Originally Posted by Cyber Cat
My Simba was like that too, it drove me crazy!!! Meowing non stop. I read in a Cat Fancy magazine that it can turn into a habit, so every time your cat would meow, try not to pet him... because it would be like you are praising him. Your cat may think every time I meow I get attention, so I will meow more. Believe me it was so hard to not pet Simba every time he meowed, but when he was quite I would pet him. It worked anyway.
So only pet him when he is quiet.
That's exactly what worked for Sylvestra, who used to wander around the house all day yowling at the top of her lungs for attention.If
your cat has been spayed, and has checked out healthy at the vet (both issues need to be addressed first or training attempts won't help), it is time for some retraining.
First make sure she has things to keep her occupied when you can't pay attention to her (click here for ideas
), so she's not bored and lonely.
Then just ignore her completely whenever she yowls like that - no yelling, no pets, don't even make eye contact with her (though of course you have to make sure all her physical needs are met and that she's not complaining because her water bowl or food bowl are empty, or that her litterbox is dirty). It's hard, but it's important if you want to avoid reinforcing the loud behavior. Think about something funny, or even sing a song to yourself if you have to, just don't
respond to the meowing. The toughest part for me was to stop unconciously petting her when she'd walk up to me and meow, and to make sure I waited until a moment when she was quiet to pet her.
Equally important is giving her attention when she's quiet - Silly used to be so extremely talkative that I had to pay close attention so I could catch her in the split second between meows to give her a pet. She eventually made the connection and her meows became less frequent - but I still had to remember to stop and pay attention to her occasionaly when she was being quiet, and make sure she was still getting attention - it can be easy to forget about petting her when she's off in another room behaving herself, but it's very important if you want her to be happy and quiet.
Daily play sessions are also important - try to set aside some time every day just to play and interact with her. Click here for a good article about play therapy for cats
Hang in there, it really does work!
Silly is still a talkative girl who chirps and mrrps, but she no longer yowls endlessly at the top of her lungs. Now she just walks up and sits next to me and purrs when she wants some loving - sometimes she'll tap me on the arm with her paw.