Cats aren’t seen as being noisy animals for the most part. Unless you are unlucky enough to have a pair of them getting up to no good outside your window, you aren’t going to hear anything too loud.
Why does your cat meow at night? They might want your attention or for you to get them what they can’t obtain. They might be bored and want to play. Kittens usually meow because they are bored or feeling stressed. To stop this behavior, you need to make sure your cat is healthy and gets enough attention, has enough food and water for the night, enough toys to play with, and that its litter box is clean.
But, there are cat owners that struggle with the non-stop meowing of their indoor cats at night. This can become a big issue if you don’t deal with it early on. So, why is your cat meowing at night and what can you do about it for a quieter existence?
Why Does My Cat Meow At Night?
There is no definitive answer that applies to every cat. Instead, you need to take the time to figure out why your cat may be so keen to get your attention.
- Cats are more active at night in general. There is a good chance that they are doing this because they are simply wide awake and want something from you. That could be food, access to clean litter, playtime, or just basic attention.
- Your cat is hungry. If you feed your cat early in the evening, consider shifting the feeding time to a later time. Your cat might just be hungry and try to get your attention at night to be fed.
- Your cat is bored. Sometimes cats meow just because they feel bored and want a play buddy.
- Your cat feels trapped. If your cat is really keen on spending its time outdoors, it might simply want to go out for a walk at night and want you to open the door. Consider installing a cat flap to stop this behavior.
- The litter box is dirty. Cats are well-known for loving their things to be clean. In this case, they might refuse to use their litter box if it is dirty and will meow for you to let them outside to do their business.
- Your cat is lonely. If you don’t spend enough time at home during the daytime or have a demanding job, your cat might simply want to spend more time with you while you are at home.
- Your cat is stressed. Others may meow through signs of greater distress, either rational or irrational. It is important to understand your cat’s behavior and to work on reducing nightly meowing with the right tools.
- Your cat wants to mate. If your cat is not spayed or neutered, that might be the reason why your cat meows at night.
- Your cat is getting old. It is one of the proven signs of your cat getting old, there is not much you can do about it.
Why Does My Cat Keep Meowing Every Night?
There are a few potential reasons why cats meow every night.
- One of the most common with younger cats is feelings of uncertainty from being alone all night. It can take some time for kittens to settle and feel secure. Older cats that are awake a lot during the night could start meowing because they know it is a good way to get your attention.
You could end up falling into a bit of a repetitive cycle here if you aren’t careful. The cat wakes up and wants something it can’t obtain.
- They then meow until you get out of bed to give them attention and provide what they couldn’t have.
You have an interrupted night’s sleep while the cat learns that meowing at night works in their favor. So, they continue to meow for your attention at night. This will only stop when you stop answering them.
Should I Ignore My Cat Meowing At Night?
If this meowing is a common problem then ignoring your cat may be the best approach. It sounds mean, especially with young kittens. However, the sooner they learn that incessant meowing doesn’t work, the sooner it will stop. Kittens that meow because they don’t want to be alone can get used to a nighttime routine. Cats that want attention will start amusing themselves with time. But, there are also things that you can do to enhance their nighttime experience and reduce the need to meow.
With this said, you shouldn’t ignore a meowing cat if you believe that the sound is a legitimate cry for help. It is worth getting up and checking on your cat if,
- your cat is meowing at night when they are normally quite quiet,
- they are louder and more frantic than normal, or,
- they are making a different sound to the normal meow for attention.
If any of these occur, it could be that the cat has encountered something to distress them, injured themselves, or is dealing with some other problem.
How Do You Stop A Cat From Meowing All Night?
The best way to stop a cat from meowing all night is to do your best to remove any reason for them to do so. If you can figure out why they meow so often, narrowing it down to a specific trigger, you can work to remove that and make things a lot easier for them. This can include the following:
- Ensure that there is access to enough food and water so your cat doesn’t ask for any. Easy access to food and water – replenished before bed – means that they don’t get distressed from hunger or thirst or come and find you in the night to fix things.
- Provide enough in the way of entertainment so that your cat doesn’t meow out of boredom. Entertainment could be any form of toy or enrichment that occupies their mind and their time. It does help other members of the household if it is nice and quiet though. No squeaky toys.
- Clean out their litter tray before bed so they aren’t bothered by it in the middle of the night. While you might not like the idea of cleaning out the litter tray before bed, your cat will thank you for making any nighttime trips a little more pleasant.
- Spend some quality time with your cat. In case your cat is lonely, giving it some love and affection before bedtime can significantly improve the meowing situation.
- Simply ignore this behavior. If you made sure that your cat is healthy, well-fed, and entertained, that means that your cat is simply being naughty and trying to get your attention. You need to let it know that it’s not the proper way to go about it.
These small changes to a nighttime routine can make a big difference to the well-being of your cat and reduce the chance of them meowing out of distress or boredom. Creating a good bedtime routine can help cats with separation issues or other forms of anxiety.
A lot of cats thrive on routine and get stressed out when things are different. This is why there are so many cases of stress and anxiety when there is bereavement or families move house. One way to help helps stay calm and content each night is to create a strong routine.
Putting an indoor cat to bed, in their own little comfortable area of the home, can help them to feel cozy and secure. They can settle down and may have a better chance of sleeping through the night. Regular efforts with the factors above help too.
In short, while you can’t assume that your cat is always meowing for no reason, you also can’t go running every time they make a noise. Learn the difference between a sound of true distress and the meows of a bored or frustrated cat in need of attention. Do your best to anticipate their needs and provide a good setup for them every night to limit their need to call for you. It might take a little time as you both figure out the new routine. But, it will eventually lead to some quieter nights.
My name is Katie, and I have had different pets at home for as long as I can remember. While I can definitely say I love all animals in general, my heart belongs to cats and dogs. I know you are supposed to choose one or the other, but I could never really decide. I’ve also owned hamsters and fish when I was a kid, and they filled my childhood with very delightful memories.