Talking With Pet Doctors

Here's Why Your Cat Yowls All Night

by Christy Adams

Having a cat cry and yowl all night can be upsetting, irritating, or even get in the way of your sleep. If your cat does this, you should read this guide to find out what's behind it and what you should do in order to put a stop to it.

Separation Anxiety

One potential cause of nighttime yowling is separation anxiety. While cats have a reputation for being aloof and unaffectionate, they need their people just as badly as dogs do. They just show it in their own way.

When they're separated from you — either because you close the door at night, lock them out, or are simply asleep and non-responsive, it can make a cat fearful and anxious, and they yowl as a result.

Mating Season

If your cat hasn't been spayed or neutered, they may be yowling because they're responding to a cat in heat or are in heat themselves. This is common behavior for cats during mating season, and is usually behind the crying and meowing you hear coming from outside your home from feral cats. If your male cat hasn't been neutered, they may be able to detect in-heat females in the neighborhood and could be acting out as a result. If they're not spayed and female, they could be crying in an attempt to attract a mate.

How to Abate It

If your cat hasn't been spayed or neutered yet, that's a good place to start. For most cats, this will stop or at least reduce the behavior dramatically.

If your cat is fixed and likely experiencing separation anxiety, there are a few ways you can help to ease their distress.

The first is simply let your cat sleep in your room. They don't understand why they've been locked out and are worried about you. Being able to see you in the middle of the night may put them at ease.

In addition, you can introduce pheromone products to help soothe your cat. These emit the same hormone that's made by female cats while they're nursing. It soothes kittens and works on adults, too.

What to Do If It Doesn't Get Better

If your cat keeps yowling and howling all night long despite these tips, then you should take your cat in to a veterinarian clinic. Cats also yowl at night when they're in distress or pain. It's possible that your cat has a medical condition that's gone unnoticed and requires attention from a veterinarian.