Cat Training and Behavior (Domestic and Feral)/Cat behavior

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Question
Hi Melissa,

I have a female cat but not sure what breed it is.  She is white with black and orange markings on her, and her age is approximately 12 yrs old.  Also, she has been spayed. She mainly stays outdoors but I let her in to eat and hang out with me and my dog whenever she wants.  They have a great relationship and get along like best friends. I also have a litter box in the house in case she needs it, and she does use it occasionally.  She is not very affectionate and hates to be picked up and cuddled, but she will rub around on my feet and ankles when I'm sitting down, or standing.  She was found as a stray kitten, and I got her from a woman I worked with at the time.

Anyway, recently she has begun to meow excessively when I let her in the house.  It is usually right after she gets a few nibbles of cat food (dry).  She will sometimes go back and forth to her food bowl a few times before starting to get "vocal", but it has become rather irritating.  At first she would go to the door and meow, to tell me she wants out.  But now she does it whereever she is in the house.

I realize this isn't much to go on, but do you have any idea what she is trying to tell me, or why she all of a sudden got to be so talkative?  I always keep food and water available to her, even outside.  I just can't figure out what she wants.  Could it be menopause?  ha ha   Do you have any ideas?   

Thanks,
Gary

Answer
A sudden behavior change can be a result of a medical issue and with her age, I wouldn't put it past that. I would have her checked by a veterinarian to make sure nothing medical is going on. It can also result from another environmental change or change in food for example. Has anything else changed in the household or neighborhood?

Cat Training and Behavior (Domestic and Feral)

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Melissa Burg, RVT/Behavior Consultant

Expertise

I have experience dealing with different cat behavior signs, including separation anxiety, possible aggression and the difference between fear aggression and actual aggression, this would include possible feral cats. I also am familiar with the several different approaches to introducing a new cat to the environment as well as how each cat or cat and dog and live comfortable and dealing with litter box issues and help you decide if the problem is medical or behavioral.

Experience

My experience began with my own cats and escalated while working with area animal shelters for the past 10 years. I was able to watch and learn how the cats would react to different stimulus and each other. My experience grew during college and became able to distinguish between medical and behavior issues.

Publications
"Pawfect Pets," a weekly column in my local newspaper with pet health and behavior and training tips.

Education/Credentials
I graduated with an Associate's in Veterinary Technology in 2009 and became RVT in the state of Iowa in 2012 with a focus on Behavior.

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