Cats are known for being stoic creatures, but they can be quite vocal. They use their voice to communicate. When they are meowing, they are trying to tell you something. The question is, what do they want to say?
Why is my cat meowing at the door?
There are several reasons why your cat may be meowing at the door. It can be frustrating, but keep in mind that this is your cat’s way of communicating their needs.
They Want to Go Outside or Inside
Your cat will meow at the door to ask you to open it if they want to go out or in. If your cat is an indoor/outdoor cat, this is a frequent cause of them meowing at the door. When the door is open, they should come inside, or go outside.
They Want to be With You
Sometimes, your cat simply wants to be on the same side of the door as you are. They miss you, and want to be near you. Despite the stereotype of cats being independent and aloof, many form close relationships with their owners. When they have a close relationship with you, it’s natural for them to want to be with you.
Missing Someone No Longer There
The most heartbreaking reason for a cat to meow at the door is that they are waiting for someone who won’t come. If a member of the household has left, your cat may meow at the door, as if asking them to come home.
Cats are curious by nature. They will sometimes meow at the door because they want to know what’s going on outside of it. If this is the case, your cat may go out the door, or they may simply set in the doorway and watch what’s happening outside.
If your cat is bored, they may meow at the door. They are requesting entertainment. They may want to find entertainment outside, or simply be asking you to entertain them.
Mating or Socialization
Your cat may also meow at the door if they are in heat, or if a cat nearby is in heat. In this case, they are meowing because they want to go out and seek a mate.
If there’s a cat on the other side of the door, they may simply want to play with it. In this case, they will be meowing because they are asking for you to let them interact with the other cat by opening the door.
Why does my cat meow when I open the door?
Most cats meow when the door is closed. In fact, many cats seem to have an aversion to closed doors. Still, there are rare occasions when your cat may meow when you open the door.
Anxiety About What’s Outside
If your kitty is naturally anxious or unfamiliar with the outdoors, they may meow when the door is open out of fear or anxiety. The outside world can be a scary place. There may be too much stimulation outside as well. This can include smells, sounds, and the sight of people or animals.
If your cat meows at you when you are heading out the door, they are likely experiencing separation anxiety. This may occur only when you are leaving, or each time the door is open. It’s possible for the cat to fear that you will leave each time you open the door, which causes them to be upset.
A cat with separation anxiety will be distressed when you leave. This typically occurs when the owner leaves the home, but some cats will even meow when you leave the room. These cats seek lots of attention, and always want to be close to you.
When you leave, they may be destructive. This isn’t done out of spite. It’s simply a response to the anxiety they feel in your absence. Pooping and peeing out of the litter box is also common when a cat has separation anxiety.
Your cat may be meowing at the open door because you read their desire wrong. Perhaps your cat wanted to be fed, but you thought they wanted to go outside. They would meow after the door is opened because their need hasn’t been met yet. If your cat meows near the door and continues to meow when it’s open, this may be the cause.
Your cat may also meow to greet someone. If the door is open because someone is coming in, this is likely the reason why they are meowing. You, or whoever is coming in, should be flattered at the greeting.
Why does my cat meow at the door in the morning?
It’s not what you want to hear first thing in the morning. Your cat is making quite a racket, meowing at the door. Finally, you give up trying to catch a few more minutes of sleep, and get up to open the door. Why does your cat meow at the door in the morning?
Wants to Potty
If your cat uses the bathroom outside, then you can expect them to meow when they need to go out. You likely use the bathroom in the morning, and your cat probably will as well. If they seem to want to go outside in the morning, this may be the reason.
Wants to Play
They may also want to go outside, or inside, to play. It’s normal for cats to want to play in the morning. Cats are often believed to be nocturnal, but this isn’t quite true. Instead, they are crepuscular. This means that they are most active at dusk and dawn, so they may have a burst of energy in the early morning.
Wants Your Attention
You’ve been sleeping all night long. By the time you wake up, your cat is probably missing you and wanting some attention. Meowing at the door, particularly if you are on the other side of it, is their way of saying pay attention to me.
Why does my cat meow at the door at night?
A cat that meows at the door at night can be maddening, keeping you awake when you need to sleep. Cats can meow at the door at night for any of the reasons listed above. However, there are a few reasons that are more likely than others.
Cats in heat can attract other cats at any time of day, but the activity seems to be more prevalent at night. Perhaps it’s simply because it’s more noticeable and disruptive at night, or perhaps their biological drive is stronger during this time.
There’s less going on at night, so it’s easier for your cat to be bored. A bored cat can be very demanding, including meowing at the door. It can certainly be irritating, but your cat is simply asking for some entertainment.
Wants Your Attention
If you don’t sleep with your cat, you are unavailable at night. Your cat may meow at your bedroom door to get your attention. They interact with you during the day, but are cut off from you at night. They simply miss you and want your attention.
It’s also possible for them to meow at the exterior door for this reason. They want you to get up and see what they want, so they can get your attention.
How to get my cat to stop meowing at the door?
If your cat is constantly meowing at the door, you’ll want to stop the behavior. It can take a little work, but you can get your cat to curb their meowing.
Recognize Your Role
It’s entirely possible that you are one of the reasons your cat meows at the door. If they are seeking attention by meowing at the door, and you give them attention when they do so, you are the problem!
Cats have a strong associative memory. This means that they create positive and negative associations. When they meow at the door and you give them attention, they learn that meowing at the door gives them what they want. This leads them to keep up the behavior.
How to React to Your Cat Meowing at the Door
Cats do not respond well to punishment, unless it comes as a natural consequence. Instead of punishing your cat, ignore them when they meow for attention at the door.
If your cat is allowed outside, it is often best to open the door when they meow. Do not interact with them. Simply open the door. This allows them to go in or out, without giving them your attention in that moment. If the meowing continues, ignore them until it stops, assuming that they aren’t asking for food or needing help in some way.
Spend Quality Time
Spending quality time with your cat can help meet their need for attention. Many owners find it best to create a schedule. Your cat should have regular feeding times and play times. If you interact with them at the same time each day, they will come to expect it, and be less demanding at other times.
If your cat is experiencing separation anxiety, scheduling quality time is a good start. However, you may need to consult a vet or a behavioral specialist. Separation anxiety can be tough to work through on your own. Most owners find outside help very beneficial.
Spay or Neuter Your Cat
If your cat is intact, spaying or neutering them may eliminate much of the meowing at the door. A female can go into heat every three weeks. She will naturally want to go out and find a mate when she is in heat. In fact, the instinct is so strong a female in heat can meow very insistently until they get what they want, to be bred.
If you have a male, they may want to go find a female. If there’s a female in heat nearby, some males will do anything to get to them. Cats have been known to injure themselves in an attempt to get to an in-heat female.
Relieve Boredom and High Energy
A bored cat will get themselves into all sorts of trouble, including meowing at inopportune times. One way to relieve boredom is to have regular play sessions with your cat. They should also have toys they can play with on their own.
A cat tree is another boredom buster. It provides them a place to relax, climb, and scratch. Lastly, food puzzles can provide mental stimulation, which is essential when trying to bust boredom.
Give Them Their Own Space
This is particularly important if your cat is meowing at night. They need a space where they feel safe and secure. If you are their only source of comfort and safety, it’s natural for them to meow when you are not available.
A cat house or tree is a wonderful option. Some owners use a crate, or even a pet bed. If your cat prefers to be up high, a shelf on a wall is an excellent option.
Create a Bedtime Routine
Another way to stop your cat from meowing at night is to create a bedtime routine. Give them a play session, and then settle them with cuddles or petting. Make them feel relaxed and loved before bed. This helps them know what to expect, and gives them an energy outlet before bed.