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Cat meows LOUD in the middle of the night.

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've had cats all my life so I'm pretty familiar with their behavior, but this one has me stumped (and exhausted).

My seven-year old cat has (up until a few months ago) been pretty mellow at night. He'd curl up on the sofa or the spare bedroom or in the bed and sleep until early morning (around 5:00 am)

Then, for no apparent reason, he started meowing really LOUDLY during the night (usually sometime between 12:30 and 3:00am). He calls so loudly that he can be downstairs and even with our bedroom door closed upstairs he will wake myself and my wife up.

He has food, water and a litterbox, so that's not the problem. The only thing I can figure out is he's lonely and wants to be with us, so I'll let him in the bedroom. That creates another set of problems. He's so restless! First he's on my side of the bed. Then he's between myself and my wife. He's off the bed. He's back on the bed. He scratches and his collar and tag rattles. He shakes his head and his collar and tag rattles.

My wife suggested we put him in the garage at night. I really don't want to do that, but on the other hand I'm like a zombie because I can't get an uninterrupted night of sleep. My wife even jokingly suggested some type of kitty tranqualizers.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
post #2 of 19
First off- vet visit to be sure that he is in good health. Routine exam as well as fecal and blood work. Don't banish him out of the bedroom. Make sure he has been treated for fleas with Advantage or frontline. Take his collar off at night, and also burn a nightlight for him.

Look into a comfort zone room diffuser by farnum pet, and plug that into your bedroom. Did you make any changes in the last month? Move furniture? Change the cover on your bed? Anything?

But first and foremost please take this cat to the vet and I hope he is not ill.
post #3 of 19
Don't really have much to add except to welcome you to TCS. You can also post your question here:

http://www.bestfriends.org/idealbb/forum.asp?forumID=12&sessionID={042B741D-97EE-499A-A891-84D192429FDF}

where there is a vet who answers questions. She may have some other insight.

Katie
post #4 of 19
Have you found any answers to this yet? My cat's been doing the same thing for almost 2 weeks now. My dh is currently threatening to take her to the shelter. She starts at 5am. I've got a 2 year old who sleeps through the night, and now my cat's the one waking us up! HELP!! If someone can direct me to where to find the answer to this I will be forever grateful.
post #5 of 19
PcolaMama...Have you taken your cat to the vet as Hissy suggested to rule out anything medical?? Has there been any "changes" that your cat could be adjusting to...move the furniture, any new outdoor neighborhood cats?? I understand it can be annoying...but just think how frustrating it must be for your cat to want to tell you something and yet..you can't understand. She may be frightened, she may be hurt, she may be confused. Please do not take her to the shelter..chances are with kitten season..she would be euthanized and none of us want that.

We can try to assist you but need further information.

I just thought of some more questions...how long have you had your cat/how old is she? Do you play with her before bedtime? Where does she stay at night? Do you feed your cat before you go to bed?

Katie
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1
PcolaMama...Have you taken your cat to the vet as Hissy suggested to rule out anything medical?? Has there been any "changes" that your cat could be adjusting to...move the furniture, any new outdoor neighborhood cats?? I understand it can be annoying...but just think how frustrating it must be for your cat to want to tell you something and yet..you can't understand. She may be frightened, she may be hurt, she may be confused. Please do not take her to the shelter..chances are with kitten season..she would be euthanized and none of us want that.

We can try to assist you but need further information.

I just thought of some more questions...how long have you had your cat/how old is she? Do you play with her before bedtime? Where does she stay at night? Do you feed your cat before you go to bed?

Katie

I think he just wants to snuggle and sleep with us. He'll fall asleep just fine on the sofa downstairs, then start crying really loudly during the night. My wife and I wouldn't have a problem letting him sleep in the bed if he would stay put, but he's on my side, then in between us, then off the bed, then back on the bed, then he scratches and his collar and tag goes clink! clink! clink! and wakes us up etc.

Lately we just ignore him when he meows and keep the bedroom door closed, and eventually he goes back to sleep. As I said, I really love Sparky and enjoy his companionship at night, but sleep is important to me!
post #7 of 19
Understood...what about taking the collar off at night?? Now...with regards to his nocturnal behavior...well...you can do a few things. You can feed him some canned food right before bed...you can also play with him to tire him out. Additionally (and I "know" this personally) cats dislike closed doors..especially if you are on the other side and they want to interact. If your cat used to sleep with you and now is locked out...he's probably still confused and rather upset...but chances are...if you give it a while..and continue to ignore his mewing (perhaps buy some earplugs) he will most likely simmer down. Is there some t shirt or some item of yours (that smells like you) that you can keep with him during the night?? Can you play him some classical music to sooth him?? Just some suggestions...I'm sure Hissy will have others.

Katie
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1
Is there some t shirt or some item of yours (that smells like you) that you can keep with him during the night??
Katie
That's a good idea--I also put one of my T-shirts in the cat carrier when I take him to the vet to calm him down.

I'll give it a try tonight.

thanks.

post #9 of 19
I personally have the same problem so I've recently bought a shock collar like you would for a dog. I'm hoping he'll get tired of being zapped everytime he cries but it's starting to really affect my marriage...
post #10 of 19
socks always does this when i dont let him sleep in my room, i dont really have any advice as to stop him because i was wondering the same thing
post #11 of 19
I have an 11 yr old male DSH that started doing the samething about a year ago and always laughed it off saying he was looking for a girlfriend.........and then a few months ago his brother, a 5 yr old male persian started doing the samething. After reading some of the replys I'm wonding if it's something I should worry about.
post #12 of 19
I was just going to post a similar problem. I don’t mind my kitty waking me up because she just wants a cuddle and she goes on her way soon enough. But I really don’t want her waking the whole house up on Christmas morning. If she's wakes up my brother and sister they wont go back to sleep and will want us all to get up to open presents! Can anyone help me think of something to do to get her to sleep in past 6 am for just one night?

Feeding her wet food helps a little but playing with her before bed has no effect!

Nicky
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepless
I personally have the same problem so I've recently bought a shock collar like you would for a dog. I'm hoping he'll get tired of being zapped everytime he cries but it's starting to really affect my marriage...
I was pretty "shocked" to hear this. I cannot imagine anyone using a shock collar on a dog and it upsets me to hear you are using it on a cat. Am I alone in feeling this way.

When I read this post my heart leaped up into my throat!
post #14 of 19
I would take your kitty to the vet to be sure he is ok, I have 3 male kitties and they don't do that. One of them got crystals in his bladder and that caused him to meow a horrible meow and if I hadn't taken him to the vet, then he would have died. I am sure glad I took him to the vet.

Take Care-
Pat


post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
I was pretty "shocked" to hear this. I cannot imagine anyone using a shock collar on a dog and it upsets me to hear you are using it on a cat. Am I alone in feeling this way.

When I read this post my heart leaped up into my throat!
Oh my gosh I am shocked too!!??!!?? I can't believe someone would do this to their pet! Especially if it is meant for a dog and you are using it on a cat, it might harm the cat, physically as well as, i don't know, mentally? emotionally? The cat is not doing anything wrong, he/she is trying to tell you something!!! It's almost like shaking a crying baby because the crying is "annoying" and the baby is just trying to communicate with you!!

I can't believe no one else has commented on this!
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepless
I personally have the same problem so I've recently bought a shock collar like you would for a dog. I'm hoping he'll get tired of being zapped everytime he cries but it's starting to really affect my marriage...
Cats don’t learn the same way as dogs so I cant imagine that would work so well.

I was a little shocked (excuse the pun) when I read that but I’m assuming it been done out of desperation rather than malice. Telling sleepless she/he’s wrong wont help the problem. Maybe you should take your cat to the vets sleepless and asks their opinion rather than resorting to desperate actions?
post #17 of 19
Mine all wake up - again!- at 5 am, (the first time is around 2 and 3 am) and if we are lucky will keep themselves amused playing in the living room or somewhere else. Unfortunately, what usually happens is that one of them notices we aren't there and comes looking for us - and finds us in the bedroom, asleep. Now, sleep is fine they say, except when they want to play. Lion isn't too bad - he jumps up on the bed and cuddles in for a while then wanders off and finds stuff to play with on his own. Abbie and Freija are opportunists and realize that there is a comfortable bed here and will settle down and deside to sleep. So will Tristan. Bear, however, is a wuss - he doesn't want to sleep and he doesn't want to play on his own - he wants ME to play with him! So, he starts this plaintive, loud "oh don't you feel so sorry for lonely little ole' me" meow and keeps it up. If I ignore him he jumps on the dresser and starts knocking things off. When I do get up, he runs off into the living room and starts his "let's play!" side jumps at me.

So, bedtime routine includes playing with the cats before we go to bed, and then getting up at 5 to give Bear, Lion and Freija quick tussle. Bear does't need a lot of playing, just a bit of attention for about 5 minutes - and then I am back to bed. If Bear continues to meow for attention, I will then give them their breakfast and go back to bed. That generally seems to keep them satisfied until it is time for us to get up.

Cats are nocturnal creatures and while they make a lot of adaptations to our lifestyle, sometimes their own natural rhythms are just too powerful to ignore.

Of course, on those nights when they insist on playing ALL Night Long, I just close the bedroom door!

Nicky, the only thing I can suggest is to keep your kitty in your room with you on Christmas Eve and overnight - maybe even moving her litter box and food dishes there, and you be prepared to wake up and play with her or give her attention when she meows.

Of course - why anyone would want to sleep in as late as 6 am on Christmas morning is beyond me! I would be with your brother and sister waiting to open presents! Heheheh

Kathryn
post #18 of 19
Kathryn – all her stuff is in my room already. I guess we’re going to have too get up at 6 

It’s my boyfriends first Christmas with us ( he’s Sikh so doesn’t really celebrate it at home) so he’ll be up anyway as excited as the cat!

I think the plan is to play with her non-stop for a day or two and not let her sleep then try again when we get back from the pub Xmas eve. Hopefully she’ll be way too tired to get up then. Either than or invest in some earplugs or find a pet shop that stocks kitty chloroform!
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick_kitten
Kathryn – all her stuff is in my room already. I guess we’re going to have too get up at 6 

It’s my boyfriends first Christmas with us ( he’s Sikh so doesn’t really celebrate it at home) so he’ll be up anyway as excited as the cat!

I think the plan is to play with her non-stop for a day or two and not let her sleep then try again when we get back from the pub Xmas eve. Hopefully she’ll be way too tired to get up then. Either than or invest in some earplugs or find a pet shop that stocks kitty chloroform!
That should certainly help a lot . . . but from the sounds of it, your boyfriend might end up waking up the cat, heheheh:-)! I hope you have a really fun Christmas, and remember, you can always slip in a quick nap in the afternoon either while dinner is in the oven or after you have eaten. The cat will be worn out from all the wonderful adventures among the wrapping paper by then:-).

fwiw - I too was appalled that anyone would use a shock collar on a cat! I don't agree with their use on dogs either, but on a cat all it will do is make the poor animal neurotic, paranoid, aggressive and anti-social. It will do nothing to address the behaviour you want to change. You don't train cats by 'discipline', you take advantage of their existing natural tendencies and find ways to make the behaviour you want to encourage easier for them to do than the behaviours you want them to stop. One question. Have you tried wearing the collar yourself - perhaps on your wrist since I doubt it would fit your neck - and trying out what it feels like? I think that is in order before you throw it away permanently.

Kathryn
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