Baby kittens meowing for food

Why is My Kitten Crying? (& How to Help Them Stop) │Hill's Pet

Congratulations on becoming the parent of a kitten! Now that your new pet is settling into your home, you may notice your cat vocalizing in a way that sounds like they're crying. Hearing baby kittens crying is a sad sound, indeed. Read on to learn why kitties cry and how to help a crying kitten.

Why Kittens Cry

Much like a human baby, your kitten communicates with you through vocal sounds. Your cat will continue this behavior throughout their life because it's an  effective way to get your attention. A crying kitten is telling you they need something, pronto.

Generally, an otherwise healthy kitten cries because they want one or more of the following:

  • Food
  • Warmth
  • Affection
  • Playtime
  • Stress alleviation

A bored kitty is a (potentially) mischievous kitty, so keep them occupied! Playing with your kitty every day and providing them with enrichment will keep your furry friend mentally and physically satisfied.

How to Soothe a Crying Kitten

Knowing your kitten's developmental and nutritional needs during their first months will help you identify why they're crying. Here are common reasons why kittens cry at different ages, and how you can help soothe your kitty.

Newborn to 8 Weeks

Newborn kittens are born deaf and blind. In their first weeks of life, it's normal to hear baby kittens crying or meowing because they need food and warmth, says the ASPCA. Kittens usually stay with their mothers until the age of 8 weeks so that they can nurse and stay cozy. The weaning process will typically start at around 4 weeks and usually lasts 4-6 weeks. When you first start weaning, the kitten might cry because their mother is not around to help with feeding. If you have a kitten younger than 8 weeks and mama cat isn't there to help, you'll need to step in.

How to help: Don't feed cow's milk to a kitten, emphasizes Best Friends Animal Society. Instead, bottle-feed them a formula made specifically for kittens. Best Friends also advises that when you're not feeding them, kittens up to the age of 4 weeks should stay in a cat carrier or other safe container with plenty of blankets or towels to keep them warm. Providing them with a heating pad specifically for kittens is another option.

8 Weeks to 6 Months

A kitten's baby teeth will erupt around 4-6 weeks, but will start to be replaced by their adult teeth around the 4-6 month mark. Teething isn't necessarily painful, says Greencross Vets, but it can cause irritability and sensitivity, which could lead your kitten to cry. If the crying is accompanied by red, swollen gums with discharge, contact your veterinarian right away — your kitty may need treatment.

How to help: Give your kitty something to chew on. Great options include plastic cat-safe chew toys and wet washcloths. You can also use the washcloth to gently wipe your kitty's teeth. This has the added benefit of getting your cat used to you poking around their mouth, which will make it easier to brush their teeth later on.

6 Months to Adulthood

As your kitten approaches adolescence and adulthood, they'll start to settle down and chill out. As your cat is reaching their adult size, it is important to reassess their litter box.   If you notice your kitty crying before, during or after using the litter box, it is important to have them examined by your veterinarian.  Vocalizing in the litter box could be the result of painful urination or defecation.  

How to help:  The first step when it comes to a cat or kitten crying or showing signs of distress at the litter box  is to have your pet evaluated by a veterinarian.  However, creating a safe, clean and comfortable place for your cat to use the bathroom is  recommended for all cats, even those not having any problems.  Consider whether the litter box is big enough for your cat and whether they like the litter. It is generally recommended to have a litter box 1.5x the length of your cat and it needs to be easy to get into.  Be sure to scoop daily and keep the area clean and tidy.

When to Call the Vet

If your kitten's crying doesn't abate or if you notice additional signs of distress, such as diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, decreased appetite or excessive grooming, speak with your vet or an on-call emergency vet. 

Your kitty's meows and cries will change as they grow into a rambunctious young adult and beyond. Keep those lines of communication open by listening, responding and showing them lots of love.

Contributor Bio

Christine O'Brien

Christine Brovelli-O'Brien, Ph.D., is a writer, researcher, STEAM educator, professional member of the Cat Writers' Association (CWA), and a devoted pet parent. Find and follow her and her cats on Instagram and Twitter @brovelliobrien

What To Do When Your New Kitten Won't Stop Meowing

While getting a new kitten is a rewarding addition to your new family, chances are they will have some behaviors that you will want to curb. If you have noticed that your new kitten is meowing incessantly, there are steps that you can take to reduce these vocalizations.

Excessive meowing isn’t fun for anyone to experience, regardless of how much you love your new kitten. If you have a talkative cat and are looking for ways to calm your kitten down, it’s important to know that there are things that you can do that will make a difference. 

When you first bring your new kitten home, you’re still learning more about their behaviors and what makes them who they are. However, if there are several behaviors you are not happy about, it’s important to know that there are steps you can take to reduce the amount of meowing.

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You might also be wondering why your cat is meowing in the first place, and that’s definitely a question that is worth investigating. If you are looking for suggestions on how to handle excessive meowing, continue reading to learn more. 

To begin, this article will give you insight into why kittens meow in the first place. There are a variety of culprits that can cause your kitten to indulge in excessive meowing. 

After that, this article will provide you with the information that you need to help your kitten quit this habit. You also might be wondering if you should take your cat to the vet — and that question will be answered, too.  

Why do kittens meow?

There is not just one reason why kittens meow. In fact, there are a plethora of potential causes for excessive vocalization. Some of these are connected to medical conditions, and other times it’s simply because your cat is seeking social connection. 

If you are concerned about why your kitten is meowing so much, it’s never a bad idea to reach out to a trusted veterinarian. They can help you get to the bottom of the cause of your kitten’s vocalizations and could suggest a course of action to help reduce this behavior. 

They want attention

One reason why kittens meow is because they are seeking attention. It is believed that cats have lived in close contact with human beings for 10,000 years. As a result, these two species have a close connection. In that time, cats have developed a unique way to communicate with their owners

Cats have evolved to communicate with humans through a variety of methods. One way that they are able to effectively do this is by using specific vocalizations. If your cat is seeking human attention, they will meow to get you to pay attention to them. This is their way of communicating that they want you to notice them. 

They’re hungry or thirsty

Cats aren’t able to use words to express their feelings, so they have to rely on their vocalizations. As a result, if your cat wants more food or water, they can emit a “meow” to communicate this to you, their owner.  

If you find that your cat is meowing and you notice that they do not have sufficient food or water, this could be the reason why the kitten is making a significant amount of noise

If you are feeding your cat a sufficient amount of food and giving them enough to drink, and they are still vocalizing, it’s a good idea to check in with your vet to ensure that there is nothing wrong with your new kitten. 

They want to breed

Cats want to breed, and as a result, your cat can be vocalizing to indicate that. This is especially relevant for a male cat that is unneutered. Cats that fit this description will sometimes meow extremely loudly. They may also spray urine on items in the household.

Male unneutered cats are also at an increased risk of running away. Getting your cat neutered is an excellent idea for several reasons. If you have questions about when you should get your cat neutered, ask your vet for additional information

They’re saying hello

As mentioned earlier, cats use vocalizations as their main way to communicate with their doting owners. In fact, cats mainly meow for their human counterparts — not really for other cats. It’s entirely possible that the reason that your cat is meowing is simply to say hello to you. 

They’re stressed

One reason why cats meow is to indicate to their owner that they are stressed out. In some cases, your kitten might be experiencing separation anxiety: either from their mother cat or from their owner.

If you fear that this is the reason why your cat is meowing in excess, you might want to consider if they are exhibiting other symptoms that are consistent with separation anxiety. 

They’re sick

Unfortunately, sometimes your cat is meowing because they are unwell and trying to signal this to you. If your cat has other symptoms of illness besides excessive meowing, you should take them to the vet.

Your vet can ensure that there’s nothing else going on, and they’re simply meowing for another reason. For instance, your cat might have an overactive thyroid and be meowing to essentially ask for help.  

However, cats can also purr when they are unwell and as a sign that they need help. This can prove to be confusing because oftentimes, people think that purring is a sign that cats are content. Ultimately if you are ever concerned about your cat’s wellbeing, your best decision is to seek the professional advice of a vet.

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How can I make my kitten stop meowing?

If you want your kitten to quit meowing, you might feel worried about paying an animal trainer a significant amount of money to help your cat stop this behavior.

However, it’s entirely possible that you can train your kitten to quit meowing excessively on your own. It’s not as complicated as it might seem, and as long as you are consistent with your training, your cat will stop meowing excessively sooner than later.  

Stop giving them what they want

If your cat is meowing to simply get your attention, you should stop giving them what they want. Cats meow for their humans, so if you begin to show them that their meow does not have power over you, they could stop. Note that there is a difference between doing this and ignoring your cat’s meows in the first place. 

No matter what, you shouldn’t ignore your cat’s vocalizations because they can be indicating that there is something wrong. However, if your cat is meowing because they desire food or attention, you can refuse to indulge in this behavior.

Do not give your pet their food until they stop meowing. Alternatively, you can refuse to give them attention until they quit meowing. 

Address the underlying cause

As mentioned earlier, sometimes, the underlying cause that your cat is meowing is something medical-related. Therefore, you cannot ignore the fact that your cat is making excessive vocalizations because if you do, you are essentially ignoring the fact that there could be something medically wrong with them.

Consider their other symptoms. Is your cat demonstrating any other behaviors that suggest they are ill? Even if they are not, it’s best to get your new kitten to the vet as soon as you can so the vet themselves can make a decision.  

Don’t ignore or punish them

Finally, you should never punish your cat or ignore the fact that they are attempting to communicate with you. Your cat is simply attempting to express something to you, so punishing them for doing so is a misstep. 

When should I take my kitten to the vet?

There’s never a wrong time to take your cat to the vet if you are concerned that their meowing is abnormal. Kittens are more vulnerable to some illnesses, so it’s a great idea to check in with their vet and ensure that there’s nothing going on with your pet that would require medical treatment.

Dr. Laura Robinson, a Pawp veterinarian, also believes you should consider when the meowing started. “If this is a new behavior, I would recommend a vet visit,” she says. “Meowing loudly can be a sign of a medical problem like thyroid issues or pain.”

If you have any questions about your cat’s specific meowing, your vet can also suggest a course of action that you can follow. They could suggest training methods or other ways that you can reduce this behavior. 

Pawp is proud to have knowledgeable, experienced vets that can provide you with insight about your kitten’s condition 24/7. The Pawp vets are available for telehealth appointments, and there’s never a wait or appointment necessary. 

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Kitten concerns

Having a new pet is exciting, but if your kitten is excessively meowing, you could be concerned that there is something going on underneath the surface that will require treatment.

The best way to ease your nerves and ensure that your pet gets the care that they deserve is by seeing a vet. 


Feline vocal communication | NIH  

Stress Symptoms in Cats | Berkley  

Reproduction - Felis catus | University of Wisconsin La Crosse  

Separation Anxiety | OSU Indoor Pet Initiative 

The Inner Life of Cats | Scientific American   

How Cats Think | Cummings Veterinary Medicine 

How to calm a little kitten when he meows

As a young pet settles into a new home, you may notice that he makes sounds similar to crying. The meowing of little kittens is indeed a very sad sound, and the owners really want to help the baby. How to calm a little kitten - later in the article.

Why do kittens meow

A kitten, like a baby, communicates through the sounds it makes. The cat will do this throughout its life, because this is the most effective way to attract the attention of the owner. With a meow, the baby says that he needs something, and right now.

A healthy kitten usually meows because he needs something from the following list:

  • Food.
  • Heat.
  • Weasel.
  • Games.
  • Relieve stress

A bored kitten is a potential mischief maker, so it's worth keeping him busy. Thanks to daily games and their variety, the fluffy ball will be satisfied with life - mentally and physically.

How to calm a crying kitten

Understanding a kitten's developmental and nutritional needs during the first months of life will help determine the cause of its plaintive meow. Here are the common causes of meowing in kittens of different ages and how to calm the baby:

Newborn kittens up to 8 weeks

Kittens are born deaf and blind. According to the ASPCA, in the first weeks of life, they cry or meow for food and warmth. Until 8 weeks of age, kittens usually stay with their mothers so that they can feed and care for them. The weaning process usually begins around 4 weeks and lasts 4–6 weeks. When weaning from the mother's breast, the baby may meow due to the fact that the mother is not around to feed him. If the kitten is less than 8 weeks old and the mother cat is not around, you need to come to his aid.

How to help: Don't feed your kitten cow's milk, says Best Friends Animal Society. To do this, there are mixtures designed specifically for kittens. Best Friends also advises keeping babies under 4 weeks old in a cat carrier with plenty of blankets, towels, or a heating pad to keep them warm.

8 weeks to 6 months

A kitten's milk teeth erupt in about 4-6 weeks, but the permanent teeth will start to come in after 4-6 months. Teething isn't necessarily painful, according to Greencross Vets, but it can cause irritation and sensitivity that can cause your baby to meow. If, in addition to meowing, he has red swollen gums and discharge, you should immediately contact your veterinarian - the baby may need treatment.

How to help: give the kitten something to chew on. Plastic chew toys that are safe for cats and terry cloths are great for this. This cloth can also be used to gently wipe the kitten's teeth. These activities will help him get used to the process of brushing his teeth.

6 to 12 months

As it approaches adolescence and then adulthood, the kitten begins to calm down and relax. It is then that he establishes a regular habit of using the litter box. Aspen Grove Veterinary Care advises that this is the time to reconsider the size of the litter box.

Does the cat meow before, during or after using the tray? Maybe he just doesn't like the tray. But if he meows in the tray, the first thing to do is take him to the veterinarian. The reason for this behavior may be pain during urination and defecation caused by a serious illness.

How to help: make sure the litter box is large enough and that the kitten likes it. Otherwise, you should buy a larger model. Do not forget to clean the tray daily and keep the place where it stands clean and tidy. If the kitten continues to meow or shows signs of anxiety, call your veterinarian immediately.

When to Call Your Veterinarian

If your kitten's meowing does not stop, or if there are additional signs of stress such as diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, or excessive licking, talk to your veterinary emergency services specialist.

According to the Pet Health Network, frequent meowing can indicate health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, hyperthyroidism, or a host of other conditions. These conditions are more common in older cats, but can also occur in younger cats.

A kitten's meowing and crying will change as it matures into a restless young cat. The task of the owners is to maintain a strong bond with their pet - listening to the sounds they make, reacting to them and giving him a lot of love.

Contributor Bio

Christine O'Brien

Christine O'Brien is a writer, mother, and longtime owner of two Russian blue cats who are the head of the house. Her articles can also be found on, What to Expect and Fit Pregnancy, where she writes about family life, pets and pregnancy. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @brovelliobrien.

causes and solutions to the problem.


  1. Causes of restless behavior of kittens.
  2. Scream during estrus.
  3. Restless behavior after spaying and castration
  4. Diseases as a cause of meowing and crying
  5. Behavior of cats during pregnancy
  6. Animal education
  7. How to solve the problem of meowing

A cat meows for dozens of different reasons, and the meow itself can differ depending on the age of the animal and its physiological state, and therefore, in order to solve this common and very annoying problem, it is necessary to pinpoint the cause. This is not too difficult to do, especially if the pet has been living with you for a long time, and you know all his habits well, since any deviation from the norm will immediately catch your eye.

At the same time, it is important to separate meowing caused by some extraneous factors and health problems. In the first case, the situation may well resolve itself or with minimal help, and in the second, not only the well-being, but also the life of your fluffy pet may depend on the promptness of your actions.

If you do not know how to wean a cat to meow, then first you need to decide on the age of the animal in question. Adult cats and kittens are very different in nature and the reasons for their active meowing are very different. If you have a noisy kitten, then there may be several reasons for this behavior:

  • Stress. Kittens are very sensitive to changes in environment, moving, new smells, the appearance of foreign animals, or the loss of their mother, with whom they recently spent a lot of time. In such a situation, meowing is a normal reaction. It is enough to surround the pet with care and quickly it adapts to new living conditions.
  • Hunger. Often, owners underestimate the metabolism of an ever-growing kitten. In fact, fluffy pets are very voracious, and if you underfeed them, they will definitely let you know about this with persistent meowing.
  • Encounter with danger. A small kitten still does not know a lot and can get into an unfamiliar and incomprehensible situation. Getting lost in a new place or catching a claw on fabric, he can call for help, so do not ignore him.
  • Lack of attention. Kittens are very sociable, they often want to play and throw out energy in all possible ways. True, they get bored alone, so it is important to pay attention to them, otherwise they will meow loudly and encourage you to play with them. It is worth remembering that cats are nocturnal animals, so their peak activity occurs at 2-3 a.m. in a normal state. But you can’t indulge in this pet, and from an early age, experts advise accustoming him to your rhythm of life.

Scream during estrus.

The biological mechanisms of felines are arranged in such a way that several times a year each cat and cat fall into a phase of active sexual desire and strive with all their might to procreate, completely ignoring any obstacles and changing in character. Cats can be especially loud during such a period, because they meow almost constantly, thereby annoying their owners. However, cats also do not go far from them and often, instead of inviting rumbling, they begin to meow piercingly in a special timbre.

This problem can be solved by castration or sterilization, respectively. Of course, this is only necessary if you do not plan to have offspring for your pet. But if your cat rolls on the floor, raises his back and meows loudly, you should first wait for the end of estrus, and only then, after a few days, take the overweight and sleepy animal to the veterinarian. In the process of estrus, cats often forget about food and sleep, and an exhausted body will not take well any, even the simplest operation.

Restless behavior after spaying and castration.

It is true to note that if a cat does not find a place for itself and meows plaintively after sterilization, then this is completely normal, because it experiences pain and unnatural discomfort. In this case, you should carefully follow the recommendations of a specialist, and if after the final examination and the recovery period, anxiety does not disappear, you should point this out to your veterinarian.

It is also important to understand that in some situations, spaying or castration does not save from characteristic behavior and the animal continues to periodically disturb everyone around with loud meowing. Such pets are no longer able to continue the race, but their pituitary gland continues to produce the appropriate hormones. In this situation, there is nothing left but to come to terms with the existing state of affairs.

Diseases as the cause of meowing and screaming.

If your cat meows all the time, the reasons for this unnatural behavior may be related to health problems. In order to determine this, you need to carefully look at the rest of the symptoms:

  • Active meowing can be caused by a strong infection with worms and subsequent intoxication of the whole organism. Often, kittens are so affected by parasites, and if, in addition to meowing, you notice tremors or problems with stools, this is a clear sign that you are dealing with worms.
  • Severe shaking, lethargy and loud mewing can also be caused by a spinal injury, in which case the animal must be handled very carefully in order to provide him with the necessary medical attention.
  • Many owners do not think about it, but cats also have their own psyche and it can be vulnerable to the point that the animal can get a nervous breakdown. Usually this is due to a sharp fright or a long absence of the owners, a fire or something similar. In such a situation, the cat can meow loudly and gutturally when people are not around, and in their presence it will behave very restlessly and lick its fur non-stop. If you are faced with a similar problem, you need to surround the animal with warmth and care and give him time to recover.
  • Meowing while visiting the tray may indicate problems with the stomach, intestines or genitourinary system. Combined with blood in the urine or stool, this is a serious cause for concern.
  • The activity of ticks and fleas can also provoke anxiety and meowing, in parallel with which the pet will run restlessly and scratch the ears or other parts of the body, often to the point of bleeding.
  • If your cat began to meow in a strange, atypical hoarse tone for her, then this may be due to the development of viral diseases or parasite damage to internal organs.

All these and many health problems require the immediate intervention of specialists. Most diseases are quite easy to eliminate in the initial stages, but you should first take the animal to the veterinarian in order for him to conduct an examination and accurately determine the cause, because many symptoms can indicate different problems and even turn out to be false.

Behavior of cats during pregnancy.

Pregnancy, childbirth and the recovery period following them is a serious test for your pet. During this period, habits change, strange symptoms are observed, such as morning vomiting at 3-4 weeks, changes in behavior and much more. If you do not know why a pregnant cat wakes up abruptly and meows, then in most cases this is a normal and natural reaction. The animal feels changes in its physical condition and does not always understand their cause, which makes it feel vulnerable and uncomfortable.

It is worth noting that such anomalies in behavior may not disappear over time, and if the cat is restless and meows strangely after giving birth, then you need to understand that she has experienced severe stress and needs time to recover. However, if there are other symptoms in addition to screaming, in particular refusal to eat, problems with stools, severe anxiety, then it is worth taking the animal to a doctor to rule out potential complications.

Education of animals.

Many people who have recently become owners of four-legged pets are interested in the answer to the question of what to do if the cat runs around and meows a lot at night. The fact is that cats are nocturnal predators and their biological activity comes at night. Because of this, they begin to act up, show character and in every possible way urge their owners to give them maximum attention, adapt to them, and so on.

It is absolutely impossible to allow this, and although cats are difficult to train, it is quite possible to retrain them to live in your rhythm. The main thing is not to indulge the animal in everything quickly enough, it will independently get used to the new state of affairs. The only exception can be considered the behavior of some breeds. Siamese and Oriental cats are often very wayward, life with them can be a real test for your nerves, so before acquiring a thoroughbred cat, you should learn more about such moments and features.

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