Why Do Cats Sound Like Babies?

Looking after a baby is a full-time job. The baby requires special attention round the clock which can leave both parents feeling tired and helpless at times.

When it comes to looking after our cats, it does feel similar as well.

Our feline friends can be demanding, fussy and hard to please. And when cats cry, they can sound strikingly similar to a baby crying.

Truth be told, it can be rather unnerving to hear your cat crying and wailing like a baby in the middle of the night.

Interestingly enough, why do cats cry like babies?

Cats have evolved to mimic the sound of a crying baby to communicate with humans. Cats cry to convey a want or demand like the need for attention, food, water and even when looking to mate. Cats are known to use different types of vocalization as well.

In this article, we will be taking a deeper look at how this phenomenon came about and the reasons for cats crying like a human baby.

Why Do Cats Meow To Mimic Babies?

Cats are a lot more intelligent than we give them credit for. They might not have the working attitude like a dog but their minds are always in motion.

Our cats are experts when it comes to the power of observation. Your cat can stay perched on its favorite platform for hours just taking in its surroundings.

Through the years of evolution and domestication, cats have learned that trying to communicate with their cat owners like they do with another cat doesn’t bear great results.

To cats, humans are too dense to decipher the fine art of body language and scent odors.

Therefore, cats have developed a set of effective vocalizations that ‘prey’ on our human nature. This comes from trial and error as they try to figure out what works best in a given situation.

Similar to babies, our indoor cats are totally dependent on us for their basic needs like food, water, toilet cleaner and attention.

And nothing quite gets a human’s attention like the sound of a crying baby. When we hear a baby cry, our first instinct is to find out what is wrong and provide for it.

Studies have shown that when a cat squeaks or cries, it shares a similar frequency to that of a baby crying thus evoking a similar response from their cat owners.

Reasons That Would Make A Cat Cry Like A Baby

Cats don’t just cry like babies for the fun of it.

A cat crying signifies that it wants something from the cat owner.

Here are some reasons why your cat is crying.

Your Cat Is Feeling Hungry

There’s nothing quite like hunger to get your cat crying like a baby who has not been fed for hours.

Babies cry when hungry and so do our cats.

Your indoor cat no longer has to hunt for food and depends on you for its mealtime. Try ignoring your hungry cat and your ears will end up regretting up.

When my cat is hungry, his cries start from gentle meows and grow in volume till it sounds like an angry baby wailing its lungs out.

It goes on like this until he gets fed even when it isn’t time for food.

Your Cat Wants Attention

Cats don’t like being ignored and do demand attention from time to time. When your cat notices that you have been ignoring it as you are busy with stuff, it will start crying for your attention.

My cat can be very demanding when it comes to getting attention. When I’m busy with something, he will come by and start crying while looking like an abandoned kitty.

Even though I know what he has planned in his furry sleeves, I can’t help but cuddle him till he deems it to be enough.

Your Cat Is Feeling Anxious And Stressed

Being anxious and stressed makes us act out in strange ways at times. And cats cry like babies when they are feeling stressed. It could also be due to your cat having PTSD.

Cats are sensitive creatures and what might not seem like a big deal can make them feel stressed out.

There are some scenarios that can really turn up the dial on your cat’s stress meter.

  • Change in surroundings
  • Presence of a new pet
  • Having a new family member

If you have recently moved house or done a major renovation, this can cause your cat to feel unfamiliar with its new environment.

Cats are only familiar with areas that have their marked scent and when that is missing, they get stressed out.

The same goes with having a new pet or family member at home. This new smell can throw them off guard and make them afraid and unsociable.

During periods like this, your cat will be voicing out its stressed-out emotion by crying like a baby. Some cats might even start to squeak when picked up due to a deep-seated fear.

Your Cat Is Getting Old

Similar to humans, some cats can get cranky as they get older. They tend to cry out a lot for no rhyme or reason.

However, they will be times when older cats might be experiencing cognitive dysfunction syndrome.

This is similar to humans suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

It can cause the cat to feel unsettled and confused which makes it cry out like a baby.

Your Cat Might Be Feeling Unwell

Older cats might have their own set of health problems but younger cats do get sick from time to time.

Your cat could be crying because it is feeling unwell or is experiencing some pain. Your cat is signalling to your that things aren’t great and it needs help.

Your Cat Is Looking To Mate

For cat owners who have cats that have yet to be neutered or spayed, be prepared to have many sleepless nights during the mating season.

During mating season, the sex hormones in cats will increase their desire to reproduce. Male cats will have a strong urge to roam far and wide looking for female cats.

And female cats cry constantly to signal to roaming male cats their readiness to mate.

This crying from both male and female cats can go on for hours throughout the night causing cat owners to not have any rest.

Your Cat Wants To Get Out

There are some cat owners who lock their cats in a room at night. This could be to prevent them from getting into mischief or the cat might be keeping them up at night.

A cat that isn’t used to being locked up in a room will be crying to get out.

My cat can be peacefully sleeping in my room but when I close the room door to make it quieter for him, he starts crying and scratching at the door.

From what I understand, cats don’t like the feeling of being trapped and will start crying when they feel like it.

How To Stop My Cat From Crying?

Having a cat that is crying most of the time isn’t ideal. It could signal that something isn’t right or changes need to be made to calm your cat down.

Get An Automatic Feeder

We live busy lives and there will be times when we need to be out of the house for longer than usual.

If your cat cries a lot out of hunger, it would be best to get an automatic feeder for your cat. You can time the feeder to feed your cat a little snack while you are out or a proper meal.

I’m assuming that you are a least feeding your cat canned food. If you are still feeding your cat dry food or kibbles, please stop.

Dry food is very bad for cats and can lead to many health issues.

Get an automatic feeder that is designed for keeping canned food fresh. it will come with a compartment for ice or a cooling pack.

If you feed a cat raw, I don’t recommend using an automatic feeder as raw food can go bad quicker than canned food.

You might have to adjust your cat’s feeding time or do a hybrid diet of raw and canned food.

Give Your Cat More Attention And Assurance

If your cat is going through a change in environment or trying to adapt to a new pet or family member, make sure to spend more time with your cat.

This gives your cat the assurance that you are here.

Make sure to do a proper socialization process when trying to get your cat acquainted with a new pet or human.

Do not rush the process and move at your cat’s pace.

Remember to give your cat some amount of attention on a daily basis. As aloof as cats may seem, they still love attention and spending time with their cat owners.

About 30 minutes a day of bonding or playtime is enough for most cats.

There are some cat breeds that require more attention like the Siamese, Maine Coon, Ragdoll and Bengal.

If you have such a breed, be prepared to spend more time with them or they can get depressed.

Take Your Cat To The Vet

cat vet bills

If you suspect that your cat has been crying due to a health issue, do not hesitate to take it to the vet for a proper examination.

Your cat might show other symptoms like:

  • lack of appetite
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • lack of energy

These symptoms show that your cat isn’t feeling well.

The faster that your cat gets medical attention, the better its chances of a full recovery.

Get Your Cat Neutered

Having to listen to your howling cat cry out all night long isn’t fun at all. It can be very frustrating for an indoor cat who can’t get out and look for a mate.

The best way to prevent this is to neuter or spay your cat. Once this is done, the desire to mate will disappear.

Sterilizing your cat will also bring about other health benefits and prevent unwanted pregnancies in cats.


Now that you have a deeper understanding of why your cat is crying during the day or night, you have a better idea of how to address the situation.

Sometimes your cat’s crying issue can be easily fixed so don’t try to ignore it and brush it off.

It could be a medical issue that requires special attention from the vet.

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