Why Do Some Cats Meow All Night?

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Does it always appear as if your cat is meowing at four in the morning, every single day? Do you get up to check on your furry feline and see them sitting down the hallway, suddenly quiet? If you’re curious or even a little bit concerned about why your cat is crying at night, The Refined Feline has some answers and guidance.

Cats Meow From Boredom

Boredom is one of the most common reasons for cats meowing at night. Cats have a lot of energy and in the wild, would be hunting from dusk to dawn. If they don’t get all that playful energy out during the daytime, they may wander around trying to find something interesting to do. They may start meowing to get attention from you or another animal, so they have a playmate.

To avoid this from happening, play often with your cat throughout the daytime hours. Cats typically require about half an hour to an hour’s worth of playtime, divided into smaller bits during the day. You can hang some cat wall shelves for cats to climb on, as well as put out fun and interesting toys for them to play with overnight. Getting plenty of exercise will help cats sleep more thoroughly during the night.

Cats Meow From Hunger

If your cat is hungry, they will not be shy when it comes to asking for more food. If your cat doesn’t have free-feed access, they may end up feeling hungry throughout the night. In addition to meowing or yowling due to “starvation,” your cat may also paw at your face to wake you up. If your cat is playing the hunger card, try splitting up their last meal of the day. If you feed them once or twice a day, feed them two or three times to spread out their food and satiate them more. It’s worth it to split dinner so they get a small portion before bed so (hopefully) they are full until morning. This way you aren’t adding any more calories to their diet, but they are not feeling hungry either.

Cats Seek Attention Through Meowing

A cat may just be trying to get your attention for a variety of reasons, similar to boredom. They may have attempted to wake you through pawing at the door or your face, but it didn’t work. Positive or negative, it’s still attention to a cat, so they will most likely continue trying various tactics. There are rare occurrences when cats are waking you to a potential danger in the house, but that’s generally not the norm. Your cat may be seeking your affection, cuddles or contact in some way, but is not necessarily bored. If this feels like the case in your household, your feline may be feeling ignored during the daytime. Try to set aside quality time with your furry friend so they feel more content, especially before bed.

Stress or Pain Will Cause Cats to Meow

Hearing your cat yowling or near screaming doesn’t automatically mean it’s pain or stress-related. However, you should be noting any sudden changes in your cat, like any random meowing at night. It could be a sign of pain rather than boredom if your cat’s behavior also includes mood changes or eating less. Sudden schedule or environment changes can cause cats to become stressed. This stress may be shown through meowing or even wandering around the house. Have your feline checked out by your vet if you have any concerns over their meowing or their behavior.

Old Age Can Cause Excess Meowing

Pain or stress aside, old age can also increase vocalization in your cat. This can be due to your cat’s hearing or eyesight diminishing. They can potentially become confused or disoriented, turning to vocalization for guidance or to find out where you went. Hyperthyroidism, among other medical conditions, can also increase your cat’s vocalization. Extra meowing, in addition to drinking and eating more, yet losing weight, can be signs of this condition.

If it appears your cat’s health is changing, even a little, you should take your cat to the vet. There could be a variety of medical reasons behind the meowing, even if it appears to be behavioral. A cat’s behavior can suddenly change because of an underlying medical condition, which you may not be able to see right away.

Cats Meow for Many Different Reasons

In the end, observing your cat’s personality every day will help you decide why they’re meowing when they do. It may be something simple like extra attention, playtime or treats. Or it could be the start of your cat getting older and needing a helping hand more often. Either way, you now have more knowledge to determine why your cat is meowing, so that you can both enjoy a good night’s sleep.

About the Author

Brett Gee

Brett Gee is a marketing and advertising professional who has been working in advertising messaging, copy writing and content development for the better part of his 30+ year career. His experience spans across a variety of industries, markets and channels. Among his personal and professional interests is, of course, pets and animals. Aside from his[...] Author Details

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