Find Out The Hidden Meaning Behind The ‘MEOW’
Cats are highly intelligent animals and they communicate through a variety of vocalisations – they purr, hiss, meow depending on their particular situations or feelings at any given time. They display their own particular personality through their vocalisation and at times can truly drive their pet parent crazy if they become demanding and far too vocal as they try to achieve their goal – often without any real reason.
Vocalisation is perfectly normal and it is the cat’s way to let us know what they want and in most cases they want it now! This usually happens because their pet parent becomes weary of the continual noise and finds it easier to do whatever it is that the cat wants. Here’s why cats meow.
Attention-seekers: Mostly this continual vocalisation is attention-seeking, a learned behaviour between other cats in the household and the human presence in the house. This is quite different to the loud meowing –‘calling’ of a female in season.
Change in environment: Often there is an increase in the meowing if there is a change in the household – i.e. when the pet parents have moved to another home or they are changed from indoor to outdoor living. I do not mean they are set free to roam at will but generally because they have been placed in an outdoor cattery for a few hours of fresh air.
Breed-specific: Siamese cats are known to be far more vocal than other breeds. Bengal breed is another very vocal cat.
Wake up call: Some cats are far more vocal in the morning – especially if the pet parents are trying to have a sleep at the weekend when they do not have to go to work.
Deaf cats: Whilst they do not actually hear themselves vocalising they certainly are smart enough to work out that if they continue with incessant meowing to get their pet parent to do exactly what they want they will generally get their way.
How to handle excessive vocalisation in kitties?
Teaching patience: Cats have to learn to be patient – just like noisy annoying children – and whilst it is not easy to ignore most cats – deaf or hearing – will eventually realise that they cannot always have 100 percent attention. Usually cats will vocalise more and for longer periods of time before they finally give up and get the message.
Handling deaf cats: It is very difficult to ignore a noisy deaf cat but it is the only way to make the cat understand that
he cannot always get his own way. Pet parents must consistently ignore the cat – as hard as that may be – refusing to respond to his request for immediate attention until he gets the message and becomes quiet. Eventually, even the deaf cat will come to understand that constant noise is not
the best way to attract attention from his pet parent.
Remember the feeding times: Cats are noisy if they do not get their food on time. So, remember to
feed them at the same time every day.
Health issues: If you think the vocalisation is because the cat has a health problem, take him to the veterinarian and have him checked. Also be aware that the vast majority of blue-eyed white cats are usually deaf but they make loving companions and with patience and care from both the pet parent and the cat they will live a happy life together.
(Joan E Henderson is based in Australia and she has judged furry felines in many other countries including USA, Bermuda, Malaysia, South Africa, Hong Kong, Philippines and New Zealand).