Why Does My Cat Constantly Meow, Cry, Or Yowl At Night And When I Go To Bed?

Cats are nocturnal creatures. Even though they can be active during the day, daytime is usually their nap time.

As felines are more active at night, they also produce more sounds at nighttime when you’re trying to sleep. And one of these sounds is meowing. The others are yowling, crying, chirping…I can go on. And none of it’s pleasant!

So why is your cat or kitten constantly meowing at night? Doesn’t your furball understand you need to get some rest?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t.

Cats don’t see the world the way a human does. Their severely heightened senses make them great hunters, especially during the night. And these nocturnal furballs aren’t accustomed to having a human-like sleeping schedule.

But what does the nighttime meowing have to do with their sleeping cycle? Truth be told, a lot!

If your kitty was a diurnal creature, the nighttime meowing would be carried out during the day. The only difference between meowing at night and meowing at day is that the cat is doing it while you’re trying to sleep.

Some cats are more vocal than others. Take the Oriental Shorthair for example. Other breeds are simply quieter and more laid-back. Young kittens of all breeds tend to constantly vocalize compared to adult cats.

And of course, senior cats are also more vocal than their younger counterparts. But what triggers the nighttime meowing? Well, there’s a variety of reasons behind this type of problematic behavior. And some of them are quite serious.

But don’t worry! Not all factors leading to meowing at night are a reason to panic!

Why Cats Meow, Yowl, And Cry At Night While You’re Trying To Sleep

The two types of reasons behind this behavior are emotional and physical. Both can be triggered by a factor from the kitty’s past, as well as by a more recent cause.

Thirst and Hunger

Regardless of your cat’s breed and age, thirst and hunger are the most obvious reason for making your pet cry out loud. If your cat isn’t lacking food in its bowl, then it could be craving some liquids. Cats don’t have a strong sense of dehydration, unlike humans. And they hate drinking water from deep bowls as they get their whiskers wet.

Make sure you’re giving your furball enough nourishment on daily basis and that you’re always serving it in clean bowls. Stick to feeding the cat at an exact hour every single day. You could also opt for getting automatic feeders and fountains. Another idea is to leave some treats lying around the house at nighttime.


Even the shiest and most aloof cat in the world still needs some attention. A possible emotional reason for the meowing is that your pet simply wants social interaction.

Play with your kitty, engage in training sessions, groom it and find ways to bond with it on daily basis. You can spread toys in the kitty’s room at night. Opt for interactive toys, which will keep your fluffy pal entertained and well-exercised. Try tiring out the cat with a play session before you go to bed so that it will feel less active once you go to sleep.

Stress or Fear

Young kittens often meow at night. Emotionally injured cats, such as stressed out or scared felines or cats going through a separation period will also vocalize during nighttime.

Some pet parents are against the idea of allowing their cats to sleep in their bedroom. If you’re one of them, make the cat bed as comfortable as possible. Use fluffy blankets and bottles filled with warm water. Soothe the cat with its favorite toys and if needed, use mild relaxants for severely anxious pets.

The kitty can get stressed out even by the presence of a new family member, such as children, or another pet. If you’ve recently moved into a new home, that could also trigger anxiety. Always make sure the kitty has a quiet, spacious and comfortable room for when it’s sleeping.


While female cats don’t have periods, both males and females want to breed. If your cat is getting vocal, it could simply indicate that it’s in heat and wants to mate.

Female felines are notoriously vocal during this period. They will meow, hiss, yowl and chirp. One of the ways to deal with this problem in both genders is to spay or neuter your pet.

Physical Pain

fAdult cats experience hearing and sight problems as they get older. They can get scared from the darkness or from not hearing as well as they once used to. If that is the problem, simply leave the lights on for your kitty.

Regardless of your pet’s breed or age, your furry pal is always prone to suffering from various health issues. Physical pain will most definitely cause the kitty to meow at nighttime. If there’s no other logical explanation for your cat’s noisy behavior, the meowing could indicate an illness.

If you’re having any doubts regarding your pet’s health, schedule an appointment with the vet for a thorough check-up as soon as possible. Best case scenario, nothing will be physically wrong with your precious furball. However, if your cat is indeed suffering from an undiagnosed illness, the longer you wait the more severe its condition will get.

Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

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