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Constant Meowing

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone. I am new to this forum and I am also a new, first time cat owner. At the beginning of July, a very friendly stray cat decided to adopt me and my husband. We tried to find her owners for several weeks (flyers, knocking on neighbors' doors, checking with local vets, placing ads, etc.), but no one came forward to claim her. We took her to the vet and got all of her vaccines updated and made sure she was spayed... and then we welcomed her into our home (we weren't sure if she was ever a house cat before, but I think she must have been because her overall behavior is very good). We have one ongoing problem though and we have tried everything that was recommended to us by the vet and friends with cats. I also researched this problem a bit and tried suggested solutions from my reading, but we are not having any luck. KitKat (which is our new friend's name) has a constant meowing problem. Honestly, I think she just likes to meow. It's not hunger, she has a clean bill of health, she's not upset - in fact she is usually purring, meowing, and rubbing her face on things all at the same time. It's a loud meow and it is at it's worst between 5:00 and 5:30 a.m. EVERY DAY. We are just not morning people at all and this has been quite challenging for us. We were told to totally ignore the behavior and she would give up and stop, but that didn't work (we've ignored this meowing literally for several hours straight with no reaction to her at all - we don't speak to her, look at her, nothing - and she still continues to meow). We've also been using a Feliway plug-in for about 3 weeks now and that isn't working either. In fact, she started scratching our good rug A LOT in the area of the plug-in and I thought one of the effects of the plug-in would be to deter scratching? The vet had us get the plug-in because he thought she may be anxious about living in a new home. Honestly, I just need some sleep and I'm desperate for advice. If we close the bedroom door, she just sits outside and meows for hours. If we open it, she sits next to me and meows. I just think she likes to hear herself meowing! HELP! (Sorry for the long post.)
post #2 of 24
You tried Feliway which is one thing I was going to suggest. Are you SURE she is spayed? You said you made sure that she was but could the vet have been wrong? If you had the vet do it then could the vet have missed a piece and she wasn't fully spayed? Just ideas I don't think that happens too often.

You could try confining her to a different room or a bathroom with soft classical music playing or a tv or someone speaking to soothe her. Otherwise I think she may just be happy to be cared for and wanting the attention she didn't get while living outside. She will probably stop after awhile.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice Jen! Actually, we had KitKat scheduled for spaying and when the vet shaved her fur, he found a scar indicating that she had been spayed. He told us that he didn't want to operate on her again and put her through the pain and recovery if it wasn't necessary. Since I've never had a cat before, I also asked him about the different types of meowing (some loud, some not so loud, more on the crying or wailing side, etc.) The vet assured us that she wasn't in heat since her meowing is never really loud or shrill. It's just pretty monotone and constant. I'm hoping she'll just outgrow it and adjust! She's a very good and sweet cat otherwise. The vet thinks she's only about 1-2 years old, so she is still young. I also think she is yearning for her days of being outdoors and I think she gets bored easily inside. She doesn't seem to be interested in cat toys or the scratching boxes that we got for her (she does scratch them occasionally, but mostly likes to scratch our good living room rug). We also think she is a horizontal scratcher rather than a vertical scratcher because we got her a sisal covered scratcher that hangs from a door and she doesn't like it or use it. I've put catnip on it and I even scratched it to show her what to do (that worked with the currugated cardboard boxes). We can occasionally get her to play (we try a few times everyday), but she seems to like to stare outside the most. I've always had dogs in the past, so this is all new for me!
post #4 of 24
she's either hungry, lonely or just wants to go outside! she may be missing her old family or mates outside. do you leave out dry food all day for her? could you possibly get her a cat door or let her out from time to time? they also have horizontal cat scratchers. my step mom has one i will ask her where she got it. it looks like a long peice of cardboard that's ribbed in sections like a long block. she sprinkles the cat nip in it and the kitty goes to town! the post scratching posts that have a little carpet bottom are good too just sprinkle the catnip on the carpet bottom and put her paw on it.
post #5 of 24
Well that is good you are keeping her in! I am still awaiting the return of my cat who I stupidly decided could be an indoor/outdoor cat and now she is gone. Missing for a week. So defiantely keep her in, you may want to try a harness and leash or else sit with her outside. Don't let her out unsupervised!

How about getting her a buddy? Possibly a male a little younger so the introductions go a little smoother.
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen View Post
Well that is good you are keeping her in! I am still awaiting the return of my cat who I stupidly decided could be an indoor/outdoor cat and now she is gone. Missing for a week. So defiantely keep her in, you may want to try a harness and leash or else sit with her outside. Don't let her out unsupervised!

How about getting her a buddy? Possibly a male a little younger so the introductions go a little smoother.


depending on the area they live in having an indoor out door cat is perfectly safe. it just depends on when you let them out and how long you let them out. letting them out in the morning just before you leave and turning the cat door to lock from the inside so the cat can come in for the breakfast she's expecting but not get back out or same in the evening let them out in the afternoon but let them expect dinner and lock the door to exit the house. if you live in a wooded area i wouldn't let them out in the night, racoons, coyote, fox, badgers, etc roam then. but if you live in a more built up area the night time is better than the day. keep a regular feeding schedule so she has a routine and then let her out and make sure you feed her during the same time you did befor eyou let her out. so she comes back for feeding. be sure to get a infrared collar for the cat door. the magnet ones tend to be too popular and other cats can get in and be locked in your house too!

the leash and harness idea is great if you live in a built up area or you don't have the time to let them out at inervules. take her out in the evening just before dinner take her out for roughly 20 to 30 mins get a stretchy leash so she can have free roam to chase the birds and insects. then bring her in feed her dinner change her litter and 'put her to bed' put her in her bed or where she normally sleeps with a little cat nip and you go to bed too. eventually she will get the hint.

if you get another cat i would recommend a female(young or kitten) not a male. males tend to be territorial and can be more prone to spraying or peeing problems with another cat. even with neutering.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you both so much for all of your advice! I really appreciate it. I live in a neighborhood that is "the best of both worlds" for people, but maybe not a cat. Behind my home, it is nothing but woods (where KitKat came from a few months ago when she never left), but I live close to a city and there are busy roads at the front of our house. We usually let KitKat out for supervised "play" time since it is still warm outside. We sit on our deck with her and she walks around our back yard. There is a little bench in the trees that she likes to sit on and look for birds, mice, moles, etc. We usually try to give her about an hour everyday to look around outside, but sometimes we can't fit it into our schedule. Her meowing doesn't seem to be any different whether she goes outside or not. A cat door won't work for us - our house is small so we have doors that are all glass to let light in. There would be no way to install a cat door. Plus, I'm leaning toward not letting her out as much and trying to get her to be indoor only eventually. The vet recommended we make the slow transition as the weather begins to cool in the fall. In winter, it will be way too cold for her to be out at all. I'm just hoping that she'll eventually adjust. I'm thinking that since she's only been with us for a few months, maybe she is still getting settled into a new routine. Thank you again for your advice!
post #8 of 24
Trying playing with her for a while before you go to bed. The idea is to wear her out so she'll go to sleep. Whatever you do don't acknowledge or pay attention to her (even by yelling at her to shut up) that would be rewarding her making noise. If you ignore her (earplugs help) she'll get the idea and stop.
post #9 of 24
I think she wants to play with you. If you can't get up at 5:30, play with her as soon as you DO get up. Get an activity toy on a string, or make one (I use leather shoelaces and pieces of old fur coats.) Get her running around and playing and the meows will be less frequent.

I think that it is the playing since you mention listening to her do it for hours without reacting. She probably needs some exercise.
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Well, we've been trying to exercise her right before bed to make her tired. She goes right to sleep at night with us, but always wakes up reliably at 5:00 or 5:30. I have played with her in the morning before work when I have time, but not everyday. Maybe I'll try adding scheduled play time in the morning too.
post #11 of 24
missy is very vocal too it seems to be worse now she has had the kittens she wakes early but its usually becase she is out of food or water we leave food and water for her overnight but during the day her water is changed 2 hourly so its cold she dont like warm water (unless its out the bath) i dont have any suggestions just empathy
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GBW View Post
She doesn't seem to be interested in cat toys or the scratching boxes that we got for her (she does scratch them occasionally, but mostly likes to scratch our good living room rug). We also think she is a horizontal scratcher rather than a vertical scratcher because we got her a sisal covered scratcher that hangs from a door and she doesn't like it or use it. I've put catnip on it and I even scratched it to show her what to do (that worked with the currugated cardboard boxes). We can occasionally get her to play (we try a few times everyday), but she seems to like to stare outside the most. I've always had dogs in the past, so this is all new for me!
Gosh she sounds alot like my cat. I have one of the door hanger scratchers too, and Dusty wouldn't use it until we put it flat on the floor. Now she loves it! Dusty won't play either, and she also came to us as a stray.
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Maybe I will try putting her sisal scratcher on the floor!
post #14 of 24
I have a cat who is a horizontal scratcher. We had a sisal mouse that was supposed to hang on the doorknob- I tied the hanging loop short and put it under the leg of a heavy coffeetable/cedar chest, and she has worn it out . I also got one of the cardboard horizontal scratchers for our foster kitten, and Meggie really likes it, too. It was about $5 at Walmart.

With the meowing in the morning, do you have somewhere that doesn't have carpeting (so she doesn't tear up the carpet-been there...like a kitchen that can be shut up, or a laundry or utility room or even a bathroom, if it is away from your bedroom ? My sister finally had to resort to giving her cats a treat and putting them up for the night. She misses them in the bed, but she is sleeping. Or maybe if she is getting up and meowing, you could put her in there (make sure there is a litterbox of some kind, and food and water) when she gets up and hollers. Don't look at her, don't talk to her, just pick her up and put her in there. And don't make it treat time then, otherwise she will ALWAYS wake you up in anticipation of treats. This is what I have had to do with my oldest cat, especially if she can't go out for a while because of being on medication or something. (She gets up at the wee hours and "strums" the miniblinds- It works- she's learned that if she gets put in there, she can just give it up. Plus, she has windows that she can look out, but I suspect she just goes back to sleep . After a morning or 2 of this now (it took us a while to get here though, as my DH would get up and throw her out to begin with- exactly the response she was hoping for, as I'm tellling him, "Don't do it, don't do it!" He came around ), she gives up usually after the first confinement, and rarely bothers us with the blind strumming anymore. I hope this helps!
post #15 of 24
Maybe she could benefit from a buddy

My Abby lets me know that it's playtime!!! I just fake being asleep and she ends up settling down and going to sleep next to me. But if she sees my eyes open and I look at her, I'm pickled, LOL

I have one of those toys that is a bamboo stick with a an elastic string that has a coloured wool ball intermixed with gold crinkle paper, at the end. Abby loves it. I fling the ball along the floor and she leaps around after it and I dangle it above her head and she jumps up to grab it. When she catches it she carries the ball off and drops it only to have it rebound back to me because of the elastic string, so she is amused by that too.

Even Chynna my 14 year old likes it and she sometimes attacks it too.

I don't know the name of it, but I call it a "fishing pole", lol
post #16 of 24
She might be part Siamese!!!! Tolly shouts at us at that time of the morning (as well as all the rest of the time) we just take him downs stairs and shut the door, when we get up at 7.30 he is usually fast asleep in one of the cat hamocks.
post #17 of 24
Hi there. I am new to this forum but I can relate to your problem very much. I have male cat who really has always just meowed for no reason. It didn't matter if it was morning, night. I couldn't take it anymore. I was told to close my door, well that really doesn't do anything since he will just sit there and be louder or start scratching. I would wake up to him at 3am crying and crying. I thought he needed food, nope. He just wanted to play. Now I have two other cats that he gets alone with great and they play all of the time. He is 2 years old, but acts like a kitten. So it's not that he is sad or needs something urgent, he just want attention from me. so now like someone else suggested I will wrestle with him for a good amount of time before bed and he will usually be ready for more around 7am or 8am. Hey it beats 3am. Some cats just chat. That is who they are. your cat may just be chatting a lot because of her new home and maybe she is just really happy to be there and to be taken care of and it's her way of thanking you. But try getting some of her energy out before bed, and don't be discouraged, there are some humans that just chat and chat forever and there are some cats that do the same.
post #18 of 24
Do you feed her canned food? If you do maybe you could freeze a little canned food during the day and put it down when you go to bed at night. That way it should be about the right temperature in the morning for her to have her breakfast without waking you.

As far as her meowing during the day, maybe the two of you could carry on a conversation for a bit and then she will enjoy some quiet time.

My Monique will occasionally get on a "time to chat kick" and we walk through the house talking about whatever she is saying. It may sound a little odd, but you are now your cats best friend and any meowing they do is to communicate with humans. They really don't meow to each other other than to growl, hiss, trill and if warning others away from them they will let out a really distressed meow/howl, but not the typical meowing they will use with us.

I say chat her up and let her know you care about what she is saying and if it's possible that she is wanting breakfast early then try the frozen food to thaw by morning. Or.... maybe she would like to lay down and cuddle with you in the morning.

Good luck with arriving at a comfortable relationship with your KitKat.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by tru View Post
As far as her meowing during the day, maybe the two of you could carry on a conversation for a bit and then she will enjoy some quiet time.

My Monique will occasionally get on a "time to chat kick" and we walk through the house talking about whatever she is saying. It may sound a little odd, but you are now your cats best friend and any meowing they do is to communicate with humans. They really don't meow to each other other than to growl, hiss, trill and if warning others away from them they will let out a really distressed meow/howl, but not the typical meowing they will use with us.

I say chat her up
I'm happy to learn that I'm not the only one who has conversations with their cats. My Abby is a real chatter box and loves to sit in the kitchen with me while I cook and she chatters away. So I talk to her and tell her the news or about my day, and throw in a meow or two and she's totally thrilled to have the attention. I have no clue what we talk about when we're meowing back and forth, but she seems to get it, LOL
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone! You've all been so helpful! This morning, KitKat was really meowing up a storm, but I just talked to her and after about 30 minutes, she calmed down. (The meowing didn't start until about 7:00 today, so that was good!) I am still having HUGE problems with the rug scratching though. And that is the room where the Feliway plug-in is too and I was hoping she wouldn't scratch because of the plug in. What is most upsetting is that my husband and I are newly married and this is our first house. The ONE thing that we decided to invest in was really nice area rugs for our living room. KitKat is just ripping the rug up and I don't know what to do! I read somewhere to put foil down in the places she scratches because she won't like walking on or scratching foil. Well, I find that to be true, but I now have about 15 sheets of foil all over the rug. I decided last night to pick up the foil (after being there for 2 weeks) and as soon as I went to the living room this morning, I saw where she scratched the rug as soon as she got the chance (3 different places). So the foil went back down before I left for work... She also uses her scratching box, but for some reason, she likes this rug! Also, we've only caught her in the act a few times and we yell "No!" and clap our hands. She stops immediately. But NOW I think the little rascal figured out that she shouldn't scratch the rug in front of us, so all of the damage is being done when we are out of the room or asleep. So we can't tell her no anymore since we aren't catching her in the act. When we ARE around, she uses the scratching box only.
post #21 of 24
I also owned a cat that liked to meow. He did not stop when he got older and nothing we did to stop this annoying habit worked. There was nothing wrong, he just meowed all the time. The only way to get your needed rest in the morning is to keep Kitkat in a separate room overnight. Some cats just have a lot to say!
post #22 of 24
Could you spray that rug with some Bitter Apple to get her to leave it alone?
post #23 of 24
or double side tape? won't be quite as unsightly as foil all over the place and yes, I would guarantee you she's figured out not to sratch in front of you, cats are very smart (and sneaky!) as far as meowing, I'll let you borrow my Jinx for a day, boy is she a screamer! I can sleep right through it though I have great cat ignoring talents
post #24 of 24
They have some rolls of plastic at Lowe's, Home Depot, etc. that is thin and goes on the floor- one side is kinda sticky, I think- like movers and construction people put down so they don't mess up the carpet? Maybe that would be enough to discourage her and break the habit- my couch has clear packing tape on the front of one arm- Stopped mine! The feliway may be making her feel relaxed and happy, and so she is stretching and scratching by it- like catnip to get a cat interested in a scratching post. Just a thought!
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