Why Do Cats Meow At Night? 8 Possible Reasons & What To Do About It
Ever woken up by a bad dream filled with high-pitched cat yowling and purring sounds, only to find out that it was just your cat meowing? Ever wonder why do cats meow at night? If this is you, then you’re probably itching to find out why your pet cat meows at night.
Good thing, we got, not just one, but 8 possible reasons behind your cat’s meowing at night, aka “night calling.” And you know what’s even better? Sleep deprivation caused by your pet cats’ incessant meowing doesn’t have to be part of every cat parent’s life.
Yes, some cat breeds are indeed known for their talkative breed characteristic (think Oriental breeds, especially Siamese cats). But once you figure out what’s causing your cats’ meowing, there are a couple of things you can do to minimize your cat’s nighttime antics. So sit tight, keep your eyes peeled, and keep on reading.
Why Do Cats Meow At Night?
So, what’s making your feline friend meow at night? If you’re thinking it’s because they’re nocturnal creatures, that’s partly true. We’ll tell you why in a bit.
Meowing, which is one of the ways cats communicate, is a form of cat language that’s hard to decode. Kittens meow when they feel hungry or scared. An older cat may be meowing for other reasons.
If your cat’s excessive meowing at night is keeping you awake, one thing is for sure. Your cats meow because they need you and they’re trying to tell you something. So what is making your cat meow? Check out below.
Also Read: 8 Reasons Why Your Cat Can’t Meow
Cats Are Naturally Active At Dusk & Dawn
It’s a common notion that cats are born nocturnal, but this is not the case. Cats are, in fact, crepuscular animals (like dogs). Crepuscular creatures often sleep in the day and are extra sprightly during twilight, either at dusk or dawn. This is especially true for outdoor and younger cats.
But just like dogs that can adapt to their cat owners' or human families’ sleeping habits, cats can do the same.
They Might Be Hungry Or Thirsty
Many cats are fed once or twice a day. Doing so will make your cat hungry and look for snacks.
When this happens, and there’s no food left for them to eat, your cat might wake you up with her constant meowing because she’s hungry. The same happens when they’re thirsty, and discover their water bowls are empty.
They’re Probably Bored
Attention-seeking meows at night can also be triggered by your cat’s boredom. If your pet spends too many hours snoozing and napping during the day, your pet will have loads of energy saved up during the evening. And you know what this means?
Since your cat is all perked up, your cat will most likely want to play with someone – and that someone is YOU.
Your Pet Cat Needs To Poop Or Pee
Cats that are more active before sunrise and after sunset tend to take their pee and poop breaks at this time. If you fail to clean up their litter before sleep time, expect your cat to meow loudly and go looking for a place to do their dirty deed. Cats, after all, hate having a dirty litter box.
Your Cat Might Be Feeling Stressed Or Scared
Most kitties need a routine to keep their stress levels at a minimum. Sudden changes can make your cat feel anxious, stressed, and even scared.
If you’re renovating your home, relocating, or having visitors and welcoming a new family member, your cat might feel agitated and start meowing. Unfortunately, cats may need some time to adjust to the new situation.
They’re In Search Of A Mate
Is your kitty unspayed or unneutered? If yes, then you can expect unusual behavior, including louder meowing (much like howling) come kitten season.
Females yowl when in heat to attract males. Unneutered males yowl back when they sense that a female cat is in heat. This usually happens from late spring to early fall, but it’s different for indoor cats. Cats that live indoors can go into heat year round.
Your cat may be meowing because of pain caused by an underlying health condition. Cats that suffer from kidney disease or hyperthyroidism tend to meow excessively at night.
If this is the case, make sure to get your cat checked by a vet. Your vet will most likely ask for a blood sample and other tests to confirm your pet’s condition.
If You Have A Senior Cat, It Can Be A Sign Of Aging
As cats age, their hearing and vision may also deteriorate (much like humans). They may also experience cognitive dysfunction, which can alter your kitty’s sleep cycle.
As such, older cats (or cats older than 10 yrs) suffering from age-related issues tend to feel anxious and confused when left alone. This can result in constant meowing, especially at night.
What To Do To Stop Or Lessen Cat Meowing At Night
Miss sleeping deeply without interruptions? Don’t fret. There are a few ways to stop or reduce your cat’s nightly meowing.
But first things first. Since this can be a symptom of an underlying illness, you’d want to get your cat checked by a vet. Once you’re sure that your pet’s health is in tip-top shape, you can try the following:
Schedule active play sessions before bedtime. A tired pet equates to a quieter pet. So spend quality time with them and tire them out during the day.
If this isn’t possible and hiring a pet sitter is out of the question, you can keep your pet busy by getting your cat a kitty condo and leaving them with different toys to play with. You can also set up a bird feeder outside. This way, your cat will be constantly stimulated.
Otherwise, you can install a cat flap and let your kitty out. But only do this when you’re sure that your cat will remain safe even when they’re out and about.
Adjust their feeding time. Besides making sure that your cat has enough water, you need to make sure that they’re full before you go to bed. To do this, you might want to feed them later in the evening.
Alternatively, you can use an automatic feeder or leave foraging toys with food inside for your cat. This way, your cat will be meowing on the feeder or the toy and not you when it goes looking for some nightly snacks.
Get your pet spayed or neutered. This will not only reduce the loud yowling, but it will also prevent unwanted kittens, keep your pet healthy for longer, and improve the quality of your pet’s life.
Clean up your cat’s litter regularly. Make sure to do this regularly so that your cat won’t have to call on you while you’re sound asleep.
Lessen distractions. Flickering lights and annoying noises can also keep your cat up all night. If you want to sleep soundly, you better do the same for your cat and keep distractions at a minimum.
Stop reinforcing your cat’s behavior. Meowing can become a habit, especially if the cat owner tends to give in to the kitty’s demands when they start meowing.
Instead of giving your cat what they want when they meow, you should wait until they’re calm and quiet. Once they’re quiet, you can reward them by giving them food or playing with them.
Aside from wagging their tails, many cats try to communicate with us through their meows. Unfortunately, for some, they become extra vocal at night. But don’t worry. This can be minimized. You'll just need to figure out what’s causing it and then go from there.