There's nothing like getting a good night's sleep, but if your feline friend has been serenading you with a series of melodious meows while you try to slumber, then you've probably been dealing with a lot of sleepless nights instead. Cats vocalize for a number of reasons at all hours of the day and night, so figuring out why your cat is meowing will help you quiet her so you can get some sleep.
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Your cat may be bored, lonely, anxious, or ill, so if her late-night vocalizations have suddenly come out of nowhere, it's best to see your veterinarian to rule out a medical condition. Otherwise, there are some simple steps you can take to encourage meowing during the day instead of at night.
Feline night screaming and yowling
Loud meows and other vocalizations aren't normal at night, so head to a veterinarian with your cat to ensure that a medical condition isn't to blame for the late-night screaming sessions. Illnesses like kidney or thyroid problems can result in night meowing. Treating these conditions should resolve your cat's nighttime screams.
If your cat isn't spayed or neutered, your cat might be meowing due to a desire to get outside and mate. To stop your feline from vocalizing at night due to hormones, have your cat spayed or neutered to alleviate this behavior.
Older cats meowing at night
Older cats may suffer from dementia or feline cognitive dysfunction as they age. One symptom of these conditions is that they may become disoriented and vocalize at night. Your veterinarian can recommend some anti-anxiety medications that may help calm your older cat if this is the case.
Your older cat may also be suffering from age-related sight loss, so be sure to plug in a few night lights around your home so he can see better in the dark, especially by his food, water, and litter box. Don't forget to feed your cat and give him plenty of water before you go to sleep or set up a timed feeder to serve your cat a meal during the night. Your cat may simply be crying out at night because he is hungry or thirsty.
Younger cats meowing at night
First and foremost, after ruling out a medical condition for your cat or kitten's behavior, you need to start ignoring it. By getting up and playing with your kitten or otherwise engaging with her, you are reinforcing the unwanted behavior and teaching your cat that meowing will get your attention. After ignoring her, she may stop bothering you at night.
Don't forget to play with your kitten several times during the day because younger cats may simply have bursts of energy at night and meow at you to engage you in a playtime session. If you move her last playtime session to just before you go to bed, your kitten will be tired by the time you settle in for some sleep and won't meow through the night.
Other tips to stop meowing
Cats have excellent hearing and can be easily awoken at night due to high-pitched sounds and flickering lights. So, be sure to turn off your electronic devices that could be disturbing your cat's sleep at night. Also, pull your curtains closed to block out the sight of any nocturnal animals that might be scampering around your yard and inadvertently scaring your cat.
If your cat is anxious when you aren't around, he could be meowing to get to you if you have your bedroom door shut at night. Consider allowing your cat to come sleep in your bedroom at night so he is reassured by your presence, or adopt another cat to keep him company.
For cats who love the outdoors, consider building a "catio" for your feline friend and allowing him to access this enclosed space through a cat door. This way, he can safely watch the interesting sights outside at night without waking you up.
- Modern Cat: How To Stop Pesky Meowing at Night
- Modkat: 7 Tips for Quieting Night-Time Meowing
- Catster: Is Your Cat Meowing at Night? Reasons Why and What to Do
- Purina: Why Does My Cat Meow at Night?
- Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: Cognitive Dysfunction
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Meowing and Yowling