Why Is My Ragdoll So Vocal?


Most people ask this question if they think their Ragdoll is meowing excessively. Cats are vocal to communicate their needs. Usually, there is nothing to worry about but occasionally a Ragdoll might be vocal for other reasons.

If you’re wondering, why is my Ragdoll so vocal, this guide will help you to distinguish between this cat’s everyday noises and those that need further investigation.

Some Ragdolls are naturally more vocal than others and it’s best to study their noises in context. You’ll soon get used to your cat’s various vocalizations and learn why each is made. Most of the time a vocal Ragdoll is a hungry Ragdoll!

Why is my Ragdoll so vocal? Shocked face

Why a Ragdoll meows

Interestingly, though kittens communicate with their mothers by meowing, adult cats, Ragdolls included, only meow at people. They don’t hold conversations with other cats by meowing.

Ragdolls are very intelligent. They quickly realize that by meowing and making other vocalizations, they get our attention. They actually get us to do things for them. By responding to our cat’s noises, we train them to use their voices to get things done.

Your Ragdoll will make a whole variety of meow sounds, each with a different meaning. It may be vocalizing to let you know it is hungry, wants attention, is excited, stressed, in pain or scared.

Hungry meows

As you prepare food, the sound that goes with opening tin, packets or pouches and the clattering of food bowls will often lead to your cat running to wherever you are, meowing excitedly in anticipation.

Cats have great internal clocks and know the times of day they are usually fed. If you are slack and don’t jump to it to feed your cat on time, it will remind by meowing. The longer you take to respond, the more urgent this meowing becomes.

This is quite endearing but to prevent the urgent meowing from becoming a habit, try to adhere to a feeding routine.

A meow can mean hello

Some Ragdolls meow as they enter a room. This type of meow is bright and breezy and is their way of saying hello to you. If you have more than one cat, you may have noticed one greet the other with a small trill instead of a meow. It sound like an R being rolled on the tongue.

Why is my Ragdoll so vocal? Ragdoll on grey chair

The do something for me meow

If you are on the other side of a closed door, your Ragdoll may meow loudly to let you know it wants you to open it. Quite often, this door is the one leading to the bathroom. All cats seem to have a desperate urge to get into this room more than any other. Unless you are extremely shy, let you cat in with you or leave the door open. That way, you will be able to relax in the shower.

Attention-seeking meows

A short burst of meows can be a sign that your cat wants you to play with it or make a fuss of it. If you’ve been out and your cat has been alone for some time, it may run to greet you, meowing as it does so.

Though you shouldn’t really find this annoying, it’s easy to stop it by getting out your Ragdolls toys and devoting some time to it.

Meow of pain

These meows are usually woeful and distressed. Your cat’s body language will also be a clue. If might be hunched rather than standing or it may be in pain urinating. You will be able to tell that all is not well and should take your cat to a vet.

Scared meows

Scared meows are usually much louder than other types. These meows can be intense and scary sounding. Your cat may have spotted a predator through a window or a loud noise may be the cause. The meowing should subside once the cause stops.

Deafness

This is a rare reason for loud meowing in Ragdolls. A few cats are born deaf and some become deaf over time. If a cat is deaf, it doesn’t know how loud it is meowing and may know it’s making any sound at all. Deaf cats might meow to find out where you are as they won’t be able to hear where you are.

Signs of deafness in cats include:

  • Louder meowing.
  • Not noticing when you enter a room.
  • Not responding to everyday noise, such as calling its name, loud sounds, and squeaky toys.
  • Sleeping through loud noises.
  • Sleeping more than usual.

If you suspect your cat is deaf, have a full diagnosis at your vets.

Cognitive Dysfunction

All cats, Ragdolls included, can develop cognitive issues. This can be likened to Alsheimer’s in humans. Usually it only occurs in senior cats but can sometimes affect younger ones.

Along with apparent confusion, another side-effect of cognitive dysfunction is excessive vocalization, particularly at night. When you go to find your cat, you may find it staring vacantly at nothing.

Your vet may be able to prescribe something to help a cat with this condition so it is worth taking it for a complete diagnosis.

Why is my Ragdoll so vocal? Ragdoll looking up

How to stop excessive meowing

Once you’ve diagnosed the reason why your Ragdoll is so vocal, a few changes to your routines, reactions, and environment may be able to reduce it.

Meowing for food

If you feed your cat every time it meows loudly, you effectively train it to continue this behavior. Avoid hungry meowing from occurring by feeding your Ragdoll at set times every day.

It’s difficult to undo the meowing for food habit if you let it develop because it involves not feeding your cat until it is quiet. This feels cruel to many people who just carry on responding to their cat’s meows by feeding it.

Whether to try to deter hungry meowing or not is entirely up to you. If it gets on your nerves then try to stop it, otherwise don’t worry about it.

Night time meowing

There are several ways to deter persistent night time meowing once you’ve determined the cause:

  • Your cat is bored and wants to play – Nocturnal habits die hard in some cats. Ragdolls can be lazy. Keeping your Ragdoll more active during the day can combat night time meowing. Play with your cat several times a day. Make the last play session just before you go to bed and hopefully your cat will be more inclined to settle for the night.
  • Hunger – try scheduling in a meal just before you go to bed and hopefully your cat won’t wake you up meowing because it’s hungry.
  • Confusion – This is common in older Ragdolls. They get confused because you’ve disappeared and meow to find out where you are. Nightlights can help. If you suspect cognitive issues, ask your vet for advice.
  • Injury or illness – Always check your cat isn’t injured or ill, especially if it doesn’t usually wake you up at night. If your cat has an obvious problem you may need to go straight to the vets. Otherwise, keep a close eye on it the next day to ensure all is well.
  • Cognitive dysfunction – if this is causing nighttime noise, there’s not a great deal you can do. It’s something you need to discuss with your vet who may suggest supplements and other dietary changes.
  • Deafness – Again, it’s difficult to cure nighttime meowing in deaf cats unless the deafness is temporary and treatable.
  • Loneliness – Some Ragdolls just don’t like to be left alone, especially at night. If your cat meows loudly when you go to bed, it may simply need comforting. If you can bear it, provide your cat with a cozy bed in your room at night and hopefully it will sleep there and keep quiet. Of course, if you don’t mind a cat sleeping on your feet (or elsewhere) that might also be a cure.

Why Is My Ragdoll So Vocal? – Conclusion

It’s probably fair to say that Ragdolls are so vocal because of the way we raise them. When they are kittens, we respond to their meowing thereby training them to use it as a means of communication and getting things they need.

Occasionally, a Ragdoll meows for urgent reasons so don’t ignore it unless you are absolutely certain all is well.

Why is my Ragdoll so vocal? Ragdoll on a bed

Jane

I'm Jane Pettitt, co-owner of Pets Knowledge Base with my husband, Matt. I have a grand total of 50 years’ experience as a pet owner. It all started with a guinea pig called Percy when I was 5 years old and since then I’ve lived with two more guinea pigs, a hamster, mice, a rabbit, a tortoise, a dog, and 11 cats. I’ve learned so much about pet care during this time and many of my articles are based on my personal experiences plus those of my family and friends.

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