Ways Your Cat Asks For Help

There are many ways your cat asks for help and in this article we’re going to look at 5 of them. Cats are very independent and resourceful animals, but still rely on us for their essential needs.

Whether you have a moggy or pedigree, your cat will know exactly how to ask for help. However, it’s down to you to decipher what she’s trying to say.

Urinating outside the litter box

ways your cat asks for help can include urinating outside litter box

This is something cats rarely do unless ill or very stressed. If you discover your feline friend starts urinating inappropriately, you need to work out why.

Crying and constant scratching in the litter box are signs your cat could be in pain. Urinary tract infections are the most common reason and can be easily treated.

Urinating on the bed or in a particular spot such as behind the sofa, is a sign your cat could be stressed. This may be a result of bullying from other pets, a new housemate, or even a change of cat litter. Your cat can’t talk so she uses other ways to get her point across!


Many pet owners are surprised at the fact cats only meow at humans. The only time in your cat’s life she would have meowed at another cat is as a tiny kitten. Newborns meow at the mother for food or if they’re cold.

Your cat will probably have learnt how to manipulate you with meowing. In fact I can guarantee it! Once you respond to her demands your kitty will remember what worked and file it away for future use in training you.

As bizarre as it sounds, cats are very clever at training their human family. I wouldn’t be surprised is there’s a masterclass available somewhere for cats on how to train humans!

Of course, meowing can also be a sign your cat is asking for help if she’s unwell. This would be a different type of meow, more like a yowling sound. Cats have a large vocabulary of sounds and just like the human language can be used to express a feeling or demand.

If your cat yowls she’s telling you she doesn’t feel so good. Talk to her soothingly and look for any visible signs of injury. If she’s limping it could be an arthritic joint or damage to a paw. If nothing is obvious try feeling her body for any unusual lumps or bumps.

A visit to the vet will reveal any underlying problems your cat may be experiencing. Don’t feel bad at not noticing beforehand.

As I’ve mentioned before, cats are masters at hiding illness and only ask for help if things get bad. This is a basic survival instinct that goes back thousands of years.

Cats are fairly small animals and in the wild would be easy prey for large predators. This is why cats tend to hide away if ill. A sick feline would find it hard to defend itself.


There’s nothing more soothing than the sound of a cat purring. Relaxing in front of the tv with a purring cat on your lap is very calming. In fact, it’s been shown that stroking a purring cat can lower your heart rate and blood pressure. However, purring can also be a way your cat asks for help.

It’s possible that an injured or poorly cat could purr as a way of asking you to stay close. In addition it’s been found that some cats purr if they’re not well which could be a way of self soothing.

Although we know cats use their diaphragm and larynx muscles to purr, it’s not known why. As our feline friends can’t talk we can only assume and it will always remain a mystery:)

Being woken up in the middle of the night with a purring kitty staring at you is something most of us cat parents experience!

It’s a clever ploy your feline friend uses to get you out of bed at 3.00 am to feed her! This attention seeking method is definitely NOT an emergency lol!

Tapping you with her paw

Every cat will use different ways to get attention, but pawing at your face or tapping your arm is a sign your kitty wants something. Of course it may be just cuddles or food, but if she does this constantly and meows as well you need to check her out.

Remember, cats are highly intelligent and know how to get their point across! Your kitty will have formed a close bond with you and become familiar with your actions. If she knows tapping works she’ll cash in on it whenever she sees fit!

However, if this is unusual behavior you need to find out what’s wrong. A visit to your vet will reveal if there are any underlying health problems. Asking for help is a sign your cat trusts you and feels safe.

Any obvious changes in behavior

changes in behavior is one of the ways your cat asks for help

As cats are creatures of habit you’ll find your feline companion has developed certain behaviors. For example, she may be very affectionate and enjoy sitting close to you.

On the other hand, she may be more reserved and prefer her own quiet space. If you suddenly find your quiet kitty has become clingy, or your sociable one is withdrawn, then something’s wrong.

It’s possible your cat could be stressed over something you may not be aware of, or just not feeling very well. This odd behavior is almost certainly a cry for help and shouldn’t be ignored. Try and think of any recent changes in the home that could make your cat stressed however subtle.

As mad as it sounds, something as simple as moving the sofa is enough to cause stress in some cats. Of course, if you think your cat is poorly you should see your vet for advice.

Clinginess is a sign your cat doesn’t want you leave and as well as being a way of asking for help, could also be a way to manipulate you! Certain breeds of cat such as Siamese are noted for this, in addition to being very vocal!

Is it a cry for help or just your cat’s wily way of manipulating you?

In this post we’ve covered 5 ways your cat asks for help and their possible meanings. As mentioned earlier, all cats are individuals, just like people are. Your cat will have developed her own unique mannerisms in addition to which you’ll share a unique language.

Just because your cat shows any of these 5 signs doesn’t mean she’s ill. Instead, she could be just playing you to get attention:) My cat frequently taps me on the arm and if I don’t respond, gives a gentle bite lol! This is his way of showing affection and I think I’d know if he was asking for help.

It can take a while for you and your cat to get to know each other, and for her to gain your trust. You’ll find you both develop a language or unique way of communicating, and will soon know if she’s asking for help or just bored!

If you want to know more about your cat’s behavior and how to communicate with your feline friend you may find Cat Language Bible a useful read.

In addition,if you’ve enjoyed this post please share. Also, if you have any questions or would like to share experiences, please lfeel free to leave your comments below.

Wishing you a purrfect day:)


12 thoughts on “Ways Your Cat Asks For Help”

    • Hi Alyse, yes, dogs also have their own ways of asking for help. Their body language is slightly different though, but the same rules apply. Thanks for stopping by and glad you enjoyed this post:)

  1. Wow

    This is an article I was looking for. This is because since my granny has cats I usually try to understand what the cat is doing.
    It is interesting to know that cats only meow at other cats when they are young. I have also noticed that cats can indeed train a human and I often see this with my granny.
    Great stuff. Very great read.

  2. A car of an old friend from school urinated next to the litter box for a while, and my friend got so mad and pushed her nose in it. I told her not to do that and that the cat was likely trying to tell her something, but she did not listen to me. I was staying with her for a while, so when I realized that the litter box was really dirty, I cleaned it and added fresh sand. The issue was solved and I made sure to tell my friend, so she would not do such a stupid thing as pushing her cat’s nose in her urine anymore. That made me so mad. She was a bit embarrassed when I told her the reason why her cat had urinated outside the box.
    My cats communicate with me all the time, and I recognize the tones in their meows. They got me well trained, lol. They did a really good job on me 😉 When it’s feeding time, they can get quite loud, especially when I get those whiskas pouches out.

    • Hi Christine, thank you for sharing your story. Yes, it was rather unkind of your friend to do that, and good that you made her realise. Rewarding cats for good behavior is always best and they learn better that way:) Isn’t it strange how we’re able to recognise the different tones in our cat’s meows. My cat has me well trained as well lol! He winds himself around my legs when I’m walking into the kitchen, making it hard to ignore him!:)

  3. Thank you for your review, Kathy. It is very interesting and revealing to read about the cat’s habits and how they can signalize that something is wrong. For instance, I would never really know that peeing in an inappropriate place would be such a sign. Or changing the habit os the cat friend. I think the cat’s owners would be really appreciated your suggestions and insights on how to recognize if their pet needs some special treatment or attention. I don’t have a cat now( due to the house rules) but I would love to have one once. Then I know where to turn for advice 😉 Cheers.

    • Thank you Julius, glad you enjoyed this post and that you’ve learnt something from it:) I hope you’re able to get another cat one day and thanks for stopping by:)

    • Thank you Aparna:) It’s truly amazing how cats let us know when they’re in need of our help. Though peeing outside the litter box can be a cry for help it could also mean your cat has a urine infection.

  4. Thank you – this was a good read and very much resonates with me 🙂 I’m a well-trained human. I’ve experienced the peeing thing and she would always do it in my fresh laundry – uhggg it was the worst haha! I figured it was because of stress, we moved in with my boyfriend (now husband). I just learned to hide my laundry away where she couldn’t get to it. We also made lots of little cubbies for her to hide in and feel safe. It has also been a joy watching her learn to trust him. They have a good time together – melts my heart.

    • Hi Lindsay, thank you for comment and glad you enjoyed this post:) Yes, you’re right, stress can be a trigger for inappropriate soiling. Good idea to hide your laundry, and nice you’ve provided cubby holes for your cat. How lovely your new husband has bonded so well with him. It can often take time for a cat to start trusting a new human! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story:)


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