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Why Is My Cat So Vocal at Night?

Q: Dear Nora,

My 14 yr old cat has become very vocal in the last few weeks  And it happens at night, when I am trying to sleep!  She will sit in the doorway of the bedroom and meow.  If I close the door she will sit outside the door and meow.  Not sure what she wants. I  get up and check her food….she has lots..  During the day she is not so annoying.  What’s going on?

iamthegreatwent @ Instagram
iamthegreatwent @ Instagram

A: There are lots of reasons a cat can become more vocal during different stages of their lives or at different times during the day or night. When you’re being kept up at night it’s hard to remember that your cat isn’t midnight-meowing with the intentions of driving you crazy. She’s simply trying to communicate something to you. Given her age and the fact that this behavior is new and is only happening at night, I suspect that your cat’s vision is declining. This can make her feel disoriented or confused at night, causing her to call out to you. Try installing a few night lights throughout your home to help her get around. If this doesn’t work, or if her meowing escalates beyond nighttime, it’s worth a vet checkup to see if there is a medical cause for her behavior change.

Can Cats Have Seasonal Allergies?

Q: Dear Nora,
My cat’s eyes have been watery and itchy lately. It has occurred to me that maybe she has allergies, since it’s springtime and I’ve recently opened up all the windows. Can cats have springtime allergies?

A: Yes, cats can have environmental allergies just like humans. Watery and itchy eyes are the most common allergy symptoms cats experience. If your cat has seasonal allergies you may also notice nasal congestion, sneezing, and red eyes.

Seasonal allergies themselves aren’t that big of a deal and can be easily solved with a vet-prescribed anti-histamine. The problem is that it can be hard for many people to tell the difference between the symptoms of an allergy and an eye infection. Eye infections can get out of control fast and cause long-term or permanent damage, so I’d suggest speaking to your vet if you aren’t sure. You vet will have suggestions and treatments to help your cat feel better, no matter the cause of the watery eyes.