Cat Crying at Night Outside

If a stray cat is very active at night and is constantly crying throughout the night outside, then it can be a problem. Cat crying at night isn’t an unusual thing and there is almost always a reason why cats cry specifically at night. But when the crying increases, it can disrupt you and your family’s sleep, so what can you do to stop it?

In this article, we will talk about what makes your cat cry at night, how you should handle the situation, and what to do if it increases beyond normal.

cat crying at night outside

What does it mean when your cat cries outside at night?

If a cat is crying outside at night, there could be many different reasons for it.

Most often, it is 2 or 3 recurring reasons such as:

  • Wants to enter your home
  • It is hungry
  • It is lonely

However, if the crying is only increasing with no signs of reduction, then there could be a complex problem with the cat.

It is important not to take the crying lightly. If you sense that the cat is in distress, you should not hesitate to contact your local vet immediately and get the cat checked.

Let’s look into the different reasons why stray cats cry at night and keep others awake!

Reasons why a cat may be crying outside at night

As mentioned above, some of these reasons are pretty basic and common, and nothing to worry about. But if they exceed a certain limit, then you should look into the crying and contact a vet.

Moving on, here are some of the reasons why your cat may cry at night:

Cat is unstimulated

To have a good night’s sleep, cats should play and stay active enough throughout the day to make themselves tired and sleepy. If it doesn’t do this, then it will definitely cry at night instead of sleeping.

Now it is important to note that not all cats are play-in-the-morning types. It may prefer staying up at night and letting its active energy out and may only need someone to share that with, hence the crying.

It can also be a once in a while thing. If this is a case of just 2 or 3 days, you can spend some time playing with it before going to bed, so it doesn’t start crying at night.

However, if you see a pattern here, then you need to discipline your cat. Set some boundaries to make sure your cat knows that you don’t appreciate it crying at night.

Kidney or thyroid problems

If the cat is crying excessively at night every night, and you suspect an irregularity, then you should take it to the vet.

Especially if the cat is old because old age can breed diseases in cats.

Some common problems in cats are kidney and thyroid issues. These are both serious diseases and can be fatal if not looked into as soon as possible.

Consider talking to a vet immediately if the cat shows any signs of either of them.


Old age affects many aspects of your life, especially the way your body functions. As a cat transitions to old age, you will see changes in its lifestyle and mannerisms, and maybe even in its body.

Older cats fall prey to diseases as well, which can alter their habits. A cat that used to be an early bird could become a night owl and even cry at night

Many older cats also go through a disease called Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (short for CDS). It has similar symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in humans

CDS affects the brain in a way that the cat faces anxiety, dementia, unusual sleep patterns, and sudden waves of affection towards its owner.

Hence if its an older cat, you should get it checked for CDS because it could be the disease keeping you up at night.

Cat may want to go outdoors/indoors

If you routinely let your cat outside or inside (if it stays outdoors), then chances are your cat wants to go outside at an odd midnight hour.

Now, ideally, you should have set routines about when your cat should go inside or outside. This is important because you need to establish boundaries with your cat otherwise it will start crying or retaliate if you don’t listen to it.

However, if a stray cat wants to come inside at night, you can facilitate it by installing a cat flap door at your front door. This way it can come in at night without crying for hours or begging you to let it inside.

You should only let your cat outside if it is old enough, responsible, and you are sure it will return. Dealing with a cat that is lost or couldn’t find its way back home is painful and unnecessary if it can be avoided.

Cat is hungry

A hungry and thirsty cat is very likely to cry at night. It is bound to!

Cats can’t communicate in our language, so they find other ways to put their message across, and maybe one way of communicating with us is crying.

If you get the hint that a cat is hungry at night through its crying, then mission accomplished for the cat right?

Next time, try to keep a bowl full of cat food and enough water outside for the cat to last one night.

Hopefully, no more crying!

Cat could be mating

If your cat is crying at night outside, then there is a possibility that the crying is the sound of it mating.

This is natural, but you should be careful about your cats’ whereabouts because if it is with a stray cat, then there are chances of your pet cat catching diseases.

Moreover, it is advised by vets to keep your cat neutered or spayed. Doing so will reduce your cats’ temptation and most likely also stop them from mating with stray cats on the streets.

Oh and the cost and responsibility on you for raising a bunch of kittens!

If its a stray cat mating outside your house, you can gently try to shoo them away. They will get scared and flee your house area.

Cat is lonely and is looking for attention

Is your cat attached to you? Does it have trouble leaving you alone, even when you go to the bathroom?This could very well be a reason it cries at night, especially if you don’t allow it in your room at night.

If this is the case, you need to tread carefully because a wrong step could damage the strong bond between you and your cat. You want to make your cat know that you love it dearly but can’t commit to spending loads of hours in its company.

Even if a stray cat got too cozy with you and wants to follow you into the home at night, you have to stop it from crying right?

How should you do this?

We cover exactly that in the next topic, so keep on reading.

How to stop cat from crying at night

Now that you’ve figured out the reason for your cats’ crying noises late at night, let’s figure out what measures you can take to stop them.

Fix your cat’s sleeping schedule

As mentioned before, cats are usually more active at night than in the morning, but what if you reversed their schedules?

Disciplining a stray cat is not easy. You can simply send it away from your house at night time, or not give it the attention it is looking for, so it stops coming to your house at night.

If you are facing a similar problem with an indoor pet cat, then fix its sleeping schedule according to your own schedule so you can sleep peacefully.

So, fix your cat’s sleeping schedule, or at least attempt to.

Keep its food bowls full

If a stray cat is crying outside at night because of hunger or thirst, then this is easily avoidable.

Try to have a full bowl of water and some cat food ready on your porch, so it does not bother you by crying all night.

You don’t want to keep your feline friend hungry, right?

Give ample play-time

If your cat is an attention-seeker, then you should deal with it accordingly.

A good way to keep your cat from crying all night is to leave it there for 15 to 20 minutes before going to bed. Make the playtime fun by adding cat toys and treats.

After a while, your cat will get tired and its energy level will decrease rapidly. then both you and your cat can go to bed. Mission accomplished! Your cat will thank you.

However, if you are dealing with a stray cat, it can be tough to give time and attention daily. You can try the same process once or twice, but if it continues, then you should let it be and ignore it for a while.

Hopefully, it will leave you alone and find another house.

Facilitate an ill cat

If a cat has CDS or is simply aging, then you must ease it before going to bed.

Night lights work well to guide the way for a cat that has CDS. They are also immensely helpful to cats with dementia.

Moreover, if they are ill then make sure you give them their prescribed medicines on time before getting into bed.

For an ill stray cat, you should take it to a cat shelter and let it be treated so it is healthy again.

Put your foot down

The more you love cats, the harder it is to put your foot down and discipline them. But it is important to do!

So the next time you find a cat crying at night outside, resist the urge to go and console it.

Instead, work on fixing its routines, and create healthy boundaries. This will help your cat respect and value you, and also help you get a peaceful night’s sleep.


In conclusion, is there an explanation for why your cat cries outside at night? Yes, there is!

There could be many reasons why a cat cries at night. It could be trying to communicate something through its cries, it could be hunger, signs of mating, wanting to come inside, or it could have a serious disease.

In any case, if you feel that the crying is getting out of hand, make sure to contact the vet. If a disease is diagnosed in the early stages, a cats’ life could be saved.

There are several ways to stop a stray cat from crying at night, and it even means ignoring your cat a little to establish boundaries.

Our comprehensive guide should help you figure out why a cat is crying, and the things you can do to stop it.

If all else fails, we suggest you head to the vet’s clinic and get their expert opinion for the sake of the stray cat.

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