For someone who is a very heavy sleeper, I discovered the best alarm clock when I adopted my present cat. His meows sound as if someone glued an ambulance siren to the side of my head.
To some cat owners, their cats’ meow does sound like music to their ears. But not when your cat is screaming its lungs out early in the morning. It can be very disruptive to your sleep and to your neighbors.
But why is your cat meowing so loudly in the morning?
Your cat’s meowing in the morning can be caused by a variety of reasons such as hunger, routine, the need for attention or even toilet usage. It is possible to try and get your cat to be less intrusive in the morning but it definitely takes some time and effort.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the reasons that’s causing your cat to be a lot louder in the morning than usual.
Why Do Cat’s Meow?
Cats are masters of direct and indirect communication. My cat is able to convey a message with a swish of his tail and some eye contact.
There might be times when your cat has to resort to meowing to get your attention because you’re a tad too daft to pick up on its body language.
Through years and years of domestication, cats have devised ways of communicating with humans to get their needs across.
Cats mainly communicate via scent but unfortunately, our senses aren’t as acute as a cat’s to pick up on the cues. It can also be hit and miss with body language.
Therefore, cats know that the best way to get our attention is to meow loudly and incessantly until we get what they are trying to say.
It is believed that meowing was only reserved for humans but two cats will meow at each other as well if the occasion calls for it.
Below are some reasons that are making your cat meow in the morning.
1. Your Cat’s Body Clock
Every living thing on earth has a body clock. This body clock dictates their waking and sleeping hours. As humans, we are known to be diurnal which means that we are awake during the day and asleep at night.
Our cats on the other hand are known to be crepuscular. This means that cats are active in the early morning and early evening.
There’s a reason for this.
Cats in the wild are predators and need to hunt for food. The prey that they feed on tend to be more active during dawn and dusk. Therefore a cat needs to be active during these periods as well in order to ensure themselves a meal.
When our cats meow so early in the morning, it is their way of saying “Time to wake up, human slave. The day is fresh and you’re on cat schedule now”.
Your cat is meowing in the early morning because it is wide awake and looking for something to do, such as irritating you.
2. Your Cat Has A Routine
Do you know that cats are creatures of habit?
Your cat thrives on a set pattern and it finds great joy in sticking to it every day. When your cat is up and about in the early morning, having a morning routine will help it feel safe and confident.
For those of you cat owners that love a routine too, you’ll get where I’m coming from.
It is like having a mental checklist that your cat ticks off as it goes about its day.
- Use my scratch post
- Patrol my house for intruders
- Meow loudly
- Take a pee
- Meow even louder
- Scratch and meow at my slave’s bedroom door
Even though a routine works wonders for your cat, it can mess up your sleep routine if this carries on day in, day out.
3. Your Cat Is Hungry
This is usually the most common reason that sets off your cat’s meowing in the early morning.
Once the cat is awake, it means that it is time to eat. That’s how it works in the wild and that’s how it works for our domesticated cats too.
I’ve seen my cat go from deep sleep dreaming to hangry in the blink of a cat’s eye.
When your cat is hungry, no one is going to get any sleep within the immediate area. The cat will meow your ears to oblivion if you aren’t giving kitty the food that it wants in order to have the energy to carry out its morning routine.
4. Your Cat Needs To Potty
Your cat’s litter box is a very valuable resource for your feline friend. It is more than just a place to bury its turd seeds or pee.
Litter boxes for cats are part of their territory.
You might even find your cat looking at you clean its litter box to ensure everything is done to perfection.
Don’t mess it up.
Most cats will use the. litter box when they wake up in the morning. If they do not have access to one when nature calls, they will be calling for you instead.
5. Your Cat Wants Attention
Cats have gotten themselves a bad rap for being aloof, uncaring and too independent. But as cat owners, we know that that isn’t entirely true.
Unlike dogs, cats want and demand attention on their own terms and when they desire it.
Cat owners like the fact that their cats don’t need to be smothered with affection and attention all the time. But that doesn’t mean that cats don’t crave for our time at all.
Studies have shown that cats look to their owners for security and comfort.
Your cat meows loudly in the morning because it wants your attention.
6. Your Cat Senses Danger
Your cat isn’t the only animal that has a crepuscular circadian rhythm. There are many animals in the wild that are active during this time looking for food.
If you live in an area that is exposed to wildlife, your cat could have picked up the scent and sound of an animal that is nearby or in your backyard.
Cats are very territorial in nature and the presence of an intruder or potential predator in the vicinity might cause them to meow and yowl.
How Do I Get My Cat To Stop Meowing in the Morning?
If your cat’s meowing is really getting to you in the morning and disrupting your sleep, there are a few methods that you can try to manage the situation.
It can be a lot more challenging to correct a cat’s behavior as compared to a dog so patience and continuous effort are required.
Tire Your Cat Out Before Bed
One effective method that has worked well for me is to have a play session with my cat just before bedtime.
I will play with my cat for as long as it wants just to fully expand all its energy. This works well for kittens and younger cats who are always so active.
A cat that is tired from playing before bed will sleep throughout the night (hopefully) and not try to meow you up in the wee hours of the morning.
Playtime is always a good way for you to bond with your cat.
Use An Automatic Feeder
If you are not a morning person and your cat has to eat at a certain time in the morning, using an automatic feeder will resolve this problem.
Your cat won’t be too happy about seeing an empty food bowl when it’s hungry. You can program the timer in the automatic feeder to feed your cat so that it leaves you alone for now.
Depending on how much and often your cat eats in the morning, there are automatic feeders that can store a few servings of food.
Some feeders allow for ice packs which can help keep wet food as fresh as possible. But if you are feeding your cat a raw food diet, you can freeze the meat first and let it thaw in the feeder.
Keep Your Cat Busy
Besides playing with your cat before bed, another good way to keep your cat busy when it is awake in the morning is to leave out toys for your cat.
Cats are very active in the morning with energy to burn. And if you aren’t too keen on playing with your cat at 5 am in the morning, give it some interactive toys to play with for mental stimulation.
I can hear my cat chasing its favorite ball along with a healthy dose of zoomies almost every morning.
Make The Litter Box Accessible
Your cat will let you know if it’s unhappy about something. The meowing you hear every morning could be a sign that your cat doesn’t have proper access to its litter box.
If you have a senior cat, don’t make it climb up or down the stairs just to use the litter box. Have one on the same level where your cat sleeps so that it can access the toilet easily.
For cat owners that allow their cats to sleep in the same room, leave the bedroom door slightly ajar so that your cat can slip out to use the toilet instead of having to wake you up.
Kittens and older cats tend to use the litter box more often as they can’t really hold their pee or poo for long. It is also advisable to let your cat have access to the litter box throughout the night.
Should I Ignore My Cat’s Morning Meowing?
One common question that I frequently get from my readers is if ignoring their cat’s meowing is a good idea.
Yes and no.
It highly depends on what your cat is meowing for.
If your cat is meowing because it is hungry or needs to use the litter box, ignoring it isn’t going to be a good idea.
You don’t want your cat to end up peeing in the laundry basket or staying hungry for too long.
But if your cat has a habit of meowing for attention at some ungodly hour in the morning, ignoring your cat would be the best option.
By acknowledging or giving your cat attention every time it meows, you are reinforcing that behavior and telling your cat that it is ok.
The best thing to do is to just ignore your cat and it will stop after a while.
My cat used to have a bad habit of meowing for a snack at 3 am in the morning. Yes, a snack, not a full meal.
I used to give it to his demands but decided that it was too disruptive to my sleep. I started ignoring his meowing and he soon learned to converse his energy and sleep than to meow for something he ain’t gona get.
Why Is My Cat So Clingy In The Morning?
You might notice your cat behaving extra clingy to you in the morning by rubbing against your legs or meowing for your attention.
It is all a ploy to get you to feed your cat as soon as possible.
Or it could be that your cat is just happy to see its human slave.