My cat cries all night! What’s wrong?

Is your cat keeping you up at night with their meowing?

Are you worried there might be something wrong?

Well, there are many different possibilities of the exact cause behind your cat’s midnight serenade!

Let’s talk about a few of these possibilities, plus learn a few essential tips on quieting kitty so you can get a good night’s sleep!


Why is Your Cat Crying All Night Long?

As stated before, there are many different scenarios where your cat would see it fit to start crying during the middle of the night:


1. Hunger or thirst

The most common possibility is your cat’s hungry or thirsty and thinks you didn’t do an acceptable job offering water/food. I recommend using a cat fountain so that they can have a steady stream of fresh water. Worried they aren’t safe? Check out: The Truth About Cat Fountains: Are They Really Safe?

2. Changing homes

Your cat might feel uncomfortable in their new home. Just like with humans, moving can give your cat some stress-related anxiety, which comes out in the form of crying or meowing.

3. Needs attention

They might be bored and want you to play with them. My cat used to do this before I got him adjusted to my sleeping routine. Once he was used to sleeping at the same time as me, the meowing fully stopped.

4. Something outside peaked their interest

Cats are curious vocal animals and if there’s something outside that seems threatening, they’re going to let you know about it. In my experience, it’s usually another cat.

Related: Will Your Kitty Turn Into a Guard Cat When You’re In Danger?


5. Lonely

Cats are usually solitary animals; however, in certain instances, they can get lonely. For example, when I first got my cat, he started meowing during the night because he was used to having the company of the other cats at the shelter.

Considering getting a second cat? Read our New Cat Checklist: Everything You Need to Bring Your Kitty Home in Style!

6. Health issues

Most of the time, meowing isn’t a sign something is wrong. But sadly, crying/meowing can be a signal something is wrong such as kidney disease or thyroid problems, especially, if there’s a change in the intensity or frequency.

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Related: These Are the Most Common Pain Medications for Cats


7. Wants to go outside 

Some cats love the outdoors, and if they don’t feel like they spent enough time out there, they won’t be afraid to make you aware of their displeasure. Did you know that you can actually leash train a cat? Learn how here: Leash Training a Cat – Doing the “Impossible”

8. Could be in Heat 

If your female cat isn’t spayed, their crying is likely them trying to entice a mate. Once you get them spayed, the crying should stop. In the meantime, all you can do is endure it.

Related: Symptoms of a Cat in Heat: Why Your Kitty is Howling Like Crazy

9. An Older Cat is Suffering from Dementia

If you have an older cat, they might be meowing out of confusion caused by dementia. Thankfully, this situation has never happen to me, but if you think dementia might be the cause, contact a vet immediately.

10. Kitten Being Scared in a New Environment

If you just brought home a new kitten, there’s a high chance they might cry or meow throughout the night because they’re scared of their new surroundings. After all, everything around your new kitten is bigger and unfamiliar to them.

Related: Why Does My Pregnant Cat Keep Meowing?

How to Stop a Cat From Meowing/Crying Throughout the Night

Now, that we’ve identified potential reasons why your cat is crying throughout the night, it’s time we offer you some solutions:

1. Set up a Vet Visit

Just in case it’s a health-related issue, it’s essential you set up a vet visit anytime your cat starts demonstrating a worrying behavior such as excessive meowing. I know, vet visits are incredibly inconvenient, but you must make sure your cat’s okay.

And it’s always a good feeling to know exactly what the issue is, so, you can help your cat get through this troubling time. When my cat was having this problem, I was so relieved after the vet told all he wanted was my attention.

2. Rigorous Play Session Before Bedtime

Get out your cat’s favorite toy and play with them for a good 10 to 20 minutes right before bed. In doing so, you’ll burn off any excess energy they’ll have directly before you go to bed.

For me, I whip around a string on the ground, and my cat goes absolutely bonkers. After the play session is finished, he’s ready to curl up and sleep all the way through the night.

Related: 5 Engaging Ways to Get Your Lazy Cat Moving & Playing


3. Feed and Provide Your Cat With Fresh Water Right Before Bed

A pretty simple solution to stop your cat’s nighttime crying is by feeding them right before bed. After all, even cats sleep better on a full belly! Getting them fresh water can also stop them from ruining your sleep.

And if your cat is anything like mine, they’ll love you even more for providing them with fresh water. I don’t know what it is but my cat starts being extremely affectionate when I’m about to give him a new bowl of water.

4. If They’re in a New Home, Stick to a Routine and Offer them Plenty of Affection

Moving can be quite stressful for your favorite feline. So, lessen their anxiety by playing special attention to them. For instance, offer more play sessions and pets to ensure your cat feels as comfortable as possible in their new home..

Furthermore, you should stick to the same routine you had at the old house to help make them feel less anxious. Therefore, keep the same feeding schedules and bedtime routines you had in your old home.

Related: 6 Easy Steps for Bringing a Stray Cat Home

5. Bring Your Cat into the Bedroom with You

As explained above, your cat might be acting out because they’re lonely. To remedy this, try bringing your cat into the bedroom with you and letting them sleep inside the room.

I know some of you might be uncomfortable having your cat sleep in your bed, but there are still other options available to you such as getting them nice perch or one of these 42 outstanding cat beds! Either of these will provide them with a sleeping spot that’s safe and close to you.

After a while, they should be fine withstanding the nightly terrors all by themselves. With my cat, the meowing immediately stopped once I brought him into my room at bedtime.

6. Close Your Blinds or Curtains

The simplest solution in this article is close your blinds or curtains. It will damper the access you cat has to the outdoor; therefore, making it much less likely your cat will starting meowing because they see something outside.

In other words, you’re removing their excess to things outside that might peak their interesting. In my cat’s case, it can be anything from squirrels to birds that’ll peak his attention, but once I drew my blinds, his meowing stopped.

By now, you should have a rough idea of what’s causing your cat’s nighttime meowing. However, you should still schedule a vet visit to ensure these isn’t some lingering health issue.

Do you have a cat that cries all night? Share your tips for dealing with a little howler!


Ben Robers
Ben Robers

My name is Ben Roberts, and I absolutely love animals. So, naturally, I love writing about them too! As far as my animals, I have a Pit-bull, a Beagle-lab mix, a Chihuahua, and one old cat. Each one of them provides me with a new adventure every day. And the best part is they’re all best friends. Well, except the cat when he gets a little annoyed.