Cat meowing all night

genevakeith

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Hello all,

My boyfriend and I are having issues with our cat Gilroy. Gilroy is around 10 years old. For years he's been a very vocal cat, with a very loud and unrefined meow. He would sometimes just meow for what seemed to be no reason. Bloodwork and check-up would always come back healthy. P

But over the past couple years it's gotten out of control. About a year ago it got to the point where he would get up on our side tables while we were sleeping and meow in our ears. My boyfriend has chronic health issues and can't afford to lose more sleep than he already does, so we begrudgingly decided to put him in my office at night which is through two doors from our bedroom. That worked really well - he didn't meow at all while in there and seemed to tolerate it just fine for about a year. He would of course meow his head off for about 10 minutes after we let him out in the morning. But we didn't know what else we could do.

But now he's started meowing in the middle of the night again and meows continually on and off all night. His meows are loud and piercing and still keep us up even through two doors. We try to never reinforce his meowing during the day by ignoring him when he meows to be pet. We had gotten away from it for awhile, but we've tried to start buckling back down on it. We try to reward him by giving him attention once he's stopped for a minute, and by petting him whenever he comes over for attention without meowing.

But sometimes he just walks around meowing for what seems like no apparent reason, during the day too - kind of just bleeting. Aside from the excessive meowing, he seems happy and healthy. While his meows sound distressed, he himself doesn't look particularly distressed - it's almost like he doesn't know what he's meowing for either.

We free feed, so the meowing is not for food. We've put a nightlight in the room he stays in at night, as I read this can help of he's suffering from kitty dementia. He always has clean water and a clean litter box. We've had bloodwork done in the past and everything was normal. He has no hearing issues. We have an appointment with the vet in a few days to get him looked at again, but I have a bad feeling it's not going to give us any answers since it hasn't in the past.

My boyfriend is literally considering moving into a hotel because he can't function without proper sleep (I'm not doing so well either). Is there anything else we can try? Have we exhausted all our options?

TL;DR - My cat Gilroy, whom I love dearly, wont shut up... and my boyfriend and I need sleep.

Thank you in advance!
 

ArtNJ

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Hoo boy, I have sleep apnea myself so I totally get it. I don't think bloodwork can pick up on dementia so that is a possibility, though 10 would be a bit young for it, and this cat has alway been very vocal. As noted in the following article, vets can prescribe meds to help if its dementia. Sounds like a reasonable thing to try:

Cat Excessive Meowing and Yowling: Why Cats Meow
 

LTS3

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Here's another TCS article with tips: How To Stop My Cat From Waking Me Up At Night (step-by-step Plan) – TheCatSite Articles

You can try ear plugs and a white noise machine to get sleep at night.

How often do you play with the cat? A play session an hour before bed usually tires out most cats.

Some cats are just vocal. It's part of their personality. One of my cat is an Aby and the breed is known to be vocal. He will trill / meow / scream his head off sometimes :cringe:
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. Did you have a specific set up for him when you placed him into the office at night - a bed, or something similar that he found comfort and security in? You could try to place that set up in your bedroom and see what happens. If not, you could try to give him something like that in the office, and perhaps even add a ticking clock or buy a heart beat toy for cats to see if the noise from it would help to settle him down. Cat music playing softly in the room is another option (David Teie's Music for Cats which is on Prime and Spotify, Cat In My Arms on Spotify and elsewhere, and RelaxMyCat). The clock, heart beat toy, and/or the music could be tested at other times during the day to see if he likes them, and to help him get used to the idea of those noises being with him during the night. If he is still playful, as suggested above, extra play time before bed might help.

I tend to think when cats get to be the age of Gilroy, it is rare that they change behaviors without a reason behind it. Depending on his overall demeanor/personality, he could actually feel lonely or insecure from age-related changes he is going through.

If his blood work doesn't normally include a thyroid check, you might ask for one. Feeby became much more vocal before we found out that she is hyperthyroidic - her only other symptom was some weight loss. So, hyperthyroidism is a possibility even without some of the 'typical' signs.
 

Elphaba09

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I would definitely see if he has dementia or a thyroid issue. If they did not check for kidney issues, that is another issue.

We recently started having issues with our 17-year-old male and one of our 1-year-old females. Simon started tapping on our faces at night and acting grumpy. Juniper, whose spaying was delayed due to COVID (She is scheduled for May, thank goodness!), recently had her first heat cycle and became aggressive. Our vet just started both Simon and Juniper of melatonin and hemp oil. They both started it on Monday, but there is already an improvement.

If your vet cannot find a clear medical reason, melatonin (one for cats, not humans) and/or hemp oil might help. It certainly would be worth speaking to your vet about it.
 

sivyaleah

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When was the last time he saw the vet? If a year or more ago, those labs don't have much meaning any longer. Any cat over 10 is a senior and should be seeing a vet bi-annually. Cat become more prone to many illnesses as they age and as Elphaba09 Elphaba09 and FeebysOwner FeebysOwner mentioned Hyper-T (thyroid) and diabetes come to my mind immediately. Both can cause nocturnal vocalizations. We had that happen to one of our cats and as soon as he was put on medication it stopped.
 

danteshuman

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Have you tried giving him night lights? 10 is young for vision issues or dementia. Still the night light thing works for elderly cats. He may be confused. It might be worth checking to see if his vision is ok & maybe to rule out dementia.

When Quasi reached around 19 he got dementia for lack of a better term. He used to get lost at night, panic & start screaming. I wish I had known about night lights back then.

Also I have a meower. What works for him is talking back to him. So when he meows in the bathroom for no reason, my response is “what?” You can train a cat to change the tone they meow at you but that requires immediate response to their quieter meows (& ignoring the loud meows.)
 

Mrsty1203

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Hello all,

My boyfriend and I are having issues with our cat Gilroy. Gilroy is around 10 years old. For years he's been a very vocal cat, with a very loud and unrefined meow. He would sometimes just meow for what seemed to be no reason. Bloodwork and check-up would always come back healthy. P

But over the past couple years it's gotten out of control. About a year ago it got to the point where he would get up on our side tables while we were sleeping and meow in our ears. My boyfriend has chronic health issues and can't afford to lose more sleep than he already does, so we begrudgingly decided to put him in my office at night which is through two doors from our bedroom. That worked really well - he didn't meow at all while in there and seemed to tolerate it just fine for about a year. He would of course meow his head off for about 10 minutes after we let him out in the morning. But we didn't know what else we could do.

But now he's started meowing in the middle of the night again and meows continually on and off all night. His meows are loud and piercing and still keep us up even through two doors. We try to never reinforce his meowing during the day by ignoring him when he meows to be pet. We had gotten away from it for awhile, but we've tried to start buckling back down on it. We try to reward him by giving him attention once he's stopped for a minute, and by petting him whenever he comes over for attention without meowing.

But sometimes he just walks around meowing for what seems like no apparent reason, during the day too - kind of just bleeting. Aside from the excessive meowing, he seems happy and healthy. While his meows sound distressed, he himself doesn't look particularly distressed - it's almost like he doesn't know what he's meowing for either.

We free feed, so the meowing is not for food. We've put a nightlight in the room he stays in at night, as I read this can help of he's suffering from kitty dementia. He always has clean water and a clean litter box. We've had bloodwork done in the past and everything was normal. He has no hearing issues. We have an appointment with the vet in a few days to get him looked at again, but I have a bad feeling it's not going to give us any answers since it hasn't in the past.

My boyfriend is literally considering moving into a hotel because he can't function without proper sleep (I'm not doing so well either). Is there anything else we can try? Have we exhausted all our options?

TL;DR - My cat Gilroy, whom I love dearly, wont shut up... and my boyfriend and I need sleep.

Thank you in advance!
I’m sure this won’t be a popular reply, but if cats are bored they will drive you crazy. They need to be played with....sometimes more than you think. My sister had a cat like yours who drove them crazy all night... but the problem was they never gave him any attention. Went to work all day, came home to doing dinner and chores, etc. and went to bed and the cat would not let them sleep. They locked him out of the bedroom and he’d scratch on the door... locked him farther and farther away, eventually putting him in the garage all night. Eventually he got out and took off... a cat that had never been out before. Then they found him up a tree about 3 blocks away. Finally they surrendered him to a rescue. Now myself.... I had 6 cats since kitten hood and playtime was before bedtime. I’d get them really revved up... we’d play with everything and get them all running around the house and tuckered out. Cats don’t need an hour of play.... just 15 minutes of rambunctious play and they’ll get tired. My cats would curl up next to me and sleep all night. Worked every time and when they got old they were just used to sleeping all night. I’m on cat # 8 right now in my life and I’m training her the same way. It works for me.
 

tarasgirl06

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Our beloved angel Tarifa bellowed at late-thirty during her later years, and in the morning as soon as I woke up, toward the last, as she had a great appetite right up until she left us. She was almost 18. I would guess it was probably dementia, but she was also a vocal cat (Siamese or Burmese genes, I'm sure) and very social, so she may just have been missing interaction and wanting food in the mornings. My roomies were very good about it and I have insomnia anyway, so it was just part of life. She'd go up and down the hallway that runs the length of the house, bellowing.
How I miss that.
 
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