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What To Do With Howling Cat

Updated on January 6, 2009
Sleep, kitty, sleep.
Sleep, kitty, sleep.

Cats are a wonderful pet to own but do have their own unique challenges. Much like some dogs have the tendency to bark at inappropriate times, cats can be loud vocalizers too. Owning a cat that howls or cries at night can be a frustrating problem for pet owners.

Of course, the first thing you should do is take your cat to the vet for a check-up and explain the problem. The veterinarian will check your cat for diseases that may be causing it pain, which would in turn cause crying or howling. Before you go to the vet, check your cat's food and litter box and have a general idea of how well your cat is eating and using the box. Also, think about your cat's behaviour other than the your cat sleeping too much or not enough? Does your cat seem depressed or lethargic?

One of the most likely things your vet will recommend is that you have your cat spayed or neutered. Cats go into heat and yowl to attract a mate or to just proclaim their excitement. Spaying or neutering your cat may solve the crying problem, and it's a good idea to do anyway as the population of unwanted pets is always rising.


After the vet has checked your cat for health problems, you can begin to think about behavioural problems. There are many reasons for cats to cry or howl. Siamese cats in particular are very "talkative" cats and just like the sound of their own voice! They will often find a nice place to have a conversation with themselves and proceed to yowl away. If you interrupt them, the cat will just look at you as if to say, "What's your problem?"

Some cats cry because they are lonely and trying to get attention. In a larger house, the cat might not be aware that there are other people or pets in the house when it becomes quiet at night. Call to your cat and reassure them that everything is ok, just like you would a child. This behaviour may resolve on its own once the cat gets used to a nighttime routine.

Another reason cats cry at night is they are watching things outside a window. If there is traffic, people, or other animals regularly passing by a window at night, the cat may be making noises because of that. Be sure to close the curtains or blinds to block out external stimuli.

If your cat is an indoor only cat, you could try having a play session with the cat before bedtime. Get out all your kitty toys and throw things for the cat to chase or wave strings in the air for the cat to jump at. Wear your kitty out with exercise and he'll hopefully sleep better at night. Cats do sleep on average 14 hours a day, so you just need to get the cat to do most of those sleeping hours at night.

If all else fails and your cat still cries at night, you can put the cat in a room far away from your bedroom and close the door. Be sure your cat has food, water and a litter box in that room. Do this every night when you go to bed. After a while, your cat should begin to enjoy having "their own room" and perhaps even go in to the room on their own.

On a final note, cats are loving and affectionate creatures and deserve every bit of care you can give them. Remind yourself of the positive side of owning your cat and how much he enriches your life. Love your cat unconditionally because guaranteed you will miss that yowling midnight voice when your cat has passed away.


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    • TENKAY profile image


      6 years ago from Philippines

      Most Siamese cats are great howlers specially when they are in heat. I got a big tom cat, a Siamese, many years ago, and he was a good listener. I could talk to him anything under the sun and well he just agree to everything I say. He let me finish talking before he answers back which really endears him to me. But boy! the noise created when he mates his ladyloves in the early morning...

    • Dale Hyde profile image

      Dale Hyde 

      6 years ago from Tropical Paradise on Planet X

      Well done and most true and right on the money! The whole hub was done very well, but the last paragraph jumps out to me as the most important aspect of what you have presented here and something all cat owners, such as myself, need to remember. Thanks so much!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My cat was always quiet at my own house, but we re,ently moved back in with my parents and I swear hes trying to get us kicked out. Hes indoor only, healthy as could be, clean food, water and,litter, fixed and has 3 dogs he,loves to play with, but he HOWLS alllllll day long! And he never used to! Ugh its driving me nuts!

    • FionaBaron profile image


      7 years ago

      One of our cats, Jasmine, has a yowl that almost makes your skin crawl....we call it her death cry. She does it when she's playing with her toys and thinks she's by herself. The vet says she healthy...besides having some cat asthma. We've found- like you mentioned- simply talking to her and saying her name...will usually make her stop. It's as if her name brings her out of her yowling frenzy. Thanks for the helpful post...glad to hear we're not the only ones with a yowler.

    • Lucky Cats profile image


      7 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hi CeeGunn....very good seems you've covered all of it including - and this is the best part - your last paragraph. We have many cats and have had, over the years, yowlers. For the most part; in our case, the "problem" was lonliness. Right now, we have two rescued moms w/their adolescent of those kittens continually cries out when he hears me until I go into their room (which has outdoor/indoor access..outdoor "caged in" w/reinforced wire so that they can enjoy the outdoors w/out being in danger)...and hold him...then, he cuddles, rolls around, purrs and bites very lightly...he just wants more time w/humans than his siblings do..

      Cats have very amazing personalities, as I know you know from your thoughtful hub...and I underscore, underline and give TWO thumbs up for that last paragraph!

      Up Awesome and Useful and Thank you!!

      Beautiful profile picture of your sweet kitty.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      well i am living a nightnare with a cat who lives in a terassenear by, i think its a he, observing this anoying creature made me laugh cause all the cats do is wondering around and almost like talking to it self, not giving a dam about the world. its a no body cat all the time i see my self aiming to shoot her but. don't know what to do i think its obssed with a horny jinn.

      she is laughing at me right about now 5 o'clock in the morning. i don't even know if i am awake or in one of thoes nightmare's!

    • AngelaKaelin profile image


      7 years ago from New York

      Interesting! Mine just talks a lot... really talks! It's amazing. But, we're together almost all the time... wherever I am, he is. So, we have some kind of harmony thing going. Good article.

    • supercibor profile image

      Hector Herrera 

      7 years ago from Dominican Republic

      It's a nightmare when they are in love

    • CeeGunn profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Canada

      I'm sorry to hear that your cat is having health problems. As always, the first person to contact is your veterinarian. He or she can give you advice on traveling with your pet.

      When I had to leave on vacation, I boarded my elderly cat at my vet's office so that a trained vets assistant could check her health regularly. It costs more than a regular cat boarding home, or even a pet sitter, but if your cat's health is an issue, that might be your best bet.

      Good luck.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have two cats (brother and sister) they are going to be 11 years old this October. The male who is an alpha cat throws up in the morning and cries at night till I get him into bed then he's fine and purrs himself to sleep. He had kidney stones years ago and we had that removed he is on Royal Canin cat food for cats with urinary tract problems. We are leaving for Florida in November and I don't know if it's a good idea to bring him on such a long trip 25 hours drive I can't leave him with anyone because he refuses to eat when I'm not there. Both cats free feed...most of the food he trows up is food and bile...not hair we get them shaved twice a year. Please help...

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I have a 14 year old cat that was doing this for about 2 years before I sought help. I just thought all old cats did that. We tried pain meds, tried adjusting his thyroid medication dose, tried dementia meds....nothing helped. Until we tried prozac! The change has been amazing! Apparently it was behavioral.

    • profile image

      Nikki Dee 

      8 years ago

      One extra bit of information: I have a deaf cat. He's a neutered male and howls a great deal. After reading information on different sites I've found that this is common behavior for deaf cats. Not much to be done about it - I use ear plugs!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I have a Tabby age 18 years. One year ago, he lost his hearing after a bolt of lightning struck next door. It seems that he has adjusted to this quite well but about a month ago, he has started a very loud, mournful howl. He stops when i let him know I've heard this. He used to sleep at the foot of my bed but until about a month ago. I had suffered from "restless leg syndrome" and may have kicked him in my sleep. I now found a medicine which eliminated that problem. His howling began about the time I found the right meds. He will not even go near the bed now. can I assure him that the proble is solved. I need a good nights sleep.

    • Charlotte_1981 profile image


      8 years ago from Málaga, Spain

      "Siamese cats in particular are very "talkative" cats and just like the sound of their own voice!". Oh, don't you know it! My beautiful half-Siamese just won't shut up! He loves yowling (up to a point that it becomes a real nuisance) and talking to us. He has an amazing range of meows and noises, we actually meow back to him, people just stare at us and think we're crazy :)

    • stars439 profile image


      8 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Informative hub. Thank you

    • Dorrene R profile image

      Dorrene R 

      9 years ago

      Some cats are just "talkers", especially Siamese. They can be very noisy. I don't have a Siamese, but my cat "talks" to me everytime I say something, or just look at him. Aren't cats wonderful!

    • CeeGunn profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Canada

      Yes, you are absolutely right! Your cats are simply giving a warning to all neighbor cats to keep away! My female cat does the same thing actually. :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      There's one scenario that I didn't find in the above answer. I have 2 male neutered cats. They are mainly indoor cats, but we let them out when weather permits for a short period of time during the day. They never stayed outside overnight. There have been a few times they howled and seemed very upset when they were inside the house, while a strange cat was outside the back door. I guess it's a territorial thing. is it?

    • DJ Funktual profile image

      DJ Funktual 

      9 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove

      Thanks for your quick response. In our case it clearly the big empty house / loneliness problem. We do assure him that everything's okay but an hour later he's howling again. He's a good boy but he is driving us nuts. Hope this will pass in time as he never did it before and has a clean bill of health.


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