Just like humans, cats make noise when they want to communicate. While people use words and different tones or volumes to express themselves, cats make a range of different noises. It can take time to understand the different noises your cat makes, and some may seem baffling. One of the strange noises that cats make is crying at night. So why do cats cry at night and is there anything you can do to stop this cat behavior? There are multiple reasons why cats may cry at night and identifying the cause can help you to decide what you can do about this or even if you need to do anything at all. The following are the six main reasons why cats cry at night.
Boredom and Anxiety
One of the most common causes of a cat crying at night is boredom. When a cat becomes bored, they try to let you know by making noise. If you are concerned that your cat is bored or its crying is keeping you awake, you can easily resolve this situation. Make sure your cat has some cat toys to keep them entertained when you are not around to play. In the same way that cats can become bored at night, they can also become anxious, says Cat Chat. This is often because their humans are asleep, so they feel as though they are alone in the house.
Cats are intelligent creatures, and they soon learn how to get what they want. Vocalization is often the way that they attract their owner’s attention to tell them they are hungry, scared, or want some attention. If making noise gets them what they want, they will continue to make lots of noise. Over time, making noise becomes a habit, and your cat may make noise for no apparent reason.
Normal Nocturnal Activity
According to Purina, a cat crying at night is possibly not a cause for concern. It is often linked to cats being more active at night. You may have noticed that your feline friend likes to take long naps during the day, and they then want to play at night. They are more vocal at night simply because they are more active. Although many people believe that cats are nocturnal animals, they are crepuscular, which means they are at their most active at dawn and dusk. The most active felines are young cats, and they think dawn and dusk is the perfect time to hunt and be vocal.
Another reason that cats make a crying sound at night is part of the mating ritual. Cats make a yowling sound to attract other cats and let them know they are interested. The only way to stop your cat from doing this is to have it neutered, and this applies to both males and females. Once your cat is neutered, its desire to mate is removed and the yowling will stop. An added advantage of having your cat neutered is to prevent unwanted kittens. It can also reduce aggression in male cats.
Whether your cat is an indoor cat or an outdoor cat and their daily routine can also make a difference to how much your cat cries at night. If you let your cat outdoors during the day, but keep them in the house at night, it is possible that their crying is letting you know that they are feeling restricted. When a cat becomes accustomed to the freedom of the outdoors, they can find being trapped inside the house very restricting. If you live in a relatively safe area and you are happy for your cat to go outdoors, consider fitting a cat flap so your cat can come and go as it pleases.
Part of the Aging Process
If your cat suddenly starts being more vocal at night as they get older, it is possibly due to the aging process. As a cat gets older, a cat can suffer from Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, which is caused by the natural process of aging on the brain. There are many symptoms of this condition, including disorientation. When a cat becomes disorientated, they may express themselves by crying.
A Symptom of Some Conditions
In most cases, a cat crying at night is perfectly normal feline behavior and you do not need to worry or try and correct the behavior. However, it is potentially a sign of some serious illnesses. Two conditions linked to cats crying at night are kidney disease and an overactive thyroid. If your cat suddenly becomes more vocal at night after previously not crying, then it is recommended that you take your cat to see your vet. They can check that there is no underlying cause for the increased vocalization.
How to Stop a Cat Crying at Night
As a cat crying at night is usually normal, you do not necessarily have to do anything about it, unless you are concerned that your cat’s health is the cause of the behavior. However, if you are not concerned but simply find the behavior annoying or disturbing at night, there are some things that you can do to reduce the likelihood of your cat crying. The first step is to ensure they have something to keep them entertained at night. Next, make sure they do not feel trapped. Either let them have the run of the house or fit a cat flap if they usually spend the daytime outdoors. Keeping your cat more active in the day can reduce their nighttime activities, including vocalization. Another tip is to move your cat’s feeding time to later in the day, as this can make them feel happier and calmer at night. Finally, if your cat’s crying is out of character and starts suddenly, make sure you book an appointment with the vet to rule out any health problems.