Why Does My Cat Meow In The Morning
Continuing on with our question series is a funny one I was asked by a friend.
She goes up to me and said, I have a bone to pick. My cat LOVES to meow in the morning. Why does my cat meow so much in the morning? I laughed and gave her my answer.
After I answered her, I started thinking about the question.
Why Do Cats Meow in the Morning?
Cats really do love to meow, and I am sure there are so many of you at a loss as to why your cat is so LOUD in the morning. But, fear not!
I will give you answers!
And some tips as to help make your mornings a little easier.
How To Stop Neighbours Cat From Meowing
Your neighbours cat is meowing because he is hungry. You should give him some food to stop meowing.
If you reward a hungry cats cries with food or treats, it will continue to meow loudly anytime it is hungry. Try to ignore your cats demands for food and feed it when its calm to minimise the frequency ofor stopthese sorts of loud meows.
Healthy cats who yell loudly outside your bedroom door at night may need to expend some additional energy. Make sure to tyre your cat out with toys and exercise during the day to reduce the frequency of this attention-seeking meowing.
Living With The Noise
There are a few ways to curb your cat’s nighttime antics. If she’s food-motivated, feed her before going to bed. Actively engaging in playful activity can work, too. It’s easier said than done, but try to ignore your kitty’s demands for nightly snacks or cuddles. Giving in reinforces the behavior and will end up keeping you up at all hours of the night.
More often than not, a cat yowling at night isn’t cause for alarm. Cats have perfected the art of waking up their pet parents during the night for random reasons, mostly because they want to spend more time with you the person they love most in the world.
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They Are Displaying Mothering Instincts
Some female cats will carry toys around and yowl just as they would if they were caring for a kitten. Ive spoken with a lot of cat owners that have seen this behavior with a female cat that has never had a litter, as well as some cats that have. So it can be the reason for cats that havent even had a litter of their own, which is interesting.
Its another example of a cat falling back onto those inbuilt patterns of behavior that come to them naturally. Its quite curious to witness and makes you wonder if they are yearning to have kittens, or its just something they are confused about.
If you can rule out the other reasons, so you know they dont want to play or hunt, then this might just be the reason why your cat carries toys and yowls.
Has your cat been spayed? If not, doing so might put a stop to this behavior. I know Ive spoken with people who said their cats only did this when they were on their heat cycle, and said spaying them put a stop to it.
Its not as dramatic a thing as you may think either. The ASPCA recommends having pets spayed, as do I. With the ever growing homelessness crisis in the US, and some of the health benefits associated with spaying a cat, I recommend it.
Causes Of Cats Activity At Night
Because cats are so active at night, you might wonder if theyre such night stalkers as humans think of them. Felines are crepuscular animals meaning they are more active during dawn and dusk than at any other time of day. If you live near a field or wooded area, you may have noticed that you see or hear more wildlife in the morning and evening.
Humans might hear a cat meowing at night or moving around the house and think that this activity is happening in nighttime hours. In reality, our feline friends are often more active during early dawns rather than around midnight.
Besides cats natural behavior pattern of hunting and roaming during dusks and dawns, there might be other reasons that contribute to your cat crying at night excessively. Read on to find out why your cat is meowing at night and how to get them to sleep.
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How To Stop You Cat Meowing And Carrying Their Toys
Well, first of all you need to know why your cat is behaving like this. If its due to the first reason I explained above being bored and wanting to play you know how to solve this, dont you?
Play with them more! If they are waking you at night, you need to start scheduling in some play time in the evening before going to bed.
Ive had to do this with more than one cat in the past. I can tell you that in my experience its not as hard or as time consuming as you may think.
Just 30 minutes or so of play time is enough to tire out most cats and give them their fix of simulating hunting.
If the reason your cat is yowling with their toy is because they are fulfilling their nocturnal hunting needs however, its not as easy to put a stop to in my experience.
When night falls and those predatory instincts take over, its hard to stop a cat hunting around the home for their toys and making a noise about it. It might be that your cat needs to be spayed/neutered.
Final Verdict: What Does It Mean When Cats Yowl In The Morning
There are many reasons why cats meow, especially in the morning.
The greatest advice I have is, to use these four, or five, as a starting point for you to start to understand your cat. Dont get too frustrated with them when they are meowing at you in the morning.
Chances are they just want to talk to you.
Listen to them and you will both be happy!
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Outdoor Cats May Feel Trapped
If your cat is an outdoor cat during the day, and you keep them indoors at night, there is a good chance that they may be meowing at night because they are feeling trapped. If it is safe, consider installing a cat flap and letting them go out at night so that they are free to expend their energy outside.
They Are Feeling Neglected
Some cats cry at night out of loneliness, boredom, or anxiety. As independent as these felines can be, they also rely on interaction and companionship.
This bonding may have fallen by the wayside, especially if you have a busy schedule or youve been at work all day. Giving your kitty plenty of playtime and affection before bed is a sure way to keep them happy.
Lavishing them with love should be fun, right? So grab some cat toys and get ready to romp.
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Why You Need To Take Your Cat To The Veterinarian
You may want to just fix the yowling so you can sleep. But finding the source of the screeching may also be a lifesaver for your cat.
These diseases can be dangerous if left untreated. So finding and treating the underlying cause can do a lot more than give you back a good nights sleep: It can add happy years to your cats life.
What Is Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome
Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, also known as FCD , affects many cats. Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome tends to exist in older cats, but that doesnt necessarily mean it cant affect younger felines.
What is CDS/FCD?
Feline cognitive dysfunction is a cognitive disease prevalent in cats, directly related to the brain aging, leading to changes in awareness, deficits in learning and memory, and decreased responsiveness to stimuli.
CDS tend to be diagnosed with cats that are in their elderly years. As with many feline issues, CDS is somewhat difficult to diagnose. Its symptoms are in line with other feline illnesses.
Due to its nature, CDS has become fairly difficult to diagnose. Many signs are things that we would scratch up to cats being cats, for example, if your feline friend seems to be lost or wandering. On the surface, it seems like your cat is just a cat however, the cat could have CDS. Symptoms of CDS include abnormal vocalizing, seeming lost, and overall disorientation.
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What You Can Do To Get Your Cat To Sleep Through The Night And Past The Wee Hours Of The Morning
Feed later in the evening. If you feed your cat on a schedule during the day, be sure to feed the last meal of the day a few hours later into the evening. Or, for example, it could be that you will need to divide your cats current last meal of the day into two servingsone being given at 5 p.m. and the last portion given at 10 p.m. This can help your cat feel more satiated throughout the night and into the morning.
Keep your cat awake more during the day. Enlist the help of a timed-feeder to feed your cat a few times a day. Spacing meals a few hours apart can help keep your cat awake more during daylight hours. No cat should go several hours in between meals during the day. There are timed-feeders available for both canned cat food and dry. Incorporating a food puzzle into the daily feedingthe Stimulo by Aikiou is my favouriteis also another option to help keep your cat stay awake more during the day. He will have to work at getting the food and this will take longer than simply eating it out of a bowl.
Simply put, if your cat is keeping busy and is awake more hours during the day, he naturally will sleep more hours during the night and even later into the morning. This means more sleep for you too!
Medical Alert: Please have your cat checked out by your vet. Health issues that could cause cats to meow excessively include thyroid issues, kidney problems, diabetes, arthritis, tooth pain, or any other kind of pain.
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Exercise And Mental Stimulation
Previously, we made it clear that felines can take snooze all day long, especially when left home alone. If your kitty has already slept throughout the day, the odds are high that your sleep will be interrupted.
If your cat cries at night as a habit, provide them enough physical and mental stimulation before bedtime. Feel free to experiment with toys that encourage your cat to stay physically active, like laser pointers. This way, your cat will spend more energy and will likely enjoy nighttime sleep as much as you do.
We all know that spending an entire day entertaining our cats is not always possible because of work and other routines. Luckily, pet parents can interact with their four-legged friends remotely via pet cameras.
With a treat-dispensing camera, you can not only watch your cat, but also toss them their favorite treats while being away. Some cameras also allow you to entertain your cat remotely with a laser pointer.
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Why Is My Cat Meowing So Much During Heat
Crying, meowing, and yowling are all often loudly heard from a cat in heat. These vocalizations are to get attention and let other cats know that they are in heat. A rush in hormones during the heat cycle causes a cat to have all these exaggerated behaviors and they stop once a cat is no longer in heat.
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Central Nervous System Problem
There may be clues in a neurological exam that the cats excessive vocalization is caused by a central nervous system problem such as a brain tumor. These cats may be circling, having seizures, or acting depressed or dull.
A definitive diagnosis needs more advanced imaging, such as a CT or MRI, and these cats can do very well with surgery.
Often, we tentatively diagnose a meningioma based on the symptoms. Medical treatment can be of some help.
If most of the testing on your geriatric cat is normal up to this point, your cat may be suffering from cognitive dysfunction.
Because of an aging brain, your pet may have a syndrome not unlike Alzheimers in humans. There is no definitive test. I prescribe a number of medications and supplements to see if we can stop or decrease the yowling.
In this quick video, Dr. Wendy McClelland, DVM, explains more about why an old cat meows all the time:
For many people, giving medicine to a cat is hard work.
Some cats are resistant to getting a single pill, let alone up to 4 or 5 pills a day.
If my patient is a hyperthyroid, hypertensive cat with cognitive dysfunction, I may need to prioritize which meds I prescribe first.
This cats pill container could look something like this:
- Hyperthyroid: methimazole
- Pain: gabapentin and/or many others
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories
- Regular exercise and sensory stimulation
- A nightlight
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They Feel Trapped Inside
No one wants to get out of a warm bed to soothe their crying kitty by letting them roam outside. Specifically, outdoor cats may start having pent-up frustration if they are not properly stimulated both physically and mentally.
When it comes time for you to turn in, they may feel a touch hard done by and commence vocalizing it at all hours of the night.
If your cat is used to spending its time outdoors, it may end up feeling trapped when spending the night inside.
Letting your cat out for short periods as long as its safe to do so will give them a chance to expel some energy outside or even settle their curiosity.
They Are Announcing Their Catch
A number of cats behaviors can be tied back to instinctual behaviors. Carrying a toy around and yowling is one such behavior that mimics what they would do in the wild after catching some prey.
When a cat catches something in the wild that they are going to share with other cats, they are very vocal about it. As as cats that are being protective over what theyve caught.
Back to the current situation at hand to us, its pretty obvious its just a stuffed toy and doesnt make a lot of sense why theyd behave like this. But when a cats natural instinct takes over they do some crazy things.
I know this is was the case for one friend of mine. His cat used to be an expert hunter and would bring in half dead rodents and birds. Which is exactly what you dont want to find when you come down in the morning.
After finding one too many disemboweled mice in his home, he decided to start locking his cat in overnight.
His cat started getting his fix by catching a toy mouse and announcing hed caught and killed it by yowling while it was in his mouth.
We laugh about it, and while parading a toy mouse and making a racket about it is still annoying sometimes, its a lot better for the local wildlife and my friend to not find dead, or half-dead rodents!
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Solutions To Help Break The Habit
Establish a Better Routine
Routines help cats to feel relaxed and secure. So by establishing a general routine for feeding, attention and play times you can avoid situations that might upset and stress the cat. Such a routine could also include for example, having a little play session with her just before bed time, to use up some of the energy built up through the day . This could then be followed with some food perhaps half of her dinner kept back from her mealtime. If she is tired and full she should sleep more soundly, and be less likely to get up early and begin meowing.
Because cats are creatures of habit and routine, if you are going to break one of their established routines then you will need to establish another for them. So instead of going to the cupboard to feed the demanding cat immediately on getting out of bed, do something else first, and wait for at least 10 minutes before attending to the cat’s need. This way the cat will not make the direct association of her human getting up with feeding her or letting her outside. As a result the cat will stop bothering her human to get up.
It is also important that the cat has things to do when she wakes up. For example, if she has toys to play with, or some hidden toys for her to find. Perhaps leave some paper bags or cardboard boxes for her to entertain herself, so she doesn’t feel bored and start meowing to get attention.
What Does It Mean When My Cat Meows At Me
Before we go any further, I first want to talk about why cats meow in the first place.
There are a lot of reasons why cats meow. In fact, I have an entire post about why cats meow, found here.
In short, cats meow as a way to talk to their humans.
Whether it is just to say hello, or is distressed, they are working on finding a way for you to hear them.
I know I have said, and research shows that cats dont meow to talk to each other. However, there is still a small glimmer of hope in my mind that my cats meow to each other because they figured out how to talk to each other.
Yes! I know thats crazy! But, in my delusional mind, thats why I choose to believe. If you want to believe a little bit in your cats, I think thats okay
If you notice your cat wont stop meowing in the morning, keep reading.
And fear not, my cat meows in the morning all the time, these are these are are quite easy to get resolved once you figured out the reason.
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