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Expert Q&A

My 6-year-old male cat has started yowling in the middle of the night. I’ve tried consoling him, holding him and squirting him with a water bottle, but nothing has worked. Any ideas?

My 6-year-old male cat has started yowling in the middle of the night. I’ve tried consoling him, holding him and squirting him with a water bottle, but nothing has worked. Any ideas?

BY: The Daily Cat experts

Listening to yowling at night can be incredibly frustrating for you and others within earshot of your noisy cat. I’m assuming that your male has been neutered. If not, that procedure could help alleviate the problem.

Over the years, I’ve lived with quite a few cats that have yowled at night and during the day. In my experience, two root causes are usually to blame: hyperthyroidism or slight dementia associated with old age. Your cat is only 6 years old, so the latter likely isn’t the underlying cause of your pet’s behavior. Have your cat checked out by a veterinarian to see if its thyroid values are up. A simple blood test can provide this information. If so, medication can help curb your cat’s yowling. Hyperthyroidism, if left untreated, can cause heart problems and even death, so there are other very good reasons to treat this condition.

If your cat is in good health, Tracie Hotchner, author of The Cat Bible: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know, offers the following tips:

  • Don’t console your cat or otherwise validate his yowling. You are just rewarding his bad behavior if you do so.
  • Consider allowing your cat to sleep in your bedroom, if that’s possible. Your presence may provide the comfort your cat is seeking, eliminating the need for his yowling.
  • Buy a heated sleeping pad for your cat. The soothing heat could send him into quiet dreamland as you also rest.
  • If your cat sleeps in another room or in another part of your house, Hotchner says a baby monitor can allow you to check in on him and verbally get his attention -- without you always having to get up from your bed.


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