If you are here reading this article, I am sure you would want to know why do cats meow at night? If yes, then read the article further. So, all your daytime sounds have faded away and it is only when you are about to sleep, your cat suddenly starts to howl. If it is 1 or 2 nights, maybe it is just fine but what if your cat does this most of the time? It is not only disturbing but also hurting too. Now, why does this happen? Well, cats by nature are nocturnal and night is the time when they are very active, which is the reason for them to meow. If you have been ever woken up by your cat during midnights, then this is called “Night Vocalization / Night Calling / Nighttime Calling”. There are many reasons why cats do this. Let me explain each in the below section.
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Why Do Cats Meow At Night?
Every cat uses vocalization often. Basically, mama cats use this for calling her kittens. But a cat vocalizes to connect with not only other cats but also with you as well. Your cat vocalizes to let you know that he or she wants water, food, to go out or wants her litter box to be cleaned. On the other hand, cats vocalize even to make each other aware that they are in a hide & seek game. If a female cat is in season / there are any territory disputes, 2 males will vocalize to warn prior they begin a fight, which is termed as “caterwauling”. Now, it is very common for your cat to be disturbed by something it sees or hears outside. Since your cat needs your companionship, it begins to meow so that you pay attention to her. Let us see every single reason in detail here.
1. Cats Meow At Night When They Are Ill
So a common answer to the question — why is my cat meowing is because she is ill. Many different diseases can attack your cat, making her to undergo pain, thirst and hunger, all of which leads to excess meowing. Since meowing is the only way cats communicate vocally with us, it tries to tell you that there is something discomforting her. If your cat is meowing at night always or often, she might be suffering from hyperthyroidism (generally seen in cats elder than 10-years). There are other medical issues, which might be making her to meow nonstop. Few possibilities include high blood pressure, kidney disorders etc. Elderly cats can even develop overactive thyroid / kidney problems, which in turn can lead to excess vocalizations. It is better to meet a veterinarian immediately. Have a complete checkup done.
2. Because Your Cat Needs Your Attention
You will be interested in reading the fact that a cat never likes to be alone. It enjoys company and this is exactly the reason why cats meow at night. They initiate petting, playing or getting you to pamper / talk to them. Your cat needs your attention. Now, if you don’t want attention-seeking meows, then stop responding her whenever it happens. To put it in simple words, do not respond each time your cat meows. Give your cat attention only when she is calm. If she again meows, look / walk away. Walk away only when your cat is meowing excessively. Also, ensure that you are spending a good time with her so that she never feels lonely. Most importantly – never ignore your cat because this will only worsen. Spend time every day by playing, talking, petting and grooming with her. Believe it or not, a tired cat is a quieter cat. Also, keep in mind that attention-seeking meows are neither rapidly stopped nor they are effortlessly brought to an end. To break this cycle, a pet owner needs whole lot of patience and time. Training your cat to be quiet is like a big task. Don’t give up. Keep rewarding her quiet behavior and ignore those ongoing meows. In due course, your cat understands or grasps the idea behind what you are trying to do.
3.Cat Meows Out Of Stress
If you are still wondering why does my cat meow at night, then “stress” is probably one of the major reasons. Changes in home, guests, people and new animals are few causes that can easily make a cat stressed, which is exactly the reason why a cat is meowing often. Whenever you try to bring a new change in your house, your cat meows and tries to tell you that – No, please, I hate what you are doing! So, always watch out for those new changes, which can upset your cat. Say for example, if you are planning to add another animal into your house, make sure to socialize the pet properly with your cat as this will prevent further problems. A stressed or nervous cat often meows. Once you know what is actually stressing her, you can assist her adjust the changes you have done. Give her more attention and time until she feels fine.
4. A Cat Meows Out Of Hunger
Since the question is on why do cats meow at night, “hunger” is something I cannot miss writing about. A cat keeps meowing whenever he or she is hungry and there are even times when they don’t stop meowing until they are fed with something or the other. Just like babies cry out of hunger, cats have the same behavior. Few cats meow each time someone walks into the kitchen, with a hope that it gets something to bite. Moreover, cats can become excessively vocal when their feeding time gets closer. Now, if this sounds more like your cat, then try not to feed her whenever she cries. Be patient and wait until your cat calms down. Avoid treating her each time she meows. Its like you are encouraging her to do more. If these don’t work, consider getting an automatic feeder, which opens at scheduled times. This will make your kitty to meow only at the feeder & not on you. Also, check your kitty’s water bowl from time to time because she might be meowing out of thirst. It is meowing just to tell you that her thing is empty and its asking you to fill it.
5. Your Cat Is Greeting You
Yes meowing could also mean that they are greeting you. It is just their way of saying “hello”. If you have noticed your cat meowing, whenever you enter your home, then know that he or she is welcoming you and is very happy to see you again. And breaking this habit is pretty hard. Of course, you might be extremely tired & want some time of your own but take its meowing as a kind word. Is it not a great feeling to know that your kitty loves you so much? Though this isn’t problematic, but if you observe this behavior to be increasing substantially, then know that there could be something else. Consider interacting with your kitty and try calming her down if vocalization becomes worrisome. And please do not yell, scold or hit your cat because this could cause insecurity and fear. Get a checkup with your vet to find out if there is any illness that is making her to do so. Also, discuss with your veterinarian regarding the methods to ease her behavior.
6. She Is Getting Old
Aging is yet another answer to the question why do cats meow at night. As cats get older, they cry “louder and louder”. And at such times, it is highly advised not to leave your cat alone, as this can worsen the situation. Say for example, she is meowing all night alone downstairs and you are happily sleeping upstairs in your room. Never do this. Since your cat is getting old, she is already confused and probably needs your attention at such times. This reassures that there are some nice caretakers around her. So, make sure you don’t leave her. Comfort your cat. Though older cats meow during daytime too but night calls seem louder & demanding! Also, your pet’s eyesight might not be that clear like the way she was young, so, plug in few night lights so that she finds it easy to move in the dark. This will save your cat from getting confused or lost. Chances are that older cats could loss their hearing out of loud meowing. Therefore, it is good to see a vet as soon as possible. And if there is any underlying condition found in your cat, a vet prescribes medications to ease her symptoms. On the other hand, they find it little hard to move fast the way when they were young, which is also a reason why they constantly meow to bring you near them rather they going to you.
7. Your Cat Is In Heat
If your cat wants to breed, then it starts to meow at night too. Believe it or not, females can go crazy with their vocalizations whenever they’re in heat & males reciprocate whenever they smell females in heat. If you have experienced this situation, then I am sure you know how maddening this noise could be. So, make sure that your pet is neutered or spayed. And if you don’t do this, then be prepared to hear extreme noise from your cat.
8. Your Cat Is Feeling Lonely
Loneliness is yet another reason why your cat is meowing at night. If your kitty spends a lot of time alone during daytime, then hire a good pet sitter to keep her entertained. Look for ways to bring your cat’s life alive. Have a bird feeder installed outside so that she can watch from window. Leave few toys for her to play.
9. She Is Bored
Meowing at night could also mean that your cat is bored. This is more common in cats that are younger. This is exactly when they cry during midnight or perhaps, they are feeling anxious. Common reasons include environmental changes or surroundings.
Apart from the above, insecurity can be yet another reason your cat is meowing at night. Maybe, she is suffering Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) or physical distress. New adopted kittens, who happen to be alone during night for their first time, might use night calling. Since they aren’t used of being alone or away from their mother, it is very common for them to feel insecure even at your household.
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Something Important To Note
1. Do Not Ignore Your Cat
Ignoring or not caring can worsen your cat’s condition to the core. Even though you do not desire rewarding your cat when it meows but it does this at times for a good reason — maybe she cannot reach her litter box, she is trapped inside a room or her water bowl is unfilled. Check when your cat meows. Learn when you should pay attention and when to not.
2. Never Be Harsh
It is very common for a cat to meow at night. And breaking this habit indeed takes a lot of time. As a pet owner, you have to be very patient. Never scream, beat or scold your cat when she doesn’t listens to you. Remember, your cat is an animal and it needs time to comprehend things you are trying to teach. Punishing, yelling and water spraying your cat to make her do something rarely works. Such actions can make your kitty distrust or dislike you.
3. Establish A Proper Routine
A scheduled routine is what your cat needs. It keeps them secure and relaxed. Therefore, establish a usual routine for
- Going out or exercising
- Playtime and
Doing this will help your cat to avoid situations, which can upset or stress her. This routine will keep her busy and if she is busy all day, it means she is tired & full, which results in better sleep at nighttime. Thereby, preventing her from meowing at night.
4. Relieve Boredom From Your Cat’s Life
Make sure that your cat has stuffs to do when he or she gets up in the morning after a night’s sound sleep. Say for instance, toys to keep her entertained or something hidden she has to find. You can even leave cardboard boxes or paper bags for your cat to play with. This will prevent her from feeling bored and she will not meow any more for attention. Also, leave few biscuits around or hide few treats so that she can find. Doing this will not only eliminate boredom from her life but also she will have something yummy to munch.