It’s 7 a.m., and kitty wakes you up better than any alarm clock could. You feed him and go back to sleep, but 10 minutes later you hear his familiar refrain – a deep, moaning meow. He does this almost every morning – but why?
Satisfaction (or dissatisfaction)
Your cat’s yowling might simply be their way of telling you what they thought of the meal. Did you feed them their favorite cat food or open a can of tuna? In that case, they’re probably delighted and want to say what a great job you’ve done. On the flip side, they might be annoyed that you’ve fed them the same cat food for two weeks in a row and wish to lodge a complaint.
They want more food
We all know cats love their food. Their whole lives revolve around mealtime. When your puss meows audibly after eating, they could be asking you for a second portion. They’re nothing if not persistent, but it’s up to you whether you give them another helping.
Related: How Much Should I Feed My Cat?
They want attention
You might want to go back to bed, but your cat has other ideas. Perhaps they’re lonely and want to play, or want some cuddles before you go to work. If the meowing stops after you pet them, or they jump into bed with you, kitty wants some more quality time with their person.
They’re feeling unwell
Cats are like humans, and can suffer from gas, indigestion and cramp. If your cat has recently started yowling after eating, and it’s accompanied by other symptoms such as distress, bloody urine/poop, vomiting and drinking more water than usual, kitty might be unwell. This could be caused by a stomach bug or a condition like uremic gastritis or even kidney disease. Go to the vet ASAP if you suspect your cat is feeling poorly.
She’s in heat
The yowling may not even be related to eating. If your cat isn’t spayed or neutered, they will yowl a lot during breeding season, especially at night – which is when you’re more likely to notice it. Females make noise to alert males that they’re in the area, and males meow to attract attention.
Related: 4 Signs of a Cat in Heat
Elderly cats tend to be more vocal than younger ones, and if your cat suffers from hearing loss, poor eyesight or a form of cognitive dysfunction (such as dementia), the yowling could be a cry of frustration.
Cats yowl for a plethora of reasons. If the noise bothers you, you can distract kitty with some toys, or try to train them not to meow by refusing to respond to it. Ultimately, though, those strange and indecipherable noises are one of the quirks of owning a cat.
Top photograph: CasPhotography/Getty Images
Read Next: 6 Cat Meow Sounds and What They Mean