Cat keeps yowling late at night

cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm RegentChantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
edited October 2018 in Help / Advice Forum
Artemis is at it again.

Lately at random intervals in the middle of the night(usually 3-4 AM), he'll go out into the living room and just start yowling for no reason, loud as can be. (He's part Siamese, so this is VERY loud.)

The only thing that stops it is if I wake up and chase him out of there, or lock him in my room.

He's fixed, so I'm sure it's not heat or anything. He doesn't act sick at all, and he's always got food and water.

Any possible cause or solution?

Obligatory picture of the jerk:
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cj iwakura on
Hahnsoo1Zilla360Bliss 101

Posts

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    How old?

    They do this with health related things.

    Also sometimes because they're bored as fuck.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    edited October 2018
    He's going on 5-6ish. And NEVER during the day or if I'm awake, only at night, especially if I'm asleep.

    cj iwakura on
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  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Does he use his box right before?

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    Does he use his box right before?

    Sometimes right after. I used to think it was related, but it never happens when he uses it during the day, and he always shuts up when I go chase him out of there. I feel like he just wants attention.

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  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited October 2018
    So it could be a few things:
    • Most likely: Howling for attention. Getting up to see him and check on him may be a learned behavior. Consider ignoring him or squirting him with a water battle when he does this to discourage him to continue (but only once you have verified no serious problems)
    • Second most likely: The Zoomies. Cats don't fall under the same day/night patterns as humans and many get their burst of energy at night. Most cats have half an hour to an hour where they just act totally crazy, holw, run about, and burst that energy they build up in sleeping all day. If he runs around like crazy and plays a bunch at night, this is just what it is. Providing more things to entertain him during these times would be good (engagement toys like balls, hunting toys, kongs, etc.).
    • Also possible: Complaining about not having a clean box.
    • Less likely: If he is only pooping/peeing at night, he may be having difficulty going or is having pain from bladder crystals when he goes. This can be an early indicator of something wrong.
    • Unlikely: He sees a spooky ghost and is warning you about it.

    Enc on
    dispatch.oTOGSolidAnon the FelonSteevLJaysonFourHahnsoo1admanbbowenFuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudJansonNightDragonZilla360El MuchoTofystedethMichaelLCoverride367
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    I actually had to give away a cat because of this. He would do it every night, all night long, despite having been fixed at young age. It became such a quality of life issue that we had to take steps... the kids were not getting enough sleep and school suffering, my work was suffering, Belasco's health was suffering...

    Everyone was really upset, until the first morning after I did it. First good night's sleep for the whole family in months.

    I guess what I'm saying is that I hope you sort out what the problem is and get him to stop it but, if you can't, don't hate yourself for needing to prioritize your own well-being. Sometimes the hard decision is the better one for all parties, including the pet.

    AridholSiska
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    I actually had to give away a cat because of this. He would do it every night, all night long, despite having been fixed at young age. It became such a quality of life issue that we had to take steps... the kids were not getting enough sleep and school suffering, my work was suffering, Belasco's health was suffering...

    Everyone was really upset, until the first morning after I did it. First good night's sleep for the whole family in months.

    I guess what I'm saying is that I hope you sort out what the problem is and get him to stop it but, if you can't, don't hate yourself for needing to prioritize your own well-being. Sometimes the hard decision is the better one for all parties, including the pet.

    That was never on the table. He could do it all night and day and I'd endure it. I raised him from a kitten.

    Incidentally, he's also very good at waking me up for work.

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    Pixelated PixieEncLovelySiskaZilla360Legacy
  • Pixelated PixiePixelated Pixie Future world ruler Registered User regular
    Is it possible you have a mouse or other critter in the walls? They're nocturnal little buggers and if the cat can smell them there, he might be yowling because he knows they're there and can't get to them.

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  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    Is it possible you have a mouse or other critter in the walls? They're nocturnal little buggers and if the cat can smell them there, he might be yowling because he knows they're there and can't get to them.

    Never crossed my mind, but I guess it's possible... never seen any mice ever.

    0QcdpUO.png
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    If you free feed him, he may have chosen this time to eat, which causes my cat to go into hyper mode. Do you feed him on a schedule?

    Is there any downside to just keeping him in your room if that stops the problem? Does he not have access to his litter?

    My cat yowls in the living room for attention right after he eats in the morning. I sleep right through that shit, but I run a fan for white noise in general. He also does it at night on occasion. We mostly trained him to know that it has the opposite of what he wants: We close the door and he loses access to the warm snuggles of the bedroom. A few weeks of getting thrown out of the room for yowling, and getting the door shut when he yowls near the door but in the hallway has taught him to mostly stop. Sometimes he cant help himself and does it in the living room, but it's far enough away that it's no longer an issue for our sleep. You have to really commit to not getting up though.


  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    If you free feed him, he may have chosen this time to eat, which causes my cat to go into hyper mode. Do you feed him on a schedule?

    Is there any downside to just keeping him in your room if that stops the problem? Does he not have access to his litter?

    My cat yowls in the living room for attention right after he eats in the morning. I sleep right through that shit, but I run a fan for white noise in general. He also does it at night on occasion. We mostly trained him to know that it has the opposite of what he wants: We close the door and he loses access to the warm snuggles of the bedroom. A few weeks of getting thrown out of the room for yowling, and getting the door shut when he yowls near the door but in the hallway has taught him to mostly stop. Sometimes he cant help himself and does it in the living room, but it's far enough away that it's no longer an issue for our sleep. You have to really commit to not getting up though.


    More just a nuisance. I usually keep the food and water in the living room, so if I move him, I move the food and water too. His litter's in the bathroom back here, so that's not an issue.

    I try to sleep through it, but he is loud.

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  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    If he would not immediately bother you for food, I'd consider restricting it at night. If the inconvenience is just moving around the food, maybe just keep it in the bed room permanently? He might just want to be close to safety while he eats.

    Cats are hard to change behavior in, with spectre I really have to either not give in on an extremely consistent basis or make the results of his actions immediately and consistently worse with a spray bottle. We also manage his food quite a bit, and use a timed feeder and a puzzle feeder.

  • OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle let's keep it haimish for the peripatetic Registered User regular
    Enc has very good advice and what I would have given though ghost sightings is ranked too low. Otherwise, be on the lookout for peeing where he shouldn't or something being wrong. A checkup might not be a bad idea.

    Try playing with him for awhile real active before bed. Like 15+ minutes if you can. See if you can tire him out. This is just to see if he's bored. Does he have good spots to climb/look outside/hide/whatever he prefers?

    The show My Cat From Hell is actually pretty great with advice.

    Lovely
  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    So it could be a few things:
    • Most likely: Howling for attention. Getting up to see him and check on him may be a learned behavior. Consider ignoring him or squirting him with a water battle when he does this to discourage him to continue (but only once you have verified no serious problems)
    • Second most likely: The Zoomies. Cats don't fall under the same day/night patterns as humans and many get their burst of energy at night. Most cats have half an hour to an hour where they just act totally crazy, holw, run about, and burst that energy they build up in sleeping all day. If he runs around like crazy and plays a bunch at night, this is just what it is. Providing more things to entertain him during these times would be good (engagement toys like balls, hunting toys, kongs, etc.).
    • Also possible: Complaining about not having a clean box.
    • Less likely: If he is only pooping/peeing at night, he may be having difficulty going or is having pain from bladder crystals when he goes. This can be an early indicator of something wrong.
    • Unlikely: He sees a spooky ghost and is warning you about it.

    My cats tend to do the second, usually around 3-4 a.m. After yowling a bit, they'll often carry a toy into the bedroom and drop it, waiting for me to do something with it. I haven't really mapped behavior, but I don't think they do it as much if they get some good play in before I turn in.

    They are always disappointed. :biggrin:

    E.Coyotedispatch.o
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    One suggestion if you can't use water (electricity etc) as a deterrent - we had huge success with canned air in keeping our other cat dissuaded from things like eating wires.

    He hates that...

    Tofystedeth
  • E.CoyoteE.Coyote Registered User regular
    Agreeing with Enc and Gabriel. A few of our cats would do this for attention, then proceed to bat toys around the house in the wee hours of the morning. One of them would hop on the bed, yowl, and try to pat your face until you woke up. I'd say just get him something to play with, they make a robot laser pointer with a timer that might be worth looking into.

    dispatch.o
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited October 2018
    Just be sure it's not some neighborhood cat on patrol that stops by one of your windows or doors and gets your guy all worked up every night. I have a cat that keeps a lookout and used to go crazy every morning way too early for me to be up. It was someone walking their dog and letting it dig around outside my window every night. It wasn't really their fault, I assume they worked an odd shift and were taking the dog out when they got home. They eventually stopped, I assume they moved.

    Cats who want attention will keep doing whatever it is that works. Even if you throw a shoe or yell at them, they consider it a win because you wake up and give them attention. I'd try exhausting your cat before your bedtime as an experiment. Get a toy like Da' Bird - Petco or Amazon or a laser pointer (one that takes normal people batteries, not some elaborate watch batteries that cost way too much and don't last long enough). Go crazy for like an hour every night for a period of time and wear em out.

    Maybe it's not practical to exhaust your cat every night forever, but if it ends up working by the end of a week then you might want to invest in some automated toys with timers.

    Edit: To echo Iruka even if you only give in and respond to the behavior once in a hundred times, cats are assholes and will home in on that weakness until the end of time. It's hard to not react when your only goal is sweet precious sleep.

    dispatch.o on
    E.CoyoteIrukaSiska
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I mean when you think about how your cat has little motivation in life other than to eat, play, and get your attention, it doesn't take much to ingrain a behavior.

    We try to wear our guy out at night. When he wont engage, a grooming session after the night time play, if your cat likes to be brushed, puts my dude right into bedtime mode as well. We have a dabird (or we did, I eventually changed it out for a real fishing rod), but we have to change out the toy on it CONSTANTLY or he will ignore it. We also buy those floppy, stuffing-less dog toys, and gruesomely cut open the neck and stuff them with cat nip. Those are great for the rabbit kicks.

    Lovely
  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    edited October 2018
    It sounds like your cat is yowling at the same time of night that my 2 cats are chasing after each other. If it's not health related then it's definitely boredom related. Another cat should help with the situation.

    If you can't get another cat, try and get your cat to play hard a couple times during the day and it shouldn't be as bored at night. Does your cat have a window perch? If not, some cats can be entertained enough by looking outside and visually chasing things out there, but this is not an every cat solution. Edit: Another thought, how is the vertical cat space in your home? If it's not great, giving it several levels to jump around on and perch from can also help a lot with cat boredom

    I think getting an automatic toy to entertain the cat has a good shot at working short term, but it could also worsen the behavior if this is about getting you to play with it. Your cat is (probably) an annoying POS, but that POS does have a bond with you and it might be after your affection at the worst possible time.

    Veevee on
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    I actually do have another cat. She's quiet as a mouse during the night. They play around sometimes, but at night she's like 'why is that idiot being so loud'.

    Artemis goes onto bookshelves or the dresser sometimes, but not as much as he used to.

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  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    Cats are creatures of habit and their behavior can sometimes seem almost impossible to change. However, for this specific problem restricting food to daytime, most of it in the morning, seemed to work. Mammalian brains generally adjust their circadian rhythm to food availability. So what I did was, my cat got most of his soft meaty food in the morning, then a little bit in the early evening when I got home from work. He also had dry food available throughout the day, which he viewed with exaggerated disdain but still secretly ate when he thought I wasn't looking. But in the evening I took even the dry food away. At first he was offended and got even noisier, but in a matter of weeks he started living more on a human schedule and wouldn't be as bothersome at night. (He never became completely quiet at night, but I think that's because he was a cat who loved attention and he never quite understood why everyone is asleep during his prime time.)

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  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited October 2018
    Is it possible you have a mouse or other critter in the walls? They're nocturnal little buggers and if the cat can smell them there, he might be yowling because he knows they're there and can't get to them.

    In my experience, when they detect prey they cant get at (like birds at the window or a moth halfway up the wall) cats make a weird chittering chirp kind of sound.



    I solved some noisy nighttime cat problems with the opposite of Bliss 101's solution: Extra dry food at night (so he never had that "I see a little bit of bowl in the middle so the whole thing is empty and WHY ARE YOU STARVING ME WORTHLESS HUMAN RISE AND SERVE YOUR GOD!" fit, and moist food right before I went to bed so he felt like he had just gotten real food and didn't eat so much dry food anyway.

    It wasn't perfect, but it made some progress. What ultimately solved the problem once and for all was my wife bringing a second cat home. Once they sorted themselves out the annoying cat would seek out the new cat and try to play before he'd come bother us.

    Hevach on
  • JusticeJustice Registered User regular
    edited October 2018
    Everyone else has posted better solutions, and good possible causes, buuuut... if you're really sure it's nothing related to the cat's health and is basically just boredom ("hey I can make this noise"), you can get a smart outlet of your choice or just a remote-activated outlet like this and, when the cat is yowling, activate the vacuum cleaner located in some other part of your house. The cat thinks it's the voice of an angry God and will adjust behavior accordingly.

    We've only used this sparingly but one instance was when our cat was in the habit of trying to batter down the bedroom door every morning. (We abandon the rest of the house to our cat each night for her own uses. We don't free-feed her, so she can be aggressive about demanding an early meal.)

    Justice on
    Shadowfirecj iwakuraHappylilElf
  • finralfinral Registered User regular
    A second cat solved most of my nighttime cat woes. Now they keep each other entertained and leave me to my beauty sleep.

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    I started to ignore it, and it seems to be working. Only once last night!

    I try giving him more attention, but he just wants to be chased around.

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  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    finral wrote: »
    A second cat solved most of my nighttime cat woes. Now they keep each other entertained and leave me to my beauty sleep.

    The only problem with second cat theory is it seems to often end in random late night kitty thunderdome

    Not that it always will! We have a 12 year old and a 2 year old and most nights they end up cuddling all night in the recliner.

    But there are nights where if you're lucky you're not woken up by the deathmatch you just wake up to random tufts of fur all over in the morning because no longer a kitten doesn't realize that she's big enough that old kitty views her as a legit opponent and no longer just lets her escape every time he pins her which means she goes ok well then this old bastard needs to pay and... tufts of fur everywhere.

    (they will inevitably be cuddling on the couch when you discover the fur tufts)

    cj iwakuraCantido
  • bwaniebwanie Posting into the void Registered User regular
    both my bunnies and cats tend to collide in a tornado of flying fur on occasion, only to pretend to have no idea what al that ruckus was as soon as you enter the scene.

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