As cat guardians, we know that cats have an extensive vocabulary of various sounds. They meow, they purr, they chatter and chirp. And cats make these sounds for quite a few reasons. They might be trying to give you a friendly “hello” or they might be asking you to feed them or let them outside. But what about cat yowling?
First, what does yowling sound like?
When cats yowl, it can be rather startling. A yowl is typically much harsher than a meow. Cats may let out this cry for a variety of reasons, according to VCA Hospitals. It’s important to know what your kitty is trying to say, so let’s explore a few of these reasons why your cat might be yowling.
Sometimes a cat yowls simply because he wants you to pay attention to him. Try playing with your cat or sitting and petting him if he’s yowling and you can’t quite figure out why.
Instincts are Kicking in
Yowls can be related to instinctual behavior. Female cats, for instance, may let out a yowl when they are in heat. Male cats in the area may then respond with their own yowl. This isn’t necessarily something to be alarmed about, but be aware that yowls may indicate that your cat’s instincts to mate are kicking in.
Cats can be territorial creatures, as you probably already know. It can really freak out us humans when they’re staring outside into the dark night and suddenly release a loud yowl! In this situation, it’s likely that your cat is yowling because he has spotted some sort of creature outside (like a bird or even just a tree blowing in the breeze) and feels he must vocalize a yowl to let the trespasser know he is there and is defending his home.
Unhappiness or Sadness
Sometimes cats will yowl because they miss their humans. Sometimes those humans are even in the same house with the cat. My cat, for example, will be looking for me in the basement while I’m in another room upstairs. If he doesn’t see me there, he might yowl loudly. I take this as my cue to call out to him so he can easily find me. The same might be true of your cat if you’re about to leave for work after having been home for several days (or months, in the case of the pandemic this year).
Cats are known for trying their hardest to hide any pain or sickness they might be experiencing. When your kitty is not feeling well or is hurt, she may yowl to get your attention and ask you for help, in her own way. A sudden yowl when your cat doesn’t normally communicate this way may indicate that you need to book an appointment with your veterinarian to get her checked out.
Cats are interesting, but lovable, animals and have multiple reasons for scaring us with their yowls. It can be a simple need for attention, or it can be something instinctual kicking in. Yowls might also signal that something is amiss with your cat’s health, in which case a veterinarian should be called. Mostly though, there are reasons for those yowls, and it can help to understand them. Next time your cat yowls, see if you can determine which of these reasons it might be.
Did you learn anything new and interesting about our feline friends? Share this article with other cat lovers that you know so that they can learn something, too.