Have you ever been woken by incessant meowing from the other side of your bedroom door? Is your cat constantly begging for attention or food while you are sleeping? If so, you are not alone!
Persistent meowing at the door can be both annoying and frustrating for cat parents. It can interrupt your sleep and other activities, especially if you cannot figure out what your furry friend wants!
Let us try to determine, in this article, the possible causes behind your cat’s behavior and how to remedy it.
Why is my cat meowing at the door?
There are many possible reasons your feline friend might vocalize from behind a closed door. Check out these common reasons and see if any of them fits your situation:
1. Your cat wants to be let inside or outside
For cat owners, the most classic scenario is simply when their cat wants to come in or go out. Indoor cats are usually seeking the chance to explore the outdoors, while outdoor cats might want to come in for a nap or a bit of snuggling.
Unfortunately, the sound of your cat’s incessant meowing can sometimes be annoying and bothersome – especially for neighbors. Taking a moment to open the door and let your feline friend explore the great outdoors, or let them come in for a cozy nap, might offer a quick fix. Otherwise, you might need to consider other options to discourage the behavior, especially if yours is an indoor kitty and letting them out is not part of the plan. These options will be discussed in the later part of the article, so keep reading!
2. Your cat wants attention
Sometimes, cats meow at the door if they want attention and cuddles. Cats are social animals and, believe it or not, they have an instinctive need to be around the people they love. If you are okay with some kitty cuddles, then letting them in might stop the incessant meowing.
However, some owners shut their bedroom doors to avoid being woken up by their furry companions in the middle of the night. Some family members also shut their doors to avoid getting cat hair all over their pillows and bedsheets that might trigger allergies. If this is you, then your best approach is to simply ignore your cat or consider other cat-friendly solutions (which we will share later).
3. Your cat is hungry
If you are wondering why your cat is meowing at the door in the morning, it could be because they are hungry and want to be fed! Cats are clever creatures, and they know exactly how to get what they want. They might even tap the door or scratch at it with their paws to get your attention – this is a sure sign that your kitty is ready for breakfast!
4. Your cat feels bored
Cats need entertainment just like any other pet, and if they do not get it, they will meow endlessly until they find something – or someone – to amuse them!
To avoid boredom, make sure to provide your feline with plenty of toys to keep them occupied. You can buy special cat toys like feather wands and puzzles that will engage their natural curiosity and help them stay active. You can also make your own toys with items like cardboard boxes and paper bags. This way, you can keep your pet entertained even when you are not at home.
5. Your cat is looking for a mate
Cats that are not spayed or neutered tend to be very territorial. Their hormones can also influence their behavior, causing them to be more vocal as they advertise their sexual availability to neighboring cats.
Male cats are especially vocal and will meow a lot, or even cry at the door frequently if they think they can find a mate outside. And, if your female cat is in heat, you can expect even more noise!
As a fur parent, it is important to be aware of these behaviors so that you can take the appropriate actions to correct them. If your cat is intact and keeps meowing at the door to roam outside, you may want to consider getting them spayed or neutered. This will help reduce the urge to look for a mate, and can even lead to better behavior overall.
6. Your cat misses you or someone else
Did you know that cats might meow at the door if they miss someone who has moved out of your house?
Cats have incredibly sharp senses – they can sense if something changes in the house, including the departure of a friend or family member who has recently moved out. It is also possible for your cat to miss someone who has been away for a long time, such as a family member who is away for a business trip or vacation.
7. Your cat is curious about what is behind the door
Cats are known for their curiosity, and nothing sparks that curiosity more than a closed door. When cats see a closed door, they will often meow in the hope of getting a peek at what is on the other side. It is as if they can sense the possibilities the other side holds and they just can’t wait to explore it.
For cat parents, it is truly fascinating to watch cats show their curiosity in this way, and it is just one of the many reasons why cats make such wonderful pets.
8. Your cat has cognitive dysfunction
Cognitive dysfunction is a common disability in senior cats.
As cats age, their bodily functions decline, making it harder for them to achieve simple tasks like running or jumping. And, as with humans, their brain functions can also decline. Studies have shown that cognitive dysfunction in cats can manifest in a variety of ways, such as difficulty recalling information, disorientation, and increased vocalization.
One classic example of feline cognitive dysfunction is when they start meowing behind closed doors or calling out for help because they can no longer remember where they are. If you have an aging cat, it’s important to pay attention to these signs and take steps to help your pet live as comfortably as possible. There are a number of treatments and supplements available to help manage cognitive dysfunction in cats, so talk to your vet about what is best for your furry friend.
Should I ignore my cat meowing at my door at night?
If your cat is meowing incessantly and driving you up the wall, know that you do not have to just take it. Sometimes, you need to take a stand and ignore your cat! Believe it or not, cats can understand when their behavior is not acceptable. If you ignore them when they are meowing for attention, they will eventually get tired and give up.
You can also try to give your cat access to food, toys, and other activities to keep them occupied. This will help to keep them from meowing incessantly – and you can have some peace and quiet. It might take some time, but if you stay consistent in your approach, it will eventually discourage the behavior and your cat will learn to limit the meowing.
How do I stop my cat from meowing at the door?
Cats can sometimes meow incessantly, and it can be very annoying. But the good news is, there are ways to discourage this behavior. These tips should help limit your cat’s incessant cries behind the door so you can have a quiet time to sleep:
1. First off, never punish your cat
Yelling, scolding, or hitting your cat will not help correct the meowing behavior. This will only hurt your relationship and cause your cat to fear or avoid you. Instead of punishing the cat, try to get to the root cause of the problem. By doing so, you can address the underlying issue and correct the behavior.
2. Spend time with your cat
Giving your cat the attention it needs might be the only solution to stop its incessant meowing at the door, especially at night. Consider cuddling or playing with your feline before going to bed so they can exhaust their energy and rest well through the night.
3. Place deterrents at the door
Deterrents like a motion-activated air can might discourage your cat from coming at your door and meowing. The deterrent will spray air to shock your cat every time it comes near the door without causing any harm.
4. Invest in an automatic cat feeder
Oftentimes, your cat would want to wake you up early in the morning by meowing behind the door to ask for food. But you do not have to compromise your sleep if your cat has access to food all the time. Consider an automatic cat feeder like this one from Voluas – this way, your cat’s breakfast is automatically served without interrupting your sleep!
5. Keep your furball entertained
Boredom can sometimes lead to behavioral problems in cats. One way to keep their persistent meowing under control is to keep them entertained with toy puzzles, scratching posts, and cat trees. We also highly recommend window perches so your indoor feline can enjoy the outdoors in the comfort of your home.
6. Install a cat flap
If you do not mind letting your cat go in and out of the house anytime, then a cat flap might be a perfect solution. This could help stop the annoying vocalizations as your cat can now have the freedom to access the outdoors and come back inside anytime they want. However, if you are training your cat to stay indoors, then a cat flap might not help.
Cats tend to vocalize a lot whenever they need something from their humans. A confused cat owner might find it challenging to decipher what their furry friend is trying to communicate. Hence, making an effort to understand your cat’s behavior and body language will be very helpful so you can cater to their needs accordingly, especially if it has something to do with a medical issue.
Otherwise, if you cannot seem to find a probable cause behind their incessant meowing at the door, then your feline is just probably a chatty one and wants to bond with you. In that case, you will have to make adjustments to their vocal temperament and love them for who they are!
Image: istockphoto.com / Keeshi