Why Do Cats Cry Like Babies?

Why Do Cats Cry Like Babies
Image: istockphoto.com / Gumpanat

Cats tend to cry like babies to catch your attention or because they are hungry. They may also cry like babies because they are lonely, bored, stressed, or due to an illness. 

Why do cats cry like babies?

Ever wonder why cats tend to cry like babies? While cats may normally meow or purr when they greet you at the door or when you cuddle them, there are certain times when they sound like crying babies. First-time pet parents are often confused about why they do that. 

Here are the top reasons why cats cry like babies:

Your cat is seeking your attention. 

Cats, especially those that are extra-clingy to their pet parents, love to bask in their attention. So, when they feel that you are busy with other things or ignoring them they tend to make a crying sound. It is their way of saying, “I’m here!” or “ Hey, I’m hungry, feed me!” and most likely they always get the attention they want. 

She may be lonely or insecure. 

Cats may tend to cry like babies because they are lonely or insecure. This is often observed in kittens that were recently adopted. Kittens tend to cry to express feelings of vulnerability, fear, and isolation. However, even adult cats tend to cry especially if they are unfamiliar or new to their surroundings. 

One way to alleviate a kitten’s loneliness is to let her sleep in your bedroom for the time being until she becomes acquainted with her new home. 

Your cat may be bored. 

Your cat may be bored. 
Image: istockphoto.com / liveostockimages

Another reason why your cat is crying like a baby may be because she is bored. Cats are inquisitive and frisky, they love to play and run around. So, when they are left behind at home, especially with no other companions they tend to get bored. Check out our article, Is my cat bored for a more detailed discussion on this. 

Ever wonder why cats cry like a baby at night? The reason is that cats want amusement since they tend to be more active and playful at night. So, they cry like a baby to let you know that they want to play.  Unfortunately, nighttime is slumber time for humans so the best you can do is to give them interactive toys like Purrfect Feline Titan’s Tower to keep them entertained at nighttime. 

It may be due to her territorial instincts. 

Domestic cats that have access to the outdoors tend to mark their territory by rubbing their bodies or spraying urine to mark their scent. However, indoor cats cannot do that. So, when an indoor cat spots another cat or animal outside the window, she may resort to yowling and crying. It is a cat’s way of expressing being threatened by intruders. She may also be letting you know that she intends to go out to confront the intruder. 

Your cat may be stressed or anxious. 

Cats may also tend to cry like a baby if they are stressed or anxious. Aside from the excessive grooming, scratching, and urine spraying, a cat may also vocalize her stress by crying like a baby. This is usually observed among cats with separation anxiety, especially if they are so attached to their owners and are left alone for a long period. 

Your cat may be ill. 

Your cat may be crying like a baby because she is not feeling well. While most cats may tend to hide pain and sickness due to instincts, some cats, especially those that are more vocal, tend to express feelings of pain by crying. If you suspect that your cat is unwell, bring her to the vet at once so she will be thoroughly checked. 

Here are other signs that your cat may be sick:

  • loss of appetite
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • lethargy
  • increased thirst
  • changes in breathing 
  • hair loss
  • bad breath
  • limping or having a hard time when jumping up
  • overgrooming 

It may be due to your cat’s advanced age. 

It may be due to your cat’s advanced age.
Image: istockphoto.com / Pavlina Popovska

Aging cats tend to be more vocal and cry like a baby especially if they are disoriented or new to a certain place. They are also prone to degenerative ailments and cognitive dysfunction syndrome which is the same as Alzheimer’s disease in humans. Senior cats tend to be confused and disoriented causing them to cry and meow out loud. 

Your cat may be in heat. 

If your cat cries like a baby, especially during nighttime, she may likely be in heat. Cats during the mating season may tend to excessively vocalize, regardless if your cat was usually the quiet type or not. The sounds that they make during mating season tend to resemble the sound of a crying baby. 

Here are the other signs of a cat in heat:

  • she is super affectionate
  • your cat wants to go out of the house
  • your cat is excessively licking her genitals 
  • she assumes the mating position of potential mates

What you can do if your cat is in heat may be extra brushing and petting. Give her extra attention so she may relax and burn off energy with interactive games. A heating pad may also help as well as soothing music to help your cat stay calm.  

What to do if your cat is crying like a baby?

Be sure to do a physical examination of your cat to check and determine what may be the cause of the vocalization. Check her body for any wounds or injuries and check for any discharge in her mouth, nose, or eyes. See to it if your cat is breathing normally. Check her private parts for any unusual swelling and check also the litter box. 

If your cat is crying like a baby for a prolonged period, be sure to check but do not give in. Once your cat calms and quiets down, reward her for their good behavior. Cat experts recommend that you spend a few minutes each day for playtime with your cat to keep her active and energized. 


Cats may cry like babies for various reasons such as to seek attention, because they are lonely or hungry, or due to stress. Your cat may also cry like a baby because she is in heat and she is vocalizing to attract potential mates. However, if your cat is vocalizing but also showing signs of illness like loss of appetite, vomiting, and lethargy, bring her to the vet at once because she may be suffering from a medical condition.