The 6 Ways to Stop a Cat From Yowling Outside

If a cat is yowling outside, these are the ways to stop it:

  1. Attention seeking: Don’t respond, so it gives up, or place smells outside, so it goes away
  2. Boredom or Stress: Be calm with the cat and give it time to relax
  3. Cognitive disfunction: Such as dementia will need a vet or local council
  4. Hunger: feed the cat, but then it will come back again
  5. Cat is in heat: contact Trap-Neuter Release programs
  6. Injured: Feed cat to build a relationship to find out who the owner is or take to vet


Adult cats yowl when stressed. Males yowl when they sense a nearby female in heat. Certain breeds meow excessively.

Yowls, meows, purrs, and trills are not new sounds to us cat owners. If you have a Siamese cat, the meowing is even more intense. However, all these sounds are somewhat pleasant except for a yowl.

The sound of a yowl, especially at night, can be weird, even annoying. There are many reasons why your feline friend is “yelling” at you.

A yowl is more similar to meow but more aggressive and louder. It immediately signals an alarming situation and the sound might be very irritating to the entire neighborhood.

Adult cats mostly vocalize as a means of communicating to humans or their kittens. They rarely do that with their fellow cats. But it just gets so hard to know what the cat wants when you are clueless of cat language. Nevertheless, if the quality of your sleep is significantly affected, it is your job to figure out what’s going on.  

You just need to be observant. Here are the top reasons why a stray cat is yowling outside and what you can do to stop it.

You might be surprised at some of the reasons.


1. What to Do If the Cat Is Yowling to Seek Attention

Cats are normally attention-seekers. I have noticed that whenever I give in to my cat’s meowing demands, perhaps feeding it, the habit never stops. The same goes for yowling from a stray cat. That doorstep strange cat might still seek attention.

For a peaceful night free from cat yowling, place fresh lemon peels, lavender oil or lemongrass. Such fragrances deter cats from lounging on your porch.

A cat can train you to respond to her vocalization make sure you don’t respond to them doing this or they have won and will never stop.

As nocturnal animals, cats like to play or hunt at night. It is rather unfortunate that they think this is the perfect time to wake you up.


2. How to Deal with a Cat Yowling Due to Boredom or Stress

Kittens, in particular, enjoy having fun and enriching activities. Cat expert Joan Miller gives some tips on how to calm a community cat. She says you should give her plenty of time to relax.

If placed in a cage, ensure it is on a ground level where she can see all her surroundings.

Place the kitty outside its cage when introducing toys. Speak in a calm voice when handling it. If it eventually warms up, find her an adoptive home. However, if the cat is still aggressive after some days, return her to her colony.


3. What to Do if a Cat is Yowling Because of a Cognitive Dysfunction

Cats that are more than 10 years old often suffer from cognitive dysfunction such as dementia. An older cat may feel confused at night due to a disrupted sleeping pattern that causes her to sleep a lot during the day and stay woke at night.

According to the Cornell Feline Health Centre, signs of cat dementia also include loss of appetite, lack of interest in playing, staring into walls, and loud yowling at night.

Loud yowling might also be as a result of the cat’s fading ability to hear or see.

A qualified vet can be of help in providing healthcare to the ailing cat. Trap it and call the local council to come and get it.


4. What to Do if a Cat is Yowling Because of Hunger

Life is tough for a stray cat or abandoned cat. They may be regularly subjected to intense hunger. Sometimes going through the dumpsters and hunting rodents might not be enough to serve as their meal.

When a cat is yowling outside your door, it might be her way of telling you she is hungry.  You might decide to feed a yowling feral cat by setting dry or wet cat food outside your home.

Keep in mind though, that you are inviting it along with others for another visit.


5. What to Do If a Cat Is Yowling Because They Are in Heat

Female cats yowl to inform their male counterparts that they are in heat. According to Marilyn Krieger, a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant, it is as if to let them know “they are looking for boyfriends.. The adult male cats yowl when they feel ready to mate with the female cats nearby.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, ASPCA, an “unspayed female cat who isn’t bred will come into heat every 18 to 24 days from February through September.”

There are many states, local organizations, and animal rescue groups where you can find Trap-Neuter-Release programs (TNR) where they can be “surgically sterilized by veterinarians,” according to the American Association of Feline Practitioners.”


6. What to Do if a Cat is Yowling Because of Injury.

There are a lot of dangerous and unpredictable situations stray cats face as they live outdoors. Researchers at the University of Georgia studied the life of 55 cats while outside by placing small hidden cameras.

After 37-hour footage, the results showed cats engaged in dangerous behaviors such as crossing roads and violent encounters with other stray cats. Such exposure often results in injury to the cat.

By yowling, the cat may be effectively telling you she is hurt and needs your help.  

You might try to slowly approach the cat and speak in a low tone. Offer cat food and water to develop a relationship. Check for tags to determine if it has an owner so that you can get her back home.

If not, get a humane trap to lock it and take it to a nearby vet where she can be treated.


What Not To Do

As much the sound of a yowl might be irritating, there are things you should avoid doing.

  • Don’t ignore. Sometimes there is a valid reason behind a cat’s yowling or excessive meowing. She could be trapped somewhere or badly hurt. Check first to confirm if it’s something to be ignored or you need to immediately address it.
  • Don’t bring the cat into your home and mix it with your other pets immediately. Abandoned cats often carry transmittable diseases such as worms,  mites and may infect your pets.  
  • Don’t use force. If the cat is feral, it means it is not used to being in a home and might scratch or bite you.


Writer: Flora Ojow

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