Caterwauling: Why Do Cats Do It?
Some cat breeds are solemn, while others can purr the hell out of your ears. It is okay for cats to meow or purr. However, a concern must arise if you hear your feline making alarming sounds, such as screams, yowls, or caterwauling. But you might ask what caterwauling is? The word may sound outdated to you, but it is as distressing as humans wailing. You could also refer to it as a cry for help, a jolt for attention, or during episodes of stress or anxiety. As a result, if you hear your cat caterwauling, it might be that it needs some help and is calling you out to understand its needs.
Is caterwauling a distressing sound?
It’s harder for pets to communicate their ideas and feelings across humans. Having a pet is similar to having a baby. We understand what they need by looking at their gestures or parsing for signs. Similarly, a cat too is like a baby that will need your constant attention and telepathic understanding. As a result, when your feline starts acting unusually, the first step to redress their changed behavior is to find the root cause for it.
You must determine the sound and its nature. Is it a meow, a purr, a yowl, or a caterwaul? However, if you want to distinguish between a meow and a caterwaul, the characteristic feature which will give it away is that caterwauling involves a high-pitched sound. The screech is considerably higher than a meow and sounds distressing. The sound is agonizing, and you may even think your cat is in pain, and it could be that you are right.
Reasons for Cats to Caterwaul
If your gut says that your cat is in trouble, the odds are that your instinct is correct, and it needs help. It is doubtful that your feline is happy or experiencing a pleasant emotion while it is caterwauling. However, there are reasons your cat may be caterwauling, which might not be so alarming for owners to take immediate action. However, here is a list of all the probable reasons why your cat may be caterwauling.
Your Cat Wants To Mate
A cat that wants to breed exhibits behavioral change. They could become more aggressive, pretend to forget their house training by marking their territory with urine, or simply become clingy. Pet owners who have been expecting a breeding call may welcome caterwauling with a receiving sign. It would mark a crucial step in the breeding program and help the owners know that they have their feline’s consent. However, if your cat is spayed or neutered, it is doubtful that it is caterwauling to attract a male. As a result, you can tick the reason off from the list and move onto the next.
Your Feline Could Be Confused.
Your cat could start caterwauling in old age. It often stems from feline cognitive dysfunction (FCD), commonly referred to as cat dementia. Your cat could experience disorientation, and the best way for it to express that is through caterwauling. This reason could probably explain the anomaly in your cat’s behavior if you have an old cat. Other symptoms of FCD may include:
- Forgetting home training or learned behavior such as using the litter box or their usual sleeping place.
- No memory of people or animals they are familiar with
- Staring into space or zoning out
- Getting lost in the backyard or spaces, they regularly play in
- Being extremely clingy
- An inexplicable change in the sleeping pattern
- Reduced grooming routine or appetite
- Unexplained aggression
- Waning interest in engaging with the family or frequent visitors
You must create a safe environment for your cat if there are reasons to believe that your pet might be suffering from FCD. You can also ask the vet to prescribe anxiety medicines to reduce symptoms.
It Is A Cry For Attention.
Cats and their attention-seeking attributes are gospels that you cannot not be familiar with. As a result, caterwauling can be a legitimate way for them to connect with you. For instance, if you are late for dinner, their painful moans might remind you to feed them on time. They could also caterwaul when they want you to provide them with water or when they feel it is their designated play-time. You must remember that your cat can feel lonely, and giving it attention is just a part of raising them to be the magnificent beasts they are.
Your Feline Is Anxious.
Cats are very nervous creatures. Strange or altered environments, loneliness, unfamiliar odors, new pets, or even unusual visitors can trigger their anxiety. Several cats caterwaul when their owners leave for work or when they feel abandoned. They could whine and even throw tantrums when they are jealous of the new pet you bought. If you think anxiety could be a reason, look for other signs, such as defacing furniture, hiding, dilated pupils, unexplained aggression, or a reduced appetite. In such a situation, please do not force your cat to do anything, or you might get a scratching that would be totally uncalled for.
It’s A Reckoning For You Of Invaders
Although one of the least possible causes, it is still a reason for your cat to caterwaul. Most of the time, it could be them watching a strange animal in your backyard and giving you a heads up that someone is trespassing on your turf. However, some pet owners also train cats to slip warning signals at the sight of a stranger.
Or It Could Simply Be Pain
The most apparent reason for those distressed moans could be a pain. Pet owners could examine their felines for any wounds, bumps, or lesions. However, heading straight into the vet’s office would be the sanest and most obvious advice you would receive. Your vet can find a reason for the probable outburst, and therefore is the most prudent redressal option to follow if your sweet little furball is in pain.
The list of potential reasons that could prompt a caterwaul is far too long. However, we have provided you with the most obvious ones. Try to analyze what your animal feels by testing each of these and arriving at a suitable conclusion. Recall whether they have been sick recently or the reason for their itch, or them behaving abnormally. However, make sure you make them feel comfortable at all times and do not push them to do something they otherwise would not like to do. Be vocal about the pain of your animals and discuss their behavior with a vet.