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Why Do Kittens Cry? 8 Possible Reasons & How to Stop It

grey scottish fold kitten
Image Credit: Natakay, Pixabay
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Grant Piper

Kittens are super cute, and many people go gaga for the tiny cats. Kittens can also be horrendous nuisances because they tend to cry. A lot. Kittens are sweet and adorable until they keep you up at night with their crying and meowing. Why do kittens cry? Is there any way to stop them from crying before they drive you mad? Kittens can cry for a number of different reasons, and all kittens cry from time to time. There are things you can do to try and meet your kitten’s needs so that they stop crying and give you some peace and quiet.

Here are eight reasons kittens cry and how to stop them from crying by meeting their needs.

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The 8 Reasons Why Do Kittens Cry

1. The Kitten Is Hungry

One of the most common reasons that kittens cry is because they are hungry. Kittens need to eat as much as six to eight times per day. Kittens cry to alert their mom that they need food so that they can get fed. If you are feeding your own kitten and find that your kitten is crying a lot, you might need to try feeding them more. If your kitten stops crying and gets interested in food when you go to feed them, they might just be hungry.

little kitten eating food from the feeding bowl
Image Credit: Fayzulin Serg, Shutterstock

2. The Kitten Is Cold

Kittens can easily get cold. Unlike adult cats, kittens cannot regulate their body temperature as effectively. This can lead to your kitten feeling cold, which can cause them to cry. If you suspect your kitten might be cold, you can try bundling them up in a blanket or raising the thermostat to a higher temperature. This problem can be more pronounced in the winter months. Anything less than 50˚F is considered too cold for most kittens.

3. The Kitten Is Lonely

Kittens can get lonely. Many kittens are used to being around their mothers and usually other kittens. A kitten does not like to be alone. When a kitten starts crying, they could be looking for attention or calling out to their mother. Spending time with the kitten, petting them, and sitting nearby could be enough to ease their loneliness and get them to stop crying.

Bombay Black Cat Meowing and touching a foot
Image Credit: PxHere

4. The Kitten Is Confused

Being a baby can be confusing and frustrating. Kittens are born blind and deaf, and it takes time for their senses to come into focus. Very young kittens can get confused and that can lead to fear and anxiety. Your kitten can be lost or might not remember where they are or what they were trying to do. If you suspect that your kitten could be confused, try resetting them by bringing them to a familiar location and feeding them.

5. The Kitten Is Stressed

A kitten might cry if it is stressed out. A kitten can feel stressed or anxious from any combination of factors. A kitten might be anxious about being away from their mother. It could be cold or missing their litter mates. One of the best ways to reduce a kitten’s stress is to fill their immediate needs and spend time with them. Bundle your kitten up, pet them, and let them know that you are there for them. Meeting your kitten’s basic needs and providing a comfortable and safe environment will go a long way in reducing stress and potential crying.

kurilian bobtail kitten sitting on the couch
Image Credit: Oksana Lyskova, Shutterstock

6. The Kitten Could Be Sick

No one wants to imagine that their precious kitten could be sick, but it is a real possibility. Your kitten might be crying because of illness. This is more likely if you notice your kitten is still crying even after all their immediate primary needs have been met. You might also notice that your kitten’s cries seem weak or sound different than before. Look for signs of infection like eye discharge, a runny nose, sneezing, or lack of appetite. If you believe your kitten is sick, you should bring them to the vet right away for diagnosis and to get treatment started.

7. The Kitten Might Be in Pain

Another thing that could cause your kitten to cry is pain. A kitten can hurt themselves or become injured. Kittens can be clumsy, and they do not know their own boundaries and the boundaries of their environments. If your kitten is in pain, it can cause them to cry for long periods of time even when the rest of their needs seem to be met. Look for signs of pain, such as limping or licking a specific area over and over again. If you believe your kitten has been injured or is in a lot of pain, you should plan on bringing them to the veterinarian.

orange cream kitten walking on gravel stone
Image Credit: Julissa Helmuth, Pexels

8. The Kitten Needs to Use the Bathroom

Like human babies, kittens need time to learn how to use the bathroom and become litterbox trained. Sometimes a kitten will cry when they need to go to the bathroom because it is an unfamiliar sensation. You can try to gently put your kitten into a litter box to see if they will relieve themselves and stop crying, but young kittens may need help to use the bathroom by gently stimulating their genital area. This is not a common issue, but it is one that does crop up from time to time and can cause undue crying or mewling.

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Do All Kittens Cry?

Yes. All kittens cry. Some kittens cry more than others. Very young kittens cry more than older kittens. But all kittens do cry. Trying to identify and meet your kitten’s needs will reduce crying to a minimum, but if you are looking for a way to stop your kitten from crying completely, you are out of luck. Just like human babies, baby cats will cry when they are young. As they age, the crying will become less consistent and less prominent until it stops completely.

Unfortunately, some kittens will cry for no apparent reason, and nothing you do will be able to make them stop. This behavior should go away as your kitten ages, especially if you are doing your best to make sure they are warm and fed.

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Kittens cry for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they are simply hungry or tired or cold. Other times they could be confused or scared. The best way to get a kitten to stop crying is to go to them and be close to them. Showing them that you are nearby and ready to help care for them will go a long way in reducing the amount of crying that a kitten does on a regular basis.

Featured Image Credit: Natakay, Pixabay

About the Author

Grant Piper
Grant Piper
Grant is a freelance writer with years of experience writing about a diverse range of topics. He currently lives in his native Florida with his wife. His days are spent writing, raising a rambunctious son, and caring for eight animals (two horses, two donkeys, two goats, and two dogs). In his free time he enjoys slowly carving out a quaint hobby farm from the Southern scrub.

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