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Why does my cat meow a lot?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
My cat Simba walks around my apartment meowing away. I have 3 cats and he is the only one that does it. Almost sounds like its a wining meow, we don't know what to do. Can anyone help?
post #2 of 15
Hi, it sounds like Simba has always done this? If so, he sounds like my kitty Ares, who loves to "talk". He meows when he's excited, or if he's trying to get our attention (playtime or food). It may be that Simba wants your attention - again, if this behavior is sudden and new, you may want to have him checked out by your vet to make sure he's OK - good luck!
post #3 of 15
Iluvdevons has the good advice and the important question of whether or not the noise is a new thing for Simba. I'll add that one of my brood didn't start to make noise until he felt completely at home. Now, he has comments on everything, including (apparently) air molecules. Is the noise he makes causing a problem (other than wondering why he's doing it)?
post #4 of 15
Whitey is the talker of our lot. We often laugh because he'll wander away and then start crying/meowing. We just claim that he's lost us in the house so he's crying to find out where we went to (even though He's the one that walked away).
post #5 of 15
I have a video called The Animal Attraction. It says that cats have 40/60 vocalisations, I can't remember which. He's probably just telling you about his day. My cat Blossom doesn't meow at all, except for the faintest little noise if she gets trodden on or sees birds outside.
post #6 of 15
My little guy whines all the time... he'll come find me, especially when I'm on the computer, sit for a minute, leave, and then whine, I'm thinking because I don't drop everything and dote on him... sometimes he just has something to say, that's a different noise, and he'll go on til I answer him.. he lets out a sigh kind of meow when I leave the house for work... he screams when he wants something... some cats are just more vocal than others... and as said previously, as long as it isn't a completely new behavior, he's just expressing his feelings.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much guys, it sounds like my Simba has something in common with all of your cats. But what about him being so hyper at night. He will run around like a wild animal, seems like he's on speed or something. How do I calm that down?
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cat52 View Post
Iluvdevons has the good advice and the important question of whether or not the noise is a new thing for Simba. I'll add that one of my brood didn't start to make noise until he felt completely at home. Now, he has comments on everything, including (apparently) air molecules. Is the noise he makes causing a problem (other than wondering why he's doing it)?
Thank you for your post, the noise he is making is sort of a problem. The complex we just moved into is a really really quiet place. The walls seem to be pretty thin because in the morning we can hear the next doors television.
post #9 of 15
Though cats are nocturnal, a good snack and play session right before bed will wear him out enough... mine sleeps with me at night now... he used to be a wild child too... and I leave quiet toys out if he does feel like playing a little overnight.. how old is he?
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunasmom View Post
Whitey is the talker of our lot. We often laugh because he'll wander away and then start crying/meowing. We just claim that he's lost us in the house so he's crying to find out where we went to (even though He's the one that walked away).
This totally sounds like Simba, he will walk away and wine. He'll walk into the bathroom and meow loud most in there. I'm thinking maybe he likes the echo?
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by erinca7821 View Post
Though cats are nocturnal, a good snack and play session right before bed will wear him out enough... mine sleeps with me at night now... he used to be a wild child too... and I leave quiet toys out if he does feel like playing a little overnight.. how old is he?
He's roughly about 19 months, we have a lazer that he loves and we sometimes have him run away chasing it before we go to bed. But that doesn't seem to work. He's doing it more now since we just moved into a new place. The first 2 nights were too crazy, we couldn't go to sleep at all. But other then that, he's always been a winer.

He's funny, when there's food in the bowl he will wine/meow because he wants fresh food.

Our other 2 cats, Angel and Nica are totally chill. Nica is always near us sleeping on her back most of the time and Angel is a rescue kitten so she hides most of the time and is still timid.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by scof0elife View Post
This totally sounds like Simba, he will walk away and wine. He'll walk into the bathroom and meow loud most in there. I'm thinking maybe he likes the echo?
Yea I think Whitey likes the sound of his own voice

As for hyperness, like the other poster said, cats are nocturnal. If he's pawing/pouncing at you at night, just ignore him or push him away. It sounds, harsh I know, but if you give him attention then he'll continuallly wake u up.

Also as he ages he'll get better about being so hyper.
post #13 of 15
And aha, you recently moved to a new place!

Cats react to new situations, and changing their whole living place is about as new as you can get. Whitey's meowing and hyperactivity might be traits he will always have, but I'll bet he's "worse than usual" right now because of being in a new place.

You said his noise might be a problem with the thin walls and all. When I took in (Moaning) Myrtle and chatty Moe, I went to each of my neighbors and said, "Please let me know if the noise bothers you." Nobody ever complained.

Other folks have already given good advice for reducing his hyperactivity at night. I have, in the past, with a particularly loud & talkative Siamese, succeeded with behavior mod techniques in reducing (but never getting rid of!) the talking. However, it is a long process and requires a lot of work, so if you can possibly put up with Whitey and love him "just the way he is", I also think the advice that he will "improve" with age is right on.

However, if there is a problem with noise and neighbors complaining that doesn't go away once Whitey is settled in, if you like, I can outline how to use non-punishing behavior mod techniques to reduce his meowing. Or....there's always...earplugs.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much, even before we moved Simba has always been like that. I will wait to see if the neighbors complain.

But an outline on how I can reduce his loudness would be great. Thank you very much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cat52 View Post
And aha, you recently moved to a new place!

Cats react to new situations, and changing their whole living place is about as new as you can get. Whitey's meowing and hyperactivity might be traits he will always have, but I'll bet he's "worse than usual" right now because of being in a new place.

You said his noise might be a problem with the thin walls and all. When I took in (Moaning) Myrtle and chatty Moe, I went to each of my neighbors and said, "Please let me know if the noise bothers you." Nobody ever complained.

Other folks have already given good advice for reducing his hyperactivity at night. I have, in the past, with a particularly loud & talkative Siamese, succeeded with behavior mod techniques in reducing (but never getting rid of!) the talking. However, it is a long process and requires a lot of work, so if you can possibly put up with Whitey and love him "just the way he is", I also think the advice that he will "improve" with age is right on.

However, if there is a problem with noise and neighbors complaining that doesn't go away once Whitey is settled in, if you like, I can outline how to use non-punishing behavior mod techniques to reduce his meowing. Or....there's always...earplugs.
post #15 of 15
My normal preface to all advice I give: I am NOT an expert, just experienced. I don't tell you anything I haven't tried and succeeded with, but my word is not Law.

All righty then...the goal is to reduce Whitey's meowing. My approach to behavior modification is "the long way" because I don't like using negative reinforcement, like water pistols. If you do decide to take a "discouraging" approach like that, I'm sure there are threads already out there to help you, or someone can respond here with more info.

The most important condition for success is that everyone (human) in the house has to agree to do this - even one person refusing means that Whitey will not be getting consistent "signals" and you might as well abandon the plan. So, when I say "you" below, I mean "all you humans in Whitey's family"!

The idea is simple: reward Whitey when he is quiet, and don't reward him when he is noisy. In other words, teach him that being quiet is more rewarding for him than whatever pleasure he is getting from being a motormouth.

Reward: Say his name, and then praise him, fuss over him, if he has a particular treat he likes, give him one. Always say his name first. Reason is, he will learn to associate you saying his name with good things, and his name is a convenient and sensible trigger. Also, by saying his name, you are, in effect, taking control of the communication, which is where you want to be.

Don't Reward: IGNORE him. No eye contact, no talking to or yelling at him, and above all, no saying his name.

The other part is the timing. At first, if you can catch him being quiet for even a few seconds, REWARD. As I mentioned in a different thread, I've been known to wake a cat from a nap to reward him (since "asleep" was about the only time the cat wasn't misbehaving)!

At first, Whitey will have no clue that you are rewarding him for being quiet. This is new to him as well as you. That's why you only wait a few seconds at first - it's as much to get him used to the new game as to condition him.

You won't be able to reward him every time he's quiet for a few seconds, but at the beginning, the more often you can do it, the faster things will go.

If everyone does this with Whitey, it will not take long for it to "click" with him what's going on. The pattern will be that he meows like usual but will approach someone and shut up for a moment, and expect to be rewarded.

Now, begin to lengthen the time he has to be quiet before he gets rewarded. Go from a few seconds to five seconds, then to ten seconds...and so on. The pattern you are looking for before increasing the time is the same as before - that is, Whitey meows, approaches someone, and is quiet.

You won't be able to be 100% consistent, but that is all right, and actually, in the middle and later stages, it's better. Slightly random positive reinforcement has been shown to actually be better than 100% reinforcement. (Slot machines are the most famous example of this!) Also, 100% reinforcement is just impossible unless someone is willing to become 100% Whitey's slave.

One thing to remember is not ever to limit the reward to when Whitey is actively "behaving" to get it. If you also take time to notice when he is being quiet "naturally" and reward him then as well, his progress will be even faster.

Progress will NOT be linear - sometimes, Whitey will fall off the wagon, as it were, and go on a noise binge. Let's say he does this when you have gone from wanting 10 seconds of silence to wanting 20 seconds. You thought he was doing okay at 20, but there he goes, yelling the house down, like you never started this whole thing at all...if this happens, he's telling you he wasn't ready for that last step up - return to the last place he was doing well (in this example, ten seconds) and give him a while longer there before trying to move him ahead again.

Eventually, he will quiet down, although he may not ever shut up completely, and probably shouldn't, since talking is a cute trait...when not overdone.

Please let me know if I didn't make sense or wasn't clear anywhere here. I know I am guilty of using some technical psychological terms, so any jargon crime I committed, if you need me to, tell me to translate, please!
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