The world of cat behavior can seem puzzling. However, if you take the time to pay attention, the way your cat is feeling is quite apparent. There are many ways in which cats convey their emotions and needs to and to each other. Feline vocalizations have been documented and analyzed by scientists and behaviorists so that we can better understand our cats. Babies, some holy statues, and according to a pop star, pigeons may cry, but do cats cry? Let’s find out more about a crying cat and what to do with a crying cat.
Cats don’t cry like humans
So do cats cry? A cat’s eyes may cry and cry, but this is not an emotional reaction. Cats loudly don’t cry like humans do. In an article in Parade magazine, Oregon veterinarian Dr. Sheri Morris emphasizes that cats do break, but it is exclusively in response to an injury or illness, usually associated with their eyes. Irritants like disinfectant cleaners or allergies can also be to blame. If you are noticing a crying cat with persistently watery eyes, it is best to go to the vet.
Certified cat driver and author Mieshelle Nagelschneider echoes Dr. Morris’s assessment that cats’ eyes don’t open the floodgates when they’re in pain or upset. Rather, cats vocalize when something is bothering them.
Variety of crying cat sounds
The next question you have after “Do cats cry?” It’s probably “What does a crying cat sound like?” In the popular YouTube video, 7 Sounds Cats Make and What They Mean, there are two segments that sound a lot like a crying cat.The howling part sounds like a cat crying in distress. According to the video, crying may be a warning to cats invading claimed territory. The howl could also be interpreted as an invitation to mate (talk about mixed signals!). The final segment shows the kittens meowing, their screams should be familiar to all mothers. “We’re around here,” they seem to scream.
The cry of the kittens
In addition to the crying mentioned above, kittens scream when they are scared, hungry, or cold.
Crying from stress and changes in the environment
Stress cannot be stressed enough as the cause of crying cats. Seemingly innocuous alterations to a cat’s environment can cause stress, you sure love the new sofa, but is it an invasion of malicious intruders? Some cats are not sure!
Do older cats cry?
Aging can cause excessive vocalization. Older cats, like people, experience cognitive dysfunction and can become disoriented. Mental confusion can certainly lead to a crying cat that is asking its people for help.
Do cats cry for health problems?
Do cats cry for health problems? Diseases (such as thyroid or kidney disease) can cause the cat to cry. With so many reasons for crying cats, it is important for parents to be aware of their felines’ mental, physical, and emotional states. A cat that is sick or injured may not only say, “It hurts when [and] he’s here,” but if your cat is crying excessively, there is a reason and it could be a medical problem. Dr. Jean Duddy, DVM, indicates that an escalation of a cat’s cry can be a real cause for alarm.
If you think your cat is crying, take a look
- Run your hand over your body (checking for wounds, injuries, and lumps).
- Check your mouth, nose, and eyes for discharge.
- Make sure he is breathing normally.
- Examine your private parts for anything unusual.
- Investigate his litter box.
- Is he or she intact?
- Is your cat crying due to changes in his environment?
- If your cat doesn’t seem physically hurt, it could be a change in his environment that is causing him to cry. Here’s how to get to the bottom of the problem:
Is there something new or a change in your home?
- A new roommate, sofa, or floor plan could cause a panic!
- Did you change your brand of cat litter?
- Has the litter box or food been moved? (This is important if there are stairs involved now – cats can suffer from arthritis and other ambulatory problems as they grow older)
- Do you have new neighbors with free-roaming pets?
- Is your dinner different?
- Remember: Cats, unlike most dogs and people, can feel anxious and stressed about even the smallest changes in their homes, routines, and communities.
How to help a crying cat
Another question that follows, “Do cats cry?” It’s: “What can I do to help a crying cat?” Well, whatever you do, don’t berate your cat for crying! If the crying persists for a long time and you can’t identify the problem, take your cat to the vet. In the event that your cat is not neutered (or spayed, if your cat is a female), get it right away.
For many cats, the anxiety about something new will subside within a few days. You can help him if you put him in a safe place: his room with the door closed and his favorite toys, the cat tree and the comfortable bed for a few days should help him readjust. If you have moved your necessary items (litter box / food bowl) to a different floor, please return them to their usual place. Consult a behaviorist if the situation worsens.
Remember, there will be some cases where crying is just your cat’s way of saying, “Pay attention to me.”
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