Are You Familiar With The Reasons Why Cats Meow At Night?

My cat has an on-again, off-again habit of yowling at night. I have trouble sleeping, and there is not much that irritates me more than to be awakened when finally into a good sleep by a cat who engages in non-stop meowing. So I investigated the reasons why cats meow at night.

A Word Describing Your Cat: Crepuscular

Cat walking road at dawn

For one thing, in the wild, cats operate as crepuscular, meaning they hit high alert at dawn and dusk, the most important times for them to hunt. Perhaps this reason explains somewhat why Mocha wakes at 4:00 a.m. and starts his yelling. Instinct often becomes a powerful motivator.

He’s telling me, “I must go out the critters are there I can smell them they won’t stay around for long I have to get them while the getting’s good let me out let me out let me out!

No sympathy from me. He gets well fed.

Could He Have A Problem?

However, if you have an indoor-outdoor cat and you feel safe letting him out at night, make sure his kitty door is open so he can exit without disturbing you.

If he’s not of the indoor-outdoor variety, there are some things you need to check. First and most important, make sure his yelling doesn’t stem from pain or from some disease. He could have a thyroid issue or perhaps kidney disease. Check with your vet. If these aren’t the cause, perhaps you can get him to change the behavior.

Vet checking grey & black cat

However, if this behavior starts suddenly and sounds like a pain yowl, he could have had a heart attack and passed a blood clot, causing excruciating pain and stopping his legs from functioning. I this case, take him to the vet immediately.

If unusual cries occur suddenly, day or night, it’s good to figure out the reason if you can. When Carlos and I lived in Kodiak, I noticed he spent more time in his litter box, scratching but not doing much else. I wondered if he had a FUS problem.

Then, one day he jumped on the kitchen table next to where I sat and gave a loud yowl that I knew came from pain, and I took him right to the vet. Sure enough, he had a urinary tract blockage, and once the vet took care of the problem and gave him medication, he was fine.

Listen to what your kitty tells you!

Exercise Through Play And Attention Are Important

Okay, so you think there’s some other reason. Has he had enough exercise before bedtime? Do you play with him in the evening? You might try increasing his exercise regime to get him more ready for rest. If boredom or understimulation is the problem, amping up his play-time can help.

Tuxedo cat in box

Find him some new toys to help ease boredom. After all, we, too, get bored with the same old distractions day and night. Stimulate his interest with something new…perhaps an intriguing puzzle feeder or even a cardboard box that’s a perfect fit might do.

Sometimes he merely wants affection. You might think he serves simply as a house decoration, but he has feelings and needs of his own, and you must help provide them. He does not live with you just as a “designer cat” but needs his emotional care the same as you do.

Is He Hungry?

Can you feed him later in the evening? Perhaps he eats too early and becomes hungry again at night. One thing I do with my kitty: I feed him supper between four and five, and then just before I go to bed, I give him a small portion of dry food and a half-serving of wet food.

The wet food I serve cold, and it warms up during the night. He gobbles up the dry food right away. Then, around 4:00 a.m., he might eat the wet food. This method seems to work pretty well.

His Remarkable Talent For Hearing

Black cat listening

The other thing you can do: simply ignore his calls. He might think he needs attention, and asks for it at an inappropriate time. If you can handle ignoring him despite the noise, sometimes he will just give up and go back to sleep. Just make sure he gets sufficient attention in the day.

On the other hand, by listening to your cat, you might find the cat’s aptitude at this skill can prove very helpful.

Your cat, even if sound asleep, seems to have an ear tuned to any strange noise in the house. If I awaken and hear some kind of sound I don’t recognize, I’ll observe my cat, who sleeps close by. If it’s something I need to deal with, he will be awake or alert or may even leave the bed. Otherwise, all is well. He’s a great early warning system.

Kitty Protests Or System Malfunctions

Orange cat seated on closed toilet seat

Do you keep the litterbox clean? Sometimes the cat merely wants to give you a message that he needs to use that litterbox and it is totally unacceptable. Clean the box at least once a day, and more if needed.

Sometimes if he’s an older cat, he has some cognitive problems just because of age. It’s called CDS (Cognitive Disfunction Syndrome) and signifies that he’s become confused or disoriented because his brain is giving him the wrong messages, and he starts yowling about them. It’s sort of like dimentia in humans. Give him some space and some comfort. It’s just old age.

Oh No! She Seeks A Lover!

If you have a young cat, do you think these unaccounted-for yells could have something to do with the mating season ? If so, hang in there — an unspayed female will yell until the urge finally passes. Keep her in, and as soon as she’s out of heat, take her in to get her spayed. Both you and she will feel more at peace.

Call In An Expert

Book on cat behavior

If all else fails, you might consult an animal behaviorist…a bit like a trip for some psychological counseling. Perhaps this person can decipher your kitty’s messages.

Just know there is a solution, which will prove helpful for you and your kitty. Continue searching until you find the answer. Both of you will end up happier.

References I used for this post:

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