My cat (2 year old orange male tabby) basically only makes 3 noises. 1. Purring 2. Chattering at bugs/lasers/moving light reflections and 3. Meowing exclusively when carrying around/being-near-after-having-just-carried-around his small toy rabbit. Why does he meow so much and so loudly when carrying around this toy despite never meowing at any other time? He likes the toy a lot, and will essentially play a cat-version of fetch with it, and hit it around sometimes without making any noise. However, if he carries the toy from some other room over to me (or someone else in the house) he meows very loudly and for quite a while. Why is he doing this? My guess is that he may be wanting to 'show' me that he has 'caught something' and his meowing is ensuring that I am paying attention to him and his 'kill', but I am not sure.
Two of ours do this as well, it isn't a specific toy for them, but rather a specific type of toy, small stuffed mice.
They will sometimes bring them to our bedrooms, and will loudly vocalize when doing so. The purpose of the vocalization seems to be bringing attention to the fact that the toy was brought, once we acknowledge this they will go back to their business and ignore the toy.
When they dump them near their automated dry food feeders or where we store their food bowls, they do not vocalize, and this typically happens when we are elsewhere. We haven't managed to decode this signal yet, but suspect it is supposed to be some kind of trade request, as they sometimes also dump their kills there when they're not eating them.
It definitely isn't separation anxiety in our case, as they will go about their normal business if we're away, which might be sleeping, playing with each other or hunting in their outdoor enclosure and in the basement depending on time of day.
It may be separation anxiety.
I've seen another case of a cat engaging in similar behaviors (frantic meowing, carrying around a stuffed toy, also frantic pacing, and being unable to settle down) that was definitely separation anxiety as the cat only did it when the owner left.
I suggest setting up a video camera so you can observe exactly what the cat is doing, and also to see how it behaves when it is left alone in the house.
If it is separation anxiety, there are some things you can try to help make leaving the cat alone less stressful for it.
- Provide the cat with toys to help distract it, and cat caves and tunnels it can hide in to make it feel safer.
- Though I'm unsure of their effectiveness, you could also try feline pheromone diffusers, which are designed to help with this exact kind of situation.
- Minimize the signs of your leaving the house. If you have some sort of obvious ritual for leaving, such as grabbing your keys, putting on your shoes, figure out ways to change up these rituals, so the cat can't see you doing it and get worked up about it ahead of time in anticipation of your leaving.
- If possible, try to acclimate your cat to being left alone by leaving for a very short period of time, and then slowly working up to longer and longer periods of time.
- If the cat seems quite anxious, and you need to leave it for a long period of time (like for work for example) then consider hiring someone to come spend time with the cat to help alleviate the anxiety.
My cat meows loudly whenever he catches live prey and brings it home. The meow is quite unmistakeable (it is almost a growl), and I always know when he has caught something. I suspect that your cat is echoing this hunting behaviour. As to why cats do this, I have no idea. I don't know if my cat is trying to communicate with me, or with other cats in the neighbourhood. He used to bring his prey indoors, usually alive, but I have managed to teach him not to do this. Now, he just eats his catch outside the back door.