Behind Your Cat’s Attention-Seeking Behavior

Crying, pawing, vocalization, and more!

Cats with loud meowing and excessive vocalization are often seen and heard all over social media platforms — it’s the adorable things that cats do that can sometimes drive us crazy and get the most likes and comments! If you have a cat that is constantly meowing or pawing, they may just be trying to get your attention.

Does your cat have a behavior problem, or is it completely normal? At The Vet Set, we’ll help you navigate this gray area and see what’s behind your cat’s attention-seeking behavior!

What Is Your Cat Trying to Tell You?

Cats are very independent creatures with unique personality traits — some can be described as anti-social, while others like to fetch and chase balls, just like dogs. If your cat seems to have excessive vocalization or other behaviors, they may not be looking for internet fame, but rather, trying to get your attention. Let’s dive into the most common attention-seeking behaviors below.

Midnight Howling

Does your cat like to wake you abruptly with their nighttime howling? Many times cats do this as they get older and begin to lose their hearing and seeing abilities, but excessive vocalization can also be related to rippling skin disorder, neurological diseases, hyperthyroidism, cancer, and even pain.

Rippling skin disorder or Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome (FHS) goes beyond howling and has trademark symptoms such as rippling skin on the back part of their body, dilated pupils, abrupt racing from one direction to another, and a sensitivity to touch.

If your cat chronically howls, you may want to schedule a trip to your local vet clinic.

Pawing and Prowling

If you have a cat that loves to paw at you when you’re seated, or really doing anything, or they constantly move in figure eight around your feet, they may just be asking for a little more attention.

If they’re the only cat in the house and you have a small family, they may need more interaction. Allow your kitty a little more snuggle time where they can crawl up in your lap or get pets while you’re relaxing on the couch.

If more attention is required you could consider investing in more stimulating cat toys or even another cat — you can never just have one!


Scratching is a very primal and very normal part of a cat’s behavior, but it can be frustrating when they’re tearing up the house with inappropriate scratching. Scratching can occur on just about any surface in your home, from the side of your sofa to the backdoor screen.

If your cat is constantly scratching things in your home it might be a means of communication or time for some new scratching posts. Create a cat’s scratching dream by placing a variety of scratch posts around your home that are different materials and textures. Add treats, toys, and catnip in these areas to help keep them, and their scratching, contained!

Constant Meowing

Meowing can be extremely cute and it may seem like your cat is trying to converse with you — sometimes they are! Cats can get vocal when you talk with them and seem to enjoy the interaction, but in some cases, they may be trying to tell you something.

If your cat becomes more chatty all of a sudden, it could be related to a couple of things such as an endocrine disorder, discomfort, cognitive dysfunction, or changes in hearing. If you’re worried, give your vet a call or schedule an appointment just to rule anything out.

Eating Non-Food Items

Cats can get a taste for things that are not food, and while they may not be trying to get your attention, they very well may do so as you watch them munch on plastic or start wool-sucking from yarn, blankets, clothing items, etc.. Cats tend to eat non-food items if they were prematurely weaned or as a result of increased stress.

It’s important to tackle this issue by honing in on what’s causing stress to your cat in the first place. Did you recently move or have a baby? Events like this can throw your cat’s schedule off and cause them to experience more stress than normal.

If you don’t think it’s stress-related, it could be related to their diets. If your cat has a mineral deficiency, they may try to eat random things to try and adjust and rebalance. Ensure that your cat is eating a well-balanced diet, and when in doubt, talk with your vet.

Is it Attention Your Cat Needs?

Are your cat’s eccentrics normal or do they have an underlying medical condition? From excessive vocalization, pawing, and patrolling to cats eating weird things, it’s important to always keep a close eye on them, and if it’s a behavior you’re concerned about, talk with your vet and schedule a wellness exam as a precaution.

To schedule your next vet exam, connect with our vet clinic in Carroll Gardens today!


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