If you own a cat -- or are owned by one, rather -- you're probably a little too familiar with the sound of his blood-curdling scream or yowl. Felines are often bold and vocal creatures. Even if the vocalization seems pointless to you, your kitty is likely attempting communication.
If your male or female cat is unfixed, then all of the ruckus may indicate the hunt for a mate, uh oh. Even if you think that all's well in the world and your cat has zero reason to scream, he could be experiencing the wild roller-coaster of raging hormones. Cats often yowl and scream to call out to nearby members of the opposite sex, basically shouting from the rooftops that they are ready to mate. This vocalization is especially frequent during the night hours -- pretty inconvenient if you're trying to get some shut-eye.
A cat's screaming also could be a simple expression of frustration. Maybe he can't find his favorite catnip ball and he's searching the house frantically for it. Perhaps he went for a leisurely nap behind the refrigerator and now can't make his way out. A persistently yowling cat is often a stressed out cat -- one that wants a little bit of help from you!
A feline scream also is often a sign of fear, plain and simple. Say your fluffball got himself into a big, sticky mess in the kitchen by getting into the trashcan -- and getting jam all over his coat. If you start running the water in the bathtub, your mischievous one may know exactly what that means -- dreaded bath time -- and start yowling and screaming to no end. Yikes. Cats are, as a rule, usually extremely frightened by H20, so prepare for the cacophony to keep going on for the entire duration of the bath.
As cats get older, their cognition often wanes, whether it comes to memory, vision, hearing or anything else. When a cat's senses fail him, he may resort to yowling and screaming out of utter confusion. Maybe your precious pet just can't find his way back downstairs, and he doesn't know what to do with himself, so he's screaming as a means of coping.
Pain and Illness
Instead of getting annoyed with your cat for seemingly screaming without having a reason, consider the possibility the poor thing may be suffering in severe pain. He may be ill or just feeling under the weather, whether it's with kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes or even just a major tummy ache. To be safe, always take your cutie in for a veterinary checkup if he keeps screaming and yowling and you can't figure out why.