We all love it when our feline friends greet us as soon as we walk through the door. Not all cats display this behavior, so I consider myself a very lucky pet owner.
My cat welcomes me with a few meows and purrs, as well as rubbing against my leg. How adorable is that?
Sometimes a cat might meow and rub against things for other reasons such as a female cat being in heat, to ask you to let them outside, to mark their territory, or simply to get your attention.
Rubbing against everything is the most obvious sign of territory-marking. This is a way of leaving its pheromones everywhere. Meows may accompany this behavior too.
There are also other reasons that explain the meows and the rubbing, and not all of them are harmless.
This article answers your question “Should I be worried if my cat keeps meowing and rubbing against everything’?” by providing you with the 6 most probable explanations for this behavior!
Continue reading to find out more!
My Cat Keeps Meowing And Rubbing Against Everything – 6 Reasons Why!
Considering there is not just one reason for your cat meowing and rubbing against everything (including you), I present to you the 6 most common reasons for this behavior.
Let’s get right into it!
1. Congratulations – Your Cat Is In Heat!
If you have a female cat and you decided against spaying, expect seeing heat-related behaviors pretty often!
Here is a quick list of facts you might already know:
• Female cats go into heat sometime after their 4th month of age
• Only non-spayed cats go into heat
• When a cat is in heat, it means it is ready to breed
• A heat cycle lasts about 5 days
Excessive vocalization and excessive displays of affection are the two most common signs your cat is in heat. Apart from these two, other common symptoms include:
• Displaying lordosis position (showing it is ready for mating)
• Trying to get out of the house (in order to find a mating partner)
• Excessive grooming
2. How Cute – Your Cat Missed You!
When you’ve had a long day at work, I bet you cannot wait to get home and cuddle with your pet!
When you walk through the door, your furry friend will welcome you home by purring, meowing and rubbing against you!
Cats display this characteristic behavior when reuniting with their owners! Your cat is showing you it is happy that you’re back home!
Even though meows, purrs, and rubs are not as obvious and extreme as a dog jumping on its owner – they are still so rewarding. Try to keep an eye out, and I am sure you will be very happy when you notice your cat displaying this behavior!
3. Your Cat Is Territory-Marking …Again
As you already know, cats are a very territorial species. They leave their mark via scent glands on their paws, cheeks, lips, tail, forehead, and flanks.
Your cat will rub against various home surfaces in order to leave its scent on them. Territory marking is a very characteristic behavior for them, so expect to see it often. The same goes for dogs who mark their territory by peeing on various surfaces.
Leaving its pheromones is your cat’s way of telling other cats “This is mine!” and also to signal to themselves “This is familiar territory”.
Your cat will even mark you when cuddling, kneading, and brushing against your leg!
Cats do not like change of scenery and environment because this means the loss of territory. If you’ve just moved into a new home, expect to see your cat rubbing against everything!
4. Your Cat Is Trying To Tell You Something – What Could It Be?
Some owners compare a cat meowing to a baby crying. Neither are “completely understandable” to adult humans, but they’re both signs that something is needed and we need to figure out what it is and provide it. Based on the circumstances, humans will usually know what is being asked of them.
You might already know that cats meow exclusively at humans. This is their way of communicating with us, according to the ASPCA (American Society for The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals).
You will never see a cat meowing at another cat. That is because cats have a different way of communicating to each other, such as body language, chemical cues, and other verbal signs (but not meowing).
Considering meowing is something directed exclusively to humans, it means your cat is trying to tell YOU something!
Let’s summarize what your cat might be trying to tell you:
• I am hungry!
• My food bowl is almost or completely empty!
• I am thirsty!
• My water bowl is almost or completely empty!
• My litter box is full!
• I am lonely!
• I am scared!
• Pet me please!
• Let’s cuddle!
• Let’s play!
• I am cold!
• Open the door for me!
• Let me go outside!
• My toy is broken!
You know your cat best and most of the time, you will know what the cat is meowing about.
Also, you know yourself the best – did you change the water? Did you forget to fill the food bowl? You will know the answer to these!
5. Your Cat Might Be Sick or Injured
If you notice your cat behaving differently than they usually do, loudly meowing and yowling, as well as rubbing against everything, it might be a sign that something is wrong.
Here is a list of possible health concerns your cat is warning you about:
• Kidney disease
• Urinary infection
• Thyroid issues
• Cognitive dysfunction (especially in older cats)
• Voice box disease
• Compulsive disorder
• Itching due to an infection
Never guess when it comes to possible health issues. Take your cat to the vet if you suspect meowing and rubbing is your cat’s way of letting you know something is wrong!
6. Your Cat Is Feeling Lonely And Is Seeking Your Attention
If you leave your cat alone during the day, or you’ve been away on a trip or a vacation, your cat will probably get lonely!
Cats do get lonely. When this happens, they need your attention and they get it by meowing and rubbing against you!
Most cat lovers find this behavior adorable and will not hesitate a second to answer their cat’s needs! Usually, simply cuddling or having some playtime is enough for your cat to not feel lonely anymore.
Other Signs Your Cat Is Feeling Lonely
There are some other signs your cat is feeling lonely, apart from meowing and rubbing against you, such as:
• Being more clingy than usual
• Excessive meowing
• Displaying bad behavior (being aggressive or destructive)
• Litter box issues
I admit, most of these are not exactly “adorable behaviors”. Frankly, they are a bit annoying and inconvenient. Further below in the article, I will explain what you can do about it!
A Misconception – Cats Being Completely Independent
There is a misconception that cats are entirely independent and have the “I don’t need nobody but myself” attitude. All cat owners will know this is not true!
Cats are both solitary and social animals. A house cat cannot be exclusively solitary and display absolutely no need for attention. On the other hand, there aren’t a lot of cases of house cats that cannot stand being alone for one minute.
Yes, cats like their independence and alone time, but they are also in need of affection, love and companionship. Not 24/7, but it is still a very important part of their life.
If you ever think your cat doesn’t need you, try being away from home for a couple of days and then see your cat’s reaction when you get back! Your cat will be very happy to see you and will probably start meowing and rubbing against you immediately!
What Should I Do To Stop My Cat From Meowing And Rubbing Against Everything?
If you want to prevent excessive meowing and your cat rubbing against everything, there are a few things you can do. They depend on the reason your cat is displaying this behavior in the first place.
Finding a reason behind a certain cat behavior can be a tricky task since none of us is a “pet expert”. You can only pay attention to your cat and try figuring out what is causing the behavior.
I am sure you will manage! Below are some things you can do to prevent meowing and rubbing against everything.
1. Spay Your Female Cat
Spaying your female cat will completely eliminate the occurrence of her heat cycle and all behaviors associated with it, including meowing and rubbing against everything.
Unspayed female cats make very loud and frequent meows that can be difficult to endure!
Spaying is a surgical procedure equivalent to neutering in male cats. Both operations involve the removal of a cat’s reproductive organs. For male cats, they remove the testicles, while for female cats, they remove the ovaries and the uterus.
It is not a high-risk procedure and it is recommended to be performed before the cat reaches its fertility period (which is around 4 months of age). This has many benefits, including:
• preventing cat overpopulation
• your cat will be healthier (no risk of diseases of the reproductive tract)
• no more heat cycles or annoying behaviors associated with it
If you did not spay your cat and you’re thinking about it, it’s best you talk to your vet about it!
2. Recognize Your Cat Is Simply Marking Its Territory
Rubbing against everything is your cat’s way of marking its territory. There is nothing you can do about it, nor should you. It’s not a destructive behavior so you should not mind it at all.
It’s in your furry friend’s nature so simply let them do it!
3. Find Our What Your Cat Wants
If you think your cat is trying to tell you something by meowing, try your best to “translate” what your cat might be saying to you.
For example, if you know it’s feeding time, you might conclude that the meowing means “I am hungry”.
You will know you translated the meows correctly if you act on it and your cat stops meowing.
Even though I am sure you will easily manage, I still wish you the best of luck in figuring out the “meowing language”!
4. Find Out If Your Cat Is Sick Or Injured
There really isn’t a lot you can do in this case without more information. I recommend you to:
1. Look for other clues, apart from these two. Other clues might be more indicative of your cat’s potential health issue.
2. Inspect your cat’s body to see if there are any bite marks, scratches, or visible signs of an infection or inflammation.
3. Visit a vet. They are the professionals and they will know if something is wrong or not.
Your pet’s health should always be a priority and I’m sure everything will be okay if you act promptly.
Meowing and rubbing against things are not tell-tale signs of any major disease, so don’t assume your cat is sick just because it’s displaying this behavior.
5. Prevent The Feeling Of Loneliness!
You, the cat owner, are the only one who can help your cat if it is lonely. Your cat is probably feeling lonely because you or other people are not in the house as often as your cat would like. Perhaps your cat is the only pet in the house.
Because of the lack of stimulation, attention and companionship, your cat can get bored and start to feel lonely.
This is what you can do to stop your cat from feeling this way:
Spend Time With Your Cat
Well, duh! This is the most obvious solution to your problem. However, it isn’t always possible. If you’re working in an office for the majority of the day, I understand you cannot always be around your cat.
Also, if you’re on a trip or on a vacation, you cannot be attentive to your pet. This is completely okay! Cats do not need attention 24/7, just make sure when you get home, you devote some time to playing with your cat!
Leave A Bunch Of Toys Laying Around The House
Interactive toys are your best friend! They provide the mental and physical stimulation cats absolutely need on a daily basis.
Yes, cats love playing with a bit of string, but it will not keep them entertained for a long time when there isn’t anyone moving the string and actually making a game of it.
I recommend investing in a puzzle board, cat scratching post, play tunnel, and many other types of interactive toys. I am sure your cat will love whichever you choose!
Also, catnip-filled toys might relax and soothe your cat when you’re away!
You Can Get Another Pet Cat
If your cat had a companion, it would not be feeling lonely, that’s for sure.
Getting another cat would be the best option for your cat, but maybe not the best option for you. Having one pet is not the easiest task, let alone having two. There is more work and more responsibility.
Some pet owners are ready to take on that challenge. If you cannot, this is completely okay and it’s understandable. In this case, look for other solutions!
Consider Getting A Bird Feeder In Your Yard
Cats absolutely love watching birds! Not because they like them, but because they are prey.
Another reason why your cat is interested in watching birds is that the birds’ movement catches their attention.
Your cat might find birds flying and doing whatever they’re doing interesting.
If this is the case, your cat can spend hours a day simply observing what the birds are doing. In order to get birds into your cat’s view, install a bird feeder in your yard.
In this way, birds are always hanging out in your yard, and unconsciously providing entertainment for your cat! Just ensure your cat cannot reach the feeder!
Why Do Cats Rub Against Each Other And Meow?
Apart from cats meowing and rubbing against humans, they meow, bunt, head-butt, and rub against each other too!
What could be the reason for this behavior?
This is mostly observed in kittens! As I mentioned above in the article, adult cats do not meow at each other. Meowing is reserved only for communication with humans! Yet kittens do meow at other kittens and their mother.
Here I list 4 reasons that explain this behavior!
1. It’s A Sign Of Affection
Kittens love to rub against their mothers and each other! It is a sign of affection (an adorable one I would say!)
2. To Stimulate Milk Production
Another reason for this is to stimulate their mother’s milk production. You might know that kittens knead on their mother’s tummy. That stimulates the production of “feel-good” hormones that are crucial for a mother’s production of milk.
3. The Kittens Want Something
Kittens also rub against their mothers and meow when they’re hungry or just want attention and cuddles.
4. Adult Cats Greeting Each Other
As kittens get older, they “forget” about meowing at each other, and turn to other means of communication such as yowling, growling, body language, and other non-verbal cues.
When it comes to adult cats, they rub against each other as a way to say “Hello!” They have physical contact by nose-touching and rubbing their heads and the sides of their bodies together.
Why Does My Cat Rub Against Me And The Furniture?
The most likely reason is that your cat is marking its territory by leaving its scent everywhere. Cats are famous for being very territorial, so this is completely normal.
The second most probable reason is that your female cat is in heat. When a cat is in heat, it starts being extremely affectionate towards their owner, so you will probably experience your cat rubbing against you very often when in heat. After the heat period stops, the behavior will stop as well.
Why Does My Cat Rub Against Me When I Walk By?
Cat owners often find this behavior very charming. It’s a 2-second action that reminds you that your pet loves you! It is not something you should be worried about, as it’s not a sign of anything out of the ordinary.
The 3 most common reasons your cat is rubbing against you when you walk by are:
1. Your cat wants a little bit of your time and is saying “Hey, I’m right here, let’s play!”
2. Your cat is greeting you and saying “I missed you!”
3. Your cat is marking you as something familiar, meaning to say “You’re mine and you’re home to me!”
4. Your female cat is “in heat”
Why Does My Cat Walk Around The House Meowing?
Your cat walking around the house meowing can be a normal thing, but it might also indicate something is wrong. This will depend on the “type of meows”.
You will recognize if your cat’s meowing is different than usual. If it is, try finding out the cause of it.
Most of the time, meowing around the house is a casual thing your cat may do on a daily basis. It can be to get your attention, to look for cuddles, to get you to let them go outside, to attract tomcats, and many other reasons.
There are also some species that naturally are more prone to meowing, such as a Siamese cat, Oriental Shorthair, Tonkinese cat and a couple of others. Are you a pet parent to a cat of one of these species? If you are, then you must accept that they love the sound of their own voice!
What Does This Behavior Mean And What Should I Do?
Firstly, answer this question: Is your cat meowing more frequently and louder than usual?
If the answer is no, then there is nothing you can do apart from satisfying your cat’s needs. For example, if your cat is meowing as a way to let you know its water bowl is empty, then simply fill it up and your cat will stop meowing.
On the other hand, if your cat is meowing more than usual, there might be something wrong with its health. Cats excessive meowing can possibly be a sign of:
• Kidney Disease
• A brain disorder (especially in older cats)
If you suspect this is the case, visit your local veterinary office in order to make sure everything is okay!
My cat keeps meowing and rubbing against everything – what should I do?
Well I hope now, after reading this article, you will know what causes it and whether or not you should do anything about it!
Your cat is most probably rubbing against everything in order to mark its territory by leaving its scent everywhere. If you have an unspayed female cat, this behavior indicates your cat is in heat.
Other reasons include your cat simply displaying affection towards you or trying to get your attention and play with you. Although uncommon, it can also be a sign your cat is experiencing some health issues.
At the end of the day, there is usually nothing alarming in this behavior and I would not worry about it!