What is my cat trying to tell me?

(46 Posts)
Poledra Wed 28-Aug-13 12:51:22

Hi there. You lovely knowledgeable people were very useful when I debated taking on two older cats earlier in the summer (thread here), so I'm back for some more help. The boys have settled in very well, the children love them and all is going well.

However, every evening at some point between about 8 and 10pm, one of the cats comes back in from outside and meows and yowls at me. Quite a bit. He stalks around the house vocalising, begs to get upstairs to get on the kids' beds (not allowed, but only because he then gets up at 5am and wakes me up) then eventually deigns to get up on the sofa and settles down beside me and quietens down. And that's it.

Is there something bothering him? Or is he just telling me about his evening prowl? I've never owned a cat before so I'm not sure if I'm reading this right and some reassurance (or possible alternative explanations!) would be lovely. Thanks.

cozietoesie Wed 28-Aug-13 13:17:51

He's either hungry for some supper or communicating with you. Do you feed him or talk back to him?

Meow75 Wed 28-Aug-13 13:20:55

If he's not asking for food, I think he's just reacquainting himself with you and telling you about the mouse/frog/sparrow/whale (delete as appropriate) he nearly caught that day.

But I might be way off the mark. Ours do it too, and once they've got it out of their system, they settle down and go to sleep.

cozietoesie Wed 28-Aug-13 13:26:57

I think the likelihood is that he wants a small nosh. (Mayve he got that in a previous life.) I'd try giving him a dessert spoon or so of wet food with a big ceremony and lots of chat to him. See how that goes for a few nights.

Poledra Wed 28-Aug-13 13:27:11

He shouldn't be hungry, as he gets fed at 8am and 6pm each day. They are both quite greedy, so I'm reluctant to give him more food grin.

I do talk back, telling him where I am and generally chatting nonsense to him. And I do look at him while I'm speaking so he 'knows' I'm talking to him. Once he gets up on the sofa, I give him a bit of a fussing then, as I said, he settles down for a nap. So I thought it was just him wanting some attention but wanted to make sure proper cat-people agreed with me.

Poledra Wed 28-Aug-13 13:28:23

Ooh, cross-posted, cozie. He gets a pouch of wet food at 6pm, so maybe if I give him a few bits of hard food as a little bit of supper he'll be a happier boy.

cozietoesie Wed 28-Aug-13 13:32:00

I'd still give him some extra food. He may not be actually hungry but cats often like a little late supper. Worth a try anyway. (And reduce the 6pm nosh in proportion if you're worried he might get fat.)

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 28-Aug-13 13:38:11

Both my cats have a chat with me about this time in the evening. They want a stroke and a chat. Can last up to 15 minutes.
Too often cats wanting a chat is misinterpreted as hunger.
Remember cats have over 40,000 sounds that they can make as opposed to dogs who have 16. They are a chatting animal.

cozietoesie Wed 28-Aug-13 13:53:10

40,000? That's positively Shakesperean! (Well it exceeds Shakespeare, actually.)

TheSilverySoothsayer Wed 28-Aug-13 17:20:27

He is doing his evening patrol, and this includes inspecting the house? Like a nightwatchman doing the rounds.

Little old lady DCat patrols outside every night, even though she is mostly asleep inside or in the garden during the day, and I am also subject to spot inspections where she wants to go and check inside my walk-in wardrobe and the cupboard where the boiler is confused

cozietoesie Wed 28-Aug-13 17:59:12

She wouldn't want to go if you left the doors open.

mignonette Wed 28-Aug-13 18:02:49

He is carrying out his duties as a responsible owner of Humans. Making sure your children are safe, that he hasn't been deposed as Ruler of the House and generally throwing his (phantom) balls around.

My DH does the same when he comes in lat at night.

cozietoesie Wed 28-Aug-13 18:08:25

I snorted there!


SunshineBossaNova Wed 28-Aug-13 18:17:21

Arf at mignonette.

basildonbond Wed 28-Aug-13 21:04:02

Our ex Dubai street does this - well actually he talks pretty much non-stop throughout the day (v diff from dcat1 who does that silent miaow thing)

At first I thought he was complaining but he's not - he's just chatting - he just loves to talk!

I do give both of them a bedtime snack though which goes down very well - they seem to prefer having 3 small meals plus a few treats to having all their calorie intake in one go (actually dcat1 has to have her food in small amounts cos otherwise she scoffs the lot and then throws up - joy)

cozietoesie Wed 28-Aug-13 21:09:45

I'm used to cats who talk. All my boys have.

They also all prefer/preferred to have several modest meals per day to one or more large meals. It's been possible to do this in cozietowers because of work patterns. Not everyone can.

How is shuri doing? Is DCat1 tolerating him ?

RandomMess Wed 28-Aug-13 21:21:15

Our boy cat does this exact same thing - blardy noisy if the kids are trying to get to sleep!!!

We keep our cats in over night (more RTAs happen in the dark) so once he's in for that they get their evening meal.

loopyloou Wed 28-Aug-13 21:26:26

My Siamese does this, although at the moment whilst I'm off work his time of choice is mid morning. He rubs round my legs and gazes up lovingly at me and talks to me. It's not hunger, although he will accept a treat. He wants to play and talk and then curl up on my knee I think - well, that's what I've been doing with him.

cozietoesie Wed 28-Aug-13 22:35:06

Well Siamese are different. They need their ration of luurrve,


loopyloou Wed 28-Aug-13 22:50:14

grin They sure do.

What sort of games do you play with the Siamese, Cozietoesie? Often it doesn't seem fun enough for mine, the usual feathers on a string etc?

GemmaTeller Wed 28-Aug-13 23:00:08

I love it when kitten cat has a chirrupy chat with me!

We previously had a timid black cat who was definately 'my' cat, when I came in from work she would immediately start meowing and 'chatting' and go on for ages, DH used to say 'whatever she's telling you, it didn't happen!'

cozietoesie Wed 28-Aug-13 23:17:10

Don't really play games right now, I must confess. My health isn't great at the moment so we usually have love in snoozes.

Teddies of course.

mignonette Thu 29-Aug-13 11:52:13

This is a cat w/ a lot to say.

cozietoesie Thu 29-Aug-13 11:57:14


loopyloou Thu 29-Aug-13 12:51:27

Hope you feel better soon Cozietoesie smile

cozietoesie Thu 29-Aug-13 13:29:36

Thanks loopy. I'll be fine. smile

ZebraOwl Thu 29-Aug-13 23:14:48

My BalletCats are very chatty creatures - whenever someone comes in they greet them & tell them (at great length) what they've been up to so far that day. I'd guess - as others have said - he's just catching you up on what he's been up to while you've been apart...

juneybean Thu 29-Aug-13 23:20:07

Ah yes, there's nothing quite like an intellectual chat with the cat, mine is usually shouting at me about some shit, then she wanders off leaving me bewildered yet chastised.

goodasitgets Fri 30-Aug-13 03:30:45

Divacat likes to cry in the living room, I go to see what's wrong. He looks disdainful, stalks into the hallway and cries again. Repeat until human looks demented or gives up grin
(I still haven't worked out what he wants)

cozietoesie Fri 30-Aug-13 09:09:22

Talk back to him.

I have long conversations with Seniorboy.

SB 'Yowl'
Me - 'So?' - in same tone of voice. That's very important.
SB - 'Yowl'
Me - 'And?'

.........and so on and so on. These days, he usually gives up before I do.


loopyloou Fri 30-Aug-13 11:33:46


My conversations with Siamese are similar.

Him: Yowl
Me: Really?
Him: Yowl
Me: If you say so ...

cozietoesie Fri 30-Aug-13 11:42:05

The same tone of voice is critical as you'll likely have realized instinctively. If they yowl querulously, you answer back querulously and so on.

For all I know, he's conversing about the state of the stock market (he's a very well rounded cat) but it seems to keep him happy.


SparkyTGD Fri 30-Aug-13 11:51:05

grin at all the talking cats.

My old cat (which I always assumed had a little bit Siamese in her) was very talkative (also very needy, nervy, demanding!) and usually just wanted a pet.

My new cat yowls for a little titbit of food (a few crunchies) when I come down after settling DS to bed, its become a routine every night.

SummerRain Fri 30-Aug-13 12:55:07

Boy cats seem to be more prone to this than females, although one of my girls is some sort of oriental/moggie cross and constantly has something to say.

The two boys I have now are terrible for deciding they want to prowl around the house shouting at the worst times though, ginger boy comes upstairs in the middle of the night looking for dd and despite knowing exactly where her bedroom is and her door being open will sit in the hall howling until she wakes up an calls him confused

We have to pause the tv whilst they get the 10 minutes of miowing out of their systems as you can't har a thing over them.

I agree with chatting back, it seems to settle them quicker ime

GemmaTeller Fri 30-Aug-13 13:00:34

Sometimes you can keep it going for ages if you do questions:

Cat - yowl
Me - did you?
Cat - yowl
Me - did it?
Cat - yowl
Me- who did it?

.......and on and on and on (until DH tells me to stop grin )

SummerRain Fri 30-Aug-13 13:06:55

I baby talk at them to annoy dp grin

'Who's a fluffy baby? You are aren't you, look at that fwuffy chin, I bet that fwuffy chin needs a swatch doesn't it.....'

I keep going in my best 'crazy cat lady' voice until dp implodes wink

SunshineBossaNova Fri 30-Aug-13 13:08:39

There's a lovely chatty ginger tom in our street. He shouts when he sees us or we call him, then chats away as he accompanies us down the street. He occasionally lets me stroke him, but that's rare.

My old tom has started shouting and talking more often since he's become an only cat, and it's louder now he's a bit deaf. I love hearing him though.

loopyloou Fri 30-Aug-13 13:38:26

Tbh I'm upset that my Siamese isn't more vocal. I love his Siamese voice, but these days he's not as chatty as he used to be as a kitten. Black cat is fairly talkative though.

cozietoesie Fri 30-Aug-13 13:42:10

They can get a bit quieter - although I sometimes wonder if that isn't because they've trained you so well that they don't have so much to complain about.wink

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 30-Aug-13 13:51:34

Oh, but I started the conversation.
Tail less wonder walks in through back door.
Me: Hello
TLW: miaow
Me: come over here
TLW: mew
TLW jumps up
Me: oh darling, you are beautiful
TLW: intense purring
And so it goes on.
Mostly the conversations involve me reaffirming both my cats' belief that they are divine beings.

bootsycollins Fri 30-Aug-13 13:59:57

I swear that my lovely boy has a special deep purr for when I tell him he's such a good boy.

MissStrawberry Sun 01-Sep-13 21:30:56

My BoyCat is very loud when he talks to us. I mostly have no clue what he wants to say but it is lovely to listen too and I always reply.

MissStrawberry Sun 01-Sep-13 21:31:58

Forgot to say already they have got used to having supper (a few biscuits) and it is funny watching them waiting to get them. To stop GirlCat getting too big we have reduced tea and they get the rest for supper.

Corygal Sun 01-Sep-13 21:42:46

Mr Cory: Wah!
Me: Weh!
Mr Cory: No you fool, Wah!!
Me: Weh! Mummy talk de English. Who da most beeyotiful Mistah Flumpkin Cuddle paws?
Mr Cory: Wah...
Me: Wiv de lickle cuddly foots and da lickle cuddly head? (stroking frenziedly)
Mr Cory. Wah. Purr.

Corygal Sun 01-Sep-13 21:43:54

Transcript of dialogue in the Cory house this eve. Mr Cory has trained me to mew back, but if I get it wrong I shamefully revert to my mothertongue.

My cats aren't vocal at all. Evil Cat should have a booming panto-villain type voice, but actually has the most embarrassingly pathetic strained "meeep" and Ginger Moron is just high pitched and chirrupy.

But, if I dare walk out of the street without them (ie all the time) they run after me, GM doing the cat equivalent of a "don't leaaave me, ohgodohgodohgod" and Evil Cat waits for my return at which point she runs up to me doing her strangulated "meeep" and does her meerkat impression (stands on hind legs, her Russian is a work in progress) the end result being she looks all cute n lovely. Upon entering the house she ignores me.

Cats confuse me.

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