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Why Does My Cat Yowl After Eating? 5 Vet-Verified Reasons for This Behavior

Written by: Catster Editorial Team

Last Updated on April 18, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

ginger tabby cat looking up meowing

Why Does My Cat Yowl After Eating? 5 Vet-Verified Reasons for This Behavior


Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM) Photo


Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM)


The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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No matter how much we think we understand cats, they still have quirks and habits that can surprise even the most experienced owners. Primarily because every cat is unique, so even if you get used to the behavior of one cat, another may act completely differently. But also, because cats can’t talk, which means they have to find other ways to communicate with people, as well as other animals in the house, and even other cats.

Yowling is one such means of communication. Hearing it can be quite alarming, especially if your cat starts yowling straight after they have eaten. Below, we look at some of the most likely reasons for this behavior.

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Meowing vs Yowling: What’s the Difference?

You are most likely used to your cat meowing. Cats meow to communicate with their human friends when they are hungry, need to go outside or want your attention for another reason. Meows can be soft and sweet or quite demanding.

Yowling is a different story. Yowling is loud and intense and sounds quite frightening. A cat will yowl if they feel threatened, in search of a mate, or in pain. This is why it might be confusing if your cat yowls after eating. But there are some reasons for this.

Angry cat hissing and screaming hiding
Image Credit: Josh Norem, Shutterstock

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The 5 Likely Reasons Your Cat Yowls After Eating

1. Nausea

We’ve all eaten so much that it has left us feeling uncomfortable and unable to move, sometimes to the point of feeling nauseous. Your cat may be feeling the same after a particularly hearty meal. Make sure you’re feeding the right amount, and if your cat is struggling to eat everything you give it, break its daily allowance down into more meals or change feeding times to better accommodate their dietary requirements. Your cat may also be nauseous for other reasons, so it’s worth consulting a vet if this may be affecting your cat.

2. Still Hungry

Some cats are plain greedy. Your cat might be letting you know that it enjoyed the food so much that it wants some more. You can feed a little extra if it falls within your cat’s daily feeding allowance and schedule. But be careful not to overfeed. Always measure the amount of food you give and track it over the day. Feeding your cat too much is a sure way of them putting on weight and potentially becoming unhealthy.

Hungry cat near empty bowl
Image Credit: Crazy nook, Shutterstock

3. Dental Issues

Cats sometimes yowl when they’re in pain. The pain could be a result of sharp bits of food catching on the mouth or throat as they eat. Poor dental health is a common problem in cats. Yours may have tooth decay, plaque, or it may have rotten teeth or abscesses. All of these can cause pain when chewing, and the yowling might be a reaction to pain in the teeth when the cat has finished at its bowl.

4. Painful Digestive Issues

The type of food you have fed your cat may have caused some digestive issues or stomach upset. Gas can be quite painful, and your cat might be responding to that discomfort. Cats can be allergic to various foods, so it is important to check the food’s ingredients if you need to contact your vet.

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5. Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome

As cats get older, some might develop cognitive dysfunction syndrome (sometimes known as feline dementia). If your cat has cognitive dysfunction syndrome, they might finish their meal and not remember where they are or what is going on. That seems like a scary situation, so the cat might start yowling out of fear of the unknown.

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When To Worry?

Yowling from your cat can be a sign of something more serious. If your cat has not previously yowled, or vocalized, then consider this a reason to speak with your vet. Other concerning signs might include:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in activity levels
  • Sleeping in unusual places or hiding

The above are but a few of the indications that yowling could be something more serious. If ever in doubt, talk to your cat’s veterinarian to get help in determining what might be causing the issue.

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Some cats can be fussy eaters, but some will eat just about anything put in front of them. You will have a better idea of what kind of an eater your cat is, as well as any habits they might have while eating. Yowling after eating isn’t necessarily a bad sign, but it can be a sign of illness, discomfort, or pain, especially caused by poor dental health.

Look for other signs to determine whether your cat is hoping for more, feeling anxious, or yowling for some other reason.

Featured Image Credit: savitskaya iryna, Shutterstock

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