Some cats are more talkative than others. My American Shorthair is fairly vocal, but my British Shorthair tom is a fairly tight-lipped fellow (although he’ll let me know if he’s displeased about something). My domestic shorthair rescue kitty doesn’t make a lot of noise unless I’m late with her food. Many cats are endowed with a fairly good sense of time; they often know when you’re due home from work, and they know when their usual feeding times are. Most cats will meow and fuss when mealtime rolls around, but some cats persist in vocalising even when they’ve had a good meal.
Why does my cat meow after eating? Your cat might still be hungry, or at least want more food. Some cats like to get attention and affection after eating. If the cat eats too fast, is intolerant to the food or has a gastric issue, she may be meowing due to pain.
You’ve arrived on this page because you have questions about your cat’s behaviour. Why does my cat meow after a meal? Is my cat still hungry? My cat’s meows sound different after eating — is this a bad sign? How do I get my cat to stop meowing after she eats? Is there something wrong with my cat’s diet? Keep reading, because we’ve got the answers you’re looking for. You’ll find out the most common reasons for a cat to meow after eating, and what you can do to get her to stop.
Why Does My Cat Meow After Eating?
There are a lot of reasons why your cat might meow after eating. Some cats are highly food-motivated and will tend to fuss if their food dish is empty. They may do this even if they’ve eaten a sufficient amount of food. If you’ve recently reduced your cat’s food intake to help her lose weight, she may well have noticed the difference.
Cats may also meow after eating because they’ve bolted their food. This is a very common behaviour and can make your cat very uncomfortable.
Cats may meow after eating because they want your attention. Some cats like to be petted or cuddled after a meal; I’m not sure why, but I’ve noticed this in a number of different kitties. The best way to stop the meowing in this case? Lots of head-pats and friendly interaction.
If this is a new behaviour, your cat may have some kind of stomach issue that’s causing them discomfort after eating. Stomach infections can be the culprits here. If your cat is also producing loose stools or vomiting, you should get her checked out by the vet. Stomach bugs can be quite nasty for cats, as they can quickly become dehydrated. It’s wise to treat them quickly.
An infestation of intestinal parasites might also cause your cat discomfort after eating. This is fairly easy to treat and should be taken care of as soon as possible. Severe cases of worms can have very nasty health consequences. Your cat isn’t getting all the nutrients from her food and can become very ill if she’s not de-wormed.
If you’ve recently changed your cat’s food and she’s meowing after a meal, it could be that she’s intolerant to some ingredient in the new product. Many cheaper cat foods contain grain and other ingredients that aren’t well-tolerated by feline digestion. Try changing her food back to see if the meowing stops. I recommend giving your cat wet food that is high in protein and free from grain and starches.
Do not leave wet food out for too long, especially in warm weather. I’ve know cats who will cheerfully consume stale food and regret their life choices afterwards.
Over-eaters and rapid eaters
As I mentioned above, discomfort after eating can be caused by eating too fast. Cats may also meow for more food once they’ve finished a meal. A good solution, both for rapid eaters and those who complain about portion sizes, is a slow feeder dish. These are special dishes with convolutions and textures that make it more difficult for your cat to reach the food. Your cat can still eat everything that’s in the bowl — it just takes them longer.
I use these with all my cats. My American Shorthair tends to bolt his food, and my British Shorthair will sometimes bug me for more if he doesn’t feel like he’s spent enough time eating, so dishes like this are perfect. Slow feeders will prevent your cat from bolting her food, and may also prevent highly food-motivated cats from feeling like they’re missing out. The type I have has four deep recesses where you can put the food. I mash wet food closely into the recesses so that my cats have to really work to get at it. There are a number of different types, made from various materials. I would choose ceramic over silicone or other plastics — these can become scuffed or scratched, and thus become a breeding ground for bacteria.
There’s a widespread myth that cats will only eat as much food as they need. This is, unfortunately, untrue. Cats will often overeat. They may consume too much food at one sitting and make themselves sick or overate consistently enough to become obese. A little extra chub isn’t a problem for cats, but the significant excess weight will harm them.
For food-motivated cats who fuss and complain if they don’t get six meals a day, I recommend providing a treat toy or feeder puzzle. These are simple puzzles that a cat must manipulate to get a small piece of kibble. You can easily make your own from a large soda bottle. Poke small holes in the bottle that is just big enough for kibble to fall out of, one piece at a time. As the cat rolls the bottle, she gets a piece or two of kibble. You can also buy treat toys from pet stores or online suppliers.
Treat toys and feeder puzzles provide cats with intellectual stimulation and exercise. They also distract cats from complaining and fussing for extra food. I really like them as a way to keep food-centric cats from overheating, and also to keep them active.
Attention after eating
Cats are social creatures and often like to have company. Every cat is an individual and will have different desires. Some cats like to have you around while they’re eating — they feel safer and more secure that way. Other cats like to interact with you after they’ve had something to eat. Meowing after a meal can be an indication that your cat would like some attention and affection. It’s fine to come and give your cat pets and attention after she’s finished her food, although you should probably avoid picking her up or doing anything that puts pressure on her abdomen(this could make her vomit).
Generally, cats want to wind down after eating, but there are some that want to play instead. If this is your cat, don’t hesitate to break out the teaser toys and engage her in a rousing game. Active play is fun for your cat and can help burn off any excess nervous energy she may have built up while she was eating. Some cats can get agitated after food, so helping them get the zoomies out of their systems is a good idea.
Active play is also a good way to distract cats who constantly want to eat more than they should. Because your attention is focused on the cat, she’ll be less prone to fussing and meowing to get extra food. If you have a cat who rejects teaser toys, try getting her to chase a long sundae spoon with a tiny blob of pure meat baby food on the end. This is a trick that can often get even the most lethargic cat back on her feet, particularly if it’s a flavour she really enjoys (my cats will do almost anything for chicken). Make sure that she really does get to lick the spoon when the chase is over. This will motivate her to engage in more active play in the future.