Why Is Your Cat Whining?

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At three o'clock in the morning, when you're meant to be in the deepest part of your night's sleep, there are few more annoying sounds than hearing your cat whining. And whining … and whining. But beyond the inconvenience of getting woken up by a whit of a whit, what exactly causes you to express yourself with this strange cat sound? And when is whilling a cause for concern?

First, What Does Whining Sound Like Cat?


Cat whining is different from normal, everyday meowing due to the feline pronounces her cat vowels. According to Mieshelle Nagelschneider, a Cat Behaviorist from the Cat Behavior Clinic and author of The Cat WhispererThere are two cat's involved in the meow vocalization.

"When a cat is tense or stressed or perhaps in a weakened state, the meow can become longer, vows become flattened, and also become higher pitched," she says. "This sounds more like a whine than the two syllables of me-ow."

Why Is Your Cat Whining?


Now that we've pinpointed the sound of cat whining, what causes cat whining? As you might have guessed, hunger might cause cat whining. This could be learned from your cat's kitten days, when it would be meow to let his cat's name know he's hungry. Now, as Mieshelle says, "Not being fed on time, frequently enough or too few calories can also cause this kind of vocalization." This could explain late-night or early-morning when kitties decide what they really need right this second is a post-midnight snack.

A key part of the motivation behind cat whining can also come from the cat feeling stressed, frustrated or even ignored. Mieshelle throws up a bird's eye view of a bird frolicking outside of a window. "This frustration could cause a vocalize intensely and more easily than a whine," she explains.

Another common prompt for homeowners. In this case, the whining tells you that your cat would prefer to pay attention to it. Gold treats. (Sometimes, it's truly about the treats.)

Is Cat Whining a Cause for Concern?

A cat with his open mouth making some kind of sound.

Is the cat whining a reason to worry? Photography © Seregraff | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

"Most often, they will keep me going, or they will be stressed," says Mieshelle, "when asked if a whiplash is a symptom of a more serious issue. She adds that when she is in a weakened state, it is possible to communicate this bread or distress to a guardian.

If it seems like your cat is experiencing health issues, take a look at it without delay. As Mieshelle puts it, "All loving cat owners want their cats to be happy and should be concerned about their cat is vocalizing in this way."

What Should You Do About Cat Whining?

A cat with his mouth open.

How should you handle cat whining? Photography © SensorSpot | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

Beyond any medical problems, the root of all that cat whining might be a problematic issue – like a feline who wakes up in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning with a repertoire of whines and yowls. In these cases, Mieshelle says it's "best to figure out why the behavior is happening and then make changes to those reasons."

Oftentimes, your own behavior – or reactions – might even contribute to the cat whining in question. As Mieshelle points out, "Sometimes, the only reason for a cat continues with intense or lengthy vocalizations is because it is reinforcing it." up in the early hours of the morning with all that whining!

Thumbnail: Photography © SensorSpot | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

Read more about cat noises on Catster.com:



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