Cat symptoms of roaming and crying

Updated April 17, 2017

If your feline friend has been exhibiting unfamiliar symptoms such as excessive crying or roaming, it's important to determine the cause---medical or behavioural---and quickly rule out illness, disease or injury. Cats are adept at hiding illness, often until a disease or condition becomes critical, so it helps to know your pet. Fluffy's long-term health greatly rests on how well you monitor your cat's behaviour and well-being on a continual basis.


If a cat cries loudly and consistently and roams or wanders around the house, the animal is in some sort of distress and trying to communicate this to you. Crying and roaming could indicate a number of scenarios or conditions, such as stress, pain, boredom, thirst/hunger or that your cat is in heat. Consider and rule out each possibility, and if you suspect illness or a behavioural problem, or you're not sure what's going on and the symptoms persist, consult a veterinarian immediately.


Cats are sensitive creatures and can easily undergo stress and anxiety. Some common causes for feline stress and anxiety include moving house or travelling, a new family member (human or animal), a medical condition/injury, visitors, confinement, or change of any kind. Stress and anxiety can lead to changes in disposition and behaviour like not using the litter box, loss of appetite, pulling out fur, trembling, hiding, roaming and crying. It may be necessary to remove the stressor and/or treat the symptoms with a vet's expert help.


If your cat is in pain due to illness or old age, you may observe changes in temperament and behaviour, such as withdrawal and hiding from people, mewing constantly, cringing when touched, and changes in vocalisation. Since illness or disease are better managed if detected and treated early, especially for senior cats, contact a vet right away if you suspect your pet is in pain. Regular check-ups are a good way to keep your cat happy and healthy.


Cats, especially kittens, have lots of energy. While most cats sleep upwards of 16 to 18 hours a day, when they are awake, most felines fancy playtime, socialisation and interaction. Cat boredom may result from lack of stimulation, confinement in a small space or being left alone for long periods, and may lead to negative behaviours like aggression, excessive crying, inappropriate elimination, depression and roaming around the house. Try curing your cat's boredom with more play, stroking, and grooming, leaving the doors open around the house, or playing soothing, soft music at night. If problems persist, follow up with a vet. There are several behaviour-modifying drugs and hormone sprays on the market that can help.


Your cat's excessive noise and restless wandering may be a simple case of hunger and thirst. A general rule is to feed cats twice daily and always keep their water bowl full and clean. A kitten will eat smaller portions but more regularly, up to four times a day. Replenish food and water at night before you go to bed. If you notice your cat is drinking or urinating a lot more than normal, have a vet do blood tests, as increased thirst in cats can be a sign of kidney or thyroid problems. Increased hunger may indicate diabetes or thyroid problems.

Looking for a Mate

A cat in heat often paces around the house, cries loudly and persistently, and sprays. If your cat has not been fixed, this is likely the problem and it can be addressed by neutering or spaying your cat. This has the added benefits of reduced risk of cancer and uterine infection and is a responsible choice that can help decrease the number of kittens and cats being abandoned or euthanized.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Jennifer Parks has been writing professionally since 1999. She worked for Sun Media and CanWest as a lifestyles reporter and columnist and is now a freelance writer and author living in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Parks holds a Bachelor of Arts in cultural studies from McGill University and is a certified yoga instructor.