Why Does a Fixed Cat Howl?

Howling is not only a mating behavior.
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When you hear a cat howling persistently, your first thought may be that it's a call to the opposite sex for mating purposes. However, that simply isn't always true. Cats can display excessively vocal behavior even after neutering or spaying procedures -- much to the dismay of your ears.


Many fixed cats use howling and other vocalization techniques as a means to get attention. After all, it often works. If your cat is howling the afternoon away, he may just be expressing his hunger to you. Maybe he is ready to scarf down his can of wet food, or perhaps he simply wants to be let outside to run around and play. Perhaps your fluff ball just wants to be around you and wants to be petted -- aww.


Stress is also a major cause of feline howling. Cats have strong intuition and can sense tension and change. Whether you've just started packing your boxes for a huge move across the country or recently brought home a wailing newborn baby, your cat can tell that things are different and is feeling a little anxious and unsettled about it. One telltale sign that a cat is feeling nervous and on-edge is excessive vocalization, so be on the lookout for it.

Medical Concerns

Health issues are also occasionally behind a persistently howling, yowling and meowing kitty. Kidney disease and thyroid issues both often lead to especially vocal felines, so take note. If your cat is behaving in an uncharacteristically loud manner, consider the fact he may just be in a lot of pain and suffering. To be on the safe side, take your cat to the veterinarian at the first sign of any unusual howling behavior -- the sooner the better, of course.

Older Cats

If your little one is on the elderly side, his yowling may be due to cognitive problems that are extremely prevalent in geriatric cats. When cats are around 10 years old and older, disorientation, vision and hearing issues become increasingly commonplace. If you hear your cat howling nonstop, it may be because he's confused. Perhaps it's pitch black in the middle of the night and he just can't find his way back to his sleeping area. Maybe he's calling out for help and wants you to steer him back "home."

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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