Why Your Cat is Meowing at Night
Your cat’s nocturnal meowing may have much to do with the fact that they are naturally more active at certain hours of the night. Although it’s popularly thought that cats are nocturnal, this is not strictly true. However, they are crepuscular – meaning that they are naturally most active at dusk and dawn. Although many cats do adapt to the routine of their owners, this crepuscular tendency means that your cat may be especially active in the early hours of the morning, when the rest of the house is asleep. Younger cats have an increased tendency to be active at night, as their instincts tell them that this is a great time to hunt. As they mature, thought, it is likely that their rhythm will adapt to that of the rest of the household, which may hopefully mean less cat meowing at night.
Your cat may simply be especially vocal at night because they are bored – or because they haven’t tired themselves out during the day. Active play before bedtime may help to ensure that they are more tired out at night, as will trying to keep their minds active and happy during the day. Meowing at night can essentially be attention-seeking behaviour. Although it is important to attend to your cat’s needs, constantly complying with their asking for attention at night may lead to them asking for it more frequently, so if this is a frequent occurrence, try not to give in too often. Try reading our tips on cat psychology for useful information to help you keep your cat happy and engaged: Cat care and cat psychology
If your cat is consistently meowing at night, it’s a good idea to consult with a vet to check up on their health. This is because excessive vocalisation, including at night, can be a sign of overactive thyroid or kidney disease in cats.
Ageing can affect all of us, and cats are no different. As they age, it is possible that the effects of ageing on the brain can leave your cat disoriented. CDS (Cognitive Disfunction Syndrome) is directly related to the effect of ageing on a cat’s brain, and can have a variety of symptoms, of which meowing at night is one.
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 letting them out at night so that they are free to expend their energy outside.
As many of us know through experience, extremely loud screeching and cat meowing at night can be the sound of cats mating. As this is a natural process, short of getting your cat neutered, there is rather little that can be done.
What can be done?
As always, the first port of call should be the vet’s office, to make sure that there is nothing physically wrong with your cat. They are also likely to be able to give you advice on things that may help with trying to reduce the instances of your cat’s night meowing. However, things like keeping your cat more active during the day and feeding them later in the evening to keep them satiated at night may have a positive impact.
It can be tricky to know what our pets need from us. Take a look at our cat body language article for information on how to tell how your cat is feeling through their body language.