Cat behavior remains one of the universe’s greatest mysteries, even though we have seen great leaps and bounds in kitty behavioral science. When it comes to whether our feline friends always say what they mean and mean what they say? Scientists and cat ladies have barely scratched the surface, but we now have a better understanding of feline vocalizations. When they make crying sounds or are teary-eyed, are they really crying? Find out here.
“I’m not crying. You’re crying.”
Miss Kitty Fantastico may react to an illness, injury, or irritation with tears, but these are not emotional tears. The tears are a direct response to physical pain or irritation affecting her eyes. A visit to the vet may be necessary if the condition is persistent and accompanied by other symptoms. Just because cats only physically show tears due to a biological response, doesn’t mean they don’t feel the emotion of sadness. In fact, it has been scientifically documented on a seemingly endless scale. They recognize their long lost guardians in pictures and videos, then display clear, well-established indicators of sadness and grief. They mourn the loss of a companion cat or member of their fur family. Cats do, in fact, experience sadness, and related emotions, but they don’t cry in order to express them the way humans do.
Crying for attention
Even though they may not cry for emotional reasons, cats do cry for a variety of reasons. More specifically, they yowl or mewl. Experts have been able to decode the possible meanings of these specific vocalizations:
- Kitty is simply hungry, and we forgot to feed her.
- Yowling usually serves as a warning to other cats who may be intruding into kitty’s territory.
- A cat in heat also caterwauls to call for a mate.
- A bored cat will also yowl nonstop.
- Mewling is often made by kittens to call to their mother and let her know where they are.
- Kittens also make crying noises when they’re hungry, cold, or scared.
- Cats who are feeling stressed also often yowl. Any change in their environment is a common cause of stress in felines.
- Senior cats with cognitive dysfunction may also cry when they are confused or disoriented.
- An underlying health condition, such as kidney disease or thyroid problems, can make Kitty cry. Excessive crying is a serious cause for concern and requires immediate veterinary attention.
Is kitty crying for food, but it’s not time mealtime? EcoTreats will satisfy her cravings for a snack and a little attention, but won’t ruin her appetite. Plus, they’re all-natural and low-calorie, so we won’t negatively affect her nutrition or inflate her caloric intake.
What should you do when your cat is crying?
- If Kitty’s by her food bowl while she’s yowling, she probably wants you to refill it because she’s hungry.
- Carefully check if Miss Kitty is physically hurt. Look for a wound, a painful lump, or signs of tenderness.
- We can check to see whether our feline friend has an unusual discharge in her eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Check if her breathing is normal.
- If Kitty is still intact and there is no other apparent health-related reason for her cries, your vet will most likely advise getting her fixed.
- For those of us who recently changed our kitty’s brand of litter and she’s refusing to use it, try mixing in some of the old brand until she gets used to the new one.
- Look for any changes inside your home, such as having moved furniture or added a new piece? If yes, this could be the source of Kitty’s distress. While she’s adjusting to the new surroundings, we can keep her confined to places in the house where she feels secure.
- New neighbors with free-roaming pets may leave Kitty feeling a bit territorial.
- We can try picking her up, scratching her, and cuddling with her. Whatever typically makes her feel the most secure will be the best way to care for her. It could turn out she just wants some attention. Or she needs to be entertained.
- If Kitty’s been crying persistently and we can’t figure out why, we should take her to her vet as soon as possible.
Sometimes, our feline friends are snooty and seem like they couldn’t care less about us. Other times, they’re demanding and refuse to be ignored. A yowling cat is definitely a cat that won’t be ignored. Even though their crying may occur at the same time she is sad, because our cats do feel the full spectrum of sadness, if they are tearing up and mewing, we should look for additional reasons this may be happening. Our cat companions are incredible friends, and it’s worth investigating their discomfort. In the meantime, let’s snuggle up to our felines and show them just how important they are to us.
- “Why Does My Cat Cry At Night?” VetStreet
- “Meowing and Yowling,” ASPCA
- “Cats and Excessive Meowing,” WebMD