What You Should Know

Excessive meowing can be a sign of a physical problem – illness, pain, hunger, thirst or confusion. If your cat vocalizes excessively or compulsively – especially if the hyper-vocalization has come on suddenly – a trip to the veterinarian is a good idea, Dr. Houpt says.


Excessive meowing is often a symptom of hyperthyroidism, particularly when accompanied by weight loss and hyperactivity, she says. In an assessment, a veterinarian will consider the age of your cat. A 2-year-old is much less likely to have this disease than a 12-year-old. The good news, says Dr. Houpt, is that hyperthyroidism is treatable.

Another consideration: Elderly cats are also prone to develop kidney disease and/or cognitive dysfunction – the feline equivalent of Alzheimers – which can also cause late-night yowling, possibly due to anxiety, Dr. Houpt says. A veterinarian may be able to prescribe medications that can help.