Why Does My Bengal Cat Meow at Night?
A Bengal cat meowing at night is probably something all too familiar to you. Even though your cat crying in the middle of the night usually is unproblematic, it may raise reasons for you to look into it more closely.
As an owner of a feline, you need to know that your Bengal cat meowing at night is just one of many ways your furry darling communicates with you. But even if your cat's vocalization only happens in the middle of the night, there are still several possible reasons left for its occurrence.
For one, your Bengal crying at night could be simply due to her age, be it old or young, for different reasons. On the other hand, it also could be due to other factors such as mating pressure or boredom.
Because there can be many explanations for your Bengal cat meowing in the middle of the night, having a general idea of the possible causes is a good start – so let's look into this topic more thoroughly.
Your Bengal Cat is Growing Old
Aging and its various age-related diseases don't only affect humans. If your Bengal cat meowing in the middle of the night just started recently, chances are high that your cat's crying is because of your Bengal's higher age. Such diseases may be arthritis or dental diseases. They both cause pain and can make a Bengal cat meow at night.
But if your cat has grown old, it doesn't have to be the pain that causes the meowing – it can also be a sign of confusion. In the following, we will cover the most common age-related diseases that may lead to your Bengal cat crying in the middle of the night.
If you suspect your Bengal cat is suffering from any of these conditions, consult with your veterinarian.
Nighttime Yowling can also be a symptom of poorly regulated hyperthyroidism. When diagnosed, the average cat's age is 13. Hyperthyroidism manifests in an over-production of the thyroid hormone inside one or both of your Bengal's thyroid glands. These thyroid glands sit in the cat's neck. This increase in production speeds up your Bengal cat's metabolism and leads to clinical signs such as a racing heart, vomiting, weight loss, and diarrhea.
Typical risk factors for hyperthyroidism in cats are:
- High iodine consumption. The levels of iodine your Bengal consumes depend on the cat food you feed your cat. They all have different levels of iodine. Some of them contain up to tenfold the iodine amount recommended.
- Flame retardants. PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) are often part of carpeting and furniture, and they have a similar structure to the thyroid hormones of your cat. Because cats cannot metabolize PBDEs as efficiently as humans, levels of it in their blood can reach high amounts.
- Canned cat foods. Another aspect that increases the risk of hyperthyroidism in Bengal cats is canned cat foods that contain fish. Also, the lining within the can may increase the risk of hyperthyroidism if it's made of bisphenol A diglycidyl ether.
Luckily, there are several methods to counter this issue once you've consulted with your veterinarian. Depending on the severity of your Bengal's condition, they could suggest medication or prescription food that contains less iodine. More drastic approaches to combating hyperthyroidism are surgery and radioactive iodine therapy.
Another reason for your Bengal cat meowing at night could be arthritis. Arthritis is a common condition in older cats and causes general movement to become uncomfortable and painful for the Bengal cat.
Other than your cat meowing in the middle of the night, the following are several other possible signs of arthritis in your cat:
- Decrease in general activity levels
- Reduced time spent grooming
- Sleeps or hides more often
- Struggling using the stairs
- General stiffness
- Stiff legs after sleeping or resting
- Hesitant or reluctant to jump
- Decreased jump height
Although it is not possible to cure arthritis, there are several ways to make life easier for your cat and make your Bengal cat meowing at night less common. Here are some possible treatments your veterinarian might suggest:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the most common treatment for arthritis in cats. A licensed veterinarian who can determine the type and duration of treatment can prescribe these.
- Photobiomodulation (PBMT) or cold laser therapy is a painless and non-invasive treatment where the veterinarian will move a small device across your Bengal's fur, emitting therapeutic light. PBMT has proved to reduce inflammation and ease arthritic pain.
- Painkillers are another feasible option for your Bengal in cases where non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are not sufficient or an inappropriate way of treatment.
- Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice used for relieving pain by puncturing the skin with needles at specific points in the body.
- Injectable joint protectants are injections of glycosaminoglycans around every four weeks to your Bengal by a licensed veterinarian. These injectable protectants help relieve arthritic pain.
If you suspect your Bengal cat crying at night is due to arthritis – besides the mandatory vet visit – there are several things you can do at home to make life more comfortable and safer for your pet:
- Comfortable & accessible necessities. Giving your Bengal a warm and comfortable place to sleep that is also easily accessible by using a ramp or stairs is one straightforward way to ease your cat's arthritis. Similarly, your cat's litter box should have a low entry so it can be accessed by your Bengal effortlessly. The same rule applies to your cat's food and water. As you can see, it's worth thinking about what other things you could make more easily reachable by your Bengal cat.
- Healthy weight. By not having too much strain on the bones through excessive body weight, your Bengal will live with less stress and pain. To get some ideas of what you could feed your Bengal cat, read this article's section.
- Use soft brushes. Another way to help your Bengal cat with arthritic pain is to use soft brushes. This way, your cat's body doesn't bend with the brush, easing your furry darling's pain.
In conclusion, it is elementary to remember that if your Bengal cat is meowing excessively at night, it could be due to arthritis. This common condition in older cats can cause discomfort and pain in movement, and a veterinarian can handle it through various treatment options. Remember, it is crucial to consult with a licensed veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment for your furry friend. Don't hesitate to reach out to a professional for help in ensuring the well-being and comfort of your beloved Bengal cat.
Vision or Hearing Impairment
If your Bengal cat is meowing at night, it may be affected by a vision or hearing impairment. Cats rely on their senses a lot to navigate the environment. Because of this, vision or hearing fading can cause them to become disoriented and anxious. Correspondingly, your Bengal cat may show increased vocalization, including meowing at night.
If your senior Bengal cat is experiencing vision or hearing impairment, it is essential to make some adjustments in the home to help them navigate and communicate more easily. Here are some things you can try:
- Keep the environment familiar and consistent. Try to keep your Bengal cat's environment as comfortable and consistent as possible, especially if they are experiencing vision or hearing loss. Doing so can help them feel more confident and relaxed in their surroundings.
- Use lights and noise to communicate. If your Bengal cat is experiencing vision or hearing loss, use lamps or noise to communicate with them. For example, you can turn on a light or make a noise to get their attention when you enter the room.
- Provide a safe and accessible environment. Ensure that your Bengal cat's environment is safe and easy to navigate, especially if they are experiencing vision loss. You can achieve that by removing tripping hazards, such as cords or clutter, and providing clear pathways and plenty of light.
- Consider medications or other treatments. If your Bengal cat is suffering severely from vision or hearing loss, you may want to talk to your veterinarian about medicine or other remedies that may be helpful.
- Try to address the underlying cause. Sometimes, it's hard to tell where your Bengal cat's vision or hearing loss stems. That's why it is necessary to work with your veterinarian to address the cause of the problem and try to slow or reverse the decline in vision or hearing.
- Be patient and understanding. You need to be patient and understanding with your senior Bengal cat if they are experiencing vision or hearing impairment. Your cat may need more time to adjust to their new situation, and they may rely more on you for support and guidance.
If you suspect your Bengal cat is meowing at night due to a vision or hearing impairment, a veterinary examination should be your priority. The veterinarian can perform tests to determine the extent of the impairment and recommend appropriate treatment, such as medications or specialized cat food.
Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome
Another possible reason for your Bengal cat crying at night is cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS), also known as feline cognitive dysfunction. CDS is a common ailment in older cats, with the symptoms being changes in cognitive function and decision-making.
Some of these changes Bengal cats may experience are the following:
- Changes in sleep patterns, such as waking up more frequently during the night
- Increased anxiety or agitation
- Decreased interest in social interactions with humans or other animals
- Disorientation or confusion in familiar environments
- Changes in litter box use or grooming habits
- Reduced ability to learn or remember commands
- Decreased playfulness or activity levels
- Loss of appetite or weight loss
Remedies for Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome:
- Medications prescribed by a veterinarian to support cognitive function
- Cognitive-supportive supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids or antioxidants
- A consistent and calming environment, with minimal changes or disruptions
- Regular play and social interactions with humans or other animals
- Providing easy access to food, water, and litter boxes
- Modifying the home environment to make it more accessible and safe for the cat
- Encouraging mental stimulation through interactive toys or puzzles
- Regular veterinary check-ups to monitor the cat's overall health and address any possible underlying medical conditions.
If you suspect your Bengal cat is meowing at night due to suffering from CDS, you should have them examined by a veterinarian. They can diagnose CDS and recommend appropriate treatment, such as medications or supplements to help support cognitive function. In addition, providing a calm and consistent environment and engaging in regular play and social interactions can help support mental health in cats with CDS.
Your Bengal Cat is Feeling Trapped
If your Bengal cat is meowing at night, it could indicate that they feel trapped or confined. Cats are naturally curious and independent animals, so they need plenty of space and stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. If your cat feels like they don't have enough room to explore and play, they may become agitated and vocalize their distress.
In order to help prevent your Bengal cat from feeling trapped, it's necessary to provide them with plenty of space and opportunities for mental and physical stimulation. Some of that may include:
- A spacious and safe outdoor enclosure or access to a secure outdoor area
- Multiple scratching posts and surfaces to keep their claws healthy and their minds active
- A variety of toys and puzzles to challenge their minds and bodies
- Access to windows and other sources of natural light to stimulate their senses and keep them connected to the outside world
- Regular playtime and interactive play with humans or other animals
- A consistent and reliable routine to provide structure and security.
If you think your Bengal cat is crying at night due to feeling trapped or confined, it's paramount to assess their living situation and make any necessary changes to improve their quality of life. Doing so may mean adding more vertical space, creating separate areas for different activities, or providing additional stimulation and enrichment. Generally, what's most important is keeping your Bengal cat happy and healthy.
If your Bengal cat meowing at night only occurs when you are not home, it could be a symptom of separation anxiety. Cats are social animals and can become anxious when left alone for extended periods. This anxiety can manifest in various ways, including meowing, pacing, destructive behavior, and even loss of appetite. Gradually extend the time you're away from home to help reduce separation anxiety in your Bengal cat.
Implementing this can help your cat become more comfortable with being alone. Providing your cat with plenty of mental and physical stimulation while you are away, such as puzzle feeders and scratching posts, can also help prevent boredom and reduce anxiety. If your Bengal cat's separation anxiety is severe, you may need to consider enlisting the help of a professional behaviorist or trying prescription medications recommended by your veterinarian.
As a loving cat parent, you should address separation anxiety in your cat as soon as possible, as ignoring it may result in more severe behavioral problems.
Your Bengal Cat is Bored
Cats are independent creatures – yet they need mental and physical stimulation to be happy and healthy. If your Bengal cat is meowing at night, they could be bored and seek attention. Cats can become bored if they don't have enough toys, puzzles, or opportunities for play and exercise. They may also become bored if they don't have enough social interaction or mental stimulation.
To prevent boredom in your Bengal cat, try providing them with different toys they can play with, such as scratching posts, laser pointers, or interactive toys. You can also try engaging in playtime with your cat or providing them with puzzle feeders to keep them mentally stimulated. In addition, make sure your cat has plenty of opportunities for exercise, such as setting up a climbing tree or providing them with a safe outdoor space to explore.
By addressing your cat's needs for mental and physical stimulation, you may be able to reduce their meowing at night.
Natural Nocturnal Activity
It is natural for cats to be more active at night, as they are naturally nocturnal animals. If your Bengal cat is meowing at night and has no underlying medical issues, it could be because they are expressing their natural instincts to hunt and play. Also, Bengal cats are particularly close to their instincts when they are still young, so keep this in mind.
To keep your Bengal cat from waking you up at night, try giving them plenty of mental and physical activity during the day. Including interactive toys, scratching posts, and plenty of playtime could definitely be helpful in this regard. You can also try setting aside designated playtime before bed to tire out your cat and encourage them to sleep through the night.
Additionally, ensure your cat has access to plenty of food and water to prevent them from meowing at night due to hunger or thirst. Consider adjusting your sleep schedule or providing a separate bedroom for your cat if their nocturnal activity continues to disturb your sleep.
By showing patience and understanding, you can allow your Bengal cat to express their natural instincts while maintaining a peaceful night's sleep.
One possible reason for your Bengal cat meowing at night is mating pressure. Cats are naturally vocal creatures and tend to meow when in heat or looking for a mate. If your Bengal cat is not spayed or neutered, they may become more vocal at night to attract potential mates.
In addition to meowing at night, your Bengal cat may exhibit other behaviors when experiencing mating pressure. These behaviors can include restlessness, spraying, and higher levels of activity.
If you are concerned that your Bengal cat's nocturnal meowing is due to mating pressure, the most effective solution is to spay or neuter your cat. Not only does this procedure reduce unwanted behavior, it also has numerous health benefits for your cat.
Provide your cat with additional mental and physical stimulation to help redirect their energy if spaying or neutering is not feasible. You can also try using pheromone diffusers or calming supplements to help reduce your cat's anxiety and restlessness.
It is crucial to address mating pressure in your Bengal cat as soon as possible to prevent any unwanted behaviors from becoming ingrained habits. With patience and understanding, you can help your furry darling express their natural instincts while maintaining a peaceful night's sleep.
In conclusion, it is essential to consider every potential reason for a Bengal cat meowing at night, including age, mating pressure, boredom, separation anxiety, natural nocturnal activity, and underlying health conditions. By understanding the root cause of your cat's vocalization, you can take steps to address the issue and help ensure a peaceful night's sleep for both you and your furry companion. Consult with a veterinarian if you suspect your cat may be experiencing pain or discomfort due to age or other health issues. With patience and understanding, you can help your Bengal cat express their natural instincts while maintaining a harmonious household.