Ask the Vet

Ask the Vet: Why Does My Cat Howl At Night?

Are you fed up with a feline that stopped using the litter box? Concerned for a cat who’s sleeping a lot? Or, not sure if what your kitty does is normal? These are all questions you should ask a veterinarian. The Catington Post is thrilled to announce an exciting new partnership with veterinarian, Dr. Liz Bales, to answer your kitty questions about health, wellness, and behavior!

Please give Dr. Bales your warmest welcome to The Catington Post, then go LIKE her on Facebook by clicking here. If you’ve got a question about YOUR cat, leave it as a comment below and Dr. Bales just might answer your question next!


Hello Dr. Bales,
I have a male, neutered 11 year old cat who stays inside. He has a water fountain, 2 litter boxes, etc,…. etc,…. toys,…..why does he howl at night? I’ve heard that comes with getting older…any truth to that?
– Corinne S.

Hi Corinne!

Howling at night is a difficult problem. It is distressing to feel like your cat is trying to ask for something, and you don’t know what it is. Add that to the lack of sleep and you have a bit of a mess.

Could it be his advancing age?  Well, I always say that age is not a diagnosis. That said, there are some problems that are more common in older cats. A trip to the vet is in order to rule out a medical reason for your cat’s night howling.

The most common medical reason for night howling, or vocalization as we call it, in an older cat is hyperthyroidism. This can be diagnosed with a simple blood test.

If your vet rules out a medical cause for this noisy nighttime activity, it’s time to look to nature for answers. You see, in nature, cats hunt between 9 and 20 times a day, both day and night. So, it is very normal for your cat to be awake, active and asking for food at all hours of the night.

We must be careful and not try to solve this normal nighttime dilemma with an endless supply of food. Obesity is a major concern, as 60% of cats in America now suffer from this management problem.

To solve this problem in a healthy way, measure out your cat’s daily ration. Save about of the day’s portion to put out over night. If you put this in the food bowl, it will more than likely be instantly gobbled up leaving your kitty asking for more. Instead, put this food in a few small portions, and “hide” it in a couple of locations around the house.

You see, cats are innately created to hunt. Providing this hunting opportunity will keep your kitty happy, healthy and hunting while you get the rest you need.

Thanks for a great question!  For more cat health and wellness information, check out my website at

FullSizeRenderDr. Liz Bales, The Catvocate, is a practicing veterinarian with 15 years of experience. Dr. Bales has a strong interest in feline wellness and behavior. She believes that by understanding the natural state of the cat we can create an indoor environment where cats  thrive and our bond with them grows.

Dr. Bales is interested in your questions and concerns about your cat!  Leave your question in a comment below!



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