Why do Cats Vocalize Extremely at Night?

Have you ever heard cats crying at night, the sound is so loud that even your nightly sleep is disturbed? Well, there is always someone who has experienced such behavior. Sometimes the sound gets so creepy, it sounds like a baby crying. If you are a cat owner, you might have expected to hear your cat meowing and yowling loudly at night. A cat’s nighttime vocalization is your cat telling you different things. Like it might be telling you that it is hungry, wants your attention, or needs immediate health assistance. So, it is important to address your cat’s vocalization and try to understand what your cat is trying to say. Sometimes your cat might do so out of habit. It causes disturbances to your good night’s sleep and ruins your sleep schedule. You don’t want that to happen. In this blog, we are going to talk about different reasons that cause your cat to vocalize extremely at night and how you can prevent such behavior.

Reasons Why Cats Vocalize Extremely

There can be different things that might be triggering your cat’s extreme vocalization. Knowing the reason for your cat’s behavior is important to keep your cat happy and healthy. So, here we have listed the reason why your cat meows or yowls loudly at night.

Natural Instinct

Cats are naturally active at night. The predator instinct from their ancestors is adapted by the cats which tell them that nighttime is a great time for them to hunt for prey. Although cats who are kept indoors do not usually need to hunt, the stray needs to look for their prey themselves. So, it makes sense for the stray cat outside your house to yowl and meow at night. Indoor cats also adapt to those instincts. So, they also stay awake at night. If they are trained well not to do so then it is likely for them to stop doing so as they mature. You don’t have to worry about your cat’s instinct kicking in and disturbing your nighttime.

Boredom and Loneliness

Cats are active animals and get bored if they do not get enough stimulation physically and mentally. So, they seek attention from their favorite human. One of their ways of seeing attention is also by vocalizing. If your cat does not get enough play and stimulation during the daytime and hasn’t tired itself then that might be one of the reasons for your cat to vocalize extremely at night. At night when everyone is asleep but your cat is not tired enough to rest then it will feel lonely and try to get its human’s attention urging them to play by meowing for a long time. Sometimes the vocalization may occur frequently and if you are always giving in to its vocalization then it can encourage such behavior more. This can be troublesome to you.

Hunger and Thirst

One of the reasons for your cat’s extreme vocalization is hunger and thirst as well. It is important for the cat to have access to fresh drinking water all the time and should be fed well. The water that is provided to your cat should be clean and its water bowl should also be cleaned regularly. If your cat gets hungry then know that nothing gonna stop it from meowing and yowling until it is fed. The feeding time should be consistent. This makes sure that your cat is aware when its meal is served. If your cat is unsure then it can meow and yowl whenever it feels hungry. The dinner that you feed your cat should be enough to keep your cat going through the whole evening without eating. If it gets hungry in the middle of the night or does not get access to drinking water then it will trigger their excessive howling and yowling at nighttime.

Wants to go outside

If you own a cat that loves to spend time both indoors and outdoors then breaking this habit can be very hard. If your cat does not get access to go outside or enter the house then it will likely cause your cat to yowl or meow excessively. If it does so outside then it can disturb the whole neighborhood and if it does so indoors then the whole house will be disturbed. Cats who are kept indoors should also have access to their personal toilet which is a litter tray. If they do not have a clean litter tray then it will likely want to go outside. So, they might do os even during the night, whenever it feels like pooping.

 In the heat

A male cat or female cat usually yowls loudly when they are in heat. If a female cat goes into heat then it yowls in search of a mating partner. The yowling usually happens at night.  The female cat releases a smell that only the male cat is able to smell. The smell drives the male cat into heat and it starts to yowling. The yowling is also associated with loud screeching . Hearing them yowl at night when they are in heat can be maddening to the listener.

Signs of Illness

When a cat is in pain or in discomfort then it vocalizes more than it usually does. Your cat might be injured or might be suffering from chronic illness. If you notice your cat’s frequent vocalization it is best to take your cat to the vet and see if there is any health problem. Some illnesses can be life-threatening for your cat. So, take note of signs that your cat shows and keep an ear to your cat’s vocalization. If you want you can prepare notes dedicated to your cats behavior.

Stress and Anxiety

Mental problems can also be seen in cats. They experience stress and anxiety which causes the to vocal extremely. Stress and anxiety can be caused due to different things like moving to a new place, a new member of the family being introduced, lack of affection, or the loss of a family member. A visit to the vet can diagnose the mental condition of your cat.


As your cats get older they lose the ability to understand the situation. The cat can suffer from mental confusion and cognitive dysfunction syndrome. These are the direct effect of aging cats. Your cat may also lose eyesight and hearing. So, whenever it gets dark the cat is unable to see properly which causes them to get anxious leading to excessive vocalization.

How to Prevent Cat’s Extreme Vocalization?

As mentioned at the beginning of the blog, cats are vocal most of the time, especially at night time which can be maddening. Your sleep schedule gets messed up and you might face different problems. It can be also signs of your cats facing different problems. Having to face it regularly is not beneficial for you and your feline friend. After finding the root cause of your cat’s behavior you need to take action to prevent such behavior. Here are some ways you can prevent your cat from being vocal extremely.

Providing enough Stimulation

Cats are active animals and require stimulation to stay busy. If they do not get enough stimulation then they feel irritated and ruin your nighttime. There are many ways to keep your cat busy. You can find different toys dedicate to cats and some you can make yourself. When your cat gets to spend time playing with the toys they get tired and can rest in the nighttime. You can put treats in different places and let them search for the treatment themselves. This gets your cat stimulated mentally and physically. You can also spend quality time with your cat before bedtime. Like spending a few hours playing with your cat.

Resetting Internal Clock

Cats have this tendency to do everything on their instinct. At a young age, their instincts tell them to stay active at night time. You can reset their instincts with great patience. You can provide them toys to stay alert and active during the daytime and provide and hearty play session before night falls. After the end of the playtime provide them their dinner. Your cat will feel tired and will be dedicated more to taking a nap. A tired body with a full stomach is perfect for a good sleep. The meal should be provided just before bedtime. This ensures that your cat won’t disturb you for that midnight snack.

Providing plenty of Food and Water

Whenever your cat gets hungry or thirsty they become more vocal to let you know that they need food and water. It is best to create a feeding schedule for your cat. Creating a schedule for your cat can be tiresome and requires great patience. Your cat might ask for food out of habit. It is important to not give in when your cats ask for food. Push back the meal time before bedtime to keep your cat full the whole night. When feeding them feed plenty, so they are full after a meal. Providing an adequate diet for your cat is important for your cat to stay healthy. Likewise, provide access to clean water for your cat. The feeding bowl should be cleaned regularly to prevent your cat from getting sick.

Ignore the Vocalization

Cats are intelligent animals and they are well known for making their owner do whatever they want. Even if they’re well-fed, played enough played, and are physically and mentally fit, they use this strategy to garner more food. Giving the food more than they need is bad for your cat’s health. So, it is best to ignore your cat’s night vocalization. We know it is hard to shrug off this behavior of your cat but you need to make your cat believe that you won’t get out of your bed no matter the noise it produces. If you give in then it will think that it is working and will repeat this behavior. If you are patient enough to bear the worse situation of your cat’s vocalization then your cat would get the idea and stop doing so. We suggest investing in a good earplug during that time.

Placing Night Lights

If you have an elder cat then placing a night light can be beneficial for your cat. As we have mentioned that elder cats have visual problems and hard to allocate the situation. A night light can help them have a good sight at night and also provide sight to walk around.

Neutering the Cat

A neutered cat does not go in heat. They lose the urge to mate. So, you don’t have to worry about your cat going to heat and being extremely vocal. This also minimizes the chance of birthing many kittens and keeps the both male and the female cat healthy.

A Clean Litter Space

Cats do not like dirty spaces. They prefer their litter box to be clean as well. If they do not have a litter space then they go outside to poop. It is okay in day time but you wouldn’t want your cat to meow at night to let it go outside for littering. So, you can place a litter box for your cat. You should also clean the litter box often otherwise, the cant won’t use the litter box.

Routine Health Checkup

Keeping an eye on your cat’s health can also prevent your cat’s extreme vocalizations. One of the ways to do so is a yearly routine checkup. This helps find any problems in your cat in the early stage and prevents them from being life-threatening. Different tests are done to ensure that the cat is healthy and fit. If any problem is found then the vet can provide medicine and diet for your cat to prevent any further complications.

In Short,

There are different reasons behind a cat’s vocalization. It is important to identify the problem to minimize such behavior. Keep your sleep before your cat. If you are also facing such a problem with your cat then follow the above mentions ways to prevent the problem. Sometimes you might have to do the hardest job of ignoring your cat such behavior to train your cat. Be patient and do not try to give in and in a few weeks your cat will be able to minimize its excessive vocalization.
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Arun Sapkota

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