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cat meows all night

Updated on December 26, 2013

Relaxed Cat


Cats bring their owners so much joy but, when your cat meows all night it can become a nightmare. This constant disruptive behavior can mean several things. To stop you cat meowing all night, the most important this you can do is discover what is causing this behavior. Once the cause is determined, the owner can take corrective action to stop the nighttime meowing of the cat. The most common reasons the cat meows all night are medical problems, insecurity, a schedule change in your life, or simply to get attention.

Medical Problem Causing Meowing

Like children, cats will cry out when they do not feel well. When the cat meows all night, this may be its way of telling you it does not feel well. The meowing will continue during the day as well If in fact you cat is sick or injured. It is easy to see if you cat is injured by simply observing it. Is it throwing up or limping? Does it have unusual eye discharge or is it sneezing? Is the cat using the litter box or the floor? These are all signs that your cat is injured or sick. If you suspect you cat is hurt or sick, take it to the vet. Once the cat is feeling better, it will stop crying.

Insecure Cat

Cats, like humans, have insecurities. While we are able to identify what is making us uneasy and make changes, a cat can only signal to their owner that some is bothering it. A cat meowing all night is a great way to tell an owner that the cat is feeling uneasy.

To identify if this is the problem, think of any changes in your life that may be causing you to change the amount of time spend with your cat or if you have changed how you spend time with your cat. Are there any new people in your home such as a visitor, a significant other, or a baby? If so, your cat may be feeling left out. By meowing all night, it is trying to get some attention that it feels it has been missing out on.

Have you changed the amount of time spent playing with your cat or the way you play with it? If a busy schedule has left you spending less time at home with the cat, it may be trying to tell you that it feel abandoned. If you have changed the way you play with it such as changing from playing games that involve chasing toys to just spending time snuggling or petting it, the cat may be feeling unfulfilled. By meowing all night, your cat is letting you know that if feels abandoned or unfulfilled.

If this is the case, to stop hearing cat meows all night, spend some time with it playing its usual games and giving it its’ usual treats. This should make the cat feel more secure and thus let you get a good night sleep.

Schedule Change Causing Meowing

Cats love a regular schedule. They crave structure. Cats like to know that dinner will be served at the same time each day. They like to know your morning routine and your evening routine. A change in your everyday schedule can cause disruption in your cats live. When the cat meows all night, it is trying to tell you that it is confused.

If you can get back on your normal schedule, this should ease the sounds of your cat crying at night. If not, keep your new schedule. Be sure to give you cat the attention it is used to getting just at the new time. Over a couple of weeks, the cat will adapt to the new schedule and you will get a full night sleep.

Getting Lots of Attention

Needing Attention

The most common reason a cat meows all night is to get attention. Unfortunately for the cat, it will receive negative attention instead of what it is hoping for. Try playing with your cat an hour or so before bedtime. Make sure you play with it long enough for it to become tired. Cats give off short bursts of energy in between energy conserving naps. Burning off some of your cats’ night time energy may be all you need to get a good night sleep. Make sure your cat has some toys to play with while you are sleeping too. Try small balls or stuffed toys. Giving you cat the option to play while you can’t may lead to a peaceful night.

Also leave out a small amount of food. You cat may simply have the mid night munchies. You may even try freezing a couple of cat treats and putting them out for your cat at bed time. The cat will spend time and energy working on getting to that tasty treat!

Cats or nocturnal animals and if they have the right night time stimulation, your cat meowing at night should go away.

When you cat meows all night, try these positive activities. Negative activities such as yelling or squirting the cat will only reinforce its behavior.

Good luck and enjoy your peaceful night!


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    • crazycatman profile image

      crazycatman 3 years ago from Dallas, TX

      You can try freezing them in a small amount of broth like chicken or beef broth. This works well especially if your cat likes to chase ice cubes that get dropped on the floor. Don't make the cube too big as you don't want a wet spot on the floor!

    • profile image

      I want to sleep! 3 years ago

      How do you freeze the treats? Just dry freeze, in water? I'm confused! I just imagine my cat trying to crunch through it! Lol

    • crazycatman profile image

      crazycatman 5 years ago from Dallas, TX

      Hey, Scaredy Cat. That is a good idea! I've never considered the possibility of a cat being scared of the dark.

    • profile image

      Scaredy cat 5 years ago

      After reading several articles about why our cat was meowing all night long. I was talking with my sister one night and she mentioned that he might not like the dark. So we put a nigh light in the bathroom where their litter box is and the meowing has stopped!! So either he's afraid of the dark or he just has night blindness. Either way we are now sleeping thru the entire night now.