If you’ve clicked on this article, I’m assuming that you’ve got a cat who’s a bit of a chatterbox.
Your furry friend is under the impression that if he meows at you, you’re more likely to give him something to eat.
Some cats will meow at you when you’re watching TV and fancy a snack.
Other cats will meow at you when you’re eating dinner because he wants some for himself.
Today, we’ll be looking at why cats do this and how you can get them to stop.
Why Cat’s Meow
To get your cats to stop meowing for food, it’s essential to understand why they meow. Unless we’re talking about the cats in fairy tales, most of them can’t speak. Therefore, they won’t be able to say to you “I’m hungry”, “I’m in pain”, “I’m impatient”.
Instead, all they can do is meow, and it’s up to you to figure out what they’re trying to say to you. There are many reasons why your cat might meow at you, as well as the ones mentioned above.
They might be sick, want to go outside, need the toilet, want some water, lonely, in want of attention, or to warn you of danger.
When you get home, your cat is likely to meow in welcome as he greets you in the house.
Elderly cats with mental confusion or cognitive disability may meow if they feel lost or when you talk to them.
If your cat is elderly and has just begun meowing excessively, get him checked by a veterinarian for medical issues, sensory deficiencies, and cognitive dysfunction.
Medication might help his discomfort.
If your male cat is not neutered and meows excessively on a regular basis, he may be hearing or smelling a female cat in heat.
He is likely to pace and meow incessantly during the duration of the female’s heat.
Unless you can entirely prevent him from detecting females in heat, neutering an intact male cat is the greatest approach to decrease excessive meowing.
Why Do Cat’s Meow for Food
We know why your cat meows in general. But why do they meow for food?
The main reason is that this is what they’ve been taught to meow for food.
For kittens who were raised with a birth mother who meows for food, they will grow up understanding that this works, that if they meow, they are more likely to be fed.
In all likely hood, you are the reason your cat meows for food. If you feed your cat when he meows, you have yourself to blame when he associates meowing with being fed.
Teach Them When They’re Young
The best thing to do is to get it sorted when they’re young. If your Kittens are meowing, do not fear, because at that age, their brains can change, and they’re able to change their ways.
Older cats can learn too, but they take a bit longer.
Young cats, as with young humans, are still learning about the world and need to be taught how to behave themselves in a civilized society. So, if they meow for food, you need to teach them not to.
Don’t Give In!
The golden rule to follow if your cat is meowing for you is not to give into it. Yes, it can be adorable and charming. They have a lovely little face, and you can’t resist giving him a treat.
But as time goes on, the appeal of the cuteness will wear off, and it will just become annoying. Your cat will become more stubborn and louder and might even begin doing it to strangers who are eating in public.
If your cat meows at the dinner table, do not feed them! If they meow while you’re otherwise occupied, do not get up! Just keep doing what you were doing before.
Cat Meowing for Food – How to Get Him to Shut It
There are several methods you could use to get your cat to shut up. The most common is simply to ignore the noise. This does work, but other methods can also work.
- Cats don’t like loud noises. You got clap your hands, shout at them, or even use an air horn (if it’s safe to do so).
- They also don’t like water, so a water pistol can discourage them from continuing their behavior. But be careful as you don’t want to cause your cat any harm.
Reward Good Behavior
As well as punishing bad behavior, it’s equally important to reward good behavior. If your cat does his business in the garden or the litter box, reward him with a treat.
If he leaves the mice and birds or he hunts off your property, give him a treat.
If your cat waits patiently for his dinner, give him a scratch on the head before you feed him.
All behavior is learned whether it’s good or bad. You cannot punish lousy behavior without also rewarding good behavior.
Make Sure He Has Enough to Eat
If your cat is still meowing, there’s a chance that he’s just hungry. Feed your cat.
I know this is such an obvious statement; even an idiot would know to feed their cat. But you need to ensure that your cat is eating enough. Around 2-3 times a day ought to be plenty.
If you’re not feeding your cat enough, you can’t be annoyed when they ask for food.
And when I say feed your cat, I mean feed your cat meat! Cats are carnivores, and therefore if you’re one of these hippies who only provide them vegetarian food, you can expect them to pester you for a bit of steak.
Meowing Doesn’t Always Mean Your Cat’s Hungry
Don’t think that meowing is always a bad thing.
As mentioned at the start of this article, if your cat meows, it doesn’t automatically mean they want to be fed.
Perhaps their feeling unwell, or lonely, or want to warn you of danger.
Before you judge and jump to conclusions, try to understand what your cat is trying to tell you.
If you find that he’s lonely, give him some more attention.
If he’s sick, talk to your vet. If he’s thirsty, give him some water. A meow isn’t always a sign of hunger.
Because cats can’t talk, they rely on meowing.
And if your cat associates meowing with being fed, he will meow to be fed.
When they’re young is the best time to teach them that pestering you will not get them fed.
You should try ignoring them, clapping at them, or using a gentle water pistol.
As well as punishing your cat when he’s naughty, you also need to reward him when he’s good.
To stop him from being hungry, make sure he gets fed plenty, and don’t assume that all meows are a plea to be fed.
Purrfect n’ Pawesome is the brainchild of Amanda, who has been into researching and writing about pets to help other pet parents in nurturing their adorable pets. Currently, she runs Purrfect n’ Pawesome along with her team of experienced and dedicated pet experts. Along with being an awesome writer and entrepreneur, Amanda is a cat mom to two innocently spoiled cats, Balanca and Scruffy.
She has been writing about pet care and nurturing and wants to share her readers’ experiences, learnings, and knowledge.
Over the years, she had the opportunity to work with various pet owners having multiple breeds, and that exposure gave her experience and the lessons of a lifetime.
Her family, her entire universe revolves around her two cats, who give her endless support and inspiration to move ahead with her objectives in life. Amanda is a live example of a balanced approach to all parenthood questions we all face in life.