Is your Maine Coon making pitiful noises for no apparent reason? Cats do many things that we understand such as purring when they’re happy and scratching our furniture to flex their muscles. But what of those specific meows that sound so woeful – what are they all about?
Why do Maine Coons cry? Maine Coons generally cry to communicate with us. Just when you think you know the meaning behind every cry your Maine Coon makes, another one will evolve. We often think they cry out of hunger but there are many more reasons why our Maine Coons wail at us.
Do Maine Coons actually cry? When they meow in a certain way, it does sound like a Maine Coon is crying. You won’t see tears but sometimes they do sound distraught.
Come with us on a journey to discover why your Maine Coon cries.
Do Maine Coons Cry tears?
Maine Coons do not cry real tears. If one appears to be crying this could be a sign of an eye problem. If you suspect this is the case, it’s important to get a swift diagnosis – you’ll find important information concerning eye health in our article, Maine Coon Eyes.
Maine Coon Vocalizations
The Maine coon is not a shy and retiring cat and it does like to be heard. If you own one you will know they talk so much! A Maine Coon communicates by meowing, trilling, chirruping, and purring which is very endearing.
Just when you are feeling smug and considering yourself an accomplished cat whisperer, be prepared for the reasons for crying to alter with no prior consultation!
Two Ways a Maine Coon Cries
The one-syllable cry
This cry sounds like “ouw”, “mouw” and even ‘”wouw”. It is high pitched, sounds more like a distraught wail and requires immediate attention. Maine Coons do this for several reasons and as a conscientious owner, you will have to learn what they are.
Sometimes Maine Coons meow excessively and will not give up until you react. Again this happens for a number of reasons and you’ll have to work them out.
Reasons Why Maine Coons Cry
Here are the top 11 reasons why Maine Coons cry and how you should respond:
1. For attention
The sociable Maine Coon loves attention. They get used to the fuss we lavish upon them and can become quite demanding of it. It’s because we respond that cats meow at us. We actually teach them inadvertently that when they meow we react.
A meowing cat may weave in and out of your legs, rubbing its face on you to mark you with its scent. If you immediately stop and fuss your cat it will repeat this move and noise any time it wants you to take notice.
If you don’t like this behavior, wait until your cat stops doing it before you respond. If it doesn’t bother you, immediately give your cat your attention and eventually it will be satisfied and head off to do something else.
When a cat meows at you and you answer it as if you know exactly what it is saying (maybe you do know?), you can have quite the conversation!
2. They want food
Maine Coons thrive on routine so if you miss feeding time, you’ll soon receive a reminder. To stop the crying, feed your cat immediately!
If you change your cat’s food brand, it may turn its nose up and meow in disdain. Most cats sense a change in their food and though many won’t care, some will mistrust the different smell and not eat it. Then you’ll hear hungry cries.
Sometimes our Maine Coon, meow/purrs as he’s eating, especially if its his favorite food or a special treat.
If your Maine Coon cries for more food after finishing its meal, check you are feeding it the correct quantity for its weight and lifestyle. Two or three small meals per day are better than one large meal because cats have small stomachs and will often not finish leftovers at a later time.
3. They are unwell or injured
Excessive crying can signal an injury or pain from illness. Your Maine Coon may be crying but also avoiding contact from you. If you are able to, examine it for an obvious injury.
If it won’t let you near it and the crying persists its best to err on the side of caution and take a trip to the vets. Maine Coons are extremely good at masking illness so by the time they actually give you a sign, medical attention can be quite urgently required.
4. They Are Lonely
Maine Coons aren’t particularly fond of being alone. Even if you’re home but in a different area of the house, you Maine Coon may cry out.
If you have to go out make sure your cat has ways to occupy its time such as a variety of toys, a climbing tree, and windows to look out from. Leave something with your scent on, such as an old jumper, to give it comfort
Maine Coons are better in pairs which is why we bought two brothers – it’s the ideal way to prevent loneliness and depression problems that can set in because of it.
5. They’re Frightened of Something
A Maine might cry if something scares it – loud noises or dogs barking are good examples. Some cats yowl during thunderstorms and some detest the noise of fireworks. In these situations, a cat will often hide.
6. They’re Excited
One of our Maine Coons tears around the house meowing when it’s really windy. Something about it gets him overexcited and excitement often leads to excessive meowing.
The thought of being fed a treat has the same effect. If I cook my boys some fish they meow all around me as I chop it up and their volume crescendos as I place it on the floor.
6. To be let in or out
If a cat is on the other side of a closed door from you, it will often cry until you let it in. This happens to us when we’re in the bathroom. We can’t win as if we let the cats in, they invariably yell to get out the moment we sit on the loo or get under the shower.
7. As a greeting
Maine Coons are very polite. If you go out you will receive a welcoming flurry of meows on your return. It’s part of their sociable behavior and translates to, “I’ve missed you!”
If your Maine Coon is allowed outside, when it returns to the house it will often meow loudly to let you know it’s home. You can assume it’s saying, “I’m back! Have you missed me?”
8. When they are being transported
As soon as you put a Maine Coon in a cat carrier it will probably begin to cry out. It probably associates this with an imminent car trip to the vets. In a car, a Maine Coon often cries for the duration of the journey.
There are a number of reasons for this type of crying:
- Your cat doesn’t like being confined
- The cat carrier feels like a strange and worrying environment
- It is frightened by the sound of the car
- It doesn’t like the movement of the car
- It feels travel sick
Cats have to go these trips for essential care. Hopefully, they don’t happen too often. All you can do is talk soothingly and drive as smoothly as possible, avoiding heavy braking.
9. Old-Age and Senility
Why Do Maine Coons cry at night? Older Maine Coons can develop cognitive issues and senile tendencies. This can lead to either of the types of crying described earlier. For example, when an elderly Maine Coon wakes up it may feel disoriented and cry out in confusion. If your cat does this more in the dark, night lights like these on Amazon can really help.
The onset of deafness can also cause confusion and lead to a Maine Coon crying.
Take a trip to the vet if you think your cat has either of these problems (be prepared for more crying on the trip!)
10. Mating Season
Unspayed females may yowl when they are in season and unneutered males may yowl if they sense a female in season nearby. Spaying or neutering resolves this issue.
11. Cat-to-cat communications
Cats are not known to communicate with each other through meowing – that method is reserved for us. However, cats living in the same home may trill at each other as a form of greeting.
When a strange cat dares to enter a Maine Coon’s territory it will cry out an angry warning in the form of a throaty, growly, yowl. This is a sound that has woken our household in the middle of the night on many occasions.
Once I was woken by a loud noise and thought, “Who is that using a power drill at 2 am – how inconsiderate!” The sound then became a definite yowl and I realized it was one of our Maine Coons having a heated discussion with a strange cat in our kitchen.
Why Do Maine Coons Cry? – Conclusion
Maine Coons do cry but not with tears! Sometimes they yowl out of sadness or because of pain but sometimes they cry out in sheer happiness. Your job is to work out what it all means.