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My Cat Keeps Meowing and Rubbing Against Everything: Why & What to do

My Cat Keeps Meowing and Rubbing Against Everything: Why & What to do

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I’ve always considered myself a fairly competent cat owner, but lately, my furry companion has been acting quite peculiar. She’s been meowing constantly and rubbing against everything in sight. I’ve been trying to understand why she’s doing this and what I can do to help him feel more comfortable.

At first, I thought she might just be seeking attention. So, I tried spending more time playing and cuddling with her, but that didn’t seem to alleviate her strange behavior. I started to wonder if her behavior could be a sign of stress or anxiety. Maybe some changes in our home environment were making him uneasy.

Slowly but surely, her behavior started to improve. She was meowing less and seemed more relaxed as she rubbed against furniture and our legs. I was relieved to see that my efforts were making a difference in his well-being. So, I’d like to share you my techniques and tips.

Why Do Cats Meow?

You can better interpret your pets’ needs and behaviors by understanding these common reasons behind feline vocalizations below. This will ensure a harmonious relationship between you and your cat. Let’s find out:

  • Hunger and Feeding Cues: Meowing can indicate hunger, with cats vocalizing to remind their owners of mealtime schedules or to request treats.
  • Greeting and Socialization: Cats may meow as a friendly greeting when their owner returns home or when interacting with other cats or humans.
  • Pain or Illness: When in pain or feeling unwell, cats may meow to alert their owners to their discomfort, signaling the need for medical attention.
  • Age-related Cognitive Decline: Senior cats with cognitive dysfunction may meow more frequently due to disorientation or confusion.
  • Mating and Reproductive Behavior: Cats in heat or looking to mate will often meow persistently as a form of communication with potential partners.
  • Seeking Assistance: Cats may meow when they are stuck or in need of help, such as when they are unable to access their litter box or are trapped in a closed room.
Kitten opening her mouth while closing eyes

Why Does My Cat Keep Meowing and Rubbing Against Everything?

It’s a common question that puzzles many cat owners. Your feline friend’s constant meowing and rubbing against objects can be baffling. You may find yourself wondering if something is wrong. Or, could your cat be trying to communicate with you?

To solve this mystery, I dove into cat behavior research. In doing so, I discovered several key reasons for this behavior:

1. Seeking Attention and Interaction

Cats are social creatures. One of the primary reasons they may meow and rub against objects or their human companions is to seek attention and interaction. Although cats have a reputation for being independent, they still require social stimulation. They also need bonding with their owners. A study revealed that cats are often as affectionate as dogs. Sometimes, they even prefer human interaction over food or toys.

The act of rubbing against objects or people is called bunting. It serves as a way for cats to bond and communicate with their environment. When a cat rubs its head or body against you, it releases pheromones. These pheromones come from scent glands located around their face, ears, and base of their tail. The pheromones help create a sense of familiarity and comfort for the cat. This can be especially important if they are seeking reassurance or affection. Engaging in play, petting, or grooming sessions with your cat strengthens the bond between you. It also helps fulfill their need for social interaction. This may reduce excessive meowing and rubbing behaviors.

2. Marking Territory with Scent

Marking their territory is a natural behavior that helps cats feel secure and establish boundaries. By rubbing against objects, cats deposit their scent from the glands located around their face, ears, and the base of their tail. This scent marking serves as a form of communication to other cats and animals, signaling that the area is occupied and claimed by the cat. They use scent marks to avoid direct confrontation and competition with neighboring cats, which helps maintain social order and reduce conflicts.

In addition to rubbing against objects, cats may also mark their territory through scratching or spraying. Scratching leaves visible marks and deposits scent from the glands on their paw pads, while spraying involves the release of a strong-smelling urine on vertical surfaces. While scent marking is a normal feline behavior, excessive marking can be a sign of stress, insecurity, or environmental changes. Providing your cat with a stable and consistent environment, including appropriate scratching posts and toys, can help reduce the need for excessive marking.

3. Female Cat in Heat

A female cat in heat, also known as estrus, will often exhibit behavioral changes such as increased vocalization and rubbing against objects or people. This is due to a surge in reproductive hormones, which drives the cat to seek a mate. The estrus cycle in cats typically occurs seasonally, beginning around the age of six months and lasting approximately a week. However, indoor cats may experience estrus cycles more frequently throughout the year, as their exposure to artificial light can disrupt their natural hormonal patterns.

During the estrus cycle, a female cat may become more affectionate, excessively meow, roll on the floor, and raise her hindquarters when petted. These behaviors are aimed at attracting male cats and signaling her readiness to mate. If you have an unspayed female cat exhibiting these behaviors, consider spaying her to prevent unwanted pregnancies and reduce the risk of certain health issues, such as uterine infections and mammary cancer. Spaying your cat can also alleviate the stress and discomfort associated with estrus and help eliminate unwanted mating behaviors.

4. Stress or Anxiety

Cats can experience stress or anxiety due to various factors, such as changes in their environment, disruptions in their routine, or conflicts with other animals. When a cat feels stressed or anxious, it may exhibit behaviors like increased vocalization and rubbing against objects or people. These behaviors can serve as a coping mechanism, helping the cat feel more secure and comforted. Approximately 30% of cats showed signs of stress in response to changes in their environment or routine.

To help alleviate stress or anxiety in your cat, provide a consistent routine. Ensure a safe, comfortable environment. This may include maintaining regular feeding times and providing consistent access to clean litter boxes. Offer safe hiding spots for the cat to retreat to when feeling overwhelmed. Additionally, provide environmental enrichment, such as toys, climbing structures, and puzzle feeders. These can help keep your cat mentally stimulated and reduce stress-related behaviors. If your cat continues to exhibit signs of stress or anxiety despite your efforts, consult with a veterinarian or a certified feline behavior specialist.

5. Discomfort or Pain

Unlike humans, cats are known for their stoicism and ability to hide their discomfort. Therefore, any changes in behavior can be a crucial indicator that something is wrong. According to the research, around half of cat owners report that they have noticed a change in their cat’s behavior when the cat was unwell.

If your cat is meowing or rubbing against everything more than usual, it is essential to monitor their overall health and look for other signs of illness or injury. This may include changes in appetite, lethargy, hiding, aggression, or changes in litter box habits. Some common health issues that can cause a cat to seek comfort or attention through meowing and rubbing include urinary tract infections, dental problems, arthritis, or gastrointestinal issues.

If you suspect that your cat may be feeling unwell or in pain, it is crucial to consult with a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

What to Do if a Cat Meows and Rubs Against Everything?

This is a normal and healthy form of feline communication, which serves various purposes. However, if a cat’s meowing and rubbing against everything seems excessive or disruptive, it is essential to consider the possible underlying causes.

Start by creating a comfortable and enriching environment for your feline companion. Provide multiple resting spots, including soft beds and elevated perches, where your cat can feel secure and observe their surroundings. In addition, offer various scratching posts and surfaces to help satisfy their natural instinct to scratch.

Engage your cat in interactive play sessions using toys like feather wands, laser pointers, or small balls. Daily playtime not only provides physical exercise but also helps to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. To keep your cat mentally stimulated, provide puzzle toys, treat-dispensing toys, or even try hiding treats around the house for them to find.

Cats thrive on routine and predictability, so establish a consistent daily schedule for feeding, playtime, and grooming. Regularly clean and maintain their litter box to prevent any aversion to using it, which could also cause stress and excessive meowing. Make sure to also spend time socializing your cat.


In conclusion, the perplexing nature of a cat that constantly meows and rubs against everything may leave you puzzled. Various factors may contribute to this behavior, including attention-seeking, territory marking, expressing love, or conveying a specific need.

While it might be baffling, it is crucial to pay attention to your feline’s individual circumstances and pinpoint the possible reasons behind their actions. Ensure their comfort, meet their basic needs, and engage in quality playtime to strengthen your bond. However, if the meowing and rubbing persist, or if they are accompanied by signs of distress, it is wise to heed your cat’s cues and seek veterinary assistance to eliminate any underlying health concerns.