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7 Most Annoying Sounds Cats Make: Possible Causes & Prevention Tips

Written by: Jessica Kim

Last Updated on January 19, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

ginger tabby cat looking up meowing

7 Most Annoying Sounds Cats Make: Possible Causes & Prevention Tips

Cats are adorable pets and can be some of the best companions and roommates. They look cute and can make cute sounds. In fact, some studies show that a cat’s purring may have therapeutic effects 1.

However, there’s no denying that they can make some of the strangest sounds that can leave us feeling puzzled or annoyed. Some of these sounds are normal and it will take time getting used to them. You may also be able to reduce or avoid hearing these sounds by making some adjustments to your daily routine or living space. We’ll go over some strange and annoying sounds that cats can make and how you can manage living with them.

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The 7 Most Annoying Sounds Cats Make

1. Caterwauling

Some very vocal cats may caterwaul from time to time. A caterwaul often sounds like a mix of whining and yowling, and there are several reasons why a cat may caterwaul. Some may do it when they’re bored or want attention. Your cat can also yowl when they’re feeling hungry and want you to feed them immediately.

Sometimes, caterwauling can be a sign of a behavioral issue or a health issue. So, if your cat is caterwauling, and you can’t identify the exact cause of it, it’s best to consult your veterinarian to check for any underlying medical conditions.

2. Scratching Furniture

Scratching is a natural cat behavior, and all cats scratch to maintain their claws and express their emotions. However, it’s certainly not pleasant when you hear your cat scratching your furniture or doorposts.

Since scratching is normal for cats, it’s important to set up some scratching stations for your cat. You can use scratching posts and mats to prevent your cat from scratching and destroying your furniture.

3. Nighttime Activity

cat at night
Image Credit: mariavp, Pixabay

Many cat owners can relate to having their sleep disrupted by an energetic kitten. It’s certainly annoying to wake up to the sound of your cat playing in the middle of the night. Fortunately, most cats grow out of nighttime play sessions as they age, and they usually adopt the same sleep routine as their owners. However, you can still help your cat wind down for bed and sleep through the night by establishing a consistent daily routine that involves plenty of playtime and exercise.

4. Whining While You Work

Many cats don’t like it when there are other things that compete for your attention. So, your cat may start to whine or paw at you whenever you’re working from home. They may not appreciate how a computer screen can capture your attention for hours.

While it’s often a cute gesture when your cat wants your attention, it can be disruptive or annoying if you’re trying to get work done. It’s important not to give in to your cat’s whining while you work because this will only encourage them to continue this behavior.

5. Pounding on the Door

cat near door at home
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Social and affectionate cats will prefer to follow their owners from room to room. They won’t like it when a door shuts and separates them from their owners and often resort to knocking or clawing at the door. This can certainly start to feel annoying when you need a little privacy or when you’re trying to keep your cat away from a guest with cat allergies.

6. Licking and Slurping

Mouth noises can sound unpleasant, but your cat is not aware of how much it can bother someone. Cats can be loud eaters and make noises when they’re self-grooming. There isn’t really much you can do about this sound.

Sometimes, the noises aren’t so bad, and you can get used to them eventually. However, if the noise is really bothersome, you can always set up your cat’s food station in a more secluded part of the house so that your cat can get privacy while they eat, and you don’t have to listen to them chomping and slurping up their food.

7. Coughing Up a Hairball

A cat coughing up a hairball.
Image Credit: DeluXe-PiX, istock

While the sound of coughing up a hairball may not be annoying, it’s still an unpleasant sound, and hairballs can be annoying to clean up. Unfortunately, hairballs are a normal part of cat care. Cats will inevitably swallow their hair as they self-groom, and it’s normal for them to cough up a hairball once or twice a week.

You can reduce the frequency of hairballs by brushing your cat regularly and taking care of their skin and coat health. It’s also helpful to consult your veterinarian to see if there are any dietary changes or supplements that may help reduce the number of hairballs your cat coughs up.


How to Manage Living With Strange Noises Your Cat Makes

Certain noises won’t go away, like licking, scratching, and coughing up hairballs. However, there may be some things you can do to reduce certain noises. For example, if your cat makes noises to get your attention, you can work with a cat behaviorist to figure out ways to redirect this behavior. It’s also worth taking your cat to the veterinarian to see if your cat’s making certain noises due to an undiagnosed medical issue.

Establishing a healthy lifestyle for your cat can also reduce some noises indirectly. A healthy diet, exercise, and daily routine can work wonders for a cat and can help them feel happy and safe. So, make sure that your cat’s eating enough high-quality food and gets enough playtime. Creating a cat-friendly home with plenty of fun furniture, toys, and vertical spaces can keep your cat entertained and content and reduce caterwauling and whining.

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While there’s much to love about cats, they can occasionally make noises that sound annoying to people. Some noises are normal and won’t go away, while others may be preventable.

Understanding cat behavior and finding the reason behind the noises they make may help you find a way to reduce the occurrences of these noises. If you’re having a challenging time with a sound your cat makes, you can always work with your veterinarian or cat behaviorist to see what can be done to reduce these sounds or learn to manage living with them.

Featured Image Credit: savitskaya iryna, Shutterstock

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