Why do cats meow at night?

Updated at 21 Oct 2022

Cats often meow at night. However, if you are the owner of a meowing disturbing calm, this, for obvious reasons, gives you a lot of inconvenience.

Сat with wide open mouth meowing

Nocturnal vocalizations are also known as night calls. Usually, if your cat starts meowing at night, it may be a sign that she is uncomfortable, but this is not the only reason. Keep reading to learn more about why your cat might make noise at night.

It is believed that cats are known to be night predators. They always seem to run around the house after we turn off the lights.

Among other things, vocalization can also be added to night antics and activities. Sometimes the crying of a cat can lead the owner to insomnia. If this has become your problem and you ask yourself why does your cat scream at night? We have the answers!

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Why do cats scream at night?

If your cat is bored, lonely, overexcited, or unhappy, this may be the reason for the night screams. However, there are more health-related severe reasons for nocturnal cat vocalizations, such as thyroid or kidney disease.

6 Reasons why your cat is crying at night. What to do?

We absolutely understand why you want to understand the causes of your cat’s noisy nighttime behavior. We’ve rounded up six of the most common reasons why your cat might howl at night.

#1 Cats naturally become more active at night

The cat sits in the dark under a tree

Many believe that the main reason why cats meow at night may be that these animals are naturally more active at night. It is generally accepted that cats are nocturnal. However, this is not quite true.

Cats are crepuscular animals, so twilight and early morning are considered to be the most active times for them. Basically, many cats adjust to their owners’ daily routines, but a penchant for twilight activity can encourage your furry pet to make noise in the early morning when everyone else is asleep.

Very young and inexperienced cats tend to be active in the dead of night, and their instincts suggest that this is a great time for hunting. As they grow older, they must adapt to the rhythm of the home and gradually cease to annoy their owners at night. Perhaps your cat is just an unintelligent kitten that will take a little time to get used to your lifestyle.

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#2 A bored cat or a stressed-out cat

Sometimes cats cry at night because they are bored or not tired enough during the day. Domestic cats that do not have access to special open spaces need a lot of games.

At least 30 minutes of activity before bed can help cats get more tired and therefore sleep better at night. It’s also a good idea to keep their mind active throughout the day.

Cats that meow at night may be looking for attention. It is essential to pay enough attention to your pet because regularly ignoring the cat’s requests for attention can lead to the fact that the animal will require affection during unintended hours, for example, at night.

#3 Hyperactive thyroid or kidney disease

If your cat frequently meows at night, a visit to the veterinarian is recommended. Cats can be excessively loud at night due to kidney pain, which causes them anxiety or have thyroid problems (hyperthyroidism), which cause them to become overexcited due to a malfunction in hormone production.

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#4 Senior cats may experience signs of aging

Humans are not the only creatures affected by aging. Your cat may become disoriented with age due to its aging brain.

CDS (Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome) can directly affect the aging of the feline brain. The gradual onset of brain dysfunction in animals can be manifested by a variety of symptoms, including nocturnal cries.

#5 Outdoor cats may feel trapped

If your cat spends most of the day outside, but you lock her up at night, then she’s probably crying because she feels trapped. You can install a cat door, so your cat can go outside at night if your yard is well-fenced in and safe enough for your pet to be left unattended.

#6 Howling can mean readiness to mate

Many cat lovers know from experience that readiness to mate is often accompanied by restless behavior with screams and screams, including during the night hours. Although this is natural, we strongly recommend spaying your cat if you are not going to breed.

This will greatly reduce unwanted health and behavioral problems. And, of course, spaying will also stop your cat’s loud nighttime screams.

Of course, there are many reasons why your furry pet may meow at night, including boredom, old age, and thyroid problems. Regardless of what is causing your cat’s night howls, it’s important not to ignore her crying. Your cat may be trying to communicate with you or want to report a problem, so it’s worth listening to these peculiar feline signals.

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7 tips for quieting nighttime meowing

A cat with blue eyes meows at dusk on the street

Below, we’ve put together seven tips to help you sort out your cat’s nighttime meowing problems.

#1 Reset the cat’s body clock

As we wrote earlier, the night and twilight activity of felines is due to their nature and instincts. With patience and diligence, despite the fact that cats are programmed to be active at night, it is possible to reset their biological clock. On the television series My Cat From Hell, Jackson Galaxy recommends giving your cat toys during the day, such as when you’re not at home.

To tire your cat, even more, you can schedule playtime with your cat at night. The game must be followed by dinner. Your cat is less likely to cry at night if you remember to feed her after games.

If your cat has uncontrolled access to food throughout the day, then this may be an obstacle to changing her behavior. Galaxy recommends feeding restless cats who scream at night because of an empty bowl at certain hours.

In addition to being able to control your pet’s unwanted noisy behavior, this type of feeding will have a positive effect on your pet’s health by allowing them to digest food in sufficient quantities and preventing weight gain.

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#2 Give water and food

If you initially feed your cat at certain hours, then the cat may use its nocturnal meow to let you know that it is hungry or thirsty. We advise feeding the cat in the evening, around 21:30-22:00, so that she will stop crying at night about food.

Before you leave your cat overnight, make sure she has water. This ensures that the cat does not wake up at 3 am and asks for water.

#3 Clean out the litter box before you go to bed

Cat sleeping under a blanket

Cats love a clean litter box for their daily activities. A dirty litter box can cause your cat to cry at night.

Make sure your cat has a clean litter box before bed. It’s essential to do a general cleaning of your cat’s litter box once a week (with gentle, pet-safe cleansers) in addition to daily fecal cleaning. Your cat will be happier and calmer at night if the litter box is clean.

#4 Give your cat enough of your attention before bed

Cats can cry at night because they fear being alone, bored, or anxious. Your cat needs companionship and interaction, especially if you have been gone all day at work. Your cat will be stressed if you don’t give him the time he needs.

Spend quality time with your cat in the evenings. It should be fun and rewarding to love your cat and show affection.

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#5 Install a night light for an elderly cat with dementia or low vision

To help older cats with dementia or vision problems, install nightlights in your home. An older cat with impaired vision or brain damage will be able to see better at night and be less afraid. This can also solve the problem of a nightly cat meowing.

#6 Do not respond to your cat’s nighttime meowing

Cat yawns on the bed

If you have satisfied all your cat’s desires and suspect that her nightly meowing is due to her need for excessive attention, then ignore the cat. It doesn’t matter how difficult it is; your cat will understand that no amount of meowing will make you get out of bed.

This tactic will work, but it can take several weeks and require incredible consistency and patience from you. To alleviate the situation, we recommend purchasing earplugs until the problem is resolved.

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#7 Check for any lights or sounds that might disturb your pet**

Unpleasant noise or light may enter your bedroom. It can also cause night meowing. You should know that cats pick up sounds up to 64,000 Hz, while humans hear 20,000 Hz and dogs hear 45,000 Hz. You may not be able to recognize the sound disturbing your cat, so it is worth turning off all kinds of electronic devices at night and seeing how the animal reacts.

At night, your cat may be disturbed by flickering screens and LED lights. To prevent the cat from waking up at night, be sure to turn off the computer.

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