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Why Does My Cat Meow At Night?
Cat Meow

Why Does My Cat Meow At Night?

Does it always seem like your cat is meowing at four in the morning? Do you get up to check on your furry feline only to find them sitting in a hallway, suddenly quiet? If you’re curious or even concerned as to why your cat is crying at night, The Refined Feline has some answers.

Cats Will Meow From Boredom

One common reason why your cat is meowing at night could be boredom. Cats can be quite playful, most often around dusk and dawn when they’d be hunting in the wild. If they don’t get all that playful energy out before bedtime, they may wander around to find something interesting. They may be meowing to get the attention of other people or animals in the house so they have someone to play with.
To avoid this from happening, make sure you play with your cat as much as you can throughout the day. Cats typically need about half an hour to an hour’s worth of playtime, divided into smaller intervals. You can also leave some cat toys out for your cat to play with at night or add some cat shelves along your wall for cats to climb on. Getting enough exercise will help cats sleep through the night.

Cats Meow From Hunger

If a cat is hungry, they won’t feel bad asking for seconds no matter what time it is. If your cat doesn’t have free-feed access, they will probably feel hungry throughout the night, and won’t be quiet about it either. In addition to meowing or yowling because they are “starving”, your cat may also paw at your face to get your attention. If your cat is trying to get more food out of the situation, try splitting up their last meal of the day. If you feed them twice a day, try splitting up their dinner portion and give them a small amount of it for a late-night snack. You can also try using an automatic cat feeder. This will give them a set amount of food at set times. An automatic feeder can also help to break the association between you and food. So, if they’re hungry in the middle of the night, they won’t swat you in the face until they get fed.

Attention Seeking Is Another Reason Cats Meow

Similar to boredom, a cat may just be trying to get your attention for a variety of reasons. They may have already tried pawing at you or scratching the door without success. Positive or negative, it’s still attention to a cat, so they will try anything to wake you up. There are rare occurrences when cats are alerting you to some danger within the house, but that’s generally not the norm. Your cat may not want to play but may be seeking your affection or cuddles or contact in some way. If this is the case, then they may be feeling ignored during the daytime. Try to spend some extra time snuggling with them, especially before bed. 

Pain or Stress Will Cause Cats To Meow

If your cat is yowling or near screaming, this doesn’t automatically mean it’s pain or stress related. It is worth taking note of any sudden changes in your cat, like unexpectedly meowing at night. If the behavior comes with mood changes or eating less, it may be a sign of pain rather than boredom. Cats can also experience stress if their living environment or schedule changes. They may express this stress through meowing, sometimes while wandering around the house. If you have any concerns over their meowing or your cat’s behavior, it’s best to have them checked out by your vet. 

Besides pain and stress, old age can bring about added vocalization in your cat. It can be due to your cat’s eyesight or hearing diminishing, and they are meowing to find out where you went. They could also become disoriented or confused and are meowing for guidance. Some medical conditions, like hyperthyroidism, can also increase your cat’s vocalization. Extra vocalization, in addition to eating and drinking more but losing weight, can be a sign of this condition. 

If it seems like your cat’s health is changing at all, you should have them seen at the vet. Even if it appears to be a behavioral change in your cat, it’s best to have them checked out medically first. Sometimes a cat’s behavior will suddenly change because of an underlying medical condition. 

Related: How To Give Your Cat A Home Health Check

Cats Meow For Many Different Reasons

In the end, paying attention to your cat’s personality every day can help you decide why they’re meowing when they do. It may be something as simple as extra food or attention. It could also be the start of your cat aging and needing guidance. Either way, hopefully, you can determine why your cat is meowing so that you can both enjoy a good night’s sleep. 

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