Cat meowing at night

by Greg & Jill
(Appleton Wisconsin)

Gizmo

Gizmo

We have a maine coon cat(Gizmo) she tends to do her howling when we are in bed @night,if she isn,t in our room she will do that crying thing like she is in heat she is fixed..we give her plenty of attention..she will do this at night mostley..how do we cure this try to sleep with that going on....last night I scolded her and then that helped after the second time..we have had her about thre 1/2 weeks now...why does she do this?...Thanks Greg and Jill


Answer by Kate
Hi
Cat meowing behaviour has lots of causes, from attention seeking, to stress. So the exact cause is often difficult to uncover.

however in this case she has either learned this behaviour in her previous home. i.e she knows this gets her attention (night time is the natural time for cats to be awake and wanting attention and distractions etc). Or she is still a little insure of her new home and is calling partly because she is feeling insecure and partly because she wants you to comfort her.

Scolding is definitely the wrong thing to do, this will only increase her anxiety and may even make her become afraid of you. they won't associate the scolding with the meowing, that's just not how they relate to the world. instead they have to learn behaviour or unlearn perhaps in this case.

You need to set up a routine for your cat and to stick to it no matter what, this will help your cat one become more settled in their home and two to learn that night time meowing does not get the result they are looking for.

firstly you have to make sure that their home environment is as stimulating as possible to distract them from the behaviour and also keep them happy and satisfy their natural catty instincts (see this page for some ideas
http://www.our-happy-cat.com/indoor-cats.html )

then you need to set the routine up of
playing with your cat at least half an hour before bedtime, something that will get them a little tired, then feed them a meal just before bedtime this will help to settle them down as they often then like to groom and then sleep.

make sure they are in a room where they have everything they need if they do wake up at night i.e toys, litter tray, fresh water perhaps a few dry nibbles but that they cannot get to you.

yes they may cry for the first few nights but this is not in distress this is still the learned behaviour, once they are used to the routine they will settle down into it and realise that meowing no longer gets the attention they are seeking and they will stop.

This whole thing does take a lot of time and effort on your part but i'm afraid this is the only way to re train your cats behaviour.

good luck and bets wishes kate
P.s great picture, she certainly does look like a character. :)

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