Cat Problems - Constant Meowing At Night

by Niki

Picture of our cat

Please, Please, Please, help me with these cat problems!! We adopted a cat from the animal shelter in February. We are having a MAJOR problem with her meowing. She usually starts at 3 A.M. and does not stop until everyone in the house is up.

I have tried letting her outside when she starts meowing but she soon comes back in the house meowing even louder. This meowing will continue and quickly become very loud and aggressive until everyone in the house is awake. I have tried leaving her outside when she begins to meow but again it becomes so loud that it is waking our neighbors who are 50 yards in all directions from our house. I have tried leaving the door cracked so she can go in/out but she continues meowing.

I have tried telling her NO and clapping my hands very hard but she just runs meowing and quickly returns still meowing. I have tried a spray bottle, but the DOES NOT work either... she likes water! She gets in our bathtub, sinks, and pool. When I spray her I think she just sits there opening her mouth as if its a game! Grrr!

She is not hungry, she has a feeder and water. She is not lacking attention. We have a 6 year old who plays with her all the time dressing her up and pushing her in a stroller, which believe it or not she likes this too!!

A brief history on her when we adopted her, she is about a year old, is fixed, and has front paws declawed (doesn't seem to bother her.. she loves for you to rub her toes, even the back ones which do have claws). She is a great and very interesting cat besides her meowing.

Her meowing is causing problems within the family. Waking the house up at 3 every morning is causing a lot of aggression between family members... probably due to lack of sleep!! When we first adopted her and brought her home, she didn't act like this. Her meowing at 3 in the morning didn't start until May. I feel we have reached the end of the meowing but we do NOT want to give up on her. I have called all the vets in town and NOTHING! I have asked friends and NOTHING! My last hope is SOMEONE out there can offer us some words of wisdom on controlling her meowing behavior!! Please help this tired family get some sleep!!! : (

Reply from Liz (Editor): You really do have my sympathy here with these cat problems, constant cat meowing - especially in the middle of the night - can be infuriating and extremely frustrating.

First and foremost, is there any possibility that she could be ill? This can be a cause of excessive meowing. From what you've said, it doesn't sound like she is ill, but if you have any doubts, it may be worth getting her checked over by the vet just to make sure.

Assuming that her meowing isn't due to a medical problem, I'm sure you will be able to solve it, it's a matter of re-training her. It's not easy, but it is do-able.

It seems like she's learned that meowing at night is getting her attention - it's getting you out of bed, disturbing everyone else, she's getting let out of the house, back in the house and getting water sprayed at her (which she likes!!) Although your getting annoyed with her is negative attention, she'll see this as much more preferable than getting no attention.

To resolve this, there are a few key things you should do:

1. Tire her out during the day so she sleeps through the night.

2. Maybe try a Feliway diffuser - this has a calming effect on some cats and can help to stop this type of disruptive cat behavior.

2. When she makes a racket, don't, under any circumstances, give her attention.

Below is a link to a page where another reader has had very similar cat problems. The advice I gave them is the same as the advice I'd give to you, so rather than writing it out again, I hope you don't mind just clicking on the link:

How Can We Stop Our Cat Meowing Constantly In The Middle Of The Night?

And here's another page giving general advice on dealing with excessive meowing:

How To Stop Excessive Cat Meowing

Best of luck - I'm sure you will be able to overcome these cat problems. And thank you so much for the great photos - it's nice to get a picture of the family that has adopted the cat as well as the cat itself!!

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