How many times have you jolted out of your deep sleep at night because of a loud cry that sounded like that of a baby?
If there is a baby in the house, this won’t be a surprise at all. But if there is none, you will surely be scared to hear such a strange sound. And if you own a cat, there is even no need to worry because that might just be your cat crying. The question now is why do cats cry at night like babies in the first place?
What do you call it when a cat cries
Every time cats express distress in the dead of night that is not exactly a howl nor is it a simple meow, this is what experts call caterwauling.
If you have ever heard a cat caterwaul, you will surely know how distinct the sound is. This is high-pitched, emotion-filled, and sharp that is usually different from other sounds that cats often make.
Why cats cry like babies at night
So, you’ve heard your cat cry like a baby at night but did you ever hear it during daytime?
In general, cats save their desperate cries for those hours late at night, which can be very disturbing for your sleep cycle. However, it doesn’t mean that they are intentionally preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep.
Being nocturnal creatures, cats tend to be most active during nighttime. It also means that it is more likely for them to feel lonely after dark. Just when you are ready to doze off, your cats are out and wide awake.
Isolation is also one of the main reasons why cats howl. If you brought home a new cat for the first time and he happened to be used to being around other cats, you can expect him to howl.
If this is the case, the best thing you can do is prepare a cozy spot for him in your room. While you might not be the companion he is looking for, your presence will be enough most of the time.
Why male cats cry like babies at night
There is one short and simple answer why a male cat cries like a baby when nighttime comes. This is mainly because he is trying to mate.
A male cat reaches puberty anywhere between 4 months and one year. Once this happens, the cat’s body will alert him that it is time for him to begin repopulating. As a result, he will embark on his quest for a nice female cat.
Obviously, there is nothing romantic here but yowling is the only way for cats to alert one another that they are single and ready to mingle.
However, it is important to remember that if you have a male cat, you need to observe and monitor him closely. Make sure that he stays indoors all the time or else, he will soon become a father without you even knowing it.
The same thing also applies to female cats. A female cat in heat will try to alert all nearby potential male candidates that she is searching for a partner.
This means that you need to follow the same rules for your female cat. Female cats in heat should be kept inside the house 24 hours a day. This is the best way for you to be sure that your house won’t be crowded with newborn kittens.
But, the best way to prevent this kind of situation from happening is to have your cat neutered or spayed.
Is it a bad sign if cats cry
As stated above, crying is typical or normal for cats and might only be a sign of boredom. However, there are also instances when it may indicate something worse.
For example, a newly adopted cat may feel disoriented or confused being in a new house. In particular, older cats find it more challenging to adapt to a brand new setting.
While you might give your new cat a much better and more comfortable place to live in, he might still get confused as to why things are different out of the blue.
Just continue to be a patient and loving cat parent and sooner or later, your pet will get used to the new environment.
On the other hand, even if your cat is not in a new house, he might still feel like it. There are cats, particularly older ones that might suffer from a cognitive dysfunction syndrome. It is the disease that is the counterpart of Alzheimer’s in felines. Cats with this syndrome will easily get anxious, confused, and disoriented.
While there is no treatment, it helps to have a safe environment and consistent schedule. Vets can also prescribe medications such as anti-anxiety pills.
Superstition about cats crying at night
Just so you know, there are cultures that believe that when a cat cries outside a house, it means that someone inside will die. How this superstition came about is not really hard to imagine. After all, there were probably a lot of unneutered cats many years ago that were crying outside houses when mating season comes. These unsettling noises might have made people believe this superstition.
There is also a spiritual belief that cats warn owners about nearby entities or spirits. Whether you believe this or not will depend on your belief on the supernatural.
How to prevent cats from crying like babies at night
Don’t lose hope if you have been losing sleep because of the constant cries of your cat. While a cat caterwaul or yowl may sound severe, it is often an indication of something minor. When nighttime comes, see to it that your cat is satiated and happy.
- Don’t forget to stock her water and food bowls.
- Clean the litter box.
- Turn on the nightlights around the house if you have an older cat that finds it hard to see.
- Pamper your cat with affection and quality playtime.
The most important thing here is that unless you suspect that there is something concerning, it is best to refrain from getting out of bed every time you hear a cat crying. Your hungry or bored cat will learn that it is the best way for him to get your attention and tending to him will only reinforce the habit.
The unique literary talents of Dr. A. Barton are well known throughout the veterinary profession. He is a regular contributor to the New York City Veterinarian and his professional articles have also appeared in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Journal of Small Animal Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Cornell Veterinarian and Philadelphia Medicine. He is the only veterinarian ever to have had an article published in the human medical publication, What’s New.