cats crying at night superstition image

Cats Crying at Night Superstition

When You hear cats crying at night, what does it mean?

Well, there has been a lot of speculation over the years about why they do it, and no shortage of superstition surrounding this activity.

One may ask, “What are the superstitions about cats crying at night?”

The superstition about a cat crying at night is considered a bad omen. Some say if you hear a cat’s cry at night, then you’re in for some bad luck- even death. Similarly, others state if you hear it, it means someone nearby has died.

Not a lucky thing to happen at all for the superstitious. In some cases, the cat’s location determines the flavor of woe that the cat’s crying represents.

For example, if someone’s ill, and the cat is outside of their door crying or howling, that person has either died or will soon die.

Some versions of this superstition have the cat on the rooftop, and other conditions exist, like the sick person has to be lying in bed when the cat cries.

ancient egyptian cat carving and statue

For whatever reason, cats have had spooky superstitions assigned to them for thousands of years, even going back to ancient Egypt.

The Egyptians superstitions about the cat fell more into the realm of religion or deity worship and were more or less positive.

But for some reason, somewhere along the way, cats went from being signs and symbols of deities to harbingers of bad luck or proclaimers of some kind of wickedness.

Cats Reputation- Guilty by Association

vintage cats photo

During the Middle Ages, witches were to blame for a host of different difficulties that would happen in those days- anything from someone getting sick to weather and plagues.

The “witches” that would get the blame were often women who lived by themselves on the outskirts of town, who happened to have many animals around, including cats.

Because of the association between accused witches and cats (black cats in particular), they became nearly synonymous.

If someone were to see a black cat roaming about the streets at night, it would be assumed that it is under the control of a witch, seeking to do something nefarious.

In religious circles, they were seen as tools for the devil, much as they viewed witches. Cats were often killed on sight to remove any influence of the devil from that area.

cat and a witch image

In time, they were viewed as bad omens, something to be wary of. We’ve all heard about the bad luck superstition of a black cat crossing one’s path, right?

Though these things happened long ago, there is still a lingering stigma about our four-legged furry friends.

Nothing gives us a better example of the staying power of the fears of old than Halloween. When Halloween comes around, artwork on display has witches stirring a mysterious cauldron with a black cat in the frame somewhere.

Or decorations of black cats howling in the moonlight. You might even have some of these kinds of decorations in storage somewhere.

Despite all of the lore and superstition, there are several easily explainable reasons why cats cry at night.

Unfortunately for those who enjoy mystery and intrigue, the reasons are quite basic and boring compared to the superstitions.

The Real Reasons for Cats Crying at Night

Medical Problems

cat with a fever

Cats may tend to cry at night if they are suffering from medical issues. Urinary tract infections are among the most common reasons they’d do this from a medical standpoint, as they experience pain or discomfort when trying to urinate.

Unseen injuries can occur with cats that might also cause them to cry out at night. For these reasons, it is a good idea to pay attention to your cat’s behavior to make sure that there’s nothing bad going on physically.


cat seeking attention

Just because you want to sleep doesn’t mean that the cat cares.

Some cats cry out for attention, whether you’re awake or asleep. Cats are naturally nocturnal, which comes easily when you take dozens of naps during the daytime.

With some cats, they’re gearing up while you’re settling down. Since they’re up, they must figure you should be up as well.

Time to go Out

cat wants to go out of the house

Primarily for outdoor cats, nighttime is where all the action is. If they’re stuck in the house when they feel like going out on the town or maybe just to go potty, they’ll cry or howl at the door until someone answers its call.

Feline Pavarotti

singing cat

Some cats (particularly males) like to hear the sound of their own voice. The quieter the surroundings are, the louder it will cry or howl for no apparent reason.

Cats who like to do this will take advantage of the night’s silence and find a place where its voice will resonate the best.

Indoor cats might choose the bathroom, stairway, or a hallway- anywhere that might have an amplifying effect or a slight echo. Outdoor cats might try to find alleyways, balconies, or other areas where their voices carry better.

Someone’s in Heat

female cat inside a cat house

Females in heat might take up crying or howling, but they pale compared to the males who have picked up their scent. When males detect a cat in heat, it will do whatever it can to get her attention, including long cries or woeful sounding howls.

Let me In!

cat behind a door

Sometimes you’ll hear an outdoor cat crying at night because it has determined that it’s time to be let back into its home. What other way is there to get an owner’s attention enough for them to get out of bed and let the cat in?

There’s About to be a Cat Fight

cat fight

It can be downright unsettling when you hear the spooky noises that cats make just before attacking one another.

Before the claws come out and the screeching commences, they often threaten each other for a while.

These howls and dreary sounding moans can be made from either one of the cats involved individually or both at the same time. If you’re alone at night and hear this going on nearby, not knowing what it is, it will certainly send shivers up your spine.

Final Thoughts

cat at night

Cats have been shrouded in mystery and superstition for quite some time.

But with a little common sense and simple detective work, we can find good reasons why cats do some of the strange things they do.

A cat crying at night is just as normal as a cat taking a nap. Still, history has decided to add some stigma to their actions, giving us reasons for what they do that are lightyears away from reality.

Cats crying at night superstitions have needlessly clouded our minds about what they’re doing with paranoia and even fear when all they’re trying to do, is be cats.

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