It’s happened to the best of us. Any cat owner can tell you stories of their soundless sleep being disrupted by the howling of their cat.
Cats certainly have a number of ways to keep us awake during the night, howling is just one of those strange cat behaviors. One of my many nights being awoken by the sound of my cat’s yowling I stare at the ceiling wondering why it’s a common occurrence.
Is my cat just trying to keep me up every night? Why does my cat howl at night?
Although it can be torturous, cats don’t howl at night to keep up their owners. Howling is a form of communication that cats do to tell their owner something. This can be anything ranging from hunger to wanting to play.
It seems that cats love to be awake and make noise at your one time of peace. However, while it seems like our cats like to find new ways to limit our sleep, there’s a reason behind their noise.
One of the ways cats communicate is through vocalization. That vocalization is expressed in meows and howls.
It just leaves you wondering why at night? Cats don’t seem to make as much noise during the day. That is because cats understand that through their meows and howls, they can grab their owner’s attention.
In the daytime, cats already have your attention. During the day they are being doted on and don’t need to do much in getting their owner to do something for them.
At night, they know the only way to get you to listen to them is by waking you up!
Now that we know that cats howl at night for the purpose of getting our attention, what is it that they need? At times it can be hard to know exactly what our cats need from us through the grogginess of coming out of a deep sleep.
However, it is important to see what it is that your cat needs. There are many reasons and circumstances that could be causing your cat to call on you during the night.
It’s a good idea to figure out what is causing your cat to howl.
One very common reason that cats will howl at night is because of hunger. Cats tend to be quite dramatic when hungry and when they howl it sounds like they haven’t eaten for weeks.
While they might be dramatic, it’s important to remember that cats can’t get food for themselves. They rely on their owners to give them food and if they feel hungry, they will try to wake you so you can feed them.
If you are busy during the day and don’t have much time to play with your cat, this could be the reason they are howling. Some cats have a lot of energy, especially indoor cats.
If they have a lot of energy they will want to play. They could be howling to get you to play with them.
Cats can get bored and they want to be entertained just like us. If they sleep most of the day, that leaves the night for playtime.
Cats like to spend time with their owners and if you are gone for most of the day, they may just want to bond and spend some time together.
Anxiety and Stress:
Another reason you might hear your cat howl throughout the night is due to anxiety or stress. Just like us, cats can get anxious and stressed.
One of the main contributors to a cat’s stress is a change in their environment. This could be a move or an addition to the family.
Consider if there are any changes that are affecting your cat’s life. A conflict with a cat could be causing your cat to stress out and howl at night.
Figuring out what could be bothering your cat could help get to the bottom of their nighttime howls.
It may seem that our cats are independent creatures that don’t need us too much. While at times that may be true, cats still want to bond and have quality time with their owner.
If you adopted another pet, this could leave your cat feeling lonely. If you have been spending more time with your new adopted pet than your cat, this could leave them to feel isolated.
Especially if your cat hasn’t had the time to warm up to your new pet. This can leave your kitty to feel alone and in need of some attention from their owner.
Your Kitty Is Getting Old:
Sometimes you will find that older cats will howl and meow a lot more than younger cats will. This is because of their age.
Some cats develop a disorder known as feline cognitive dysfunction. This disorder can cause a cat to be restless and talk more at night.
Cats with this condition tend to get confused and lost, even in a place that is familiar to them. Due to the nature of the disorder, your cat could be howling for a number of reasons and could be in need of some help.
Your Cat Needs Help:
If your cat normally isn’t vocal at night, and suddenly is howling up a storm, it could be because they are in pain. Cats that are in pain will yelp and howl to communicate that they are hurt.
Similar to being hurt, your cat could be stuck in an enclosed space and can’t get out, or can’t get down from a high place. With cats, there are no limits to where they could fit their tiny bodies!
Knowing that your cat howls to tell you something, it can help to know what to do and what to avoid if your cat is having a late-night howl. Here are some tips to help you and your cat through any night disturbances.
Check On Your Cat:
If your cat is howling at night, it most likely isn’t mindless talk. Cats depend on their owner and may be howling for a number of reasons. They could be hurt or stuck so disregarding their meows could be a bad idea and could leave your cat in pain.
Checking on your cat can give you peace of mind that they are okay!
Take Your Cat To The Vet:
To be safe, it’s a good idea to take your cat to the vet if they are constantly howling at night. The vet will be able to figure out if any health issues are causing your cat to howl at night.
If your vet finds that there is an underlying issue behind the howling, they can provide a treatment plan to help.
Play With Your Cat:
If you want your cat to stop howling and night and just sleep, you can try to get them tired yourself. If your cat is howling for some playtime, play with them before bed.
Making your cat run around will tire them out and keep them snoring rather than meowing. A win for you and your cat!
Feed Your Cat:
If you feed your cat early in the day, they may be howling at night because they are hungry! By feeding your cat a little food or leaving some kibble out for them to snack on at night, you can help prevent them from keeping you up all night.
Don’t Give In To Late Night Treats:
Sometimes your cat knows how to get what they want. If they howl and you get up to give them their favorite treats, they will remember that and keep doing it.
Cats are creatures of habit and it’s important to not give in to the late-night treats before they become a habit. This is an important tip to help limit the amount of times you are disturbed at night!
It can be hard not to get mad when your cat wakes you up for the millionth time at night, however, it’s important to remain calm. Never scream or yell at your cat for meowing or howling at night.
Doing so can make matters worse. If your cat is stressed, this may stress them out even more. Any type of punishment for meowing is a bad idea and can definitely not help the situation.
Let Your Cat Howl:
There can be times when there is nothing you can do for your cat and they seem to want to talk. It can be frustrating but letting them howl it out can actually be helpful.
If your cat knows that howling will get them extra food or something special, they will continue doing so. If you are sure that your cat is safe and not in pain then let them howl it out.
They will most likely stop after a little while and you can get back to sleep!
Cats do lots of things to get our attention and sometimes they do it at times that aren’t so pleasing to us. Despite its lack of appeal, cats howl at night to communicate.
They may be communicating anything from wanting attention to being in pain. When your cat howls it’s important to never yell or punish them, rather see what is behind their howling.
By following some helpful tips you can help prevent your cat from howling the whole night!