Why Do Cats Meow at Night

Why Do Cats Meow at Night? [decoded: the secret language of nighttime meowing]

Cats are known to meow at night for several reasons including being lonely, wanting attention, a desire to go outside, they are bored, communicating this is their territory, mating behavior, they are in distress or possibly don’t feel well, or they are older.

Do you have a cat that incessantly meows all night long? Have you ever wondered why this happens?

how to stop a cat from meowing all night long

We are going to discuss some of the main reasons your kitty may be howling in the middle of the night, and how to help them stop this noisy behavior!

What is it Called When Cat’s Meow at Night?

Cat owners and pet sitters alike may be concerned about their cat’s excessive meowing at night. This behavior is called night vocalization, excessive vocalizations, or night calling

What is it Called When Cats Meow at Night

While not all cats develop or have this behavior, it can be a common occurrence. It is a good idea to rule out any underlying health concerns when this unwanted behavior occurs.

Should I Ignore My Cat Meowing at Night?

This behavior can be devastating to cat owners who end up sleep deprived after a few nights of sleeplessness due to a furry friend who seems to be upset, filled with energy, or simply bored. 

There could also be a significant medical or phycological reason your cat is night calling so don’t ignore it. Always talk to your vet for professional advice.

Thankfully, there is a lot you can do to encourage your cat to stop this behavior. 

Common Reasons Cats Meow at Night

Cats are naturally very vocal creatures. They meow at us or make noises to tell us that they would like to have something. 

Cats are also quite skilled at letting us know when they need something whether that be food, water, or attention. Sometimes they will even cry out if they are in pain or distress. 

You can tell a lot by your cat’s language. Once you figure out the causation of your cat’s meowing it can be a much easier job to help them to settle down at night time. 

Common Reasons Cats Meow at Night

The best thing you can do is to be patient and loving with your cat while you are in the process of figuring out what exactly is causing their night howling. 

Medical vs Non-medical Reasons Cat Meow at Night

Please make sure you always seek a reputable veterinarian’s advice if your cat exhibits unusual behavior.

Non-Medical Reasons Your Cat May Meow at Night

  • Being lonely and wanting quality time with their human family
  • Wanting a play session
  • Offbalance internal clock
  • Older cats becoming disoriented
  • Wanting food, water, or their litter box cleaned

We will go further into depth on these reasons and how to find a solution to each one.

Do You Have an Older Cat?

Aging affects everyone and every animal. Cats, as they age, can suffer from a multitude of issues. 

The primary reason an older cat will start night calling is due to becoming disoriented and confused. When the cat ages their cognitive abilities start to go downhill. 

This is called Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome or CDS for short. 

There are a variety of symptoms that come along with CDS and meowing in the middle of the night or in the early hours of the morning due.

Disorientation is among the most common reasons. Taking your senior cat to the vet is a great idea to see what is going on with them and why they are meowing at night.

Is Your Cat Un-neutered or Spayed?

Adult cats that are of breeding age, especially female cats may make loud meowing sounds at night when they are in heat. 

The best fix to this, if you’re not looking to have kittens, is to have them spayed or neutered. This will help diminish the intensity of the night meowing and may solve the problem altogether. 

Be aware that right after fixing your kitty, they may continue with the behavior for a little while until their hormone levels return back to normal. 

Does Your Cats Litter Box Need Cleaning?

Sometimes, night meowing can be due to small things such as the cat’s litterbox not being clean enough. 

There are some cats who don’t seem to mind a slightly dirty litterbox and others seem to only go if it’s cleaned in between each use. 

You need to watch your cat and see if that may be a reason they are keeping you up all night! 

Try to provide clean, fresh, water, food, a clean litterbox, and a nice cat bed. Every cat is going to be different in what they prefer and how often you need to clean each of their belongings.

It is a great idea to clean little boxes daily and sanitize them weekly. This will aid in a healthy cat. 

Also, keeping water and food dishes clean is a good idea and may also help in solving the meowing problem. 

Is Your Cat Disturbed by Lights or Noises?

Another common cause for your cat being kept up all night and commencing the opera meows may be light or sound disturbances. 

You may have a case of a tired pet on your hands that is trying to get your attention. 

Some commonplace things that may disturb your cat are:

Is Your Cat Lonely, Bored, or Wants Attention?

Your cat’s nighttime vocalizations can also be due to being lonely, bored, or just simply wanting more attention. 

If you discover that this is the likely cause of your cat’s nighttime meowing here are some practical tips:

  • Put out plenty of toys for your cat to keep them occupied.
  • Put in a cat door so that they can go in and out.
  • Play with them for a long time before bedtime, and really get them to engage in active play sessions so they are much more tired when you plan to go to bed.
  • Increase your cat’s mental stimulation by encouraging them to be a quieter pet at bedtime. This will help decrease the need to be a night owl that is full of energy! 

Does Your Cat Prefer Being Outdoors?

Very frequently, our cats will want to be outside more often than they are. I understand that it’s not always feasible to let them out but try to let your cat outside as much as possible. 

If your cat is set on being outside, install a cat door so that they can come and go as they please.

Some Cat Breeds Meow More Than Others

Cats are all very unique. Knowing what breed your furry friend is along with their general tendencies is very important. 

cat breeds that meow a lot

This will help you to address issues that may pop up in your cat ownership journey. Some cat breeds, especially young cats, will be more vocal than other breeds. 

Siamese cats and similar breeds from other Asian regions are known for their vocal tendencies.

Cats Naturally Want to be Active at Night

Cats are both nocturnal and creatures of habit. This means that they are going to need help readjusting to situations, environments, and schedules. 

Cats are most active from the time the sun starts setting until it comes back up again, and they prefer to sleep during the day. 

cats are nocturnal animals

This is not necessarily the ideal situation for us as cat lovers, but we can get around it. 

We can actually help our cats reset their internal clocks so that they are more apt to sleep during the night versus the day. 

The first step in doing this is cultivating a lot of active playtime with your cat to get them moving and get their energy out.

How to cultivate active play

  • Provide your feline friend with lots of fun toys that will provide mental and physical stimulation.
  • Play with them when you are home.
  • Help your cat stay awake during the day with laser pointers, moving toys, and food puzzles, and you can even play animal planet on your tv while you are gone.
  • Put up a bird feeder by a window so that they can bird watch!

If you try to create a routine for them this may help them sleep at night versus during the day. Make sure that you have a big play session before bedtime to wear your furry friend out.

Is Your Cat in a New Home?

Another reason your cat may be meowing is if you just adopted or purchased him or her. Cats can take a while to warm up to their new home and may feel uncomfortable at first. 

Try to reassure your cat that you aren’t going anywhere and that their new home is their safe haven. 

Some adopted cats who have been through a great deal of trauma may be more vocal than others. 

Does your Cat Have a Medical Issue?

Cats are notorious for making noise when they aren’t feeling well or if they are under stress. 

They will do this to signal to you they don’t feel well along with trying to find somewhere comfy to curl up. 

Common illnesses that can cause nighttime meowing

  • Hyperthyroidism is also known as an overactive thyroid.
  • Kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Stomach pain
  • Arthritis
  • Injury (Did they get in a recent catfight?)

Make sure you bring your cat to the vet promptly if they start meowing at night and seem like they are an otherwise healthy cat. 

There are many illnesses and diseases cats can get. It’s better to get a professional veterinarian’s opinion than to worry needlessly.

Help Your Cat Get a Good Nights Sleep

Try to figure out why your cat is calling out so much at night and follow this guide’s suggestions on helping your cat relax and feel confident in their home. 

Whether they need more play time or more comfort, there are some great and relatively easy solutions to this problem. 

Related Questions

Will my cat’s feeding schedule help reduce night calling and meowing?

Your cat may be calling out because they are hungry during the night. 

You can try using an automatic feeder, feeding them smaller meals during the day and a larger one at night, and changing feeding times. 

You can push their evening meal back further too after a large play session. 

If this still doesn’t work then there may be more at play than your cat being hungry. You will want to seek the advice of a vet. 

Should I provide toys for my cat to keep them busy at night?

Providing lots of fun toys for your cat to play with while you are sleeping may help them entertain themselves. 

If this doesn’t work after you have tried it for a few nights, you can turn the tv on to an animal show for further entertainment. 

Some cats really love to watch tv and some don’t. This will all vary on your personal cat and what they like or don’t like. 

How do I help my aging kitty feel comfortable?

As your kitty ages, it can become disoriented due to the process of aging as we spoke about earlier. 

Something else you can try that may make them feel comfortable is to allow them to be with you at all times. 

They may continue to meow at night, but this can be reduced when they start to feel connected to you again no matter the time of day or night. 

Don’t Let Your Cat’s Meowing at Night Ruin Your Life

If you need your sleep, don’t fret! There are thankfully many things you can do to help your feline friend settle down during the nighttime and early morning hours. 

If your cat has a health issue you have discovered with your vet, any medications or dietary changes they suggest could help them a great deal. 

Tips for dealing with an older cat that feels alone you can try opening your bedroom door and allowing them in your room at night. Or up the playtime with your kitty. 

Cats are wonderful companions who love their owners, we hope that this article will help you be able to enjoy your cat more and more.

Why Do Cats Meow at Night

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