Lately, I have noticed that my cat keeps meowing and rubbing against everything. I usually love my cat’s curious behaviors – after all, their quirks are what make them so cute. However, my cat’s non-stop meowing and rubbing is slowly driving me crazy. I just want some peace and quiet!
Whenever my cat meows excessively it seems to be for no apparent reason. However, I knew if I wanted this rather annoying behavior to stop I needed to get to the root of the issue. Besides, I wanted to make sure my cat wasn’t trying to tell me that something was wrong!
So, I set out to find out all the reasons why my cat keeps meowing and rubbing against everything. And it turns out there is no one single answer to the question. Most of the time it is because your cat is looking to breed, but they could be looking for some attention or be feeling anxious. In this article, I share with you all of these reasons in more depth and suggestions on what to do next.
Most Common Reason: They’re in Heat
Female cats go through the heat cycle every three months, and when in heat they’ll meow and rub against things excessively to attract a mate. Bear in mind that this is only a plausible explanation for non-spayed female cats – if your cat has been neutered or is a male then check out the other reasons on this list.
Why Does My Cat Keep Meowing & Rubbing Against Everything?
1. They’re in Heat
As mentioned, a cat going into heat and looking to breed is the most likely answer to this question if you have an unneutered female cat. Here is a little more information on what the heat cycle is, why this causes cats to keep meowing and rubbing against everything, and what you should do.
What is the Heat Cycle in Cats?
For those of you who don’t know already, heat is the time in a female cat’s estrous cycle in which they are fertile and can get pregnant. During this period, they will look for a mate.
Cats will usually go into heat within their first year of life. Each period of heat usually lasts an average of six days. If the female cat is not impregnated at this point, it will go out of heat for around three weeks before going back into heat and the estrous cycle continues.
Cats’ heat cycles don’t last all year round. Instead, they are seasonal and depend on their geographic location. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, your cat will typically be in heat between March and September. On the other hand, those living in the Southern Hemisphere will go into heat between September and March.
Why Do Cats in Heat Keep Meowing?
So, now we know what heat is, but why does my cat keep meowing when she’s in heat? This is all to do with them trying to get the attention of all the Tomcats in the neighborhood. Your kitty is ready to breed, and she won’t shut up about it!
By vocalizing excessively, she’s sure to attract the attention of male cats nearby. This excessive meowing is known as “calling” and can sound like she is in pain. Often, the vocalizations will sound more like a wail, howl, or moan than a typical meow. This shrill and repetitive noise may be annoying to us, but it lets the males in her vicinity know she’s ready to breed.
If your cat meows at the door, this is another indication she is ready to breed. She knows all the active males are outside your home and is trying to communicate with them. Moreover, she’s likely also telling you to open the door so she can get outside and find a suitable partner.
Why Do Cats in Heat Keep Rubbing Against Everything?
The reason why cats start rubbing on everything when in heat is less obvious than their non-stop meowing. However, this is thought to be due to the changes in hormones during ovulation in the heat cycle. This causes them to become much more affectionate towards their owners.
As such, they will often start excessively rubbing their bodies against you and other objects in your home. This is a display of affection and a request for attention. They’re seeking lots of love and cuddles from their favorite person, and know they can gain your attention this way.
When cats rub against things, they also transfer pheromones onto their surface. It is thought that the change in hormones throughout the estrus cycle causes these pheromones to alter their scent subtly. So, by rubbing on everything, your cat is spreading her new scent around your home.
Your cat does this for two reasons. Firstly, cats like to be able to smell their own scent. It makes her feel safe and comfortable and marks out her territory. Secondly, these pheromones carry a scent message that other cats can pick up on that signal the female is in heat. Therefore, spreading her scent by rubbing on people and objects is another way of communicating with active males.
What Are The Other Signs of a Cat in Heat?
Being increasingly vocal and rubbing against everything are not the only two signs of heat, though they are pretty easy to spot. Some other behavior changes you might notice when cats are in heat include:
- Restlessness and the inability to relax
- Crawling with her body close to the floor
- Excessive grooming, especially of the genitals
- Sitting in the mating pose with her behind in the air
- Indoor cats wanting to be outside
What to do if My Cat is in Heat?
There are a few things you could try here, including giving your cat some extra love or using catnip if you know she responds well. Synthetic pheromones are also a great option.
If you want to prevent unwanted pregnancy, you’ll also need to keep your cat away from males while she is in heat. Lock the catflap and don’t let her outside! If you have male cats living in your home, you’ll want to try and keep them separate until the end of the cycle.
However, the safest way to avoid pregnancy is to get your cat spayed. This is a simple operation carried out by a vet and will mean you won’t need to worry about your kitty falling pregnant.
2. They Want Your Attention
Most people know that cats only usually meow to communicate with people, and so it makes sense that their non-stop vocalizations are directed at you, begging you for some extra love.
Rubbing up against you is another way cats ask for human attention, especially when using their faces. Cats rub their faces on things for many reasons, a behavior known as “bunting”. It’s the equivalent of a hug in the feline world and your cat’s way of asking for a hug back.
When cats rub their teeth on you or gently nudge you with their head, there is no way you can ignore them; it’s instinctive for us to bend down and give them a stroke. In this way, cats are master manipulators. They know that by meowing and rubbing against you you’ll be unable to resist showing them some love!
If you think your cat is after attention, give them some! Cats may well be relatively independent creatures, but they still need love and companionship. Bend down and give them a little pet or scratch in their favorite place or pull out their favorite toy to play with together.
It is worth noting that cats only exhibit bunting behavior on people they know, love, and trust. They wouldn’t rub against you if they felt unhappy. Therefore, although your cat might be after a little extra attention, there is likely nothing drastic missing from their lives. All in all, you’re doing a great job as a cat parent and your kitty loves you very much.
3. They Feel Anxious
Cats are very cautious creatures and easily feel stressed and threatened by even the tiniest changes in their environment. Here is a look at the signs of stress, why this causes excessive meowing, and what to do to calm your kitty down.
What Causes Anxiety in Cats?
Anxiety in cats is a sliding scale. In most mild cases, cats will feel temporarily stressed and anxious, usually due to a change in their environment. On the other end of the spectrum, cats with severe anxiety will be in a pretty much permanent state of anxiety.
Some of the environmental triggers that can cause stress or worsen anxiety in cats include:
- Moving to a new home
- Having new people or animals in your home
- Changing the type of cat litter of cat food you use
- Not keeping on top of cleaning the litter tray
- Unusual and loud noises such as fireworks
- Other animals invading their territory
- Tension with other cats
The above are all new or unknown sounds, smells, and sights. As your cat isn’t used to these new things, they initially perceive them as a threat and feel anxious in response. However, once the stress trigger has been removed or your cat has accepted the change, their anxious feelings will cease. Soon they’ll feel relaxed and calm again.
True anxiety is different from this – it is the anticipation of danger and threats even when there is no “danger” nearby. This is usually the result of either:
- Painful injuries and physical illnesses
- Age-related neurological conditions
- Traumatic past experiences
- Poor socialization when kittens
- Being separated from their owner
Why Do Anxious Cats Keep Meowing?
As mentioned earlier, cats meow to solely communicate with people. They don’t meow to other animals or cats – only humans! Therefore, cats keep meowing when they feel anxious or stressed as they are seeking reassurance from their owners. Their loud and repetitive meows are their way of trying to communicate they are feeling on edge and need a little care.
Moreover, depending on the severity of their anxiety, it may be causing them to feel unwell and sick. Your cat’s non-stop meows may be their way of saying they’re feeling nauseous. They see you as a motherly figure and want you to know something is wrong so that you can help.
Why Do Anxious Cats Keep Rubbing Against Everything?
The reason that cats keep rubbing against everything when anxious is related to scent communication and pheromones. When a cat can smell their own scent through their pheromones, it makes them feel at ease. Pheromones are produced in glands found on their paw pads, chin, temples, and ears.
When a cat rubs an object with any of these areas, the pheromones are transferred from your cat onto the object. A cat will rub on as many items in your home as possible when they feel anxious, including your couch, bookcases, doorways – any surface they can get their paws on!
The more they rub on objects around your home, the more pheromones there will be released into their environment. These chemical pheromones lower your cat’s stress and anxiety. So, the more the rub, the calmer they’ll feel. It is simply a mechanism they use to cope with the overwhelming emotions they’re currently feeling.
What Are The Other Signs of Anxiety in Cats?
My cat keeps meowing and rubbing against everything when anxious or stressed. However, these aren’t the only signs and your cat will likely show behavioral changes too. For example, anxious cats will often have a decreased appetite and show an increase in grooming behavior. Restlessness or excessive sleeping are other obvious signs.
Moreover, even the most social cats withdrawal when they feel stressed, retreating to small enclosed spaces where they feel more secure. I even find my cat biting and attacking me when feeling severely anxious, and aggression is another common symptom. Your cat isn’t trying to hurt you, rather protect themselves from whatever they deem as dangerous.
Pay close attention to your cat’s body language and you’ll find even more clues that they feel threatened and unhappy. They will avoid eye contact, their pupils will be dilated, and their ears may be to the side or back. Their tail will usually be close to their bodies.
What to do if My Cat is Anxious?
If you think your cat is stressed or suffering from anxiety, there are several things you should and shouldn’t be doing. You can take your cat to the vet and ask them for advice. In some cases, your vet will even recommend anxiety medication to help calm your cat down.
However, as an owner of an anxious cat myself, here are my top tips for you to try at home:
- Provide plenty of places for your cat to hide in when they feel overwhelmed
- When your cat isn’t hiding, give them lots of comfort and affection
- Never punish your cat for any anxiety-related behavior as this will make them feel worse
- Use a pheromone diffuser to release a calming scent into their environment
- Never confine an anxious cat in a crate as this will exacerbate their anxiety
- Provide plenty of toys to keep your cat entertained while at home
- Introduce any changes to your cat’s environment gradually
- Keep the radio on to provide comfort when you’re not home
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
As this article explained, there are several reasons why my cat keeps meowing and rubbing against everything. If you have an unspayed female cat, the chances are she is in heat. Be sure to keep her away from males to prevent unwanted pregnancy and maybe chat with your vet about booking in for her to be neutered. This will stop her loud non-stop meowing every few weeks.
If not in heat, your cat’s behavior is either a sign they are feeling anxious or are looking for attention. You’ll easily be able to tell which by looking at the other signs. Whereas cats looking for attention will affectionately rub against you, anxious cats are more likely to retreat away and act aggressively. Giving your cat the love she needs or helping her calm down should see this annoying behavior stop.