What to Do If Your Neighborhood Cat Keeps Meowing at Night?

cat in silhouette at night

Cats usually meow because they want something, such as attention, food, to go inside or outside, are in heat, ill, or getting a bit senile.

The first thing is to find the owner who can feed, spay, play, discipline or take it to a vet. Otherwise, just do things so it stays away from your property.

While meowing is normal for cats, this can be truly annoying, especially if they do it at night when every human should be sleeping. In this article, I’m going to tell you what you can do to stop this, even though it’s your neighborhood cat.

But before I talk about how you can stop your annoying neighborhood cats from meowing nonstop at night, it’s important to know why they do it.


How to Stop Cats from Meowing at Night

There are different ways to deal with it, depending on the reason why your neighborhood cat is being scandalous at nighttime.

If it’s your cat, it would be so much easier to deal with because you’ll have more control over them. So, here are the most effective ways to handle the problem.


Find the Owner

If it’s a cat owned by your neighbor, you may want your neighbor to deal with their cats themselves.

Tell them that their cat keeps you at night because they are meowing nonstop. This may force them to keep their cat inside, especially at night. Or depending on the reason, which I mentioned above, they might have to do some of the following actions to make their cat shut up.   

Here are other solutions their owners can do to stop cats from being loud at night:


  • Spay them

When a cat is experiencing a changes in its body, its natural response is to meow. To stop that annoying response, here is something an owner can do: get the cat “fixed.” When a female cat is spayed, it stops from experiencing any heat-related symptoms like yowling, at the same time, it makes her healthier.


  • Feed it on time and regularly

The cat has to be fed at the same schedule on a regular basis so that it will know when it is going to be fed. The owner can also leave some food in its bowl so that their cat can eat whenever it gets hungry.


  • Install a cat flap

It’s hard to understand whether the cat wants to be outside or  inside. That’s why installing a cat flap that allows the cat to leave whenever it pleases makes them happy and silent. There are a lot of cat flaps available online that are perfect for any type of door or wall.


  • Play with them

There are cats that keep meowing at night because they are longing for affection and attention. The owner must pay them some attention by petting them and playing with the cat to keep it from feeling neglected or lonely.


  • Discipline

At the end of the day, the cat is the pet, and the human is the master. The owner must not let the cat drive them or you, as the neighbor, crazy with excessive meowing – the owner must take charge. Cats need to be trained to follow commands. Now, it’s up to the owner how they are going to do it.


  • Bring them to the vet

You can also recommend taking their cat to the vet to solve the problem. This is important, especially as a cat meowing excessively can also be an indication of a serious health problem.

Changes in meowing can be associated with different medical conditions, like hypertension, hyperthyroidism, or laryngeal disease. When the cat’s meow increases, it can also be an indication of distress related to neurologic function, especially if it happens in senior cats.

Most of the time, changes in cat’s meowing also comes with other symptoms. Common symptoms that might be subtle and easy to miss include their appetite and level of activity changing, as well as the position of their tails or ears.

If the cat is usually active and happy, but suddenly become so loud and agitated, then it’s important to bring the cat to the vet.


Shoo the Cats Away

If you can’t find the owner of the cats that keeping up at night, then you may want to put the responsibility for stopping it meowing at night into your own hands.

Here are some humane measures you can take to discourage cats from coming into your yard. 


Make sure there is no food in the yard.

Especially if they are stray, cats are usually attracted to food they may find around your property. Clear your trash from any type of food scraps and make sure the bins are properly covered. If you made the mistake of feeding them in the past, you might want to wash the area to remove the food odor.


Put rough surfaces in your yard.

Cats are extremely attracted to soft surfaces. So, to make your property less attractive to them, you may want to make your garden pricklier it keeps cats from coming around. You can add pebbles, twigs, or even chicken wire.


Wash down their favorite spots.

Just like most animals, cats like marking their territories. You may want to eliminate this odor by hosing down the area where they like to hang out.


Place a security system to scare them.

You can shoo the stubborn cat away by setting up motion-activated sprinklers, lights, and sirens. These are extremely effective at making cats go away.


Spray them water.

This solution is something that personally worked for me. I always used a heavy-duty super soaker water gun to spray them some water. When I hear them meowing at night, I immediately get up, squirt them water and they never come back.


Here are common possible reasons why your neighborhood cats are meowing at night.

To help choose the best solutions from the ones above, it’s important to know why they do it.

Usually, they…

…need attention. When the cat wants to play or needs attention, it’s likely to meow to get it. Again, meowing is their only way to communicate, so if you hear them doing it, then there’s a possibility that they are waiting for you to take action.

…are sick.

Cats are smart enough to tell you that they feel something by meowing excessively. Even though cats can be good at hiding diseases, excessive meowing matched with disinterest in food or sluggish movements is enough warning that they need medical attention.

…are hungry.

If your cat is hungry, chances are, it will meow to call for its human’s attention. They hate empty bowls and know how to let you know that in a cool way.

…are stress.

There are many things that can cause stress to a cat. These include new animals, new people, and  changes in the home. When a cat meows nonstop throughout these changes, it could mean they don’t like those changes, or are even angry at you because of them.

…are getting old.

Just like humans, when cats get old, they can get confused even forgetful. It’s common for older cats to get disoriented, and when this happens, they meow constantly. At night, they might bump at things as they can hardly see things.

…are in heat. When female cats are in heat, they can be very vocal. They attract male cats by meowing excessively., it’s their way to call them.

…just want attention.

Some cats just want to say “hi” that’s why they are meowing — no other reasons.

Keep in mind that these meows might be different from the other, and some of them are easier to understand.

For example, if the cat is meowing next to the door or window, and even scratching it, then it probably wants to get in. On the other hand, if the cat is just meowing on the horizon, then it’s probably in heat or calling for the attention of other cats – and usually, it’s more of a yowl than a meow.

You have to evaluate the sound as well as the body language of the cat to fully identify as to why the cat is being noisy at night.

As time goes by, it’s going to be easier for you to recognize what each meow means. And when this happens, dealing with these meowing cats at night will get easier.


Final Words

Most of the time, a cat meowing nonstop at night is not something that can cause an alarm. But then again, if it’s something that disturbs your sleep, it’s best to do something to make it stop. 

Cats are experts in waking their humans up at any time of the day or night. So, the first step is to connect with their owner to raise the issue. If you happen not to find its owner, then you can always take the situation into your own hands.


Contributor: Cyril Balahadia

cyril balahadia