Why Do Cats Howl?

Cats can, and do, vocalize in a number of ways. Howling, particularly at night, is not uncommon. Howling or loud meowing can be symptomatic of anxiety, grief or medical issues. However, the breed tendencies will also affect your cat's vocal habits.

Particularly Vocal Breeds
The Siamese breed, and any breeds derived from the Siamese, is likely to be more vocal than its fellow felines. Typically, this is not indicative of any underlying physical or emotional problem. With a noisy breed, owners should only be concerned if there is a marked change in the volume or frequency of their cats' howling.

Health Problems That May Cause Howling
If your cat is usually quiet and suddenly begins to display howling behaviors, a physical or psychological health issue is the most likely cause. Typically, cats do not show symptoms of any illness until it is fairly advanced. Therefore, sudden howling should prompt owners to pay a visit to their veterinarians.

A vet will be able to rule out any physical condition that may be causing the cat pain. A likely cause of howling in older cats is renal failure or hyperthyroidism. Concerned owners should be vigilant for other indicators of illness such as increase or decrease in appetite and thirst. If your cat's vocal habits have changed, it is imperative to eliminate any physical issue, before addressing the possible psychological causes.

Howling for Attention
You may discover that your cat's howling is thought about by a desire for attention. Many cats learn from a young age that noise results in attention, food or affection. Typically, a cat, or any other animal, that is desperate for attention is not concerned whether it is the positive or negative variety. Therefore, shouting at or chastising, your pet will not discourage him, or her.

If you are certain that your cat's howling behavior is due to attention seeking, the best way to resolve the issue is to ignore your pet when he, or she, howls. It will not take long before your cat learns that this is not the way to obtain your attention. To reinvigorate the notice that noisiness is not appropriate, it is important for owners to show their animal lots of affection when he, or she, is quiet.

Howling Caused by Anxiety or Grief
If there has been a sudden change in your cat's life, such as moving home or the introduction of a new person or animal into the family, it can result in stress, which may cause your pet to howl. Similarly, the loss of a human or animal can be equally disturbing to a cat.

To help your pet to overcome anxiety or grief, it is important to offer him, or her, lots of positive attention. It is always beneficial to retain a routine, as this will help to ease a cat's stress. You may also find it useful to use a cat pheromone, such as Feliway, which has been proved to ease cats' distress.

Boredom May Cause Howling
Boredom is a particular problem for indoor cats, as they may not have many opportunities for exercise. Cats that are kept indoors can become frustrated and this can be acted out through howling behavior. Ways to overcome boredom include having plenty of toys and climbing apparatus, spending as much time with you cat as possible and hiding trees around the house. It is also wise to have your cat spayed or neutered, as this will ease some of an indoor cat's frustration.

Feline Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome
Also known as Feline Dementia, Feline Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome is found in some older cats, which is similar to Alzheimer's in humans. Howling is caused by the cat's disorientation and anxiety. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, but a vet may be able to prescribe medication for extreme cases of anxiety.

If you find that your cat is suffering from Feline Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, it is wise to follow the same tips for curing boredom. Try to ensure that your cat is as stimulated as possible during the day, as this should reduce his or her, howling at night.

If howling is unusual in your pet, sudden vocal expression is often a sign that something is wrong. Therefore, any case of atypical howling behavior should be brought to the attention of your vet as soon as possible.

Source by Samantha Markham