Why Does My Cat Meow At Night While I Sleep
Cats are known to sleep for extended periods of time but can be active when theyre not sawing logs. If your cat vocalizes at night while youre sleeping, consider these reasons for your cat meowing at night. Changing residences can cause anxiety, which may present itself as a cat whining or a cat meowing at night.
Why Does My Cat Yowl At Night
Vocalization is just one of the ways in which cats communicate with their human families . Much of cat language is nonverbal, making vocalizing an effective maneuver for getting someone’s attention. It’s possible to ignore a cat pawing at your keyboard while you work, but a cat yowling at night? That will make you take notice.
Cats usually aren’t too feisty when they go about their business during the day. You’re awake and interacting with them, so there’s no need for a screech. Cats are crepuscular creatures, however, meaning they are most active at dusk and dawn. Your kitty is programmed to kick into high gear right at the crack of dawn when it may still feel like the middle of the night. She may howl because she wants to eat , or because she really wanted some extra-early playtime.
Common Causes Of Cats Meowing At Night
One of the most regular complaints from cat owners, is of their cat’s loud ‘crying’ in the middle of the night. This behaviour is unfortunately very common, particularly in older cats. Usually the cat just wants attention and reassurance that her humans are still around and she has not been left on her own. Cats often meow during the day as well, but the night call can seem much louder and more demanding! Older cats do not move as fast or as easily as they did when they were younger, and sometimes, they find it easier to call for their humans, rather than going to them. Older cats in general tend to depend more on their humans not only for food and accommodation, but also for reassurance. Younger cats may also get into the habit of ‘crying’ in the middle of night, sometimes through boredom, but often because they may be feeling anxious. This could be due to changes in their environment, or perhaps if they’ve moved house.
Conditions such as hyperthyroid can also cause a cat to meow during the night. So if this is a new behaviour for your cat, or the cat is elderly, your vet can take a blood sample to test for any underlying conditions.
They’re Active At Night
Cats are nocturnal animals, meaning that they are mostly active at night. Although cats typically sleep anywhere between 16 – 20 hours per day, they don’t generally sleep these hours continuously. They will often take many naps during the day and night. That’s why it’s not uncommon for your cat to be up at night, however, it isn’t normal for them to be excessively meowing during the entire night either.
How Do I Teach My Cat To Stay Quiet At Night
Just as with the question of why, there is no one-size-fits-all answer that applies to all cats with the question of why either. The reasons behind meowing at night are just as diverse as the means to prevent this late-night disruption. If you suspect one of the previously mentioned causes could apply to your cat, you’ve already managed the first step and can now try to take suitable countermeasures. Read in the following tips what these could be:
Recommended Reading: How To Get Kittens To Stop Biting You
Yowling Could Be The Sound Of Mating
As many of us know through experience, extremely loud screeching and cats yowling at night can be the sound of mating.
This is a natural process, but we strongly suggest that you get your cat neutered both male and females as it significantly reduces the amount of unwanted kittens. Not to mention, itll also stop the loud yowling sound!
Wants To Come Into Your Bedroom
How many times have you laid in bed and heard a scratching at the door? Or heard that faint meow which gets louder and louder as you ignore it, until it turns into a full-blown, ear-shattering wail!
If your cat sleeps nicely when its in your room, and it sticks to a designated cat sleeping area or cat bed, then theres nothing wrong with letting it in at night. Leave the door ajar so that it can come and go as it pleases.
However, if you have one of those delightful cats who loves to sleep directly on top of your face or you have a cat allergy – then keeping them out of the bedroom is a must. Its also recommended for pets to be kept out of young childrens rooms at night.
Like the conditioning of a cat who wants attention, keeping the cat out of the bedroom is a matter of consistency. If you get up to let it in or even shoo it away then it will learn that meowing by the door will get your attention.
As much as we hate to say it, sometimes the best solution with this is to buy a pair of earplugs and ride it out!
In the meantime, you can try the same approach as detailed in the lonely in need of attention section. Lots of attention, play and cuddles before bed will leave your cat feeling loved, satisfied and secure.
Read Also: How Long Do Tuxedo Cats Live
Why Your Cat Meows At Night
As is often the case, there isn’t any one reason why cats meow at night. The reasons behind nocturnal meowing are as diverse as our cats themselves. Whilst some are peacefully dosing and dreaming about the events of the day, others are restlessly trudging around the home. Scratching at doors and meowing in a heartbreaking manner. Of course there are also felines that are simply motormouths by nature and raise their voice more often than other breeds, such as Siamese cats.
Some Other General Reasons Why Cats Meow A Lot
- Greeting you: Many cats meow when their folks come home after work, or even when they merely meet them in the household. Though its just a pet expressing its happiness to see you, you may want to interrupt this custom if it gets way out of control.
- It is lonely: If your cat passes most hours of the day alone, think about having a pet sitter to come in the day, or find further ways to enhance your cats life. Put a feeder outdoor on space it can lookout. Leave scavenging toys out with nourishment inside. Get your cat a kitty condominium and different toys that you can leave out for it to play.
- Cats that want to breed: If your feline is not spayed or neutered, then you are going to listen to a lot more meowing. Female cats yowl when in warmth, and males cats yowl when they get the smell of a female cat in warmth. Both can be infuriating to live with. Getting your pet neutered can probably help stop this.
Also Check: 12 Year Old Cat In Human Years
Why Is My Cat Meowing At Night I Just Want To Sleep
- Cat Myth #1 Cats are nocturnal .
- Cat Fact #2;Cats are crepuscular
Even with your head buried under;a pillow, that meow can sound like an airplane during takeoff. The cat will relentlessly try to pass himself off as a rooster until you show signs of waking up to give him attention or feed him. Why? Maybe his internal hunting clock has been set to go off around dawn.excerpt from The Cat Whisperer
Its not uncommon for my clients at The Cat Behavior Clinic to tell me that they have not had a good nights sleep in several years. Their cats have been routinely waking them up all throughout their sleep by meowing at night, especially between the wee hours of 3 and 5 a.m. This common feline behaviour can occur because of a cats natural instincts, because of other factors at play, or both. Some cat breeds are chattier than others and breed disposition may also factor into night-time interruptions. A good nights sleep has become a thing of the past for many cat owners and they are happy to get even four hours of sleep each night. Some of my clients have practically fallen asleep driving to work in the morning due to not getting enough sleep!
The Most Common Causes Of Nocturnal Cat Woes
Unfortunately us humans don’t always understand meowing and simply don’t know exactly what our cat wants to communicate to us. Sometimes it requires a lot of empathy, patience and a good amount of detective work to find out the reasons behind the meowing, since every cat is different. Despite individual tendencies, habits, experiences and needs, one of the following causes are often behind meowing at night:
- Hormonal fluctuations
Recommended Reading: Is Dawn Dish Soap Safe For Cats To Lick
Why Your Cat Is Meowing
Most cat owners already know this: Your cat keeps meowing at the door because it doesnt like closed doors. A closed door makes its territory smaller. Also, cats are very active at dusk and at dawn, they want to go out hunting and be entertained, so its particularly boring if their human is sleeping rather than playing with them. Or maybe your cat wants to cuddle up to his favorite human after all youre warm and then hell also have easier access to get you out of bed when he gets hungry in the morning.
So your cat sits down in front of your door and starts meowing, trying to get you to get up, pay attention to him, play with him or, if he is particularly lucky, maybe youll even feed him.
Now you have several options of how to react to your cat, which all make sense. Lets look at things you should definitely not do lest you make the situation worse.
Disruptive Crying And Meowing In Cats
Your cat’s uncontrollable, excessive meowing or crying at inappropriate times of the night or day is known as excessive vocalization. Such vocalization can be due to pain, illness, cognitive dysfunction syndrome , or may be related to a decline in hearing in senior pets.
CDS is often associated with night waking, during which excessive vocalization occurs. Excessive meowing may also be related to behavioral conditions, which may be controlled by behavior modification training.
Cat breeds that are naturally high energy may be prone to excess meowing. Oriental cat breeds, like the Siamese, may be more prone to excessive vocalization. Intact cats, both male and female, are also very vocal during estrus and mating.
You May Like: Why Is My Cat’s Paw Swollen
Meowing Because Of Eye Sight Issues Or Deafness
If a cat cannot see or hear well, they may be scared or confused. At night your house is usually darker and quieter than it is during the day, and if your cat’s eye sight is failing or they are deaf;and can’t see you, they may meow to receive help or comfort. Your cat may also not be aware that they are meowing loudly because they cannot hear themselves well. Eye sight can deteriorate with age and disease, as can hearing, so if your previously well-sighted and hearing-capable cat seems to be losing its senses, get it checked out by your veterinarian.;
When Is Excessive Vocalization Normal
All vocalization is normal; its the way cats communicate with each other and with us. Normal increases in vocalization occur during mating season when female cats are in heat and male cats compete for access to them. Increases in vocalization are also common when there are changes in the household, such as a move to a new place or a change from being an outdoor to an indoor pet. In these cases, the increases in vocalization may be transient. Certain cat breeds, notably the Siamese, vocalize more than others.
Recommended Reading: How Old Is A 12 Year Old Cat
When Should I Worry
As a cat ages, explains Animal Planet, she wants to be around her humans as much as possible. Being separated from her family at night may distress or confuse her. Some age-related issues like diminishing hearing and vision can cause her increased anxiety and yowl-inducing frustration.
Your kitty’s sleep cycle also can be affected by neurological conditions like cognitive dysfunction, which can occur in cats older than 10 years old. According to the Cornell Feline Health Center, loud midnight meowing out of nowhere can be indicative of dementia. Just like in humans, an elderly cat’s sleep-wake cycle may change and cause her to sleep during the day and wander at night. If your older cat exhibits unusual behavior like staring blankly at walls or refusing to eat or drink, take her to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
An otherwise healthy female cat who’s not spayed may meow constantly at night, too. Indoor cats can come into heat year round, says the ASPCA. Spaying your cat is the best way to reduce her excessive meowing. Spaying also helps to reduce her risk of illnesses like uterine infections and certain types of cancer.
Cats Want To Be Social
Friendly cats love to greet you at the door, much like dogs. Some excessive meowing may be eagerness at your return!
I had a cat who loved to sleep in my closet, and when he heard the keys in the door, he would immediately start meowing as he came out to greet me if this is something that your cat does, lucky you! You have a friendly cat who loves you dearly.;
There is nothing you can do about this; its just your cats personality.;
What Not To Do
- Don’t ignore it without making sure theres no problem. Although you dont want to reward meowing, sometimes cats meow for good reason – they cant reach their litter box, theyre trapped in a room, the water bowl is empty. Check on them when they meow to determine if its something you can safely ignore, or a problem that must be corrected right away.
- Dont punish a cat for meowing. Hitting, shouting, and spraying cats with water rarely work to quiet a meowing cat in the long run, but all those actions will make your cat distrust or even dislike you.
- Dont give in. If your cat is used to getting what they;want;from meowing, they are;going to meow more, and louder, when it quits working. In other words, it will probably get worse before it gets better. Just keep rewarding quiet behavior and ignoring meowing, and eventually theyll get the idea.
Keep Your Cat Busy During The Day
Having too many cat naps during the day will reduce the amount of sleep your cat gets at night. The key is to keep your kitty as awake and as active as you can during daylight hours. Making a food puzzle is a simple and effective way to increase mental and physical stimulation during meal times.;;
If youve been out of the house most of the day, you should make time to play with your cat in the evening. Just like us, they need interaction and companionship. Without it, they can feel lonely, anxious and bored at night, which could lead to some early morning meowing while youre trying to sleep.;
Its worth noting that cats do have an extended sleep schedule compared to many other pets. Its not uncommon for cats to sleep for around 15 hours during the day, expending their energy at night. In spite of domestication, cats are essentially still predators by nature, and their most active times are typically around dusk and dawn!
Recommended Reading: How Long Do Tuxedo Cats Live
A Way Of Communication
In principle, cats wish to communicate something to us by meowing. They do not do so because they simply like meowing or intend to disturb our sleep. For cats, meowing is a proven way of communicating with us humans. Whilst adult cats primarily communicate with each other via body language, meowing is reserved for dialogue between humans and cats. Cats soon learn that their owner is often rather slow when picking up physical signals and therefore choose sound to draw attention to themselves similar to us humans with speech.
What Causes Excessive Vocalization
The most common cause of excessive vocalization is attention-seeking, a learned behavior. Many cats learn to meow to signal their wish to go outside or be fed. This technique is especially effective early in the morning or at night when you are tired. To stop the offending noise, you may give in to your cats demands. Once cats expect your attention, they continue to vocalize even if you attempt to ignore their behavior. As you probably are aware, most cats will outlast you, and you may eventually give in.
Excessive vocalization may also indicate the presence of a medical or more serious behavior problem. Cats may meow excessively when they are in pain or have neurological problems or sensory deficits such as hearing or vision loss. Anxiety, aggression, frustration, cognitive dysfunction or other behavioral problems can also cause cats to vocalize repeatedly.
Don’t Miss: Cat Age Scale
Why Won’t Your Cat Sleep At Night
Cats are naturally active and awake at night while you are trying to sleep. They might want to play, explore, eat, scratch, or get your attention and sometimes these actions are quite noisy and we wake up.;Some cats are also especially lazy during the day. These cats will have a lot of energy to burn at night since they didn’t expend much of it at all while you were awake.