Cat meowing at night? Find out why, and what you can do about it... (2022)

Cat meowing at night? Find out why, and what you can do about it... (1)

A cat meowing at night can mean a few things. Late-night cat vocalization can be hard for owners who are trying to sleep - especially if they have to get up early in the morning. But a cat meowing at night is something you shouldn't ignore - at the very least, it's something you should explore. Cats are crepuscular, which means they save certain activities (like hunting and mating) for dawn and dusk. This could be why you hear excessive noise at dusk - especially if you have any creepy-crawlies in your house.

But a cat being crepuscular isn't the only reason why they may be meowing at night. Perhaps your cat won't sleep and is keeping you awake as well with their incessant yowling. If that's the case, this is likely a behavioral issue, but you'll need to get to the bottom of why it's happening in the first place. We'll give you all the details as to why your cat is meowing at night and what you can do to ensure you both get a good night's sleep.

Why does my cat meow at night?

Cats being more active in the twilight hours of the day aren't the only reason why your cat might be meowing at night. Here are a few other reasons why your cat me vocalizing at inopportune moments:

(Video) My CAT MEOWS at NIGHT 🐱🌙 (Why and What to do)

  • Your cat is trying to hunt
  • Your cat is bored or unstimulated during the day
  • Your cat is seeking attention
  • An outdoor cat is trapped inside and wants to go out
  • Your cat is trying to mate
  • Your cat has a medical issue, such as an overactive thyroid issue or kidney disease (this is usually more of a problem for older cats)

The reasons for a cat meowing at night are often fairly unproblematic, so don't panic if you start hearing your kitty vocalizing after you've gone to bed. However, it's important to be aware of any changes in your cat's behavior, as it can be a sign of something else going on. And if this is something your cat has always done, you may want to chat with your vet anyway or try to provide more enrichment for your feline friend during the day.

If your cat’s excessive meowing seems to be because your cat is having trouble sleeping, try reading our three reasons why your cat can’t sleep piece for some helpful tips and advice for getting them to nod off in a timely fashion.

When your cat is asleep, it can also be helpful to monitor your cat’s sleeping positions. Observing how they catch some rest can reveal lots about your cat’s state of mind, and whether or not they’re feeling anxious.

Cat meowing at night? Find out why, and what you can do about it... (2)

How to stop a cat meowing all night

As much as we all love our cats, sometimes they can really test our patience with their behavior - especially if that starts to affect our own sleeping patterns. If your cat has taken up to rousing the neighborhood with its “night calling”, then you’ll probably want to stop it as soon as you can - for your own sake as well as theirs.

Luckily, there are some things you can do to try and help the problem and eliminate the meowing, depending on what is the likely cause of it in the first place.

If your cat is more active at night

It’s better if your cat follows roughly the same sleep pattern as you, and our piece on the reasons why your cat can’t sleep will give you some excellent tips for ensuring that happens.

(Video) How to stop cats from meowing at night? [Your Cat Question Answered]

However, you will also likely find that night-time meowing eases off as the cat gets older and settles into a routine more easily, as well as losing some of their strong mating or hunting instincts.

You might also want to invest in the best cat bed to make sure that your cat is cosy and warm and feels safe at home.

If your cat is bored

It’s important to both physically and mentally stimulate your cat, and that’s especially true if you have an indoor cat which doesn’t get its stimulation from going outside.

If they’ve spent the day bored, then it can manifest as meowing at night as they won’t be tired out and seeking attention.

It’s best if you can provide the stimulation during the day at a time which suits you, rather than responding to them when they start meowing, otherwise they will simply learn to adopt this behavior. Provide plenty of toys for them in your house, and try to dedicate at least 20-30 minutes of playtime for them if they are indoor cats, too.

Cats which are primarily indoor cats may also benefit from some time in a garden or enclosed space, so also think about introducing that to your cat’s routine. If you can’t provide any outdoor space, give them a good amount of space indoors, and consider installing special areas that they can climb around and explore.

Cat meowing at night? Find out why, and what you can do about it... (3)

If your cat feels trapped

An indoor/outdoor cat may feel inclined to meow at night if they feel trapped, especially if you don't let them out during the later hours. If you’ve taken to keeping your cat indoors overnight, but letting them play outside all day, then this can understandably lead to periods of frustration for the cat, especially if they were previously used to having free roam of the streets whenever they want.

(Video) How To Stop Your Cat From Meowing and Yowling

Perhaps you’ve stopped letting them out at night because you don’t want the hassle of letting them back in during the early hours of the morning, or because you're worried about their safety at night. If you want to keep them as an indoor/outdoor cat, you may want to consider investing in the best microchip cat flaps - you can set entry/exit hours, and you can ensure only your moggy makes it indoors as the flap will recognize only your furkid’s chip. Or, talk to your vet about transitioning your cat to permanent indoor status to ensure their safety - unjust keep in mind you'll need to make sure there's a lot of enrichment available to them.

If your cat wants to mate

Yowling at night could be a cat call to fellow moggies.It’s worth at the very least considering getting your cat neutered, especially if you are going to let them roam outside unattended. You might find that it doesn’t take very long after neutering for the meowing to stop.

If your cat has a medical problem

If all of the above issues have been ruled out or seem to be unlikely, it’s worth taking your cat along to the vet for a quick check-up, as unexpected and frequent meowing at night could be a sign that all is not well.

Older cats can suffer from problems such as an overactive thyroid or kidney disease which is causing them to meow excessively during normal sleeping hours.

Always make sure your cat has access to a litter tray at night - don’t lock it away from them in a different room when you go to bed - as it could be as simple as they want to go to the toilet but are unable to.

Amy Davies is a freelance writer and photographer with over 15 years experience. She has a degree in journalism from Cardiff University and has written about a huge variety of topics over the years. These days she mostly specialises in technology and pets, writing across a number of different titles including TechRadar, Stuff, Expert Reviews, T3, Digital Camera World, and of course PetsRadar. She lives in Cardiff with her dog, Lola, a rescue miniature dachshund.

(Video) Cats' Meowing: Why They Meow & What it REALLY Means!

FAQs

Why is my cat meowing for no reason at night? ›

Why do cats meow at night? Your cat might meow at night because they feel bored, unstimulated, lonely or just want to go outside. If your cat won't stop crying at night even when they have plenty of play time, other causes to consider are thyroid or kidney disease.

Should I ignore my cat meowing at night? ›

In conclusion, when your cat meows at night, you must ignore it completely and perfectly in order not to encourage the behaviour. Keeping the cat busy at night may prevent it from getting hungry or finding creative ways of getting your attention.

How do you stop excessive meowing? ›

Resist the urge to shout at her or give her any form of attention, even angry attention. Instead, be patient and wait for a brief moment of silence. Immediately give her the attention she craves. If she starts to meow again, walk away, and only return to her when she's quiet.

Why is my female cat meowing so much all of a sudden? ›

Cats that are experiencing stress often become more vocal. A new pet or baby, a move or changes to the home, an illness or the loss of a loved one can turn your cat into a talker. Try to discover what is stressing your pet and help them adjust to the change.

Why is my cat meowing non stop? ›

Your cat could be meowing excessively because they are hungry, afraid, sick, or when they need your attention and love. There are different meow sounds that cats make at certain times. If your cat is meowing non-stop, it can be very challenging for you to figure out the issue.

Why does my cat walk around crying? ›

A cat may cry excessively because she's under emotional distress -- perhaps she's new to her family or she's been separated from a human or feline friend and she's feeling disconsolate about her loss. As well, she may be feeling anxious or be engaged in a conflict with one of her cat "frenemies."

How can I train my cat to sleep at night? ›

How to Get a Cat to Sleep at Night
  1. Try keeping your cat awake longer. ...
  2. Keep your cat entertained while you're out. ...
  3. Feed your cat a small meal at bedtime. ...
  4. Set up a separate sleeping spaces. ...
  5. Try not to respond to demands unless necessary. ...
  6. Be patient.
2 Feb 2022

Why is my cat waking me up at 3am? ›

It may not be getting enough stimulation, enrichment, and exercise during its active periods, so while you're starting to fall asleep, your cat may be fully awake and looking to play. If your cat spends most of its active time home alone while you're at work or elsewhere, it may be bored and looking for companionship.

Why do cats make weird noises like a baby crying? ›

Cats may cry like babies for various reasons such as to seek attention, because they are lonely or hungry, or due to stress. Your cat may also cry like a baby because she is in heat and she is vocalizing to attract potential mates.

Should cats sleep in your bed? ›

Bill Fish, cofounder of Tuck.com, says, without question, there are positives to allowing your cat into your bed each night, including giving both of you a sense of security, emotionally and physically. “Having a guest in bed with you also reduces stress as well as brings warmth and comfort,” he said.

Will catnip make my cat stop meowing? ›

Researchers suspect that catnip targets feline 'happy' receptors in the brain. When eaten, however, catnip tends to have the opposite effect and your cat mellows out. Most cats react to catnip by rolling, flipping, rubbing, and eventually zoning out. They may meow or growl at the same time.

What are the symptoms of a sick cat? ›

Cats that are ill will usually show changes in overall appearance, energy level, sociability, coat appearance and/or amount of shedding, appetite, litterbox usage, breathing, or discharges from the eyes or nose. In general, any sudden change should alert you that your cat needs veterinary attention.

Why is my cat waking me up at 3am? ›

It may not be getting enough stimulation, enrichment, and exercise during its active periods, so while you're starting to fall asleep, your cat may be fully awake and looking to play. If your cat spends most of its active time home alone while you're at work or elsewhere, it may be bored and looking for companionship.

Is it okay to lock cat in room at night? ›

Confining a pet to a room at night is necessary for some pet owners. But, there are two things that you should never attempt with any of your cats. Never confine your cat to a room at night as a form of punishment for unwanted behavior. Never leave your cat trapped in a room for long hours.

Why does my cat walk around the house meowing? ›

Many cats meow when their people come home, or even when they just meet them in the house. This is a hard habit to break, but look at it as kitty saying they are happy to see you. They are lonely. If you pet spends too many hours a day alone, think about getting a pet sitter to enrich your pet's life.

Why do cats make weird noises like a baby crying? ›

Cats may cry like babies for various reasons such as to seek attention, because they are lonely or hungry, or due to stress. Your cat may also cry like a baby because she is in heat and she is vocalizing to attract potential mates.

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