Do cats get more vocal as the get older?
Spoony THE cat has been grey since she was an infant. But at 15, she’s earned all that grey hair now. She is an ancient of days in cat years. And with age, she has gotten ever more vocal—and loud. Every time she uses her littel box now, whether for number 1 or 2, she steps outside her bathroom (we have 2 baths and one is hers) and emits a series of loud, throaty meows. I’m just guessing, of course, but I think she is saying, clean up this mess I just made.
She likes to have a supply of fresh water, dry food and canned Friskies fish, chicken, turkey or mixed-grill pate at her feeding station. If anything gets low, she will again meow loudly, but with a slightly different sound than the bathroom complaint.
Sometimes when food gets low she comes into the living room and meows more softly, and when I respond and head into the kitchen to get her what she’s asking for she approves with a series of low-pitched growls that clearly indicate thank you. I know it’s thank you and not curse you for waiting so long, because if I’m barefoot she’ll kiss the top of my foot or ankle in thanks.
She’s used to my wife or me being here, and on the relatively rare occasion when we both are away for a full day, we will hear about it when we come home. We will listen to a long series of loud, angry meows.
Same goes for time to get up. She demands that someone arise by 4:30 AM and see to her needs or just be with her. Once one of us is up, she will curl up next to us in the living room and go right back to sleep. But there is no sleeping through the repertoire of sounds she makes till she has a companion in the front room. I’ve offered her a spot on the bed, but that just won’t do. Someone must arise to keep her company. And with her volume level, we’re afraid it will be our condo neighbors upstairs if we don’t give in.
All of this is new with age. She never behaved this way as a kitty teen or middle aged cat. Its only been when she started getting old that she became so vocal. And she has an amazing range of vocalizations. I read that cats have more than 60 unique vocalizations they can use to communicate their feelings to other cats. She has at least that, and seems to feel that I’ve had plenty of time now to learn her language.
Is this normal for older cats? Do most of them get more chatty and codgerly as they age?