Why Cats Squall at Night—Answers for Cat Owners from WestVet’s Dr. Hazel Carney

In today’s veterinary blog, our Q & A reveals some of the reasons why cats are out and about – and squalling late at night.

Question: Have you ever had a blissful night's rest disturbed with the screeching, calling and crying of your cat alongside other cats right on your back porch?

We asked Dr. Hazel Carney, Cat Behaviorist and Clinician, why cats often squall and cause such a ruckus in the wee hours of the morning.Why won't my cat sleep at night? Help from WestVet's Dr. Hazel Carney, Feline Behaviorist

Answer: One reason cats are drawn to one another during the night is estrus—or feline fertility. Cats call to one another as part of the mating ritual.

Also, believe it or not, this late night activity may become a learned behavior with owner-rewarded incentives. If a squalling cat gets an owner out of bed for an invitation inside, a midnight snack, and some TLC, this could become a very tiring (and oft-repeated) routine.

There are some medical causes for the behavior. Senior cats that experience decreased vision or hearing could be seeking owner reassurance.Why do cats squall at night? Help from WestVet's Dr. Hazel Carney. Cats with health issues such as hyperthyroidism, hypertension, hypokalemia, thiamine deficiency or intracranial masses may vocalize at night.  A complete veterinary examination including ophthalmic evaluation, blood pressure testing and basic laboratory testing will successfully diagnose most medical causes. Upon occasion, cats may require advanced procedures such as an MRI.

A few simple things that bleary-eyed owners can try to quiet kitties at night include keeping cats indoors, utilize in a restful bedroom, and add a nightlight and some calming scents such as lavender.

If you’ve got additional questions about your cat’s quirky behavior, Dr. Carney is here to help. She can help with cat litter box aversion, introducing a new cat to your family, negative or anti-social behaviors, and your cat’s physical wellbeing, too. You may make an appt. by calling 208.375.1600 or via email HERE.

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