Why Do Cats Cry Like a Baby at Night featured image

Why Do Cats Cry Like a Baby at Night?

Why do cats cry like a baby at night? If you’ve ever asked yourself this question, you’re not alone. Suppose you’ve got a baby in the home, and the cat repeatedly gets you out of bed at night due to a case of mistaken identity. What do you think are the reasons behind this weird behavior?

Cats cry like a baby at night when they want attention from you or another cat. Cats in heat can make this sound, and cats that want to play, go out or are hungry. Typically, this cry isn’t any cause for concern.

That is the bare-bones answer to the titled question- attention. The kind of attention that it desires will vary from cat to cat.

For example, if your cat is fixed, a handful of reasons are wiped off the board. If it’s not fixed, then being in heat (or a cat that senses another cat in heat) can come into play.

The following will be a more detailed breakdown of why cats cry like babies while you’re trying to call it a night.

 Cats Demand Attention!

meowing cat close up image

If the cat is seeking your attention, there could be several reasons why that would be:

  • The cat could be hungry and out of food,
  • thirsty and out of the water, or
  • even if it can’t get to the cat’s box because the bathroom door is closed.

Regardless of the issue, your attention is what the cat will wind up with eventually. Most of the time, you’ll see what it’s trying to convey easily enough.

In typical catlike dramatic fashion, their cry will make you think that someone’s beating the cat- when all it wants is something from you or another cat.

There are other reasons cats will howl, moan, or meow into the night, but all of those can mean different things (usually depending on the cat).

But the baby-like cries it does is an intelligent form of communication that is a learned behavior.

It isn’t something that would come naturally, but it is an effort to gain attention in a way that it’s observed- a cat’s version of mimicry.

Is Cat Crying a Bad Sign?

a cat in the kitchen at night time

Not too long ago, I posted an article about the different superstitions launched by a cat’s behavior at night called “Cats Crying at Night Superstition.”

Within the article, I gave a detailed breakdown answering the real reasons cats cry at night, as opposed to the handful of strange superstitions people have attributed to them over time.

But is a cat crying like a baby a bad sign, rather than a normal cat meow?

Not necessarily. It could be emulating a human voice the only way it knows how for many mundane reasons, such as simply needing your assistance with something. In this case, it isn’t a bad sign at all.

However, if you’ve gotten up and have eliminated any potential reasons to the best of your ability, and the cat remains to cry for no evident reason, it may have a sour stomach or other unseen discomforts.

Will the Cat Behave Differently if It’s Hurting?

cat meowing in front of the camera

Cats are extremely tough animals and won’t complain much if something is wrong with them, either externally or internally.

So, if they’ve reached the point that they’re yowling or crying out of pain or discomfort, it’s best to take them to the vet for an examination.

If a cat is suffering in some way and is crying because of it, the cat may seem aloof to you or might give you a sense of wanting to have your attention yet keep a distance at the same time.

If that’s the case, something’s wrong- time for a trip to the vet.

A Cat Can Cry When It’s in Heat

female cat meowing in front of the camera

Howling, moaning, and other noises come when a cat is in heat. Still, they might also make the aforementioned baby-like cry as well. If making a particular type of cry works for them in other areas, they’ll use it for just about anything.

When a female cat is in heat, it’ll cry out at odd times, day or night. However, your attention will keep their focus off their plight- though only for a moment.

Males tend to be extremely vocal when trying to attract a cat that’s in heat. They won’t typically cry like a baby but will do the longer, more drawn-out type of cry.

Some breeds of male cats can be downright ear-piercing when calling out to the ladies! Others can make sounds that can only be described as pitiful or woeful to our ears.

Cats Cry Like a Baby to Get their Way

crying cat behind a door

Cats crying like babies are doing it for the same bottom line they cry out to achieve- to get their way.

A baby may need to get changed in the middle of the night; fortunately, cats don’t have that problem.

But, when health concerns and heat are set aside, getting their way is all left.

Being hungry, thirsty, or even wanting to get you out of bed because it wants company where it’s at rather than where you already are, are perfectly normal reasons why your cat would be doing this.

Sometimes Cats Cry Over Unattainable Prey Animals

cat trying to catch a bird

Your cat could anxiously be attempting to gain the attention of a would-be four-legged toy it spotted through the window, trotting across the yard.

The prey drive in cats can seem playful and attention-grabbing to the observer, particularly if a cat is trapped within a house and sees something scurrying around outside.

But, as we know, the cat’s intentions differ from simply playing. It’s easy to forget that cats are predators, particularly when crying and making baby-like sounds in hopes of getting out.

Final Thoughts

moon picture

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when your cat awakens you at night via that baby-like cry.

  • Did you shut the cat out of your bedroom or its normal sleeping/lounging area?
  • Is there a clear path for the cat to get to the cat’s box (no closed doors box)?
  • Does your cat want to play?
  • Is there food and water in the bowls?
  • Is it possible for your cat to see any animals outdoors?

These five questions will aid you in diagnosing the easy things first before being concerned about health-related issues.

Scroll to Top