Many cat parents get used to the meows of their fluff ball; however, identifying and understanding what that ‘meow’ means is something that not all of us can do…
In my experience as a proud cat owner, I have seen many cases where even I could not twig the importance of being able to realize what your cat is trying to communicate with you. Later on, as the problems began to show, only then would I understand what my cat meant.
Being a cat parent can be challenging when you are not sure about what your cat wants to communicate.
Cats might meow before or while eating because they do not like their food or bowl, suffer from oral infections or mouth wounds. Meowing after eating implies that the cat seeks more attention, is anxious or bored, needs more food, or has a gastric disease. In any case, cat yowling needs to be examined and diagnosed by the vet if it occurs regularly.
Not being able to understand why your cat is meowing might cause trouble in the end, as there could be multiple reasons. Though you and your cat do not speak the same language, you must be acquainted with your cat’s gestures and sounds as a pet parent.
Cats look so adorable when they meow and purr. However, how often is it that a cat meows while eating? The fur babies are usually focused on their food while eating and do not exhibit other gestures. If your cat has begun meowing while eating, he might be trying to signal you about an illness or something bothering him.
Let us tell you the possible reasons why your cat meows while eating.
In most cases of cats meowing while eating, the underlying cause is oral disease. Cats use the meowing sound to indicate their owners about the pain while trying to eat something. If your cat were suffering from gum disease, it would be highly painful for him to bite or eat food.
Gum diseases in cats occur mostly due to the accumulation of scale or plaque on the teeth allowing the bacteria to reside. The tissues around the plaque-affected areas become sensitive, and your cat might end up having a gum or tooth infection.
If your cat is not able to express her suffering in time and the condition goes untreated, he can lose the teeth. It usually begins with lesser and slowed-down eating, followed by chewing on one side only. Later, the meowing and irritability intensify, that’s why such a condition should be taken seriously.
In this case, it’s necessary to go to a vet as soon as possible, as he would suggest a scaling procedure to get rid of the plaque. He could also take other essential measures to save your cat’s teeth.
Another oral condition that causes discomfort to the cat is fungal stomatitis. If you see your cat meowing often and experiencing eating troubles, fungal stomatitis can be a possible reason. The disease is caused by Candida albicans growth in the mouth. It is not a very common oral disease in cats, but some fungal mouth infections in cats have been reported.
You can check for the signs and symptoms to make a wild guess if your cat suffers from a mouth infection. The symptoms include:
- Excessive drooling
- Loss of appetite
Gingivitis is a mouth condition common in humans but not as common in cats. It can be simply explained as swollen gums. Rarely, but cats experience inflamed gums that make it difficult for them to eat, and they show their discomfort by meowing. However, acute gingivitis or trench mouth is extremely painful for cats, and they resist anyone trying to check their mouth. The gums, pharynx, and soft pharynx are usually too swollen for the cat to feel comfortable while eating.
The symptoms include a bad smell from the mouth and heavy salivation. The vet recommends a course of antibiotics typically given through an IV injection or drip. Yet, the chances of recurrence of gingivitis and mouth ulcers are high in cats.
Other than an underlying illness, your cat might get wounds from other animals. The possibility is relatively low if your cat is habitual of living in a pet household. Yet, the risk cannot be eliminated.
The wound in the mouth can be a result of a rough fight with another pet. Usually, when animals like cats fight, they open their mouth to meow and scare off the opponent. Sometimes, in a trice, the other animal’s paw hits the cat’s mouth, injuring it. The wound might require suturing if it is deep. Listening and understanding your cat’s meowing sound can help ease his pain by realizing the root cause of his trouble.
If your cat has started meowing after you have recently changed your cat’s food or started giving it something new, the issue might not be with your cat but with the food, it is eating.
There can be many reasons for a cat to not like the food it is being served especially because cats, like humans, are extremely picky in many things.
Therefore, if there is anything wrong with the food; from its flavor to its temperature, you will have a hard time feeding it to your cat.
Obviously, your cat cannot literally say, “I won’t eat this, it tastes bad!” – and so, it will meow.
Another reason for meowing if there is no possible issue with the food can be with the water bowl, always check if the bowl has enough water for your cat to drink.
As the most common cause of cats meowing while eating are oral issues, a few other factors to keep in mind include foreign objects. Your cat’s teeth might be healthy, and he would have no wound in the mouth either, but a foreign body might be a cause of the problem.
Cats are curious creatures and are always exploring parts of the house by themselves. The cat might eat something he should not have eaten. At times, when cats have trouble swallowing something, the object can be stuck in their teeth. Food particles may be present in your cat’s teeth, and it might be the “hurting” your cat wants you to know about.
In both conditions, if the cat cannot get rid of the object or bone himself, taking it to a vet is the only correct option. The vet can inspect the mouth properly and judge if it requires a proper procedure. The removal of objects from a cat’s mouth may require giving him anesthesia.
All or any of these might be the reason for a cat to meow while eating. Diagnosing and treating the issue on time can prevent your cat from crying while eating and save him from the pain.
Although it will not be a day’s work to stop your cat from making noises while eating, the best you can do is to set up a routine that will not give your cat enough time to meow.
For example, you can bring in another cat or an activity feeder if you cannot afford to have another cat at your house.
Additionally, you will have to rule out all of the aforesaid factors before trying anything new.
As a few cats meow or cry while eating, some exhibit the same behavior after meals. If your cat meows after eating and you have not seen him do that before, it is definitely not normal behavior. The cat might be having some trouble or something he wants to communicate to you.
Let us share with you a few reasons cats meow after eating:
All living beings have a specific way of attracting others when they want attention. Have you been out all day and not played with your cat? If your cat meows after having a meal, the reason for meowing could be his need for attention. Sometimes, cats yowl to get their owner’s attention. As yowling is commonly related to pain, cat parents usually react to cats’ appeal quickly, and the pets take benefit of it.
Though there is no harm if your cat needs attention and is trying what he can, this behavior should not be encouraged. As a pet parent, you might adapt to this behavior as attention-seeking and will not be able to tell if the cat is yowling with pain. It is better to spend some time with your cat not to have to yowl to get your attention.
The cat cannot come up to you and say, “Hey mate, the food was delicious!” and that is why they meow to express gratitude. If you have served the favorite food to your fur baby, it might feel like thanking you. The cats meow and sometimes yowl to show the pet parents that they appreciated the food and would enjoy it next time too.
When they yowl or meow to appreciate the food, they might be signaling you to feed them more. This could be because the cat is hungry or liked the food so much that he is looking forward to another portion. It is for you to judge if your cat is only happy with what you served, or is he looking for more food in his bowl.
A trick can be waiting for a few moments until your cat makes similar sounds repeatedly that can help you evaluate that he is waiting for more food.
It might not seem like an obvious reason, but boredom also often leads to cats yowling and meowing. If your cat yowls after eating, he might just be feeling bored and using this expression to kill time.
If spending more time with your cat eliminates the issue, no need to worry.
Yet, some toys might help keep your fur baby busy if you do not have much time. Food puzzles and balls are an excellent way to keep your cat occupied without allowing him to sit idle and yowl.
Anxiety is a common issue in cats that disturbs their eating patterns. It may also be the reason for their meowing after eating. Cats with separation anxiety are usually fearful of being left by their owners. They feel uneasy when their pet parents vanish out of their sight for the slightest moment and create sounds.
Some cats often exhibit his behavior when the owners go to the bathroom or somewhere out. If your cat is acting this way, he needs immense care to get over any trauma he is going through. Understand your cat and his needs if he has separation anxiety. Learning tips and tricks to calm down your cat can help lessen the frequency of meows in this case.
If you have thought that only humans have physical needs, you might be wrong! Cats use yowling as a tool to inform their counterparts about their presence while they are in need. Commonly the female cats yowl at night to signal the male cat. Not literally, but you can take it as female cats flirting with the male cats and inviting them.
When a male cat in the vicinity hears the female yowl, he meows back to let her know that he heard it. The meowing and yowling significantly increase in the breeding season when female cats are on heat.
Among the most crucial reasons for cats, meowing after eating is a gastric illness. Your cat might be suffering from indigestion, gas, or cramps. We had had this issue when we switched our cat to another food brand. He did not like the food, and probably the quality did not suit him well, resulting in a bloated stomach.
Another health concern is uremic gastritis. The inflamed mucous lining of the stomach that gets irritated when the stomach secretes acid after food ingestion signifies it. This irritability and pain could be the cause for your cat meows after eating. As yowling and meowing are related to other reasons, gastritis can be identified by symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, bloody stools, and constipation. Constipation urges your cat to drink more water – that can be a symptom too.
Suffering caused by kidney disease is a health concern more familiar to cats over ten years old. The kidney is responsible for eliminating toxins from the cat’s body through urination like in humans. If the kidney does not function properly, the toxins will accumulate in the body. If untreated for an extended period, kidney failure can sometimes lead to the death of a cat. Symptoms of kidney disease in cats involve increased thirst and urination followed by pain in the abdominal area.
After consuming its meal, a cat usually wants two things; petting and sleep.
Therefore, you should develop such a routine that the cat has an environment to sleep or be petted after taking his meal.
Alternatively, you can also play with your cat to distract it from making noises. It should solve your problem.
Regardless of what you choose, it is mandatory to checklist all the things mentioned above and eliminate any complexities down the road.
Moreover, your cat may have developed some other underlying condition that might be the reason for its habit. If all the above do not qualify for your case, try check listing the following few things,
While you know the reasons why a young cat might meow, have you thought about elderly cats yowling? With aging, the cats tend to lose their cognitive abilities and yowl out of frustration. If your cat is suffering from dementia, losing vision, or hearing ability, he might yowl or meow to express his helplessness.
Elderly cats need more care than young kittens. Leaving lights on might help your cat see well.
Though it is more common for cats to yowl at night, some cats meow in the morning as soon as they wake up. Meowing early morning is a hint for the pet parents that their cat is looking for their attention.
Yowling or meowing by cats at night is common because of boredom. Boredom for a cat is either lack of attention from their pet parent or having enough energy not to sleep. The best solution can be playing with your cat until he is tired enough to sleep.
The foremost step is to ensure that your cat is not yowling or meowing due to an underlying illness. If your cat is not suffering from a disease, you can make him habitual to something that does not give enough time to meow.
Cat’s love routines and you can use them to your benefit. If your cat yowls while or after eating, in the morning, at night, or any other time, set a routine for him. Get your cat busy with something else to make him forget the previous pattern.
Like humans, cats have different voices for different expressions and they know how to use them. For this reason, meowing might not be the only sound a cat will be making.
These are a few other sounds that may be indicative of your cat’s behavior.
- Also Known as Bruxism.
- The sound occurs because your cat is grinding its teeth together.
- It is a general dental issue, and you will need to visit a vet.
- It is a sound of excitement, good feeling, or admiration.
- Indicates a cat’s readiness for a meal or petting.
Chattering, chirping, or twittering is always normal and usually does not indicate a serious health issue.
- Sounds coming from your cats’ mouths while eating.
- It appears actually because of the teeth rubbing together.
Crunching sounds for a cat are indicative of a dental problem 90% of the time. Other than that, they may or may not indicate kidney issues.
- It means eating greedily or hurriedly.
- Indicative of a bad temper or starvation.
A cat might hork because it has stayed away for a long time, is fearing loss of food to other cats, or because it is starving.
- A sign of a very negative attitude or mood.
- It usually means a cat wants you to stay away.
Growling is mostly caused by people, things, or sounds that irritate your cat or it dislikes them.
Cats typically do not make noises while eating. Nevertheless, if your cat is doing so, it might be also to scare off any competitors. Moreover, consulting a vet is recommended.
Young kittens might meow at each other, but this characteristic is not usually seen among elder cats. Cats usually meow to communicate with humans and convey their needs.
Usually, cats like meowing near the person they have the closest relation to, but you should be able to tell the difference between a normal & a tensed “meow.”
Most of the time, a cat meowing near its owner is normal.
Meowing is used as a means by cats to express their concerns and ask for attention. If your cat meows while you pet him, it can be a way of thanking you.
It may be meowing as a gesture of thanks, or it might be showing off her love for you. It should be, however, made sure that the pitch of her meow is normal. For example, a cat should not be shrieking while you are considering it a meow.
A weird noise while petting will usually indicate a physical wound or some other ailment. It is better to seek professional advice once your cat starts meowing all of a sudden or vice versa.
My cat is meowing when I sneeze, what is the reason?
Cats are highly sensitive to sound and smell. Therefore, your simple sneeze is a suddenly appeared sound wave for your cat that can not be desirable for your feline. It can be the main reason why your cat meows while you sneeze.
Other than this, your cat might just be caring for you.
It depends if your cat’s meow is friendly or not. Cats normally meow while they are in a good mood, but that is not always applicable.
You might need to check if your cat is showing symptoms of pain, frustration, etc. If it is not the case, then your cat is just fine.
If you are the only person living with your cat, even if you are not, your cat might notice your absence and feel it.
This is not just a cat problem; it is a general pet problem. Literally speaking, many pets including cats miss their owners if they leave them, and to communicate this emotional moment, they might meow or call their owners.
Why does my cat meow at the door?
Cats can meow at doors for a number of reasons, there might be a bug, or a specific texture that they like, or because they want to go to the other side. This is not a thing to be worried about as it is pretty usual for a cat to do this.
However, they can also respond to some paranormal activity and meow at it. Therefore, if you have been experiencing some strange things in your house lately, count your cats meowing as one of them especially if it has started doing this recently.
This generally indicates a health condition and should be consulted with a specialized vet.
In most cases, the yowling habit would not bring any harm to your cat and can be solved by changing the type of food or bowl, or by giving more attention to your feline to save it from boredom or separation anxiety.
Take your time to understand your cat’s different versions of communication and sounds as they help you realize how your cat is feeling.
If you notice your cat showing signs of dental infections, diabetes, kidney, thyroid, digestive, or orthopedic disorders for long, visit your vet as soon as possible. It is vital for proper medical care and effective treatment of your cat to avoid any further complications.
Happy Cat Parenting!
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