Why Do Cats Cry, Yowl and Whine?

Posted by Christy Caplan
Cat Screaming

What is the difference between a cat crying, meowing, and yowling?

There is always a reason to be concerned when you hear 'caterwauling'. You know when you hear a cat sound that is different than a meow, and this is how it's categorized. The meow is persistent and melodramatic.

According to Catster, when a cat's pitch becomes drawn-out and almost melodic, it's time to take note. This is called caterwauling, and there's nearly always a reason behind caterwauling.

What about crying? Crying may be a different type of behavior, but it also needs to be paid attention to; For example, a cat producing a lot of tears may have an eye infection or a very irritated eye. They may also whimper and literally cry given they're so uncomfortable.

Cats meow and purr for a reason. Any type of vocalization may be a reason for a checkup. You always want to rule out any strange body language, and if it's an older cat, then schedule that appointment stat. Watch for excessive meowing (unless you have a Siamese!), growling, vocalizing, and any strange attention-seeking behavior.

Here are five reasons your cat appears to be crying, according to My Pet Needs That. (Remember that crying is most likely when they're overproducing tears).

1. Dirt, dust or a scratch

Watery eyes can be an issue caused by dirt.

2. Upper respiratory infection

There are numerous diseases like respiratory infections that can cause watery eyes.

3. Clogged tear ducts 

Cat's eyes may tear up due to clogged tear ducts.

4. Infections, infections, infections

Underlying health issues will cause infections and indoor cats may also experience watery eyes from candles, air fresheners and these are clear signs to remove these items.

5. Allergies or pink eye

Cat parents should be watching out for any allergies. Cats that cry or meow may display odd behavior like urinate outside their litter box. Are they constantly rubbing their eyes? A crying cat may have pink eye. Always check your adult cats and if they're crying and those meow sounds are also happening with teary eyes then get to the vet.

Senior cats are precious and stoic. If you see that your senior has odd cat behavior or is crying out you may also want to talk to your vet about cognitive dysfunction or dementia. Having watery eyes is likely a separate condition but listen and watch for signs.

Are you living with a cat that cries? If you do, tell us what they're like below in the comments! 

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Why Do Cats Cry, Yowl and Whine?