Everyday, I go through the same scenario. I am trying to sleep, but my cat is meowing at 3 A.M. in front of my door during the blink of the night and gets my attention, keeping me away from sleep.
So why do cats make weird noises at night? If you have this problem too, I’ve researched deeply and created this article that has everything you need to know about why cats make these weird sounds at night and and what can be done about it.
Why Is My Cat Making Weird Noises At Night?
It is important to understand that cats are naturally nocturnal animals. This means that they sleep during the day while they are active and busy hunting at night.
Wild cats hunt during the night, and domestic cats maintain this tendency.
In short, research tells us cats make noises at night because being a hunter is is imprinted in their physiology. Similarly to the way birds sings in the morning to attract females, cats meow during the night to mark their territory.
Although there are many other different causes and symptoms for a cat to meow at night, and we have outlined them below in this article, cats are predetermined by nature to have their own unique sleep-awake cycles that allow them to take advantage of their prey as predators.
Cats are able to hunt better during night because their prey sees less due to lack of light.
A lot of indoor cats typical lack daily activity, because while you are at work, your cat will spend that time mostly napping. When you come home from work, then her day begins.
Research on cat behavior shows that even cats that have developed sleep patterns similar to ours, still wake up several times during the night. She is then awake so she will jump at your every move in bed, trying to get you to play with her at least a little bit.
Humans are diurnal beings, which means we are usually awake during the day while we sleep at night. The goal you want to have with your cat is to teach your cat to follow you, and so be awake during the day while sleeping at night.
So what do you need to do to train your cat to sleep at night?
Ownership Mistakes That Make Your Cat Yowl At Night
Many owners make the mistake of allowing their cats to be there, so they feed them or play with them during the night. It’s a big mistake, because that’s just how you make your cat keep doing it because you’re supporting such behavior.
Cats are very innovative and persistent in finding ways to get you to do what they want. Don’t fall for their tricks!
While this shouldn’t even be mentioned, by no means physically punish her. You will create fear, mistrust and possibly aggression in her, and only then will it be difficult for you to get rid of all these problems.
If your cat is troubling you by scratching your door at night, put aluminum foil or bubble wrap on the door. Cats don’t like aluminum and are very likely to stop it on their own with unwanted behavior.
The most important thing to remember is that this is not an huge problem, and that there is a way to solve it. Be persistent and patient and be sure to stick to a sleep and feeding schedule despite your cat’s innate persistence.
Don’t let your cat sleep, especially in the early evening. If you do this from the beginning, because if a cat gets used to sleeping during the day, it is harder to get used to it.
It is extremely important that you follow the same schedule every day. Cats are known as slaves to habit! Close the bedroom door or deny her access to the usual places where she sleeps.
However, it is also always possible that your cat has health problems that may explain her behavior, and if that is the case be sure to visit the veterinarian.
Causes & Symptoms Of Cat Meowing At Night
Unfortunately, as humans we don’t always understand meowing and just don’t know what exactly our cat or cat wants to tell us with it. Sometimes it takes a lot of empathy, patience and a good dose of detective work to discover the reasons for meowing, and after all, every cat is different.
But despite individual preferences, habits, experiences and needs, one of the following causes often lies behind night meowing:
- Stress and insecurity
- Illness or pain
- Hormonal changes
How To Teach To Your Cat To Meow Less During The Night
If you are talking to your cat and you want a dialogue, it is best to reward meowing with food or whatever the cat wants. But it is more common for people to want their cat to be less talkative. It requires more patience.
All cats react badly to punishment and so will not learn anything. The only way to get a cat to do something you want is with a reward system. You will have to stop feeding her when she asks for it by meowing.
Have the cat follow the pelvis in a circle around you, and lower it only when it stops meowing. In time, your pet will realize that he wants to walk around you without sound, but you have to be persistent and patient.
Even your attention is a kind of reward, so it’s best to ignore the cat when it meows, and pet it when it’s quiet.
Although chatter in cats usually means that they want something, sometimes it can be that something hurts or bothers them.
Each owner should be able to assess for themselves whether excessive meowing is normal or perhaps a symptom of something else. In case you suspect that your pet has a problem, it is best to consult a veterinarian.
5 Things You Can Do To Encourage Your Cat To Sleep During The Night
Cats are known to be big sleepers – they can sleep up to 20 hours a day – but they certainly make up for it at night when they play or hunt some flying bugs. The simplest solution to the noise a cat makes during the night is to simply not let it into your bedroom.
If you try to prevent your pet from waking you up behind closed doors, be prepared for a few nights of sad meowing and scratching at the door.
The worst thing you can do during this period is pay attention to it – you have to stay firm and ignore your cat so she too will stop trying to get into the bedroom.
For those who like to have a cat sleep with them in bed, there are several other solutions that should allow you to sleep peacefully with your pet.
Simply locking the bedroom during the night is not always effective, as it can still scratch the door to let you in.
The best solution is to increase your activity level during the day, to sleep at night. This can be very difficult if you are away from home during the day, but it is possible to create an environment, which will increase its activity:
One of the surest ways to make a cat not bother you at night is to tire it well. Play with it anytime during the day or in the evening before bed and it should exhaust her enough that she won’t bother you in the early hours of the morning.
Get interesting toys and invent games that require as much running and jumping as possible. It is best for a cat to have a lot of interactive toys, so that they can satisfy its hunting instincts, and so that they can release energy that they sometimes do not lack.
After playing, it is important to offer her a quality meal before bed. In that way, you imitate what is happening in the wild, that is – hunting, killing and consuming prey.
Don’t forget to give your pet a few more cookies before bed because otherwise she might wake up early in the morning due to hunger.
2. Eating Schedule
Since cats sleep in shorter periods than humans as is beneficial to who they are as predators, it is logical that they get up earlier than humans. If you lower the blinds in the bedroom to the end, you will prolong their sleep.
Except for the sun, cats get up early because of hunger so you can leave them some toy that rewards cookies. In case you have a light sleep, even such a toy will probably wake you up, so all you have to do is leave food in advance or get one of the machines that release cat food on their own at a certain time.
Here are 2 changes you can make:
1) Serve the biggest meal of the day in the evening, to encourage drowsiness
2) Serve her breakfast as late as possible in the morning so that she expects food later
3. A Place By The Window
Provide her with a comfortable place by the window, through which she will be able to watch what is happening in the outside world, which will make her sleep less during the day. For her, it’s going to be like television for you, and just remember how many times you’ve stayed up long into the night because of some good movie.
4. Bird Feeder
Get the ones you can stick on the windows, because something like that will be her source of entertainment for hours.
An indoor cat will keep close attention to your bird feeder and it can be a fantastic way to enrich your cat’s view, especially during cold winter months.
5. Adopting Another Pet
If you are able, consider adopting another pet. This will definitely reduce her boredom during the day and increase the level of activity, which will not involve you.
Tip: It’s important to ignore your cat during the night. If you don’t, she will think such behavior is acceptable so she will start to intensify it. Although cats are nocturnal animals, it is indeed possible to alleviate this activity of theirs, and more sleep for your pet means more sleep for you.
Why Some Cats Meow At Night While Others Don’t
Every cat is born with a certain genetically innate ‘chatter’. Some types of cats such as the Siamese are more talkative than others. But the environment can amplify or reduce it.
Talkative cats generally start out as such and remain chatty all their lives.
Silent cats that start meowing more often do so because of humans. For example, if you notice that meowing can bring food, they won’t hesitate to be chatty.
Do I Have To Take My Cat To The Vet If She Meows At Night?
Although meowing at night in many cats is psychologically conditioned, ie associated with boredom, insufficient workload or loneliness, it is possible that physical illness may be behind it all.
If your cat suddenly changes its behavior, visit a veterinarian first. Maybe your beloved pet is really sick and needs medication or special food. And when your cat’s veterinarian determines that her health is perfect because of that information, you will sleep more peacefully.
You can also now try the above measures against mentally conditioned meowing, but calmly and with a lot of patience.
However, if all this does not help and the cat’s whining at night simply does not stop, do not hesitate to seek professional help from an experienced cat psychologist.
Finally, not only do you suffer from a lack of sleep, but your cat probably feels bad too and wants to express his needs by meowing loudly, and it’s up to you to discover them.