Cat Behavior: Night-Time Meowing and How to Stop it

July 14, 2021

It’s not unusual that your cat is more active at night; all cat parents can attest to that. When you’re about to tuck yourself into bed, your feline friend is ready to party. This cat behavior is also known as night calls. 

This pesky cat behavior can be disruptive for you or a possible indicator of discomfort for them. Keeping them quiet at night can be challenging, and a lot of factors come into play. But the more you know the reason, the easier you can calm them down.

Cat Behavior Night-Time Meowing and How to Stop it
Does your cat meow and wake you up at night? Learn more about this common cat behavior and how to train them to stop it.

Why does my cat meow at night?

  • People tend to categorize cats as nocturnal, wrong! Nocturnals are owls and bats, and they are active all night long. Cats are crepuscular, meaning they are more active during dawn and dusk.
  • The fuss can also be a result of boredom or loneliness. Like a human toddler, it’s beneficial if they tire out from playing during the daytime.
  • Your cat is still trying to adapt to her new home. She feels disoriented because of the new surroundings.
  • Excessive meowing at night can also be concerning. If your cat yowls or meows frequently, a health issue might be the cause. A trip to the vet is in order.
  • Loud yowls are also a sign of mating—female cats yowl to express their readiness to mate. 
  • When you change her feeding schedule, meowing can also indicate hunger. Feeding her earlier than usual will possibly wake her up early in the morning due to an empty stomach. 

How to stop her night-time meowing?

Keep her active during the daytime. You will have to spend a lot of time playing with her the whole day. Otherwise, if you go to bed, they will still be in high gear. 

We recommend giving them toys to play with! Your cat will have both mental and physical activity through an interactive cat toy or a treat. It can stimulate their physical state and naturally will tire them out.

Do not free feed. In addition to playing with your cat before bedtime, feeding it an hour and a half prior is an excellent way to keep them asleep at night. Your cat needs to adapt to a specific schedule, or else they will nibble the whole day. 

Free feeding doesn’t give your cat the right time to process its food normally. Because they are in a constant digestive arch, their body emits erratic energy spikes. Feeding them three times a day at a 6-8 hours interval is highly recommended. 

Trigger your cat’s “prey-drive.” Like any other crepuscular creatures, the best time to hunt for rodents and other small prey is during dusk and dawn. An interactive play session is recommended to reset your cat’s internal hunting time clock.  

Buy a fishing pole-type toy and use it to play hide and seek. Keep them actively looking for the toy, hide it behind furniture, and so forth. It will take a while for this “therapy” to work and show effects on your cat’s behavior.

Set up a cozy night light. Flickering lights, ultra-bright LEDs, and ceiling lights can also be a reason for them having a hard time sleeping. Placing a dim night light (that doesn’t look like a toy) will make their bedroom comfortable and conducive to rest. Illuminating the room can confuse your cat’s body-clock, thus resulting in disorientation that will affect your cat’s behavior.

Set proximity boundaries. Do not play with them in the area where you sleep. Training them to play outside your resting space is a delicate way to affect a cat’s behavior. Keep your designated play area as far away from your bedroom. 

Eliminate the potential health issues. Your cat’s disruptive sleep cycle can also be a result of several health issues. Loud meowing can be an indicator of dementia or a sign of any cognitive dysfunction of an elder cat. 

Older cats will exhibit these signs of aging like us humans. Also, a thyroid or kidney disease might be the cause of this night-time meowing. If you notice any unusual cat behavior combined with frequent mowing, see a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Get them spayed. A longer and more dramatic meow at night is called caterwauling. Females caterwaul to signal the male cats that they are ready to mate. Your cat may also feel anxious by trying to escape and meet her male counterparts. 

The best way to reduce excessive meows is to spay your cat. Also, spaying reduces her risk of diseases such as uterine infections and some forms of cancer.

Lastly, ignore them. We know those fur-friends are the cutest! However, reinforcing a particular cat behavior takes patience and strength to not get swayed by those alluring eyes. Rewarding them when they show this annoying behavior serves no purpose. 

It’s going to be hard- you will crack, but you can do it! Stop giving them attention when the meowing starts at night. It will take weeks of patience to overcome this, but it will be better!

Losing sleep is common among cat owners. But knowing the reasons behind the loud meows and taking action to resolve them will make your usual 4-hour nightly sleep longer. #felines #felinefriends #cutecats #catthings

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