Why does my senior cat meow at night? Excessive vocalization! (2023)

Seemingly for no reason, older cats develop strange behaviors like meowing at night. Constant crying, meowing, screaming and howling can become distracting, especially when you don't understand why your cat is upset.

An elderly cat's howl is a long cry due to pain, distress or grief. It is often the result of health conditions such as hyperthyroidism, hypertension, sensory impairment or cognitive dysfunction. In particular, cats with dementia tend to howl during all hours of the night due to forgetfulness and confusion.

Of course, dealing with the symptoms usually calms your cat down. The conditions are usually treatable or can be delayed, but there is no cure for degenerative diseases such as feline dementia.

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What is meowing cat?

Meow is a haunting, melodramatic, melodic and haunting sound produced by cats in distress. Many owners describe him as a cross between a howl, howl and whimper.

Cats meow to communicate their needs and express their emotions. After all, they can't talk, so your cat might meow if they're feeling insecure, bored, or want your attention. Your cat may also meow if it is in pain or has medical issues.

Given thecats are territorial animals, the meow is a way of protecting their space, so they can produce this sound to scare away intruders.

Meowing is more common in male cats, especially if they sense a female is in heat.

Why does my old cat cry at night?

It is common for old cats to cry at night. Of course, this does not mean shedding tears, but rather screaming and whining at all hours of the night.

While young cats are more likely to get attention, older cats are more likely to cry due to medical issues. Cats experience a number of conditions associated with aging.

These conditions affect the brain, manifesting themselves in howling and howling. According toedinburgh university, senior cats can develop a feline form of Alzheimer's disease that makes them mew in distress at night.

Your old cat may have arthritis or dental disease and cry in pain. At worst, an old cat crying at night means it might be time toSay goodbye to your elderly pet🇧🇷 A dying cat will develop odd behaviors, including persistent crying at night and being restless during twilight days.

(Video) Stop The Constant Meow: 6 Reasons Why Your Cat Over-Vocalizes

Reasons why your old cat howls at night

While dementia and arthritis are the most common, other conditions include:


Hyperthyroidism affects the thyroid glands, causing them to produce too much of the hormone thyroxine.

The condition is common among senior cats. According toJournal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, about 10% of cats have this endocrine disorder.

An elderly cat with hyperthyroidism tends to howl at night and show the following symptoms:

  • Perspiration
  • Irritability
  • cardiac arrhythmia


An older cat with hyperthyroidism is more likely to develop hypertension, but there are other explanations. Cats with high blood pressure tend to howl regularly.

sensory impairment

Your cat will inevitably lose some of its senses as it ages. They may start to howl and vocalize persistently due to the confusion that is generated. Howling is a sign of distress due to decreased sensory functions and abilities.

persistent pain

Some older cats develop arthritis and other degenerative conditions, which can be painful. If left untreated, your cat will start to howl non-stop throughout the day and night.

cognitive dysfunction syndrome

As sensory abilities decline, your elderly domestic cat may also developcognitive dysfunction syndrome.

In particular, some cats develop a feline form of Alzheimer's disease and dementia, and their cognitive function begins to degenerate as they age.

Your older cat may begin to exhibit repetitive behaviors, such as pacing or forgetting to eat after approaching the feeder. This will culminate in the cat howling non-stop at night.

Why does my senior cat meow at night? Excessive vocalization! (1)

Central Nervous System Disease

Your cat can develop neurological disorders, as well as brain and spinal cord tumors, as it ages.

Signs of central nervous system disorders in cats include:

  • seizures
  • lack of coordination
  • numbness
  • Paralysis
  • Chronic pain

Behavioral changes such as howling, meowing and crying at night are common in cats with neurological and nervous system disorders.

(Video) Why does my elderly cat yowl?

Why is my old cat meowing non-stop?

Your old cat may be meowing incessantly for a number of benign reasons, including:

  • Fome
  • sed
  • Discomfort
  • Loss
  • Dor

However, the main reason why older cats tend to meow incessantly is health issues, including:

  • hyperthyroidism
  • Hypertension
  • Insanity

As cats age, they become more susceptible to illness. Excess hormones released by the thyroid glands, or confusion caused by dementia, can make a cat uncomfortable and cause persistent vocalizations.

Why does my elderly cat meow after eating?

If your elderly cat meows after eating, he may not be feeling well. Health conditions such as hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, and uremic gastritis can cause:

  • Electric shock
  • Indigestion
  • Irritability

Your cat will react to these symptoms by howling.

Why is my old cat crying into the water bowl?

Your old cat may be crying into the water bowl for the following reasons:

  • Hyperthyroidism:A symptomatic disease with frequent thirst and hunger.
  • Sensitivity:If you place the bowl of water on top of a synthetic fiber mat, it will create static discharge.

Why is my cat behaving strangely?

In addition to meowing, your cat may seem to be behaving strangely in general. Whether it's pacing back and forth, making noise all night, or constantly demanding your full attention, it's worth noting.

Here are the reasons and what you can do about it:

Health problems

Your cat may exhibit strange behaviors such as howling or howling due to underlying health issues such as

  • hyperthyroidism
  • Anemia
  • dental diseases

Your cat can startchew non-food itemssuch as socks, rubber bands or plastic bags. If that's the case, you're probably lacking in essential vitamins and minerals.

hormonal changes

Hormonal changes can cause your cat to behave strangely and start screaming. It's common for female cats to meow when they're in heat and looking for a mate, and these noises alert male cats to respond to the mating call.


Cats may seem aloof, but they become very attached to their owners. Your cat may experience separation anxiety when you leave the house for work or school.

Your cat may be anxious or apprehensive about outdoor activities. For example, your cat might start to howl or meow to send a warning if it sees a neighbor's cat approaching the house (its territory).


Cats are highly territorial animals, historically protective of their territory. If your old cat howls or meows at night, chances are another cat has gotten into his space.

(Video) My CAT MEOWS at NIGHT 🐱🌙 (Why and What to do)

Your cat may also exhibit strange behavior if it feels vulnerable or insecure due to factors such as:

  • separation anxiety
  • A recent move to a new home

Do cats meow to get attention?

Cats require love and affection. They want to feel needed by you and if you don't give them enough attention they will often become:

  • Vocal
  • Anxious
  • Apprehensive

Your cat will howl if he is distressed and may require your attention to get over whatever is bothering him.

Why do cats howl for no apparent reason?

Cats don't howl for no reason, so every howl, meow, or growl means something is wrong. Since cats don't talk, their only way of communicating their pain and frustration is by meowing or howling.

If you hear your cat persistently meowing, you shouldn't ignore it. Instead, take the time to find the cause.

cat howling for food

Some cats will howl for food, so it's important to provide enough food and water to prevent meowing at night.

Conditions like hyperthyroidism can make your cat hungry most of the time due to a higher metabolic rate. If that's the case, you'll find your cat persistently meowing until you feed him a meal.

Do cats howl when they are in heat?

Meowing and meowing are common whenthe cats are in heat.

Females do this to make contact with any male cats that happen to be nearby. In return, male cats will meow to hear the call, and the meow will continue until the female finds a mate.

Do cats howl when they are in pain?

Strange behaviors like hissing, growling and constant fussing could mean your cat is in pain or injured. You will need urgent medical attention for relief.

Since cats don't speak, they communicate through vocalizations and behaviors.

Do cats howl when they are bored?

Cats have feelings and can sometimes feel lonely or bored.

To release negative energy, your cat may scratch your expensive furniture, tear its fur, repeatedly lick itself,constantly meowand indulge in other repetitive behaviors.

Why do cats howl after pooping?

Your cat may meow after pooping for two main reasons:

(Video) How To Stop Your Cat From Meowing and Yowling

  • Digestive problem:Feeling discomfort when pooping, hence the howl.
  • The sandbox is full:The content needsdownload and replace.

Why do cats howl before they fight?

Before fighting, cats naturally howl as a way to intimidate other cats. It works as a demonstration of strength, showing that the cat is stronger, more aggressive and more committed to winning the conflict.

This is more common among male cats. Hissing and howling can deter other cats from trying to enter the male's chosen territory or from taking the food he claims.

Therefore, some cats howl as a way to avoid confrontation. As fights can result in serious injury, cats would rather be intimidating than engage in physical conflict.

Why does my senior cat meow at night? Excessive vocalization! (2)

How to stop your cat from meowing at night

Dealing with excessive howling at night can be frustrating, especially if you don't know how to go about it. However, there are steps you can take to allow your cat to settle down for the night.

Find out the cause of the meow

A cat vocalizing at night may seem normal, but it points to a deeper problem.

Your cat may be meowing because of the following:

  • Dor
  • Loss
  • sensory impairment
  • Age-related health issues

Provide food and water

If there is no medical issue causing your cat to meow at night, he may be hungry or thirsty.

Some cats meow at night, waiting for you to wake them up to feed them, especially if you're not on a feeding schedule. Providing essentials like food and water will reduce late night calls.

Keep your senior cat comfortable

Senior cats may meow due to underlying conditions that come with aging. However, you can reduce the noise by making sure your older cat is comfortable.

Start by keeping your cat's bed warm and draft-free. If your cat is losing his eyesight, install night lights so he can navigate in the dark.

install a cat flap

Cats are often active at night, so if your cat prefers to be outdoors, keeping her indoors will make her feel trapped. This will result in howling nights. Consider installing a cat flap to give your cat more freedom.

If none of the above measures work and your cat continues to meow at night, he should be evaluated by a veterinarian for issues such as cognitive dysfunction and hyperthyroidism.

Similar posts:

  • Why won't my cat let me sleep all night?
  • Do cats get grumpy in old age?
  • How to make an older cat gain weight
  • Why do cats' eyes glow in the dark?


Why is my elderly cat yowling at night? ›

Sensory Decline

Sadly as cats get older, they inevitably will lose some of their senses. The decline and loss of their senses will also cause them a great deal of confusion and distress which, in turn, may be why your cat has been yowling throughout the night.

How do you stop an old cat from yowling at night? ›

Try feeding a high-protein, low-carbohydrate meal just before bedtime, or offer Pete a feeding station with compartments that open on a timer. Hyperthyroidism that isn't well regulated can cause nighttime yowling, and it and other diseases can cause hypertension, which also can induce yowling.

Why is my cat yowling so much all of a sudden at night? ›

Your cat might meow at night because they feel bored, unstimulated, lonely or just want to go outside. If your cat won't stop crying at night even when they have plenty of play time, other causes to consider are thyroid or kidney disease.

Do cats with dementia meow a lot? ›

Increased meowing and cat dementia

Loud meowing or increased howling in elderly cats can sometimes point to cognitive issues. Although excessive vocalisation can have many different causes, including seeking attention or signaling a desire to go outside, meowing in cats is also associated with signs of feline dementia.

What are the signs of dementia in older cats? ›

Symptoms of cat dementia
  • Disorientation/confusion.
  • Anxiety/restlessness.
  • Extreme irritability.
  • Avoiding social interaction.
  • Deterioration of learned behaviors.
  • Changes in activity levels, such as excessive licking.
  • Increased meowing.
  • Lack of self-grooming.

What is Sundowners Syndrome in cats? ›

Some aging pets suffer frombehaviors described as "sundowning." Issues include disorientation, changesin sleep and interactions, housetrainingissues, and anxiety behaviors.

Should I ignore my cat yowling at night? ›

In conclusion, when your cat meows at night, you must ignore it completely and perfectly in order not to encourage the behaviour. Keeping the cat busy at night may prevent it from getting hungry or finding creative ways of getting your attention.

How do I stop Caterwauling? ›

Cats are free feeders, nibbling at will, but a meal schedule may reduce caterwauling. Try feeding your cat in the morning before you leave for work and again in the evening around dinner time. Follow up that evening play session with a late dinner. Pushing your cat's mealtime back will ensure he stays fuller overnight.

Why does my cat walk around yowling? ›

Why do cats howl? Worry or discomfort. Cats might yowl when they are worried about something, not feeling well, or want to complain. Some cats howl more than others, and if yours doesn't usually make this sound, it might be a sign that your fluffy kid needs to visit a veterinarian.

Why is my elderly cat yowling? ›

Senior cats often yowl because they have hyperthyroidism, chronic kidney disease and/or high blood pressure. Other reasons for yowling in elderly cats include pain, often from arthritis, and senile cognitive dysfunction, sometimes called dementia. Fortunately, all of these problems can be treated.

Why is my cat causing more chaos at night? ›

Cats have different sleep-wake cycles than other animals and are often busy at night. This is because cats are crepuscular, which means they hunt and are active in the evening or early morning. This cat behavior at night is sometimes called the night crazies and may cause lack of sleep for cat owners.

Why is my cat bellowing at night? ›

There are several reasons why cats meow and yowl at night. It can be a sign of hunger, thirst, fear, loneliness, or even a serious health problem. Scientists believe that cats' meows and yowls are manipulative – a way to get them what they want.

When should I euthanize my cat with dementia? ›

When you cat's bad days outnumber the good you may need to consider putting him to sleep. Eliminating prolonged or untreatable suffering is the purpose of the procedure. And the suffering is not always physical – with dementia the constant confusion and restlessness is all a mental condition.

How long do cats live once they have dementia? ›

How Long Does a Cat Live With Dementia? Depending upon the age at which your cat is diagnosed with dementia, they could live 5-10 more years—each case can be different. That said, some felines may progress faster than others, and your health regimen for them may need to be altered as their symptoms change.

Do cats get more vocal when they get older? ›

' Cats may become more vocal as they get older. If their hearing declines, elderly animals may become a little noisier to compensate. But if you've suddenly found your older cat is yowling all the time, or has started howling at night, you may be wondering what it all means and whether you should be worried.

What's the average lifespan of a house cat? ›

Indoor cats typically live longer than outdoor cats and have a life expectancy of about 10 to 15 years. However, that number may vary a bit if your cat spends a lot of time outside as well. There are several factors that determine how long your cat will live, including how often you take them to the vet for a checkup.

What age is considered geriatric in cats? ›

According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) Senior Care Guidelines, older cats are classified as mature or middle-aged at 7 to 10 years old, as senior cats at 11 to 14 years old, and geriatric from 15 to 25 years old.

Is my cat suffering from dementia? ›

As your cat gets older, there are signs of dementia in cats that you can look out for: Lack of interest in playing. Spatial disorientation. Wandering away from home.

How do I know if my cat is suffering? ›

Behaviour signs of a cat in pain
  1. Reduced appetite.
  2. Lethargy.
  3. Decreased interest in positive things like playing, social interaction and exploring outside.
  4. Being withdrawn and hiding away.
  5. Appearing lame and experiencing increased sensitivity to touch in specific areas of their body.
  6. Reduction in movement and activity.

What are the symptoms of kidney disease in cats? ›

The most common changes seen are weight loss, poor hair quality, halitosis (bad breath), variable appetite which may be associated with mouth ulcers, lethargy, and depression. Less common signs include increased drinking or urinating, vomiting, diarrhea, and anemia.

Can I give my cat melatonin to calm down? ›

In dogs and cats, melatonin has been prescribed for several conditions. Sleep problems: Melatonin can induce restful sleep. This may be helpful for older animals that have trouble with normal sleep-wake cycles, typically seen in those with cognitive disorder (i.e. dog or cat “Alzheimer's”).

Why is my old cat caterwauling? ›

Older cats may vocalize excessively for a number of reasons, including disorientation, loss of hearing and pain due to one or more medical conditions. (Please see our article, Meowing and Yowling, for more information about excessive vocalizing and how to resolve it.)

How do you deal with an overly vocal cat? ›

Resist the urge to shout at her or give her any form of attention, even angry attention. Instead, be patient and wait for a brief moment of silence. Immediately give her the attention she craves. If she starts to meow again, walk away, and only return to her when she's quiet.

Why is my cat vocalizing so much? ›

Your cat could be meowing excessively because they are hungry, afraid, sick, or when they need your attention and love. There are different meow sounds that cats make at certain times. If your cat is meowing non-stop, it can be very challenging for you to figure out the issue.

Are cats in pain when they yowl? ›

The most common cause of yowling in cats is pain. Cats who are truly yowling or howling are probably in pain from an injury or condition such as arthritis. You can sometimes tell if your cat is in pain by looking at her other symptoms, including hiding behaviors, hunched posture, and guarding herself.

What is cat trilling? ›

Cat trilling is a vocal form of communication that cats. use to “talk” to other cats, to humans, and even to. other animals (particularly within their household). It.

How do I know if my geriatric cat is in pain? ›

Cats who are painful may withdraw from their usual family interactions, may become less engaged in their surroundings, and may start hiding. You may notice decreased eating and/or drinking. You may also notice changes in sleeping patterns. Some may sleep more, while others may sleep less.

Why is my cat running around like a maniac at night? ›

Your cat is bored and wants to play. Cats, being nocturnal animals, are most energetic at night by nature. And just like humans, they sometimes want to have fun to the fullest. This is neither strange nor bad, except that it might sometimes keep you awake.

Why do cats have a witching hour? ›

Main Causes. In most cases, this period of the day is essentially our cat's way of releasing energy in a short, concentrated burst. In the same way that humans are advised to get 30 mins exercise a day, it's often our pet's means of getting the movement they need while venting any pent up frustrations or feelings.

Do cats meow a lot with kidney disease? ›

Kidney disease can cause high blood pressure and, conceivably, excess vocalization. However, these cats usually have other symptoms that show up first, including increased water intake, increased urination and decreased appetite. Another possibility is hyperthyroidism.

How do you comfort a cat with dementia? ›

How to care for a cat with dementia
  1. Feed your cat on a regular schedule .
  2. Avoid bringing a new cat or other animal into the home.
  3. Put a litter box on each floor of your home.
  4. Ensure that the walls of the litter box are not too high.
  5. Make sure their diet is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants.
Feb 26, 2021

What is the difference between meowing and yowling? ›

Cats also yowl—a sound similar to the meow but more drawn out and melodic. Unlike meowing, adult cats do yowl at one another, specifically during breeding season. When does meowing become excessive? That's a tough call to make, as it's really a personal issue.

How do I stop my cat from Caterwauling? ›

Cats are free feeders, nibbling at will, but a meal schedule may reduce caterwauling. Try feeding your cat in the morning before you leave for work and again in the evening around dinner time. Follow up that evening play session with a late dinner. Pushing your cat's mealtime back will ensure he stays fuller overnight.

What age is considered elderly for a cat? ›

Some cats begin showing age-related physical signs as early as age seven, while others are still friskier than kittens at ten. A general rule of thumb is that a cat is classified as "senior" if she's over 11 years of age.

Why won't my cat quit meowing? ›

Your cat could be meowing excessively because they are hungry, afraid, sick, or when they need your attention and love. There are different meow sounds that cats make at certain times. If your cat is meowing non-stop, it can be very challenging for you to figure out the issue.

Why does my cat walk around the house meowing? ›

They want attention

Meows often translate to “Play with me, NOW!” or “I noticed you're not petting me. Let's change that!” Instead of ignoring or scolding your cat for meowing (which you should never do), try spending more time with him. According to the ASPCA, cats also meow and yowl when they are lonely.

What does a sad cat sound like? ›

A yowl or howl (they sound like loud, drawn-out meows) tells you your cat is in some kind of distress—stuck in a closet, looking for you or in pain. Find your cat if they're making this noise.


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