Insecure cat meows a lot

by Steve
(San Luis Obispo, CA, USA)

I have two 1-year old female (sisters) tabby cats. They were found in a grocery bag on a highway and adopted on my behalf by my co-workers, after my 8-year old tom died from kidney failure (due to the bad pet food from China).

I have had them for almost a year now. They are both indoor cats; I don't let them out at night, due to fear of them being hit and/or killed (had it happen before, can't go through it again). We play for half an hour every night (not on a fixed schedule, though) with string toys.

The bigger cat, Mercy, is rather stand-offish and doesn't like to be petted much. She will sit in the window and meow incessantly when I am outside on the patio having a cigarette; she will watch me and continually meow, even after I speak to her or try to soothe her verbally, then will run away when I try to pet her.

Her little sister, Harley, is trying to dig a hole under my roommate's door in order to get in there.

They will both sit outside my roomie's door and meow continually, if they know I am in his room.

It was cute at first, but their insecurity is beginning to worry me. I love the little furballs and want them to be happy. As I don't speak cat, I would appreciate any insight you might be able to offer.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Answer by Kate
Why do cats meow? well
this is a difficult one to answer as obvioiusly we don't really know. However it has been said that they have learnt that we communicate by making sounds to each other so they have learnt that to get our attention they too have to make sounds. So basically they are seeking attention.

My first reaction is this, they may be bored and or insecure and so seeking your attention and all the time. this is not unusual for indoor cats or for cats that have maybe one through some truamatic times.

Firstly i would say that you need to make sure that they have lots to do and that there indoor world is full of interest and anctivity. Hopefully this will distract them from you. please see my page about indoor cats here and the pages associated with it.

The other thing i would recommend is that you do try to wean them off of their dependancy to you, this can becaome a problem and turn into seperation anxiety. Again I have some information about that here

I know it is hard to ignore a meowing cat but the more you respond to it the more they will do it as it is a positive reaction rather than a negative one (which is being ignored).

I'm sure that as they get older and they begin to feel more confident in their home and a few ground rules are applied they will settle down into becomeing very happy and contented (and lucky) cats.

best wishes Kate

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