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Why Do Cats Meow At Night? What Can You Do About It?

Why Do Cats Meow At Night? What Can You Do About It?

It is very typical for cat owners to complain about not sleeping due to their cat’s meowing. But why exactly does your cat do that?

The reason why your cat meows at night is that he may be unstimulated or bored. Cats meowing at night can be mainly due to attention-seeking behavior. Before going to bed, encourage your cat to engage in active play, which may help your cat to be tired out at night and have a better night’s sleep.

Why Is Your Cat Meowing At Night?

Owners most commonly complain about their cats crying or meowing in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, this behavior is very frequent, especially in older cats. Most likely, your cat wants your attention, which serves the purpose of reassuring him that you are still around and that you didn’t abandon him. Cats meow during the day too. However, night cry seems to be louder and way more demanding.

Older Cats Vs. Younger Cats: Who Meows The Most At Night?

Older Cats

Older cats do not move around as easily or as fast as they did when they were younger. So, they find it easier to call for their humans instead of going to them. In general, older cats usually depend more on their humans not only for accommodation or food but for reassurance.

Younger Cats

As with babies, younger cats may also get into the habit of crying in the middle of the night. Sometimes younger cats might do it out of boredom, but a more likely reason might be because they feel anxious. Changes can impact your kitten’s mental health. Variations in their environment are one of the main causes of anxiety in cats.

Adopted Cats

Adopted cats use night calling or meowing when they are not yet adapted or comfortable with their new environment. Suppose you adopted a cat from a shelter. In that case, he is probably used to sleeping among many other animals and will need time to adjust to his new home.


Common Causes Of Cats Meowing At Night

Are you wondering why your cat is meowing at night? Well, there are six main reasons why your cat may be doing this, including:

Cats’ Activity Level Increases At Night.

A cat’s meowing may have a lot to do with the fact that they are naturally more active at certain times of the night. Cats are considered to be crepuscular, which means that they are most active at dusk and dawn. Even if many cats can adapt to their humans’ routine, this crepuscular tendency remains. This will mean that your cat might be especially active in the very early hours of the morning when their humans are asleep.

Younger cats have an even higher tendency to be active at night because their instincts tell them it is a great time to hunt. However, as they mature, their rhythms will match those of other family members, which hopefully could mean less meowing at night.

Cats Act As If Being Unstimulated Or Bored


Your cat might be crying at night just because he is bored or because he didn’t tire himself out throughout the day. Actively playing with your cat during the day may help you ensure that he is more tired out during night times. This will also keep his mind happy and active. Essentially, the cat may be seeking attention at night by meowing.

Even if it is vital to care for your cat’s needs, complying with your cat’s constant request for attention may encourage him to ask for it more often. In such a case, it might be wise not to give in too frequently.

If you have an indoor cat that does not have access to an outdoor space, try to make enough time for playing throughout the day. Otherwise, your cat may find himself dissatisfied when you go off to bed, which will lead him to start meowing at night.

Outdoor Cats May Do It When They Feel Trapped

This may be the case for cats who are outdoors during the day and indoors at night. If this is your cat’s case, there is a high chance that your cat might be meowing at night because he feels that he is trapped. If you have the conditions and it is safe for your cats, consider installing a cat flap. A flap will let your cat go out at night so that he is free to use his energy outside.

A Symptom Of Aging In Elderly Cats

Aging can impact all of us, and cats are not the exception to the rule. As cats age, the aging effects on the brain can leave a cat feeling disoriented. For example, meowing at night is one of the symptoms of CDS (Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome). It is directly related to aging’s effect on a cat’s brain.

Health Conditions: Kidney Disease Or Overactive Thyroid

If your cat is frequently meowing at night, you should see his vet to check up on his health. The reasoning for this is excessive vocalization could be a sign of kidney disease or hyperthyroidism in cats. If this is a recent behavior for your cat, you should consult your veterinarian to determine whether your cat has any underlying conditions.

Yowling Or Meowing Could Be The Mating Sound

Cats’ meowing and extremely loud screeching can be a mating sound.

What Can I Do About My Cat’s Meowing At Night?


Whenever possible, it is always recommended that you first contact your veterinarian. We do this to make sure that there is nothing physically wrong with your cat. A veterinarian can also give you advice on how to reduce the amount of time your cat stays up at night, meowing.

However, some things may have a positive impact on reducing your cat’s meowing at night. For example, you can do things like feeding your cat later in the evening so that he will stay full at night. Additionally, keeping him more active during the day will keep his mind happy and active, thus reducing unwanted night activities. Sometimes it can be challenging to know what our pets require from us, but we have to make an effort.

What Not To Do If Your Cat Is Meowing At Night?

Do Not Punish Your Cat For Meowing.

In the long run, shouting, hitting, and spraying cats with water is ineffective and does nothing to calm them. If anything, those actions will make your cat dislike you or lose trust in you.

Don’t Ignore The Meowing Before Making Sure There’s No Problem.

Even if you do not wish to reward your cat’s meowing, there are times cats meow for a good reason. For example, if the water bowl is empty, he is trapped in a room or can’t reach their litter box. When your cat meows, first check on him to know if it is a problem that you must fix right away or if it’s something you can safely ignore.

Don’t Give In.

If your cat has grown used to getting what he wants every time he meows, then he will always meow louder and more often when the behavior stops working. Simply put, it will probably get worse before it gets better. So continue to ignore his meowing and reward quiet behavior. Eventually, he’ll get the idea.


The first step to help your cat get more sleep and sleep through the night is to figure out why he meows at night in the first place. Keeping in mind your cat’s needs, being patient, and being considerate will help you change his habits. As a result, both of you will get a good night’s sleep.