Why does my cat howl when he enters our kitchen?

My cat has a peculiar (by day) and often annoying (by night) practice of entering the kitchen, looking around and building his meow into this deep mrowrr. He’s a good mouser and he’ll stand post in a couple of favorite spots until someone comes in and breaks his concentration. It almost seems like a housecat version of a roar but does that make sense if he’s hunting mice? I think he’d want to keep quiet. Is it a turf thing?

Can you rule out that a) he’s begging for food (and if you give in and feed him when he does this, he’ll never quit) and b) he’s hot to trot (neutering will help but won’t necessarily eliminate this)?

I doubt that he’s trying to call mice - in other words, not a hunting thing. Maybe a turf thing. But from personal experience I know that cats are quirky animals and have unexplainable tastes and behaviors.

I don’t think he’s begging for food. He always has reasonably fresh food in his dish (which is not in the kitchen). He has been neutered. It seems like it could be an “I’m here!” territorial thing but it just seems odd to announce himself if the goal is to catch mice (which he does, so whatever works, I guess). Now I’m wondering if the cat’s meow even registers with mice.

Is there a good echo in the kitchen? Is the equivalent of basement cat yowling?

There is a good echo in the kitchen, actually. Kind of like the bathroom. Is this something cats do to amuse themselves?

Your kitchen is haunted. Pets can see spirits that we can’t.


Some cats like the sound of their own voices, and have learned which rooms have the best acoustics.

The alternate explanation is that your cat, like every other cat in the world, is crazy by human standards. I love cats, but I don’t consider them to be sane.

Does Mr Cat do that when no one else is around? If you’re reacting to the cat then it probably is that he likes the attention.

When I had a cat it had a weird quirk, it hated closed doors. She would mew and scratch till someone opened the door then she’d peak her head in and leave. She just didn’t like to see a door closed. Though oddly enough she only did this at inside doors never the front or back door

My ex-girlfriend’s two cats would meow at the bathroom door if she was inside. She’d open the door and they’d go in and all would be calm again.

If I went in the bathroom and closed the door, same meowing. But when I opened the door, they’d look in, go “Oh, it’s only you” and walk away. But the minute I closed the door, they’d be back and meowing again. It’s like they expected my girlfriend to appear the next time the door opened, even if she was sitting on the couch in plain sight. Of course, male Maine Coons have a reputation for being goofballs and those two guys did their best to live up to it.

My cat is in the habit of meowing repeatedly (and speeding up a little) as he walks through the kitchen. I’m pretty sure this is because the kitchen is the room where he is most likely to get stepped on when he’s underfoot and he’s just making sure we know he’s there.

That’s not a bug, it’s a feature. It’s a common opinion among cats that all doors should remain open for them to better survey their kingdoms.

Does he only do this when you’re in some other part of the house? Does he stop as soon as you appear? If so, he’s probably calling for someone to come pay attention to him. Another clue is if he stops meowing and comes to you if you call out to him.

He only does it when he’s alone in the kitchen and stops when we call him. He has a quirk of not letting anyone be in the kitchen with him. The second anyone steps into the kitchen he bolts. There’s only one door in the kitchen so my wife suspects he doesn’t want to get trapped. He is a needy little guy, that’s for sure, but with two little girls and two adults in a small apartment it’s not like he’s not getting attention. I guess he’s just weird (imagine that).

It’s because you’re wearing that shirt with those pants. Cats have a keen fashion sense.

Hmm. Are you in the kitchen when he does this? My cat does the mournful howl thing when he doesn’t know where I am. Seriously.

Usually, it goes like this:

“Inigo, I’m in here!”

:::gallop gallop gallop:::

::: pause :::

:::strolls nonchalantly into the room I’m currently in:::


Our cat loves the basement and the attic.
I know for a fact that rodents inhabit both, and so does she. She will hang out by the basement door, but never actually asks to enter; she just bolts down the stairs if we open the door.

The attic, OTOH, must be a magical place. We have your average middle-class pull-down-the-stairs entry in the hallway, and we’ve made the mistake of letting her up there on occasion. Getting suitcases, or Xmas decorations - not exactly a daily occurance, but oh, how she wails.

If she catches any of us in the hallway near the Magical Door of Magic, she starts howling while looking longingly at the closed door. It’s not that I’m opposed to Attic Cats per se, but if we do accede to her wishes, she’ll stay there for days.

She won’t come when called of course, but will stare down at us until we give up and leave.
Invariably, we forget she’s there, (or the guilty party fails to tell the rest of us), and we eventually hear a far-away plaintiff meowing when things quiet down for the night.

I’ll go pull down the door and she’ll stare down for a minute, then decide to go catch more mice.

And so it goes with cats.