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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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