In the article Help! My cat is meowing at the door at night! we’ve already talked about the options you haven when your cat meows outside your door at night. Let’s get to my field report on what we actually did with our cat – and what worked.
Cat meows all night after a vacation
From an early age, our cats have been accustomed to the bedroom door being closed at night. This way we have a cat-free environment to sleep in and it’s only in the mornings around feeding time that Wrex will start serenading us.
At some point we went on vacation and the cats had to go to a cat hotel for a two weeks as our usual cat sitter was unavailable.
When we came back, Garrus started being very vocal at night and wouldn’t stop meowing. He might have felt lonely or gone through some sort of separation anxiety.
Night 1 – Ignore
In the first night, we followed the common advice to „simply“ ignore a meowing cat. This was not easy at all. His voice carried through the door and the pillow pressed against my ear, and when I finally fell back asleep, I was quickly awoken by another round of meowing.
Night 2 – The vacuum cleaner
Garrus kept going on night 2. I had read that you can put a vacuum cleaner outside the door and switch it on if your cat starts meowing. It will then not have negative associations to you, but only to the vacuum cleaner.
I couldn’t quite go through with it as the power cord didn’t fit under the door and it also felt a bit cruel to do. So we just put the vacuum cleaner outside the door, as the cats don’t like seeing it.
30 minutes after going to bed, Garrus was at it once again.
Night 3 – The activity blanket
Eventually, we put out an activity blanket before we went to bed. That’s a blanket with holes you can put treats into. It also makes a rustling sound when cats poke around in it. We got ours at Amazon.de, but you can get similar ones either from Etsy (this one might require you to cut a few holes in it, though) or mats with similar ideas from Amazon.com.
So we put the mat out with some treats in it – and enjoyed a good night’s sleep! The toy kept Garrus occupied long enough, and he didn’t meow for us after.
Night 4 – Nothing
In the 4th night, we did nothing. We didn’t put the blanket out and played with them for a long time before going to bed, and again Garrus seemed content.
Night 5 – The activity blanket (again)
We tried this again and again the cats played with it for quite a while (we could hear the faint rustling through the door) and we fell asleep and only woke up when the alarm went off.
So what do you do if your cat is meowing non-stop at night? You get him an activity toy to play with that rewards him for his efforts so he can mentally exhaust himself.
To see some other toys we have tested on our cats, see this article. Other activity toys you can get are:
I hope you will soon find out what you can use to distract your cat!