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My Cat Meows at Night: Why and What to Do About It?

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Kitty Meowing

Sleepless nights because your cat meows at night? All cat owners have already experienced this.

But what if your cat’s meowing prevents you from sleeping EVERY night?

In this article we will examine why do cats meow particularly at night, and what can you do to prevent this nocturnal disturbance

Let’s start with the bad news: cats are night owls.

So it’s not surprising that they attract our attention with loud meows at night, when they’re most energetic.

But don’t worry, even cat owners can enjoy quiet nights.

The good news is that cats can learn to keep quiet at night.

To do this, it is important to know the causes of this nocturnal meowing.

Why Does my Cat Meow at Night?

As is often the case, there is no single reason for a cat to meow at night. Every cat is different, and there may be different reasons for their cries.

While some dream peacefully, others parade restlessly around the apartment, scratching the doors and meowing.

And, of course, there are also cats that are simply chatty by nature, like Siamese cats.

When they meow, cats want to tell us something. They don’t do it just because they like to meow or because they want to keep us awake.

Meowing is a proven way for cats to communicate with us.

Among themselves, adult cats communicate mainly through body language, while meowing is reserved for conversation with humans.

Cats quickly learn that their owners do not understand their body signals. That’s why, like us, they start using their voices to produce sounds that attract attention.

The Most Common Causes of Nighttime Meowing

Unfortunately, we don’t always understand what our cat wants to tell us, even this way.

It takes a lot of empathy, patience, and good detective skills to understand the reasons for meowing.

After all, every cat is different. But despite individual inclinations, habits, experiences, and needs, one of the following causes is often at the root of nocturnal meowing:

  • Boredom
  • Hunger
  • Solitude
  • Anxiety
  • Stress and fear
  • Habitual
  • Illness or pain
  • Hormonal fluctuations

How Can I Teach my Cat to Stay Calm at Night?

Again, there is no general answer to this question. Ways to prevent nighttime meows are as varied as their causes.

If you know which of the above causes may apply to your pet, you have already taken the first step, and can now try to take the appropriate countermeasures.

Here are some tips.

If your Cat Meows at Night out of Boredom

Your cat cuddles up on the couch all day long, but suddenly night falls and she’s in great shape and crying out for activity.

This is nothing unusual. After all, cats are naturally more active at this time of day.

The good news is that if you spend enough time with your cat during the day, play with him, let him go for a walk or keep him busy with small hunting games, he will be willing to let you rest for a few hours at night.

Try to find your cat’s favorite activity, whether it’s a ball, pen, laser pointer, water game or any other cat toy.

Just be sure to play at night; give your cat your full attention and make sure he’s exhausted before bedtime.

If he still doesn’t sleep despite this late activity, you can also leave him with cat intelligence games that he can play with alone and let you sleep in peace.

My cat meows at night: Sometimes it's just because they're bored

My cat meows at night: Sometimes it’s just because they’re bored – Photo by pasja1000 from Pixabay

If your Cat Meows at Night Because He Is Hungry

Unlike humans or dogs who eat only one or two main meals a day, cats prefer to snack on small portions throughout the day, which is also better for their digestive system.

If they don’t eat much in the evening and are awake at night, it is understandable that they will demand food and therefore meow loudly.

However, you should not immediately jump out of bed and fill the bowl with a meowing cat, because once your cat gets what it wants, he will probably cry out again every night.

Instead, feed your cat just before you go to bed, and leave a second small portion for the night.

Food dispensers and intelligence games where you can hide food can also be helpful, because they not only feed your cat, but they also keep him occupied for a while, so you can sleep in peace.

If your Cat Meows at Night Because He Feels Lonely

At night, when their owners are asleep and cannot go out, cats feel terribly alone. This is even more the case for kittens, who are full of energy and very playful.

A good solution could be to adopt a second cat, which would also be active at night and would therefore be an excellent playmate.

While the two little cats are racing or climbing their cat tree, you can sleep in the next room.

Even for older cats, a second animal can be a good solution to stop cat meowing at night.

When you adopt a second cat, however, you must prepare for the meeting of the two animals well in advance and proceed with caution.

Otherwise, the arrival of a second cat could turn into a turf war, and that would deprive you of sleep anyway.

If your Cat Meows at Night Because He Is Nervous, Anxious or Worried

Cats are routine animals and are very sensitive to changes in their familiar environment.

A move, or even new furniture can deeply destabilize a cat. The strange environment, new smells and unfamiliar noises frighten them.

It is impossible for them to sleep peacefully in these conditions, and they then starts meowing.

Other elements such as New Year’s Eve fireworks, or even a new carpet with an unusual smell can frighten cats with strong senses.

It’s important that you take your cat’s concerns seriously, but don’t pay too much attention to your cat meowing at night either; again, she may get used to it and claim your affection every night afterwards.

Instead, give your cat more attention during the day. Play with her, pet her and let her take a nap on your lap.

Even at night, don’t keep your bedroom door closed. Maybe your cat can even sleep on your bed and thus be able to calm down.

If you don’t want to have him on the bed, you can install a comfortable sleeping place next to the bed or underneath it.

If, despite these measures, your cat is still restless at night, Bach flowers or plug-in perfume diffusers can also help him relax.

Some cats can even be soothed by a radio that stays on gently at night to distract them from strange noises.

If your Cat Meows at Night out of Habit

There are also cats that meow at night simply because they have gotten used to it.

This is especially the case when their meowing has the desired effect of attracting your attention and receiving your petting or food.

To prevent the meowing from taking hold, it is best to ignore your cat at night, even if it is difficult.

Even if the meowing repeats itself several nights in a row and prevents you from sleeping, your cat will eventually understand that his meowing is useless and will stop.

However, you must take this meowing seriously, especially if your cat has never exhibited this behavior before.

Ask yourself what could be the cause of this nocturnal disturbance. Was there an event that could have frightened your cat? Have you been able to spend enough time with your cat recently? Or have you changed her feeding schedule?

If your cat’s nocturnal crying is due to stress, anxiety or boredom, you may be able to help by following the tips above.

If all else fails, be sure to make an appointment with the veterinarian, as illness or pain can cause your cat to suffer.

If your Cat is Meowing at Night Due to Illness or Pain

Many cats suffer in silence and hide the pain for as long as possible.

This behavior is part of their nature, because in order to survive, their ancestors, feral cats, were never expected to show weakness.

But at night, the pain often becomes unbearable (which is not very different from that of humans).

Add to this the darkness, the silence, the absence of their masters and the lack of distraction, and many cats don’t know what else to do but meowing loudly.

Even if you explore the reasons listed above, never rule out physical ailments as a possible cause of meowing.

Pain in the internal organs, joints, high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, kidney failure or heart disease can lead to nocturnal agitation.

In addition, age-related limitations such as loss of certain senses (deafness, blindness), can frighten the cat and lead it to meow at night.

Always have your cat examined by a veterinarian if he meows a lot. This is the only way to be sure that a disease is not the cause of its nocturnal meowing.

Playing with your cat during the day is a good way to keep him calm at night

Playing with your cat during the day is a good way to keep him calm at night – Photo by Helga Kattinger fromPixabay

If your Cat Meows at Night for Hormonal Reasons

Hormones fluctuate, especially in cats that are not neutered.

Female cats are sexually mature at about 6 months of age, when they are in their first heat.

They are ready to mate and show it by pacing, rubbing their heads on objects, rolling on the ground, marking more and more, sticking their tails up and more and meowing, whistling or purring.

Even cats that have always been quiet at night suddenly start meowing when they are in heat.

They start to give off an odor that males can smell over long distances thanks to their fine nose.

It is therefore possible that your cat may suddenly become unbearable if a cat in the neighborhood is in heat.

He will then do everything he can to get to that cat’s house and will announce his displeasure in front of the closed door by meowing during the night.

The most effective solution is castration. Neutered cats generally become calmer and lose interest in mating.

In addition, the risk of permanent heat that can appear in uncastrated cats if they are not made pregnant during their heat is totally avoided by castration.

If you want to have your cat neutered, talk about it with your veterinarian. He will advise you in detail about the right time, the advantages and possible side effects of spaying.

Should I Take my Cat to the Vet Because my Cat Meows at Night?

Although nighttime meowing has psychological causes in most cats, namely boredom or loneliness, it cannot be excluded that physical ailments are also at the origin of this phenomenon.

If your cat suddenly changes his behaviour, have him examined by a veterinarian first.

Perhaps your small feline is really sick and needs medication or a special food.

And if your veterinarian diagnoses perfect health, that information alone will make you sleep more soundly. You can then try the psychologically induced meow measures with more serenity and patience.

If none of this works and your cat is still meowing at night, don’t hesitate to ask for help from an experienced cat psychologist.

After all, not only do you suffer from insomnia, but your cat probably doesn’t feel well and is trying to express a need with its meowing, you need to get to the bottom of it.

My Cat Meows at Night: One Last Word

As we have seen, the reasons why a cat meows at night are numerous, and it is important to identify them in order to provide an adapted solution.

Of course, if you have already faced this problem and have found other solutions, I would be happy to hear them.

Feel free to express yourself! You’re welcome!

Kitty Meowing Photo: commons.wikimedia.orgCC BY-SA 3.0

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