If your cat meows when you say no, this post will show you a number of possible reasons why and what you can do about them.
So, why does my cat meow when I say no? Likely reasons why your cat meows when you say no are that it wants to you to give it something, it is intimidated, or that it has learned that the behavior is rewarded.
Your cat might meow when you say no for a number of reasons and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause. Once you have a good idea of the main cause, it should become a lot easier to deal with it.
Reasons why your cat meows when you say no
Below are likely causes and what would make them more likely.
It wants you to give it something
If your cat meows when you say no in situations such as when your cat is at the food bowl or at the door that leads outside, it is likely that your cat meows because it is letting you know that it wants to be fed or let outside. In this case, you could either give it what it wants or choose to ignore it until an appropriate time to give it what it wants.
It is intimidated
The cause might also be that it is intimidated by the way that you say no. This would be more likely if it meows when you say no with a more aggressive tone and if it also does things such as move away from you and hide.
It’s reacting to your emotions
Cats can be aware of their owner’s emotions and it could be the case that yours meows because it is reacting to your own emotions. This would be more likely if you tend to say no to it in an emotional way that you normally don’t.
It has learned that the behavior is rewarded
Another possible cause is that it has learned that it gets rewarded if it meows when you say no. If you tend to give it what it wants, when it starts meowing after you say no, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main cause.
If your cat has always meowed when you say no
If your cat did not always meow when you say no, it would also help to consider what is different when it first started doing it. If it started doing it after you gave it what it wanted after saying no, it might be the case that it learned that meowing will get you to give it what it wants.
The timing of when your cat meows when you say no
If your cat does not always meow when you say no, it would also help to consider what is different when it does meow. For example, when it continues to meow when you have not yet fed it in the morning, it would be more likely that it is particularly hungry and is trying to get you to feed it.
What to do about your cat meowing when you say no
Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.
Be calm with it
If your cat seems to be doing it due to getting intimidated, it could help to be calmer with it instead and to reward it when it does not meow.
If it meows because it wants something that you won’t give it, another option would be to redirect its focus towards something that it can have such as a toy.
Give it what it wants
While giving it what it wants every time it meows will likely cause it to stay meowing constantly, it is also the case that it can be appropriate to give it what it wants sometimes. For example, if it does it when you have not yet fed it in the morning, it might be more appropriate to just feed it quickly.