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A fluffy white cat with piercing green eyes stands indoors, looking directly at the camera. The background shows a kitchen with various items on the counter, and a window letting in natural light.
Pet Blog

Why Does My Cat Meow at Night

Cat pawrents ask themselves many questions about their peculiar critters; one of which is “why does my cat meow at night?” Also known as night vocalization or night calling, hearing a cat meowing at night is a common occurrence for pawrents. This usually isn’t a cause for concern, unless your cat is in distress or your chatty Cat-hy is causing you to become nocturnal, too. There are several common causes for a cat meowing at night. To better understand your feline friend, you can familiarize yourself with the many sounds cats make and what they mean, and why cats meow at night.

Nighttime is their active time

The most common reason for your cat’s late night conversations is that they are energized. While cats aren’t strictly nocturnal, they are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dusk and dawn. While older cats usually adapt to their human’s routines, younger cats may still possess the instinct that nighttime is when they should be hunting. Just like a cup of hot sleepytime tea can help us prepare for a good night’s rest, treat your cat to their own relaxing goodies.

They’re bored or seeking attention

Like human babies, your fur baby may cry because they are simply bored or unstimulated. If they have too much energy, they can become stressed or agitated. Engaging them in active play before bedtime will help ensure that they are tired when you go to sleep. Sometimes, cats will cry for attention, and giving in to them may lead to this unwanted behavior happening more frequently.

Medical Issues

It’s always important to pay attention to your cat’s body language, as this can indicate something is wrong. Conditions like hyperthyroidism can also cause a cat to meow during the night. So if this is a new behaviour for your cat, or you have a senior kitty, your vet can take a blood sample to test for any underlying conditions.

A symptom of aging

For senior cats, this behavior can be a sign of CDS (Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome), where cats can become disoriented and confused. Since this is scary for them, they may call out in distress. Older cats also aren’t as agile as they used to be, and they may find it easier to call for their humans rather than going to them. Older cats in general tend to depend more on their humans not only for food and shelter, but also for emotional support and reassurance. Louder meowing can also be a result of hearing loss for our senior cats.

Seeking freedom

If you have an outdoor cat that sleeps indoors, they may call out at night because they want their freedom. If it’s safe to do so, you can install a cat flap so your kitty can come and go into the house any time of night or day.

Love is in the air

The screeching, ear piercing yowling at night can only be the sound of mating. While this is natural, it’s strongly suggested that you get your cat spayed or neutered to significantly reduce the amount of unwanted kittens. It will also stop the loud yowling sounds!


Regardless of the cause of meowing, you should never punish your cat for it. Always rule out any medical concerns and ensure your cat’s needs are met before you ignore them to try to curb the behavior. Cats love routines, and it’s up to their pawrents to establish healthy routines for feeding, attention, and playtime can help cats understand what to expect and when.