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Why Is A Cat Crying Outside My House?

If a cat is crying outside your home all the time you may find it annoying or curious as to why it keeps happening… 

Why is a cat crying outside my house?

This could be a stray cat asking for your attention. Stray cats who have been fed before know that sometimes a kind human may feed them. By crying out, this cat is likely telling you ‘I’m hungry, please feed me and let me come inside!’.

So, now you know. But, will it try to come in? Should I just ignore this cat? Is it a good idea to offer it food? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

Will this cat try to enter my home?

An orange cat staring.

An orange cat staring.

While the cat may well have no intention of coming inside (some have had bad experiences or simply love their freedom), you can certainly leave food out if you are so inclined and it will not be amiss.

There are a number of strays out there and they can use your help, but a little cat food in a bowl outside the door can really help that stray to survive in the world outside.

Should I ignore a cat crying outside my house?

That is up to you. If you have another cat and the cat outside is stressing them, then it might be in your best interest to ignore them and they should eventually go away. You may have to ‘help things along’ by isolating your cat somewhere that they can’t peek out the window, as the other cat may notice them and this will encourage them to stick around.

Likely the cat is hoping that you will feed them and possibly take them in, so if you don’t have a cat already then you might consider letting them in. You might just make a new best friend because cats don’t soon forget such acts of kindness.

Should I offer a random cat food outside my house?

You can if you like and it’s a very good thing if you do. The best way to go about it is to open the door carefully and place the food bowl somewhere that they can see it. Stray cats are often shy, as many of them have not had the best experience with humans, so the cat may run away at first.

If you consistently put the bowl in the same place, they will eventually come up to eat and will slowly become more trusting once they see that it’s not some sort of ‘trap’.

What to do if a cat is meowing outside your house?

If you’d like to take the cat in or simply start feeding it outdoors, then an introduction is a good idea so that the cat can learn your scent and that your intentions towards it are not bad. Prepare a bowl of food, either dry or wet cat food or a handy can of tuna, and slowly approach the cat.

Stop after a few steps and crouch down a little, calling to the cat softly and gesturing ‘come here’ with your free hand. If the cat comes up to you, put the food down and step back softly one step and let them eat. After the cat has eaten, hold out your hand and stay still.

The cat may approach and sniff you and if so, this is a great start.

After repeating the process a time or two, you can try to lure the cat inside, the important thing is to NEVER force it. A stray cat might well attack if it feels threatened, so you’ll need to slowly build up trust.

Once the cat has gotten to a point where they come up to you readily and let you pet them then they will probably be perfectly happy to follow you into the house and get to know you and their new home a little better!

How do I know if a cat outside my house has an owner?

If the cat outside your house doesn’t have any tags or a collar, the only way that you can generally tell if they have an owner is going to be their overall grooming and cleanliness. Cats are pretty clean, to begin with, so this isn’t 100% foolproof, but strays will generally have a more ‘unkempt’ look about them than a cat that has a home.

If the cat looks to be exceptionally groomed and well-fed already, then it might well belong to a neighbor. You can always take a picture with your phone and ask the houses around you to be sure if this is the case. 

How can I prevent a cat from crying outside my house?

If it just so happens to be your cat, then they are crying because they want to come inside and the best thing that you can do is to consider installing a cat door. This will allow your cat to come in and out as they please and save you a lot of time running to the door to let them in.

If it is an outside cat, however, the best defense is going to be simply ignoring them. They will eventually realize that you aren’t going to acknowledge them and leave, though it might take 2 -3 days if the cat is really persistent.

If you already have a cat, then it’s a good idea to isolate them to a part of the house where they can’t peek out the window. That’s because the cat outside might not be crying to get your attention, but to get your cat’s attention. If you think that this is the case, isolate your kitty and the other cat should stop within a few days.

What does cat crying indicate?

A black cat staring.

A black cat staring.

When a cat cries it can mean a number of things, but most often it means that they want something – usually food. Cats cry for other reasons, though, such as loneliness, illness, or even simply as a way of saying ‘pay attention to me!’.  If your indoor cat is crying when you get in from work, it can even be their way of saying ‘hello and welcome back!’.

Some cats are simply vocal, especially when they are younger, but most will usually grow out of it. This will vary from cat to cat, however, so if you are the owner of a very vocal kitty then you’ll just have to wait and see!

Is it a bad omen if a cat cries outside your house at night?

Nope, not at all. A cat crying outside of your house is probably just hungry and lonely. They know that you are inside and that when they’ve seen you, you haven’t done anything mean to them, so they are hoping for a little bit of love and kindness.

In fact, if you want to consider it an omen, consider it a good one – that you have a potential four-legged friend waiting outside who would love to share your home and would be most grateful for a little food and kindness from you.

Should I take a homeless cat to a shelter if it cries outside my house?

If a homeless kitty is crying outside of your house, they are probably cold and hungry. If you don’t wish to feed them or take them in, you could try to trap the cat and take it to a shelter. Just be sure to select a ‘no kill’ shelter and you should probably call in advance to make sure that they can take the cat.

There are a large number of strays due to people simply abandoning their cats or dogs outside and many shelters may euthanize the cat if you bring them in and no one claims them after a set period of time.

That said, if you check around, you may be able to find a shelter that will sterilize the cat and release it. The cat will get a meal and be released safely after the sterilization procedure and will be unable to create more homeless strays.

What are the benefits of adopting a random homeless cat?

There are numerous benefits to adopting a random homeless cat. First off, you can make sure that they get the shots that they need to stay healthy, they’ll get regular meals, and ultimately a longer life because they will be sharing your home. There are also good benefits for you, too.

Many people say that rescue cats are the most affectionate – they seem to know that you’ve ‘saved’ them and these cats never seem to forget that. You’ll have a new best friend who will likely greet you at the door, share evenings in front of the television with you, and likely even watch over you when you sleep.

It’s a great deal for both parties and well worth considering!

Lindsey Browlingdon