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We’ve all been there before. It’s 2 a.m. and your cat is going crazy making strange cries. Some are normal meows, and some are unique sounds you’ve never heard. But don’t worry, we can help you get some sleep! There are several reasons why cats make strange noises at night.
So why does your cat make such strange noises at night? The answer may vary. Different reasons include: CDS (cognitive dysfunction syndrome), physical distress, thirst or need for food.
Many factors explain why your cat makes strange noises at night. Some are quite normal and easy to change. Others can lead to other feline issues. Below, I’ll go over some of the reasons I’ve found that could be causing your cat to make strange noises at night.
Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, also known as FCD (Feline Cognitive Dysfunction), affects many cats. Cognitive dysfunction syndrome tends to exist in older cats, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t affect younger felines.
What is CDS/FCD?
“Feline Cognitive Dysfunction (FCD) is a common cognitive disease in cats directly linked to brain aging, resulting in changes in consciousness, learning and memory deficits, and decreased responsiveness to stimuli.”
CDS tend to be diagnosed with older cats. As with many female problems, CDS is somewhat difficult to diagnose. Its symptoms are similar to those of other feline diseases.
Due to its nature, CDS has become quite difficult to diagnose. Many signs are things we would scratch cats as cats, for example, if your feline friend seems to be lost or wandering. On the surface, it looks like your cat is just a cat; However, the cat might have a CDS. Symptoms of CDS include abnormal vocalization, lost appearance, and general disorientation.
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A symptom of CDS that is probably more noticeable is if your companion is vocalizing abnormally. Cats that are domesticated and have lived with their owners for a long time usually understand that when night comes, it’s time to go to sleep. Just like their owners. However, if your cat has CDS, they are much more likely to make random vocal sounds in the middle of the night.. This is most likely due to the strange noises your cat makes at night.
Misuse of mailbox
Your cat’s inability to properly use their litter box is also another way to tell if your cat has CDS. Cats seem to get back to house training pretty quickly, however, with CDS the cat forgets where the litter box is and house training is basically thrown out the window. The problem isn’t so much that they forget how to use a litter box. The problem is that they forget where the litter box is, which leads to disorientation for the cat.
Disorientation is a known problem with CDS. Dr. Marty Baker says:
“If your cat is disoriented, try limiting its access to stairs or certain parts of the house. Keep the doors closed so he doesn’t get into the closet or behind the toilet or anywhere else he might not be able to get out.”
Source: Dr. Marty Becky at Vetstreet
This disorientation can cause the cat to scream and meow in the middle of the night. These could be some of the strange noises you might possibly experience with your cat.
Physical distress can play a contributing role in a cat yelping or meowing at night. Whether it’s CDS or something else, cats are in physical distress all the time. Although physical distress is common in cats, the reasons for stress can vary.
Moving to a new home can really stress out a cat. As mentioned earlier, the fact that they become disoriented can be attributed to their discomfort, but so can a different environment. Just think about sleeping in a new place for the first time. It’s difficult, isn’t it? The same goes for your feline pets. New places bring stress, which can cause them to verbalize. Especially at night when you sleep.
Cats, like humans, are creatures of habit. I feed our cats every morning at 8 a.m. and every evening at 6 p.m. If I’m ten minutes late on either one, they go crazy. Imagine if it were severe changes like switching to night work and sleeping during the day? Cats would struggle with this as it is a huge change in the daily routine.
Another stressor for a cat could be an addition to the family. As is the case with a routine, adding a new pet to the family can be difficult for the original feline. Adding a new creature to its territory can cause the cat to stress out. Stress is what causes the cat to panic and act abnormally, which can lead to loud screaming and meowing in the middle of the night.
Inappropriate use of mailbox
Although this is a symptom of CDS, it can also be caused by stress. According to PetMD, “Cats that urinate outside the litter box are trying to tell us something. He or she may be stressed due to rearranged furniture, loud noises, a dirty litter box, or several other factors. This could cause much-needed stress for your cat, resulting in not only a mess to clean up, but also loud noises in the middle of the night for you.
Although the reasons mentioned above are quite serious and require immediate mediation from cat owners, could there be a much simpler reason why your cat is making strange noises at night? The answer is, actually yes.
The main reason cats make strange noises at night and panic is simple: necessity. They need food or water. It’s possible that you forgot to take out their food or clean their water bowl. If this is the reason your cat is making weird noises at night, this is an easy fix! Feed them or clean their water bowl and you may have earned a good night’s sleep!
How to calm your cat
So now you have understood the symptoms and cause of your cat vocalizing at night. So what are you doing? It will depend on the issues with the cat, but there are always remedies you can try to calm your cat down.
- A family place: Try to surround the cat with a common frame. Seems like a big deal, a cat in a new place. If you are moving to a new place, try to bring a piece of furniture that the cat loves. If you’re buying new furniture, try placing a favorite blanket on the new sofa or new seats.
- Routine: A new routine is detrimental to a cat. However, fear not! You can adjust it accordingly to help the chat adjust to the new schedule. Try to wean their dinner hours slowly. If the new dinner time is later, try feeding him an hour or two later and slowly work your way up to the new schedule. This should help the cat adjust to its new schedules.
- Safe places: Be sure to give them plenty of space while being aware of large doorways or stairs. If a cat is disoriented, having multiple open rooms and accessible stairs can become very dangerous or intimidating for the cat.
Cats are curious creatures and come with their swarm of problems. Loving them is an essential part of their well-being. While they will inevitably become vocal and communicative, you now know that abnormal noises are sometimes the cause of so much more.