Our cats aren’t the most talkative cats in the world, though my mom’s cat Walker is definitely a chatty Cathy.
While I can’t pretend that my cats are completely silent, it seems like my cats prefer to use other forms of communication on a regular basis.
Beau tends to let us know what he wants by staring at us, pawing at us and on the odd occasion, he’ll meow to let us know that something is wrong or that he needs something.
Similarly, Kalista prefers to communicate with us by rubbing herself against us, headbutting us, or her absolute favourite being biting and licking us.
Now, shortly after we adopted Kalista we noticed something change in Beau.
Every time Beau would eat, he would let out a deep yowl shortly after he ate.
At first, I wasn’t very concerned because I thought Beau was taking on a bit after his cousin, Walker.
You see, Walker talks so much that he even talks while he’s eating. This makes silent moments in the house extremely rare and truthfully makes them a bit scary.
But, back to Beau, the yowls that he would let out after eating wasn’t like any of his regular meows.
They weren’t chipper, they didn’t sound happy and they quite frankly sounded like he was in a lot of pain, even though he would be running around the apartment shortly after.
So, why is that Beau picked up this behaviour and what does it mean?
Do all yowls signify that a cat is in distress or can there be other meanings attached to a yowl.
WHAT IS YOWLING?
A cat’s yowl is generally described as a long drawn out meow.
Most commonly cats will use the lower part of their register to make the sound, although yowls can also be done in the upper register.
WHY DO CATS YOWL AFTER THEY EAT?
Due to the fact that cats have a limited vocabulary, they rely on some of the same sounds to mean multiple things.
For this reason, there is no single answer to why it is cats yowl after they eat, however, it is fairly easy to discern what the cause of the yowling is after a bit of investigation.
THAT WAS SOME DELICIOUS FOOD
Sometimes when cats yowl, it’s their way of letting you know that they enjoyed the food that they just ate.
I know, I know. Why would your cat let out the noise that sounds like something’s wrong?
Well, if you’ve been known to pet your cat after they eat or have been known to even respond, you may have trained your cat into this behaviour without knowing.
As independent and stuck-up as cats can be, they are extremely grateful and family-oriented creatures.
Many cats will show their gratitude for their owners by grooming them, sitting with them, or as mentioned kneading them, rubbing herself against them or headbutting them, but yowling tends to be another tactic that cats rely on.
I JUST WANT YOUR ATTENTION, OKAY?
Some cats are extremely overdramatic and will yowl because they know it will get their owner’s attention immediately.
Because of the nature of a yowl and because it is usually tied to distress or discomfort, many pet parents will run to their cat’s rescue as soon as they hear their cat begin to yowl.
Is this bad for the cat? Not necessarily, but it can cause you to ignore your cat when they absolutely need you.
More recently Beau has picked up yowling when he is preparing to go to bed in his Meowfia bed.
Beau will yowl a few times in a row, prepare to jump, yowl at us again then jump onto the hutch, stretch and go into his bed to sleep for a few hours.
We don’t exactly know why Beau developed this habit because he never exhibited it until about a month or so ago, but we currently assume it’s because Beau is just trying to get my attention and I give it to him immediately.
Oftentimes cats will repeat tactics that work to continuously get the things that they want.
A perfect example is my mom’s cat Walker, who has been bred into believing that the more he cries or talks, the more food he gets.
This is why we believe Walker is so talkative since he’s been conditioned to talk and ask for food. Anytime he excessively meows, be ready for my mom to bring out his food dish.
Attention seeking is not always a bad thing when it comes to cats, though I would definitely recommend keeping an eye out on your cat to ensure that the attention-seeking nature isn’t derived from illness or stress, but instead just from mere love for you.
Cats may also yowl for your attention because they want more food. Oftentimes these cats will come and scent you to let you know that they are not done.
Cats may also go to the place they get fed or where food comes from and will walk in circles letting their owners know explicitly what it is they need and want.
If you notice that your cat is consistently asking for more food feel free to give them some more as long as they have no health concerns or haven’t been instructed to by the vet.
If meowing continues even after more food is given it is recommended that you take your cat to the vet as your cat may have a deficiency that you were unaware of.
A vet will ask you questions about your cat’s diet and energy levels before conducting any tests that may be required to ensure that your cat is well and healthy.
YOUR CAT IS IN PAIN
Sometimes our cats feel uncomfortable or can feel pain after they have eaten. This can be caused by a mixture of things.
Sometimes, cats eat too fast. Sometimes cats have allergies. Sometimes cats are sick.
All in all, sometimes our cats are in pain and have no other way to express their pain than with a deep dark yowl.
The following are some of the most common reasons cats express their pain after they have eaten:
Cats can experience stomach pains for a number of reasons, one of the most common reasons is gas.
It’s actually shocking how severe gas pain can be, especially for cats, however, I’m here to tell you if you haven’t had serious gas pain in the past you’re very, very lucky.
Gas pains can come for a variety of reasons and one of the simplest reasons it happens is because of poor quality food.
We actually have quite a bit of experience with this with our cat, Kalista, who was a super stinky cat when we first adopted her.
Not only was Kalista’s fur stinky, but she would also drop these massive fart bombs all over the apartment, making living with her quite unbearable.
Luckily, with a simple switch to a healthier diet, Kalista stopped having gas issues altogether!
When it comes to food, do your best to select a food that doesn’t contain too many fillers such as oats, wheat, corn, potato, etc.
These fillers tend to cause cats to become gassy because cats are unable to break down the ingredients properly.
Cats who are over the age of 10 are more susceptible to developing kidney failure.
Now, that isn’t to say that young cats are unable to develop kidney failure.
Cats who experience kidney failure commonly are diagnosed with a condition called uremic gastritis.
This is a condition that causes a cat’s stomachs to become inflamed and hard.
It is usually very easy to feel your cat’s stomach become hard and inflamed, so if you are concerned that your cat is experiencing this condition, I would highly recommend giving your cat a little exam.
It is also very important to be getting your cat checked regularly by a vet, especially when there is a cause for concern.
Uremic Gastritis is considered to feel unbearable to our pets, which is why your cat chooses to let out big wail or yowl.
The kidney’s job is to filter out any waste or toxins. Similar to humans, this is done through urination.
If the kidneys are no longer healthy and the cat is unable to properly filter out any waste or toxins from their body it will remain and cause toxicity.
This can, for example, cause a cat to experience acid reflux.
The majority of us have experienced some form of acid reflux in our lives, so we understand what that feeling can feel like. The thing is, not all of us have experienced chronic acid reflux.
Chronic acid reflux can cause the esophagus to burn, feel sore, and may even alter the voice.
If left untreated acid reflux can do some heavy damage to the esophagus that is often fairly irreversible.
Cats who experience uremic gastritis may also begin to act lethargic or may even show a lack of interest in the food that you provide for them.
In many circumstances, you will see your cat begin to throw up, but try to take their food back in.
In severe circumstances of uremic gastritis, cats will vomit, have diarrhea and may run high fevers.
A vet will require that you run blood work in cases like this so they can determine how severe the situation is and what the steps required to move forward are.
WHERE ARE YOU, FRIEND?
Our cats, Kalista and Beau, have become a bonded pair who are pretty much inseparable. If ever the two are separated by a door they will begin yowling until the door is opened.
There were actually a few months where Beau would yowl very loudly before bed to get Kalista’s attention so they could play together.
Beau would jump up onto my partner’s dresser, yowl a few times, and if Kalista didn’t respond immediately he would jump up to the very top of our bookshelf and yowl again.
We thought at first that this was because Beau was sick since he used to yowl when he would get frequent UTIs, but when we noticed Kalista would always come around and they would run around the apartment shortly after we understood what was happening.
If you have multiple cats and feed them in separate rooms, your cats may yowl after eating as a form of calling out for each other to see if the other is done eating.
This may be so the cats can play with each other, or so that the one who is finished first can see if there is food leftover to eat.
It is important to discourage this behaviour, especially because it often distracts the cat who is slower at eating since they will want to know what’s up.
You can easily discourage this behaviour by giving your cat a slow feeder or puzzle toy to solve as they eat.
MY CAT ISN’T SICK, BUT I WANT THEM TO STOP YOWLING. HOW DO I DO THAT?
If your cat’s yowling has nothing to do with them being sick you can train them or condition them to stop yowling after eating.
The method that works best is a form of replacement conditioning.
Give your cat something to do immediately after they finish eating so that they do not have a chance to begin meowing or yowling after eating.
This will help your cat relate the new activity or condition to the action of being done eating.
Cats love a routine, which is a big reason why they get stuck into the habit of yowling.
At the end of the day, there are a few reasons why a cat will yowl after they eat, but the majority of them are for non-medical reasons.
It’s important to keep an eye out on your cat and try to analyze whether or not they are exhibiting any other changed behaviours alongside the yowling.
Is your cat also throwing up? Is your cat drinking more water? Is your cat urinating more frequently?
If your cat shows any of these symptoms it is highly recommended that you take your cat to the vet for some routine bloodwork to ensure that your cat is not experiencing anything like kidney failure.
I personally find it extremely handy to log my cat’s behaviours as a way of easily seeing what behaviours my cat exhibits and when.
As mentioned, because cats are creatures of habit you can quickly solve what is wrong with them or what may be the cause of their problems fairly quickly.
Although cats will commonly try to hide their ailments, a close inspection of routine changes should be able to help you discern whether or not your cat is feeling unwell.
In all cases where you are unsure whether or not your cat is experiencing any pain or illness, it is highly recommended that you take them to the vet immediately.
While ailments like kidney failure will not always require medication, they often do require a diet change to help try to make sure that the issue does not progress.
Just because the kidneys have started failing, it doesn’t mean that it’s the end of your cat’s life or that your cat cannot enjoy their life to the fullest.
So, pet parents, I’m curious whether or not your cats yowl? Do they have a specific time a day they yowl at or is there a specific activity it’s related to?
Let me know in the comments below!