Why Do Cats Cry Like A Baby At Night?

Do you ever find yourself jolted awake in the middle of the night by your cat’s incessant crying? It’s a common occurrence that can leave even the most patient pet owner feeling frustrated and exhausted. But before you start to worry that your furry feline is possessed or plotting against you, rest assured that this behavior is perfectly normal. So why do cats cry like a baby at night?

There are several reasons why your cat may be meowing loudly in the wee hours of the morning. It could be due to boredom, hunger, thirst, or simply a desire for attention. Whatever the reason may be, it’s important to understand what’s behind this behavior so you can help soothe your furry friend back to sleep.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of feline behavior and explore some tips and tricks to help calm your cat down at night. Whether you’re a seasoned cat owner or new to the game, we’ve got you covered with all the information you need to know about why cats cry like babies at night.

So if you’re tired of being woken up by your cat’s plaintive cries, grab a cup of coffee and keep reading – we’re about to uncover the mysteries behind this common feline behavior.

What is Nocturnal Behavior in Cats?

Firstly, it’s important to know that nocturnal behavior refers to the activity that cats exhibit during the night. Cats are crepuscular animals, which means they are most active during dawn and dusk. This behavior is instinctive, and cats have evolved their hunting instincts to suit their nocturnal lifestyle. They have excellent night vision and acute hearing, which makes them skilled hunters at night. They can easily catch prey like mice and rats.

However, not all cats exhibit nocturnal behavior. Some prefer to sleep throughout the night, while others may be more active during the day. If your cat is crying excessively at night, it may be due to underlying health issues or behavioral problems. But don’t worry, we’ll get to that in a bit.

So why do cats cry at night? One primary reason is their innate hunting instinct. When they hear sounds or movements outside, they may cry out as a way of expressing their excitement or frustration at not being able to hunt. It’s like they’re saying “I want to catch that mouse outside.”

Another reason why cats may cry at night is due to attention-seeking behavior. Cats are social animals and crave attention from their owners. If they feel neglected or bored, they may cry out to get their owner’s attention or initiate playtime. It’s like they’re saying “Hey. Pay attention to me. Let’s play.”

It’s also essential to note that domestic cats may exhibit nocturnal behavior due to boredom, lack of stimulation, or an irregular feeding schedule. In some cases, a cat may be trying to communicate that it wants attention or food.

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While some nocturnal behavior is normal for cats, excessive crying at night may be a sign of underlying health issues or behavioral problems. Pain, discomfort, or anxiety can also lead to excessive crying or meowing. As a responsible cat owner, it’s important to monitor your cat’s behavior and consult a veterinarian if you suspect any underlying health issues.

In conclusion, nocturnal behavior in cats is a fascinating instinct that has been passed down through generations of felines. It is influenced by their environment, hunting instincts, and need for attention. If your cat is crying excessively at night, it may be a sign of underlying health issues or behavioral problems.

What Causes Cats to Cry at Night?

The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. While cats are known for their nocturnal nature, excessive crying at night can be a red flag for underlying issues that require attention.

If your furry friend is crying at night, one potential cause is separation anxiety. Just like humans, cats can become attached to their owners and feel anxious when left alone. This anxiety can manifest as excessive crying in an attempt to seek attention or comfort.

Another possible reason for nighttime crying in cats is boredom. If your cat isn’t getting enough stimulation during the day, they may become restless and start meowing at night. Providing toys or playtime during the day can help alleviate this problem.

Medical issues can also cause cats to cry at night. Older cats may suffer from cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS), which can cause confusion and restlessness at night. Other medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism or urinary tract infections can also lead to nighttime crying.

Female cats in heat may also cry excessively at night as a way of attracting a mate. This behavior is usually temporary and will subside once the cat has mated or the heat cycle has ended.

So, what should you do if your cat is crying excessively at night? First, consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical issues. If no medical issues are present, providing proper stimulation during the day and addressing potential separation anxiety can help alleviate the problem.

Hunting Instincts in Cats

Cats are natural-born hunters, and their instincts to hunt and catch prey are deeply embedded in their behavior. Even if they’re domesticated, these instincts persist. So, what causes cats to cry like a baby at night? Well, it could be because their hunting instincts have been triggered.

At night, cats are more active because many small animals, such as mice and insects, are also more active during this time. The heightened activity can trigger your cat’s hunting instincts, causing them to cry and signal to you that they want to hunt or play.

You can manage your cat’s hunting instincts and prevent them from crying like a baby at night. To begin with, provide plenty of opportunities for play and exercise during the day. Toys that simulate prey, such as feather toys and laser pointers, can keep your cat engaged and provide a healthy outlet for their hunting instincts. Interactive play with their owners is also an excellent way to bond with your feline friend while keeping them mentally stimulated.

Another way to reduce your cat’s desire to hunt at night is by providing plenty of mental stimulation. Puzzle toys and hiding treats throughout the house for your cat to find can keep their minds sharp and decrease their need to hunt at night.

Attention-Seeking Behavior in Cats

But before you get too annoyed, it’s important to understand why your cat may be exhibiting this behavior.

One common reason for attention-seeking behavior in cats is a lack of attention during the day. If your cat feels neglected or ignored when you’re away at work, they may resort to crying out at night to get the attention they crave. This can be especially true for cats with separation anxiety or experiencing stress.

So, how can you reduce this behavior and ensure a peaceful night’s sleep for both you and your feline friend? The key is to give your cat plenty of attention and playtime during the day. Engaging in interactive play, providing them with toys or puzzles, or just spending time cuddling and petting them can all help satisfy their need for attention.

Creating a routine before bedtime can also be helpful. Playing with your cat or providing them with treats can help alleviate any anxiety they may be experiencing at night. Plus, having a consistent routine can signal to your cat that it’s time for bed and reduce any confusion or stress they may feel.

But here’s the thing: ignoring your cat’s cries at night can actually reinforce this behavior. Instead, try to be patient and understanding with your furry friend. Remember that excessive attention-seeking behavior could also indicate an underlying medical issue, so if you suspect something is wrong, don’t hesitate to take them to the veterinarian.

Health Issues That May Cause Excessive Meowing

While it may seem like your cat is just seeking attention, it could actually be a symptom of an underlying health issue. In this post, we’ll explore the three most common health issues that can cause excessive meowing in cats.

Hyperthyroidism is a common condition in older cats, where the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. This hormonal imbalance can lead to increased appetite, weight loss, and excessive meowing, especially at night. Your veterinarian can diagnose and suggest effective treatment options to manage this condition.

Kidney disease is another health issue that can cause excessive meowing in cats. As the kidneys begin to fail, they produce toxins that can affect your cat’s brain and behavior. This can lead to confusion and disorientation, causing your cat to meow excessively and become restless at night. If you notice any changes in your cat’s behavior or appetite, it’s crucial to seek professional help from your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Lastly, cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) is a condition that affects older cats and can cause behavior changes such as excessive meowing, confusion, and anxiety. CDS is similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans and can be caused by a buildup of protein deposits in the brain. While treatment options for CDS are limited, medications are available that may help improve symptoms.

If your cat is meowing excessively at night or showing any other unusual behavior patterns, don’t ignore it. It’s essential to visit your veterinarian for a thorough examination and diagnosis.

Hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, and cognitive dysfunction syndrome are just some of the common health issues that can cause excessive meowing in cats.

Ways to Help Your Cat Stop Crying at Night

But don’t worry, there are ways to help your furry friend stop crying at night. Let’s dive into some tips to ensure both you and your cat can get a good night’s sleep.


Cats are playful creatures and require stimulation throughout the day. By engaging your cat in playtime during the day, you can help them expend their energy and reduce boredom, which may be contributing to their night-time cries.

Feeding Schedule

If hunger is the reason behind your cat’s cries at night, adjust their feeding schedule accordingly. Feed them a small meal before bedtime to keep their stomachs full and prevent hunger pangs in the middle of the night.

Comfortable Sleeping Area

Ensure that your cat’s sleeping area is cozy and comfortable. Provide them with a warm bed or blanket and make sure that the room is quiet and dark during nighttime. This will create an inviting environment for them to rest peacefully.

Regular Exercise

Exercise is crucial for a cat’s physical and mental well-being. Regular exercise can help reduce stress, anxiety, and restlessness, which can contribute to night-time crying. Make sure to provide plenty of opportunities for exercise during the day.

Medical Checkup

If your cat’s cries at night persist despite trying these remedies, it may be time to take them to the vet for a medical checkup. A professional can rule out any underlying health issues that may be causing your cat’s night-time crying.

Calming Aids

There are many calming aids available in the market that can help soothe cats and reduce their anxiety levels. These include pheromone sprays, diffusers, and collars that release natural calming scents.

Attention-seeking Behavior

Sometimes cats cry at night simply because they want attention. If you’re sure that your cat is not hungry or in distress, it may be best to ignore their cries and avoid reinforcing their behavior by giving them attention every time they cry.

Furthermore, separation anxiety may also be the reason behind your cat’s cries at night. Cats are social animals and need attention and companionship. To help your cat feel more secure and reduce their anxiety, make sure they have plenty of toys and scratching posts to keep them entertained.

Create a comfortable sleeping space in a warm and quiet location, and consider using a pheromone diffuser or spray to help calm them down.


To summarize, cats crying like a baby at night is a frequent occurrence with various underlying reasons such as hunting instincts, boredom, hunger, thirst, or health issues. As responsible pet owners, we must comprehend the cause of this behavior and take appropriate measures to help our furry friends sleep peacefully.

To reduce excessive crying at night, we can provide proper stimulation during the day and address potential separation anxiety. Establishing a routine before bedtime and being patient with our feline companions can also promote restful sleep for both cat and owner.

It’s vital to monitor our cat’s behavior and seek professional help if necessary. Hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, and cognitive dysfunction syndrome are some common health issues that can cause excessive meowing in cats. Therefore, visiting the veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis is crucial.

We can manage our cat’s nocturnal behavior by providing attention, playtime, regular exercise, comfortable sleeping areas, and using calming aids like pheromone sprays or diffusers.