Why is My Cat Yowling?

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As a cat owner, you will often hear your cat purr or meow. None of these sounds raise an alarm, as we recognize these vocalizations as normal traits in cats. Occasionally, cats also make a prolonged high pitched cry better known as ‘Yowling’. Spooked cat owners who experience it for the first time always call up their vet and ask ‘Why is my cat yowling?’ 

Feline experts believe that Yowling is a way in which cats seek attention.  As cats grow older, they tend to exhibit this behavior frequently. This explains why elderly cat yowling is quite common. While cats yowling occasionally should not raise any alarms among cat owners, if however, it’s a regular occurrence, there might be an underlying reason.

Even though it is believed that most animal communication is non-verbal, young adult cats sometimes yowl to communicate with other cats. While Meowing is almost exclusively cats’ way of communicating with humans, experts believe that cats yowl for various reasons. Being aware of the potential reasons might help determine whether there is a cause for concern when your cat is exhibiting this behavior.

Why do cats yowl?

Cat Yowling in Heat

If your cat is not neutered or spayed, they will yowl excessively as they are in heat. Female cats yowl when they are in heat to attract the attention of male cats for mating. On the other hand, male cats yowl when they have recognized the smell of a near-by female cat who is in heat. Female cats yowling in heat can go on non-stop for weeks, which can get quite annoying. Unless you want your cat to have babies, it is best to have them neutered or spayed as heat causes them pain and discomfort. 

Seeking Attention

This is quite common. Cats are generally perceived as independent pets; however, this is not always the case. Cats are okay on their own until at some point when they crave attention and company from their owners. To express this, they will usually start yowling hoping their owners will begin petting them or play a game with them.

However, yowling for attention can quickly turn into a bad habit. By consistently giving in, you would only be encouraging more of this behavior.


Cats will sometimes yowl when they want food or a treat. Again, this can potentially turn into a bad habit unless controlled. If you feed your cat as soon as she starts yowling, this will become a learned behavior. While cat owners don’t intend to starve their cats, it is ideal to feed them only once they are calm, to reinforce the good habit. Feeding your cat when she has calmed down trains her what is acceptable behavior and what is not.

To add to that, if you feed your cat whenever they yowl, she is likely to gain more weight and get obese. This is possible considering how small cats are. It doesn’t take much for cats to become overweight.


Cats can get anxious with the slightest of change in their feeding routine. Therefore, it is advisable to feed your cat at the same time each day. You should also change your furniture positions in the house only when necessary. Altering minor things like these have been proven to cause high-stress levels in cats, expressed through yowling. If you suspect your cat is yowling because of stress, try to identify the changes that may have caused them anxiety. By limiting the changes, you can help your cat overcome stress.

Underlying Health Issue

Cats will yowl excessively if they are sick. This is when you need to differentiate the above-discussed yowling triggers and take your cat to the vet. If your cat’s yowling is accompanied by unusual thirst, vomiting, or diarrhea, it is recommended you consult a vet immediately. It can be a matter of concern if your cat is yowling after litter box If you notice your cat yowling and discomfort while walking, then it is a good idea that make a vet visit for a thorough check-up.

What Does It Mean If My Cat Is Yowling After Eating?

While this is not scientific, experts believe that most likely, if you are used to petting your cat after they eat, you may have unknowingly taught her this behavior and they are simply yowling to get your attention or to pet them. This is not necessarily associated with eating but your cat may yowl after eating if she is in heat to alert male cats, to get their attention.

Why Do Cats Yowl at Each Other?

Adult male cats may yowl at other males when fighting over a female cat who is in heat. This is a common occurrence with un-neutered cats. Cats may also yowl at each other to defend their territory when new cats are brought in the house or when a kitten grows into an adult cat and comes in contact with other cats in the neighborhood.  Cats may also yowl at other cats to block access to places like their litter boxes or resting places. A cat may also become aggressive and yowl at passive cats.

Why is My Old Cat Yowling at Night?

Elderly cat yowling is quite common as they are prone to different types of illness or mental dysfunction. Many cat owners are concerned to hear their elderly cats yowling at night. It is believed that some older cats that develop Dementia, Vision impairment or Arthritis yowl or cry at night due to their mental condition or pain.

It can be creepy and disheartening at the same time to witness your cat going through this. You can consider using nightlight when it gets dark so that senior cats don’t have a problem finding their way around the house.  If you suspect the yowling is due to de-generative health issues, your vet may prescribe medications to assist their mental function or anxiety that stems from their disturbed mind.


Overall, if your cat is yowling non-stop, there’s usually more to this than meets the eye. More often than not, cats start yowling because meowing didn’t lead them to their desired outcome. Make efforts to determine the exact reasons cats exhibit this behavior before deciding whether to ignore it or not. Your cat can communicate with you in limited ways; therefore, avoid punishing your cat if she is yowling. By doing so, you will only instill fear in your cat, which in turn, will be directed at you. Further, this can potentially ruin your relationship with the cat and deny you the opportunity of being a proud cat owner.

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