Why is My Cat Vocalizing So Much?


Ru Chen

- Updated April 12, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Cats vocalize excessively for many reasons
  • Hunger, boredom, and medical conditions are common reasons
  • Check with a vet to see what treatments are necessary
Why is My Cat Vocalizing So Much?

Meows and purrs can be adorable, but sometimes cats make loud and disruptive sounds. Cats vocalize excessively for countless reasons – hunger, loneliness, fear, pain, and sickness are common causes. You can train your cat to vocalize less, but medical issues will need to be treated promptly by a veterinarian. But how can you tell?

Let’s go over the types of cat vocalizations, why cats vocalize excessively, and strategies for dealing with excessive meowing.


Understanding Cat Vocalization

Normal Cat Vocalization

It’s normal for cats to meow and make noises. As you take care of your cat, you’ll get a sense of their baseline vocalization amount.

Meowing: Cats meow to communicate with humans. A mid-pitch, regular meow is simply your cat asking for something. A repeated meow might mean your cat is excited and playful, but a high-pitched one may be a sign of distress.

Purring: Cats purr to show affection and contentment. However, cats may also purr to self-soothe during stressful situations, so note the context of purring. Purrs sound like a vibrating rumble that many find comforting. When you groom or scratch a cat, they may purr to express satisfaction.

Chirping: Cats sometimes make bird-like noises, like a chirp or chatter. This typically expresses happiness, excitement, or eagerness to hunt. Cats may chirp during playtime.

Communication Purposes

Hunger: If a cat is hungry or finds that you have missed mealtime, they may meow to get your attention. Cats may also meow at mealtime because they have been conditioned, associating meowing with receiving food.

Attention: Cats crave affection. A cat who is bored or lonely might meow more so you pay them attention.

Stress: An annoyed, frightened, or angry cat may growl, hiss, or yowl. These noises signal that your cat is in pain or distress. Check on your cat as soon as possible to see what is wrong.

Health Issues: Underlying health conditions and pain can cause cats to vocalize more.

Searching for other cats: Intact female cats in heat will yowl and want to breed. Male cats who smell a female cat in heat may also vocalize in response.

Common Reasons for Excessive Cat Vocalization

Hunger or Thirst

The most common reason behind meowing a lot is if a cat is hungry or thirsty. If your cat is vocalizing excessively, check their food and water station. Are their bowls empty? If so, they likely need you to refill them. If the bowls are full already, consider whether you have obtained a new type of kibble for them recently. Some cats may be disturbed by changes in their cat food.

It’s important to maintain a consistent feeding schedule. Cats feel more secure when meals are at the same time each day. Water should always be easily accessible to prevent thirst.

Seeking Attention

Other than out of hunger and thirst, cats may let out attention-seeking vocalizations for other reasons. Meowing frequently to get a human’s attention is a learned behavior, which means cat-training techniques can help retrain this behavior.

When cats first signal their desire for food or playtime, giving in to their demands teaches them that meowing lets them reach their goals. Over time, a cat might learn to meow louder or more often, increasing the behavior whenever they want something.

If your cat is meowing a lot at night because they are bored or understimulated, set up a routine playtime with them before you sleep or leave them an enriching food puzzle overnight. This can reduce the chances of your kitty waking you up in the middle of the night with pouncing and excessive vocalization.

Stress or Anxiety

If a cat is experiencing stress and anxiety, they may let out high-pitched or alarming vocalizations. Here are some common environmental stressors that can cause a cat to meow, yowl, or make other excessive vocalizations.

  • A new home or location
  • Other pets and animals
  • Extreme weather

Creating a soothing environment can reduce the amount of distress your cat feels. Here are some cat calming tips to consider.

  • Use calming cat pheromone products
  • Bring your cat their favorite toy or blanket
  • Give your cat space so they don’t feel overwhelmed

Medical Issues and Conditions

Kidney disease: Chronic kidney disease causes thirst, which may lead cats to meow for water even though they recently drank.

Thyroid disorders: Cats are prone to hyperthyroidism. An overactive thyroid can cause increased vocalization.

Diabetes: A cat with diabetes mellitus might vocalize for more food even when they recently ate. Their condition can cause dangerously low blood sugar levels and an insatiable hunger.

Sensory deficits: If a cat is losing vision or hearing due to old age or disease, they might start vocalizing repeatedly.

Desire to breed: If you have an intact (unspayed) female cat, they may yowl frequently for a week every month. If you have a male cat who smells a female cat in heat, they can also meow a lot in an attempt to find the other cat.


Cats may exhibit different vocalization patterns as they grow older. Note down whether your senior cat is vocalizing differently or excessively.

A veterinary checkup is recommended for older cats if there are any shifts in their behavior. Vets can screen for medical conditions, especially health concerns that affect elderly cats.

Seeing our beloved furry companions age and become less healthy and agile can be emotionally difficult. Make sure to provide proper senior cat care. Even if they seem less eager or able to engage in playtime, gentle affection and time spent together remain ever meaningful.

Addressing Excessive Vocalization

1. Observing and Identifying the Root Cause

Finding the root cause of your cat’s excessive vocalization is a critical first step. Check if your cat has their basic needs met.

A veterinarian can help you rule out medical concerns through diagnostic exams. If you do uncover that health issues are the root cause of the excessive meowing, follow the veterinarian’s counsel for further action.

2. Making Necessary Environmental and Lifestyle Adjustments

Make food and water more accessible: Ensure your cat has adequate access to food and water. Meeting the nutritional needs of cats can help reduce excessive vocalization.

Reduce attention-seeking vocalization: If your cat has been conditioned to vocalize for attention, you can reduce this behavior by not giving them attention until they are quiet. Do not ignore your cat completely, but look or walk away when they start meowing excessively again.

Use positive reinforcement: As you condition your cat to meow less for attention, you can use rewards to reinforce desirable behavior. Give them attention and treats when they are quieter.

Don’t give in too quickly: While reconditioning your cat to vocalize less for attention, you might see a temporary surge in vocalization. Try to wait out this period of noise since eventually, the cat will give up. Then, you can give them attention and treats, which helps cement desirable behavior.

3. Seeking Professional Advice from a Veterinarian or Animal Behaviorist

Medical conditions like kidney disease and infections can cause cats to meow in pain, and treatment from a vet is necessary. Early detection of disease can make it easier to treat your cat’s health conditions, so it’s always advisable to visit the vet if you’re worried about your cat.

If behavioral issues cause your cat’s excessive meowing, an expert cat behaviorist or vet can help you pinpoint what kind of strategies to use to train your cat to meow less. Different cats may react differently to training techniques, but the earlier you deal with excessive vocalization in a cat, the more easily you should be able to handle it.


Sourcing Pet Insurance

Pet insurance provides reimbursements to pet owners on eligible veterinary expenses. Since upfront cat healthcare bills can be expensive, pet insurance offers valuable financial protection for cat owners.

Benefits of pet insurance for cats include:

  • Reduced financial burden when visiting the vet
  • Better access to cat healthcare
  • Peace of mind
  • Potentially thousands of dollars in savings

Coverage Options

Accident-only coverage: The basic pet insurance policy. Covers only accident-related expenses, such as treatment for toxic ingestion, cuts, bite wounds, and broken bones. Since outdoor cats may get into accidents more often, it is a good idea to at least obtain accident coverage for an outdoor cat.

Comprehensive coverage: This type of policy covers both accidents and illnesses. If your cat suffers from any illnesses or injuries and requires diagnosis and treatment, comprehensive pet insurance can ensure your cat receives the medical attention they need.

Wellness plan: Typically sold as an insurance add-on. Wellness plans cover routine and preventive pet care, which may include cat vaccinations, spay/neuter, annual health exams, and dental cleanings.

If you’re worried about your cat’s behavioral issues, consider getting comprehensive coverage with a wellness plan add-on. This ensures better cost-efficiency since you can expect to visit the vet more frequently to monitor your cat’s condition. Some root causes of excessive vocalization can take a while to determine.

Researching Pet Insurance Providers

Since pet insurance plays a vital role in ensuring your cat gets necessary and timely medical treatment, it’s important to find a reliable pet insurance carrier. Compare coverage plans, premiums, and deductibles when researching potential insurers. To get a better idea of whether a pet insurer is good, read reviews and testimonials. Also, check for accreditation and customer service reputation to see whether a pet insurance provider is dependable.

Check out our pet insurance rankings to see the best insurance providers for cats. Here are excellent pet insurers to consider.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Policy

Insurance Premium: The premium refers to how much you need to pay to activate pet insurance coverage. A higher premium typically means better coverage and benefits, but you will need to pay higher recurring costs each month.

Deductible: You need to reach your insurance deductible in eligible vet expenses before you can receive any reimbursement from your pet insurer. Most cat owners choose an annual deductible of around $250.

Co-pay: The co-pay rate shows how much of the remaining vet expenses you need to pay once you have met the deductible.

Coverage Limits: This is the maximum amount a pet insurance policy will cover in a year. Pet insurance policies usually offer coverage limits of up to $10,000, but certain insurers will provide unlimited coverage.

Exclusions: Many pet insurers impose restrictions and exclusions. Certain cat breeds and ages may not be covered. Most pet insurance policies also exclude pre-existing conditions, which means they won’t cover any treatment costs for conditions that had been diagnosed before you obtained coverage.

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Pet Insurance

On average, cat owners pay $32 a month for pet insurance. This comes out to $384 a year. While this may seem expensive, cat owners can save far more money throughout the life of their feline companions.

A routine vet visit costs between $50 to $200, but emergency vet services can easily cost over a thousand dollars.

When choosing pet insurance, consider your cat’s health history and needs. Certain breeds have predispositions to illnesses and hereditary conditions, which means it is more important to secure comprehensive pet insurance coverage.



If your cat is vocalizing excessively, common root causes include:

  • The cat wants your attention
  • They’re hungry or thirsty
  • They’re experiencing a health or behavioral issue -> go to the vet!

Addressing excessive vocalization quickly should be a priority since both medical and behavioral causes can worsen over time. If you’re facing financial challenges, make sure to obtain pet insurance before your cat receives a medical or behavioral diagnosis. This can help you save substantial money in the long run and get your cat the veterinary attention they need.

About The Author

Ru Chen

Ru Chen

Content Writer

Ru Chen is a content writer with several years of experience in creating engaging and well-researched articles. She mostly writes about insurance, business, digital marketing, and law. In her free time, she can be found watching horror movies and playing board games with her partner in Brooklyn.

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