When a cat meows at the door, it’s usually not because they’re happy or playful. Cat owners often find it confusing, especially when it’s a stray cat that they don’t know. So, the question arises: why is a cat meowing at my door?
Cats often meow at doors within their own homes because they desire something on the opposite side of the door or dislike being restricted. However, when cats meow at doors from outside, they usually seek something slightly different. Typically, they desire attention, food, warmth, or comfort and are aware that human homes are a suitable source for these necessities.
However, there are other reasons why a cat may meow at your door or inside your home. We will discuss more of these reasons and the motivations behind this behavior.
Let’s dive in.
What Does It Mean When A Cat Is Meowing At Your Door
Cats meow as a way to communicate with humans. When cats want to communicate with each other, they use sounds that humans can’t hear once they’re grown up, so they don’t meow at each other. If your cat is meowing, it’s most likely meowing at you.
Once you’re aware of that, having some understanding of the reasons why your cat might choose to meow can assist you in understanding. Therefore, the next time you hear your cat meowing at a door, you’ll be more ready.
1. They Want To Be Let In Or Out
It’s not surprising that most cats don’t enjoy being kept in one place. Meowing at doors, especially doors that the cat has previously seen open, is their way of requesting the door to be opened. They may want to leave the current area they are in or they may want to enter a room where you are present.
If you’ve ever attempted to keep your cat out of the room while you use the bathroom, you’ve likely heard them making meowing sounds to be allowed inside.
2. They Don’t Like Closed Doors
At times, cats may not want to pass through a door; instead, they prefer it to be left open. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, open doors provide better air circulation, allowing cats to detect more scents when the door is open.
Cats also dislike being restricted. Therefore, they may feel at ease in a particular room, but they may not appreciate the concept of being limited to only that room.
When a cat meows at your door, it doesn’t always mean it wants to go into another room. It could be asking for information through sight and smell or simply desiring more freedom.
3. They Need Something On The Other Side
Cats may not have a strong sense of object permanence, but they do have a good memory for the location of their litterboxes, water and food bowls, and other important things.
If your cat is determined to enter a room, it could be because they are searching for something they are familiar with or used to having in that room. This could include items like litterboxes, toys, or food, but it could also be something as simple as a beloved window or blanket.
4. They Are Looking For Help
Cats may meow at the door, particularly if you’re on the other side, because they require assistance. If unfamiliar cats are hungry, injured, or in need of something they believe humans can provide, they are more likely to meow. Many of these cats were once pets, so they might even be requesting to be pets once more.
Even your own cats can request assistance in this manner, although it is not as frequent because most cats that stay indoors do not require significant help when their owners are on the other side of a door.
5. They Know It’s Warm Inside
If a cat is outside in the cold, it may meow to try and get inside a warmer house (or to get some food). Cats can sense the temperature difference when they are near a door, which makes going inside more appealing.
Cats are aware that meowing is an effective method to grab attention, so they are more inclined to meow when they desire something from the other side, such as warmth.
Why Is There A Cat Meowing Outside My House
When a cat is meowing at your door, there are typically several potential explanations. While there may be other factors to consider, such as a cat that is unwell or displaying unusual behavior, the following reasons are more frequently observed:
- The cat is meowing and making low sounds because it is looking for a mate.
- Cats were once domesticated animals and may be lost or seeking assistance.
- Cats are seeking attention.
- If a cat is meowing at your door, it could be because they want to come inside and your house is close by.
- If a cat is injured, it may meow to get the attention of another cat or a person who can provide assistance.
The most common reasons for a cat meowing at your door are usually intact cats and lost pets.
If you’re looking to lend a hand, you could try borrowing a live trap from a nearby shelter or veterinarian to safely capture the cat and bring them indoors.
It’s usually a better idea to trap cats instead of picking them up or simply opening the door. This is because you won’t know the cat’s health condition until they can be tested. Sadly, cats can have contagious illnesses and may be carrying rabies, which could explain their increased vocalization.
Therefore, it is advisable to be cautious and capture the cat, placing them in a crate or a separate room until you can take them to a veterinarian for an examination or bring them to a shelter where they can receive proper care and potentially find a new home.
Why Are Cats Attracted To My House
There are several reasons why cats might be drawn to your house, especially if you already have cats!
The smell of your cats or their food might be sufficient to entice other cats to linger nearby.
However, cats and their meals are not the sole reasons why cats may gather around your house. If you happen to have wild catnip or other types of mints and herbs, cats may be inclined to visit your home to indulge in these plants.
If there are plenty of cozy spots around your home, like under a deck or in a shed, cats might hang out there. They like to find comfortable places where they can stay warm and safe when they’re not out hunting. They prefer small spaces because they feel more secure for sleeping.
Finally, there could be many stray cats in your neighborhood. Cats will mark their territory for various reasons, such as the number of cats or available prey. You might be fortunate enough to own a property that the local cats have chosen as their territory, even though the reasons behind their choice may not be obvious.
What Should You Do When A Cat Comes To Your Door
When a cat meows at your door, you have a few choices. You can allow the cat to come inside, but it may not be the wisest decision. One reason is that if you are unsure about the cat’s health, it might not be safe to let them into your house.
One option could be to use a live trap to catch the cat and then bring them indoors in a controlled manner, making it easier to keep them separate until their health can be examined.
Another option is to create an outdoor cat bed. You can use a Rubbermaid rubber box with a cut-out entrance on one side and line it with a blanket you no longer need. This will provide a safe and warm place for the cat to go, giving you time to figure out your next steps.
It’s not a good idea to ignore a cat that wants to come inside. They could be someone’s lost pet or a feral cat that needs medical attention and to be spayed or neutered to control the feral cat population and improve their health.
Things To Consider
Just because cats are meowing outside doesn’t necessarily mean they’re in trouble, so you don’t have to do anything unless you want to and are able to provide assistance.
When it comes to cats meowing at doors indoors, this behavior can be either encouraged or discouraged, just like any other. If you don’t give in to your cat’s demands, they will meow at doors less frequently. However, if you consistently open doors when your cats start meowing, they will probably become more persistent.