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My cat whines occasionally some nights, and although annoying, I'm actually concerned that something might be hurting him. Are there any common cat problems that cause them to whine at night?

  • How old is your cat? Is this new behavior? Is it seasonal? Does he have any other known medical issues? – Monica Cellio Oct 9 '13 at 18:03
  • Does your cat stay in your bedroom with you at night, or is he kept out? Does he have access to outside at night? How much freedom does he have? – hairboat Oct 9 '13 at 18:29
  • He only does it like once or twice a month. He doesn't take any medications, he is two or three years old, and it's not seasonal as far as I can tell. – Timtech Oct 9 '13 at 20:20
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Cats are considered to be crepuscular and/or nocturnal creatures. The exact nature depends on the cat itself. In either case, they are generally more active at night, and less active during day which is why cat ends up sleeping for most of the day. At night, they are more awake and can become restless since the whole house is sleeping. This is the most likely cause for cats whining/meowing at night.

They can also whine for a variety of other reasons, if they are bored, disoriented, curious, hungry, and sometimes sickness causes them to whine as well. I don't think you are hurting your cat as you phrased it, it's just natural for cats. You will probably have to do some detective work if narrow out the cause if there is one particular reason that it is happening.

Personally, my cat sleeps very well at night when I leave a nightlight turned on in the hallway. Generally we use the nightlight for ourselves (if we have to walk in the house at night but don't want to turn on actual lights), but this seems to have a calming effect on my cat. Perhaps this would solve your problem.

  • We already have a hallway nightlight. – Timtech Oct 9 '13 at 20:19
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    A nightlight helped one of my cats with this problem, too. – Monica Cellio Dec 4 '13 at 1:39
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If your cat does not sleep with you, try letting your cat in with you at night he might just miss you

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    Or could just be bored, hungry, saw something move outside and is upset that it exists, basically anything can cause a cat to make noise at night. – Dennis Graves Oct 9 '13 at 16:40
  • This answer was the first one entering my mind after reading the question. Cat is yelling like "Where are you all? Am I left alone here?!" But then it could be for so many other reasons as well, that this answer does seem rather short even with @Skippy's edit. – Esa Paulasto Dec 4 '13 at 0:06

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