that he uses when he wants different
things — one type of meow might
mean he wants you to feed him,
while another means he’d like you to
open the bathroom door.
Jack uses different noises in
different situations. He seems to
respond to his name, using a quieter
“meep” noise that sometimes comes
out almost silently. And when he’s
particularly happy, he’ll try to meow
and purr at the same time, emitting a
noise that sounds like a trill.
Phillip, on the other hand, seems
to meow only when something
exciting or upsetting is happening.
He doesn’t like to be left alone and
almost yowls to find us, and he
chatters when he sees birds in the
Don’t worry: It’s OK if your
adult cat isn’t the talkative sort, as
long as he doesn’t suddenly stop
making his normal noises.
Be concerned: If your nor-
mally quiet feline companion
begins meowing to get your atten-
tion, take him to the veterinarian
as soon as possible.
Sometimes loud yowling — especially
in senior cats — might be a symptom
of disorientation. Cognitive dysfunction syndrome can cause demen-tia-like symptoms in older cats, which
might lead them to yowl because
they are confused or anxious.
Still, Dr. Brunt stressed that any
change in your cat’s normal vocalizations warrants a visit to the vet.
“Interestingly, even during ‘healthy
cat’ checkups in middle-aged … cats,
I frequently hear reports of yowling,
and the owner does not interpret
pain,” she explained, noting that upon
hearing the cat has been yowling, she
will look for signs of hypertension
and hyperthyroidism, as well as CDS.
Don’t worry: As your senior cat
ages, she might lose some eyesight
and hearing and begin meowing
more because she can’t pinpoint her
surroundings as easily. If her health
checks out with your vet, help her
compensate by keeping her regular
spots free of obstacles and maintaining the arrangements she’s used to.
Be concerned: As Dr. Brunt said,
yowling can indicate chronic feline
illnesses, so schedule a veterinary
visit if your senior cat starts vocalizing more often.
A lifelong cat owner, Stacy N. Hackett writes frequently about cats, cat breeds
and a range of pet-related topics. A big source of inspiration for her writing comes
from her two cats: Jack, a 7-year-old red tabby domestic shorthair, and Phillip,
a 3-year-old gray-and-white domestic shorthair. Her work has appeared in Cat
Fancy, Kittens 101, Cats USA, Critters USA, Rabbits and Pet Product News magazines as well as on several websites, including Petcha.com and CatChannel.com.
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