Why do some cats meow at night?

Why do some cats meow at night?

Pet Psychology

There are a great many different ways in which having a cat can disturb your sleep, including the comings and goings through the cat flap, coming and going from your bed, deciding that the middle of the night is the best time to go for a zoom around, and many more!

However, if your cat is apt to meow a lot at night as opposed to at other times and this noise is rather piercing and hard to ignore-particularly if it is apt to wake you up-this can be one of the most annoying things of all if it begins to affect your rest!

The reasons for why some cats meow a lot at night can be highly variable, and learning a little bit about some of the most common ones can help to give you an insight into the issue, and hopefully, how to resolve it! Read on to learn more.

Being closed out

If you close your cat out of your room at night, this is often the right decision in order to allow you to sleep-but it can take some time for your cat to get used to the idea, and learn to entertain themselves. In this case, it is best to persevere with shutting the door and ignoring your cat, otherwise answering them or worse, letting them back in will reinforce the behaviour and ensure that it never ends!

Opposite ends of the spectrum

Unlike people, cats are crepuscular, which means that they are most active at dawn and dusk, and just either side of them. Humans, on the other hand, are programmed to be awake during the day and sleep at night, which means that our natural rhythms intersect with that at our cats at certain points of the day, but not others.

Cats often don’t understand why you are sleeping when they are at their most wide awake, but this is something that they should get used to over time, and learn to entertain themselves when you are not awake!

Aging issues

If your cat is getting older and approaching old age and the meowing at night is a recent development, they might simply be suffering from some of the age-related degeneration that comes with old age.

Brain aging can lead to disorientation and confusion in your cat, which can manifest in a wide range of different ways, of which meowing at night is just one.

If your cat is mature or elderly, talk to your vet about the issue and find out more about some of the ways in which you can support your cat in old age, keep them happy and comfortable and avoid problems of this type.

Ill health

Cats that are ill or injured often hide and keep quiet, but others may make a lot of noise about it to let you know. If your cat comes in at night meowing and sounding distressed and this is not a regular occurrence or because they have caught some prey, check them out to ensure that they are ok.


Unneutered cats of both sexes tend to be really noisy when the desire to reproduce takes them, and may make a lot of noise if in season (for females) or have identified a queen in season for males. There is very little that you can do about this-other than having your cat neutered, or course!

Being closed in

Most cats in the UK are indoor/outdoor cats, which means that they have at least some access to the outside world. Many cat owners close their cats inside at night in order to keep them safe, stop them hunting or simply in order to know where they are-but cats generally don’t like this very much!

At night, your cat cat see better than they can during the day and the surrounding area will be much quieter too, making it all very appealing to your cat to go out and explore. This means that if you close your cat in at night, they might protest against it with a lot of noise to encourage you to open the door!


If your cat is bored and itching to find something to do and entertain themselves with, they will usually look to their owners to provide them with stimulus and entertainment-and your cat will not care one whit if you are fast asleep when they decide to do this!

If this sound like your cat, provide them with plenty of toys, obstacles and things to entertain themselves with, such as interactive toys that make your cat think, or make them work to earn a treat.

Unfulfilled needs

If your cat is unhappy or something is not right in their world, they may become very vocal about it, and this is something that you should investigate if there is no obvious reason for their night-time noisiness! If your cat wants to go out and can’t, isn’t keen on using a litter tray or is cold, hungry or otherwise not happy, they may well make a lot of noise to tell you all about it.

Ensure that your cat has everything that they need when you go to bed, and pay some mind to the temperature of the home and areas in which your cat sleeps, so that they are comfortable at night as well.

Newsletter icon
Get free tips and resources delivered directly to your inbox.


Pets for StudWanted Pets

Accessories & services


Knowledge Hub


Support & Safety Portal
All Pets for Sale