying when we are trying to sleep. Some cats have the habit of meowing and/or scratching in front of the bedroom door until we let them in. The first rule of thumb is do not respond directly to the cat’s meowing. The cat is doing this to get your attention. Getting up to see what the cat wants, shushing or yelling at the cat is the worst thing to do because you are reinforcing the undesirable behaviour by giving the cat attention. Your attention is its reward. The easiest solution is to get a pair of earplugs. If you do not respond to the cat’s meowing it will probably stop within a few days.
If that does not work, you can try some of the following tips:
· Keep your cat extra busy during your waking hours and especially in the evening with toys, extra play etc. This will help it sleep when you sleep.
· Squirting – Have a spray bottle ready and when your cat wakes you with its meowing wait behind your closed door. At the very next meow, spray the cat’s paws from under the door. The cat will learn to associate this behaviour with a squirting.
· Alarms and compressed air devices – These are products available in most pet stores that either make a loud noise or shoot compressed air when the cat passes by an area it’s not supposed to.
· A vet may be able to prescribe calming medication if the above methods fail.
It is important to know that some cat breeds are just naturally more vocal than others. These breeds include the Balinese, Burmese, Cornish rex, Japanese Bobtail, Korat, Siamese, and Tonkinese.