A young Asian girl nuzzles noses with a tabby kittenA young Asian girl nuzzles noses with a tabby kittenA young Asian girl nuzzles noses with a tabby kitten
Barks & Mewsings

The Trupanion blog

Why Do Cats Yowl? Cat Owner Questions Answered

By: Kelli Rascoe

Your cat may communicate in a variety of ways. While some cats may choose to vocalize, others may use their body language to let you know how they feel. Naturally, a cat’s meow can help indicate something more may be going on with your furry friend. If you have a cat you may find yourself asking, “Why do cats yowl?” Fortunately, we sat down with Trupanion veterinarian Dr. Sarah Nold to learn more about this particular cat behavior and what it may mean for your best friend.

Why do cats yowl?

Cats are unique. Also, they may like to communicate on their terms. Because of this, you may not know why your cat meows or chooses to yowl. For example, if your cat is yowling, they may be trying to communicate they're in distress. Nold breaks down factors why your cat may yowl.

Grey and white cat with his mouth open

Reasons why your cat may yowl


Your cat may react to any stressor, anything from new food to environment. If there has been a change in their home or daily schedule, they may be trying to communicate something is bothering them.

Separation anxiety

Pets are a part of the family. While you resume work, school, and daily activities that may affect your furry friends. Consider slowly introducing a change in your pet’s routine to help with separation anxiety.


As your pet’s age, they may start to lose cognitive function. Although feline dementia can be rare, it can still affect a cat in a number of ways. This may mean they vocalize more to express how they’re feeling. Consider talking with your veterinarian if you notice any abnormal changes in your furry friend.


A pet health condition can affect a cat in a variety of ways, including how they act. If your cat has a medical condition like hyperthyroidism, your cat may start to yowl. This may be a way for them to let you know that they may be in pain. If your pet shows any signs of distress, please seek the medical care of your veterinarian.

High blood pressure

The pet medical condition of hypertension may be a reason why your cat is yowling. After all, yowling is a way for your pet to communicate with you. Consider a consultation with your veterinarian to help figure out the root of the problem for your best friend. For more on hypertension, click here.


Has your schedule changed, are you busy working, or not home? Your cat may simply be trying to get your attention. Consider pet enrichment and incorporate interactive toys to help ease your cat’s woes. Also, a pet-friendly home can help keep your cat occupied, happy, and entertained in a welcoming environment.

this is a cat image

When to seek medical care for your furry friend

If your cat is showing any signs of pain, discomfort, or a change in their behavior you should seek the medical care of your veterinarian. They can help determine the source of your pet’s pain and recommend a treatment plan for your best friend.

Your cat may yowl for a number of reasons

All cats are different and may respond to change in different ways. You may find that your cat is stressed in their environment or may have a pet health condition. But by notating your cat’s behavior and working with your veterinarian, your cat may start to feel back to normal in no time at all.

For more on cat behavior, read Are Cats Nocturnal? Cat Owner Questions Answered.

A dog and cat snuggle

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Welcome to the Trupanion blog. A place to celebrate pets, pet health and medical insurance for cats and dogs.

This blog is designed to be a community where pet owners can learn and share. The views expressed in each post are the opinion of the author and not necessarily endorsed by Trupanion. Always consult your veterinarian for professional advice.

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