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She Won't Stop! 4 Reasons Cats Meow at Night and How to Help Yours

Nothing can wake you up at night (and keep you up) much like a cat meowing. If it’s happening every evening, it could have serious effects on your sleep, your cat, and your life. Here’s a look at why your cat might be meowing so insistently at night and some solutions to handle it.

4 Reasons Your Cat Won’t Stop Meowing

There are a number of reasons your cat may be meowing throughout the night instead of sleeping. Here are a few of the more common causes!

1. Your cat is in pain or discomfort.

The very first thing you want to do is rule out medical reasons for your cat’s crying. This is especially true if your cat has cried all night in the past or if it also meows insistently during the day. Pain or discomfort could be causing your kitty to cry out, unable to sleep.

For example, an older cat that meows a lot could be deaf. Cats will often meow louder than usual to hear themselves as they lose their hearing.

If you suspect a medical issue, it’s important to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible. Your vet can test for deafness and other issues. If nothing medically is wrong, you have at least ruled out this possibility, giving yourself peace of mind and your vet other avenues to explore.

2. Your cat is bored.

Boredom is a very common reason a cat will meow nonstop in the night. Even though cats’ ancestors were nocturnal, modern housecats do tend to sleep throughout the night like their humans. Still, they will wake up occasionally. This may be to take a walk around the house, grab a snack, or go to the bathroom.

If your cat doesn’t get enough attention or playtime during the day, it may be wide awake and bored come nighttime. Meowing might wake you up, and your kitty will get the attention it wants and needs! This is especially the case with younger cats and kittens that don’t get long enough workouts during the day.

3. Your cat is anxious. 

Anxiety is another reason why your cat may cry while you’re trying to sleep. Changes in its environment—like if it was recently adopted—can be startling for a cat! Your furry friend may be:

  • Nervous
  • Lonely
  • Confused
  • Seeking reassurance
  • Calling for litter mates

Besides meowing, other signs of anxiety in cats include:

  • Excessive grooming
  • Urinating outside the litterbox
  • Increased aggression
  • Pacing

With time, as your cat becomes comfortable, the nighttime meowing for the reasons above may stop.

4. Your cat wants attention. 

The nonstop meowing your cat is exhibiting may just come down to an attention-seeking behavior. This could be due to boredom, but your feline could also be used to getting what it wants when it meows. If your cat has a more demanding personality, this may be the root cause of the cries.

why do cats meow at night

Tips for Breaking the Habit of Nighttime Meowing 

Don’t worry! There are a few ways to tackle your cat’s nighttime cries.

1. Don’t encourage the behavior. 

You should never encourage or reward nighttime (or excessive daytime) meowing. Your cat is smart and will quickly learn that a meow can get results, whether it be food, playtime, or cuddles. The less you react to the crying, the less it will be used against you.

During the night, try wearing earplugs while you wean your kitty off this behavior. During the day, try not to respond to excessive meowing; walk away instead. You can give your kitty attention when it’s calmed down!

But make sure you stick to your plan! Giving in even one night can undo all your progress.

Pro tip: Don’t yell at your cat for meowing—day or night. It could cause behavioral issues in addition to the crying.

2. Stick to a routine. 

Cats prefer routine, like knowing their food bowl is filled at 8 AM and 8 PM. Do the same with playtime and attention, and make sure you’re spending time with your furry companion every day. With enough playtime, you can work out that pent-up energy and reduce the midnight meows. You may also want to consider playing with your cat just before you go to bed.

Cats also tend to fall asleep after a big meal. Feeding them dinner just before bedtime can ensure they stay asleep for longer. To prevent nighttime calls for food, consider using a timed feeder. Your cat will learn this schedule quickly and won’t wake you up!

3. Reduce your cat’s anxiety. 

If your cat’s nighttime cries are due to anxiety, you’ll want to take steps to reduce its stress. Plenty of attention and playtime during the day goes a long way, but you also don’t want to leave your cat all alone during the night. If your kitty is a new addition to your home, for instance, it may not know it can go upstairs with you!

Your meowing cat could be lonely, especially if you work during the day, and it’s an “only cat.” Adding a second kitty to your home could be the answer, but make sure to take proper steps to introduce them correctly.

4. Take a visit to the vet.

If none of these solutions work or you suspect a medical issue, it’s time for a trip to the vet. As stated before, insistent meowing at night could indicate an underlying issue that’s causing your cat pain or discomfort.

In addition to testing for medical problems, your vet can provide additional advice and/or remedial products for your cat’s anxiety or stress.

You love your cat, but no one wants to be kept up all night by their furbaby’s cries! Understanding the reasons behind your cat’s yowling can help you better understand the steps you need to take to reduce this behavior and help your furry friend be more comfortable.

If you think the cause of nighttime meowing may be an underlying medical issue or you just want advice, don’t hesitate to call us at 281-693-7387 to make an appointment!

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The Team @ Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital

Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital serves Katy, TX and the surrounding areas with a dedication and passion for our animal friends that is unmatched. Our veterinarians are highly trained, experienced, and compassionate when it comes to giving your pet the care they deserve. If your companion is in need of emergency care, a dental cleaning, grooming, or just a check-up, we would love to see them! Call 281-693-7387 to make an appointment quickly and easily.

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