Why Is My Cat Meowing At Night?
Hearing your cat meow at night might have you curious or even concerned. Read on to know all the possible reasons of such nocturnal meowing and how you can address them.
Hearing your cat meowing at night, in most cases, need not be a cause for worry. However, if it not something that is common with your cat, you might be concerned about this behavior. Also, the disruption caused by your cat’s nocturnal meowing might not be allowing you to get some much-needed sleep.
So, if you are worried about your cat meowing at night, this guide might help you get to the bottom of the issue and make any required adjustments.
Why Is My Cat Meowing At Night?
If your cat is meowing at night, it might be because they are more active at this time of the day. Now this does not have to strictly mean that your cat is nocturnal, although this is a popularly-held belief about felines. However, your cat might be crepuscular, which means that it is most active after dawn and dusk. Even though most pet cats do acclimatize themselves according to their owners’ routines, your cat’s crepuscular nature might cause it to become active during dawn, when all the members of your house are fast asleep.
Kittens or younger cats have a greater tendency to be more stimulated in the dark, as they believe that the nighttime presents good hunting opportunities. With time, though, the pet is likely to align its routine with that of the household, which means that, hopefully, the nightly meowing will go away with time.
Another reason that cats meow at night is that they feel bored – or perhaps they are not tired enough to go to sleep. If that is the reason, you could try adding some stimulating and effortful activities for your kitty. You could arrange these activities at multiple points throughout the day, so that your cat remains active and happy at all times. Also, adding some active play just before bedtime might help ensure that your feline friend is ready to doze off when the time comes.
However, even though you should not let your cat feel ignored or unattended, conceding to all their needs might just encourage them to keep demanding your attention. So, if you feel that your kitty’s attention-seeking behavior is getting out-of-hand, ignoring them every now and then might actually turn out to be a good thing.
If your cat does not have any access to the outdoor environment, you might have to arrange plenty of stimulation and activity during the day. Otherwise, once the tired and worn out you goes to bed, your kitty might feel a bit betrayed, causing her to meow in protest.
Kidney or Thyroid Disease:
Sometimes, excessive vocalization – especially at night – could be an indication of kidney disease. Similarly, too much meowing could also be due to excessive stimulation and trouble sleeping, which are typical indicators of an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
So, if you feel that a medical issue could be causing your cat to meow at night, it is best to schedule an appointment with a veterinarian.
Ageing affects every living being, cats included. With advancing age, there is a chance that your cat’s brain and mind start to weaken, causing disorientation. Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) is a condition that is more likely to affect senior felines. CDS has a number of symptoms, with nocturnal meowing being one of them.
Once again, if you feel that your cat might be suffering from CDS or any other cognitive problems, you should visit a veterinarian and identify the most effective treatment plan to eliminate or diminish the symptoms.
They Might be Feeling Trapped:
If a cat spends most of their day outdoors but is required to return indoors at night, this change might cause them to feel bound or trapped.
If you think that your cat is crying because it misses the outdoors, you could consider installing cat flaps. This way, your kitty will be able to spend the night hours outside and use up whatever excess energy they still have.
Sometimes, loud yowling or screeching at night could be an indication that your cat is mating.
Even though mating is completely natural in cats, you should consider neutering your kitty so that you have fewer unwanted kittens to deal with.
Also, if mating is indeed the reason behind your cat’s nightly noises, neutering might also help you get rid of those.
How To Control The Nighttime Meowing
If your cat’s nighttime meowing is not going away, you should first take them to the vet and rule out any health problems. Once your cat has received a clear bill of health, you could implement the following tips to address the problem:
Resetting the Body Clock:
Like we mentioned, cats are crepuscular, and therefore tend to be at their most active during dusk and dawn. However, if you could reset your kitty’s body clock, you might be able to get your cat to sleep and wake up at the same times as you.
So, if you are away during the day, you could keep plenty of toys to keep your cat busy and occupied. Once night approaches, you can schedule another playing session that would further wear out your furry friend. Make sure to schedule this session after the cat’s evening meal. Another thing you could try doing is pushing your pet’s evening meal by an hour or so – this way, they will not start feeling hungry on the stroke of midnight when you are fast asleep.
If you free-feed your cat, you should wean them off this and gradually introduced a set meal routine.
Offer Essentials like Water and Food:
Sometimes, cats start meowing at night to let their owners know that they are thirsty or hungry. If you follow our advice of delaying the evening meal until around 9 PM or even 9:30, you should be able to get rid of midnight hunger.
As for the water, make sure that your cat’s bowl is filled before you retire for the night. This way, if your pet does feel thirsty in the middle of the night, they will have their water right next to them.
If you have a senior cat who is struggling from cognitive issues like CDS or dementia, they might not feel safe or comfortable in the dark, thereby leading to fearful meowing and howling.
To remedy this, you could install nightlights throughout your house, so that your senior cat feels more confident and secure in their surroundings.
If you are confident that your cat’s nighttime noises are nothing but a tactic to grab your attention, responding every time will just feed this behavior. Ignoring means that you should not even scold or hush your cat when they start meowing – make them understand that, no matter how many tantrums they throw, you are just not stepping out of the bed.
It might be hard for you to believe in this approach, but it does work. However, it will take around two to three weeks for your cat to give up; in the meantime, you could consider using earplugs.
To sum up, your cat’s nighttime meowing could be due to a number of reasons, and we hope that this guide will help you in identifying the cause and remedying it effectively. To learn more about cat behaviors and the meanings behind them, please feel free to check out some of the other blogs on our website.
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