History is full of stories of witchcraft, magic, and sorcery surrounding cats. For as long as cats have existed, there have been superstitions associated with them. Perhaps it’s the air of mystery they exude that leads people to believe cats have supernatural abilities.
Superstitions evolve with the passing of time until they become quite unrecognizable from the original belief. One such superstition involves cats crying at night and what this is assumed to represent. Why do cats cry at night? Let’s find out.
The cat crying at night superstition
What is the cats crying at night superstition? An old superstition says that a cat crying at night outside an ill person’s home means their demise is imminent. Cats have always been linked to witchcraft and evil spirits which probably explains how this superstition originated. If a cat cries at night some still think it means the end is nigh for someone nearby. Is this just an old wives’ tale?
There are many variations of this superstition. One is that the cat must be on the roof whilst crying. Another states the ill person must be lying in bed at the time.
They all have something in common (apart from being inconsistent): all involve a cat that’s crying and someone who’s not in good health.
If your cat is crying at night it is most likely because it is lonely, confused, or even bored when everyone has gone to bed and left it on its own.
A cat might also cry at a window at night if it sees a strange cat pass by, though this type of cry is more like a yowl.
Why cats cry at night
Cats commonly cry at night for attention. If you react to a cat crying at night for no particular reason other than it’s lonely, fancies a snack, or just wants to play, you may well turn this particular behavior into a habit.
It’s a fact – cats often cry when you’ve gone to bed. If you hear a crying cat, try to ignore it and it will probably stop. But if it is unusual for your cat to do this, it’s prudent to investigate the cause.
Cats might cry more at night because they are stimulated by the sounds of night creatures. Strange noises that don’t occur during the day catch their attention and cause them to become vocal themselves.
When you’re in bed asleep, your cat might cry as it tries to find you. This and the absence of light causes confusion, especially in senior cats.
Is the cat crying at night superstition true?
This superstition probably arose because of a coincidence. The cat crying at night superstition may well have been initiated when someone died at the exact time a cat began crying nearby.
From that point on, a cat crying may then have been perceived to be a bad omen.
If you look at this logically, cats cry at night outside quite often. They might be yowling at another cat or searching for a mate.
Many people believe that cats are spiritual and that a cat crying at night has a spiritual meaning. A cat crying at night when someone is near to passing away can make it seem as if cats are spiritual creatures.
At the time this superstition originated, there were more cats roaming free so it’s hardly surprising that some were heard crying when people died in their beds.
Another superstition suggests it’s bad luck if you hear a cat crying just before you set out on a journey.
The origin of many cat superstitions seems to be China but the exact origin of the cat crying at night superstition is unclear.
What Are the Facts Of The Cats Crying At Night Superstition?
There are many reasons for a cat is crying at night and if you have one that does this regularly, try to understand why.
Don’t automatically think someone is about to die! A little investigation will help you solve the mystery.
If your cat isn’t crying because it is hungry or fighting, there may be a psychological reason for its behavior. Let’s examine the possible causes.
Cat crying at night: spiritual meaning
There are some who strongly believe a cat crying at night has a spiritual meaning: they believe there is a specific reason for a cat’s nighttime crying.
If there is a spiritual meaning attached to a cat crying at night this suggests that cats possess an inner knowledge or a sixth sense.
Cats being associated with spirituality began with the ancient Egyptians. They were closely linked to goddesses Mafdet and Bastet. Mafdet was represented with a cat’s head and cats were believed to be the Earthly embodiments of her spirit.
Today, many people sense a spiritual presence around cats. It may be because they quietly observe and often seem to fixate on objects we cannot see.
Anxiety In Cats Can Cause Crying
If you haven’t had your cat for very long or if you just bought a kitten then the reason for its crying at night could be separation anxiety.
A cat may cry because it has been separated from its mother and/or littermates. It may be confused and have feelings of loneliness associated with this separation.
As sad as this may seem, and it is certainly sad, you can do something about it and it shouldn’t last long. Give them your love and attention.
Yes, this may mean at 3.30 am on a Tuesday morning when you have to get up for work in a few hours.
But your little kitty doesn’t know this (although knowing cats as I do, I’m not sure they’d care if they did know it).
Talk to your cat and comfort it. Create somewhere warm and safe near you where it can curl up and sleep at night.
A good suggestion would be a simple box with an open top. Cats love to feel protected and often if you put a box down they’ll jump right into it, they love the four ‘walls’ around them when they get in, it makes them feel safe.
Similar feelings can occur in cats that have recently lost a sibling or a friend they’ve spent a long time with. You may find they cry for a long time, waiting for an answer, but never getting one.
It’s sad, yes, like the above but this is life and it’s fixable. Using the above caring nature and attention will soon cheer your cat up and the crying will stop naturally.
You may find a cat cries if it’s not getting enough attention from you. Cats are quite astute. If they cry and you give them attention, they know what to do to get some another time.
I know this contradicts the earlier statement about giving them attention when they cry but it’s a very delicate balance.
If you give a cat lots of attention during the day, play with it, and feed it just before you go to bed, then it’s less likely to cry during the night for your attention.
Is Your Cat Unwell?
There can, of course, be other reasons why your favorite little kittie cries at night and one is it may not be feeling very well.
Your cat may be trying to communicate to you that something is wrong and it needs your help.
If your cat is crying and this is accompanied by a loss of appetite and/or not drinking then you shouldn’t waste any time and get it checked out by your vet.
There could be numerous reasons why your cat doesn’t feel well. Is it moving around as normal? Limping? Examine it to see if you can spot any obvious problems with its limbs.
When you stroke it, it should be obvious if there are any areas where it would prefer you not to touch.
Females In Heat
If your cat is female then are you sure she’s not in heat? Or if your cat is a male then maybe he wants to mate and can smell a female in heat.
There are some tell-tale signs that your cat is in heat, but they aren’t definitive.
For instance, if your female cat is rolling around on the floor and purring a bit more than usual then this could be a sign. Alternatively, she could make very loud crying noises, known as caterwauling.
She may be more affectionate than usual. If in doubt, it’s a good idea to take her to the vets to find out for sure!
Male cats may hang around nearby making quite a din because they can sense even indoor cats in heat from quite a distance.
Cats Crying In Old Age
When a cat becomes old it can experience changes in its senses. It may start forgetting things and become confused in certain environments.
These feelings can understandably unsettle a cat and it may simply be crying out of confusion or for no apparent reason. If a cat has cognitive issues it’s best to keep it as an indoor cat for its own safety.
Despite what you might hear, there are things that you can do and some therapy that can be provided. Have a chat with your vet about this.
It might be possible to alleviate the symptoms but the results can be a little unpredictable.
Hunger Causes Cats To Cry
Could it be true that the answer is as simple as this? Your little (but very loud) bundle of fur is just hungry? It’s unlikely maybe but definitely possible.
Give your cat some food just before you go to bed. Otherwise, you may find that after a few hours they go for a snack and there’s nothing there.
So, they tell you about this in the only way they know how! Which is going outside, getting on the roof, and meowing as loudly as they can.
Hmm now I think about it, this probably isn’t very likely, is it? Surely if they were hungry they’d just meow in your face just after you fall asleep?
Black cats and witches
Whether you associate cats crying at night with good luck or bad luck, it’s hard to ignore the fact that there has long been an association between witches and black cats which stems from the middle ages.
An illustration of a witch is not complete without a black cat and a broomstick. There’s a popular belief that a witch’s black cat is her familiar or spirit creature. a witch’s black cat is her familiar or spirit creature.
The good luck black cat
If a black cat crosses your path you are in for some good fortune, or at least one black cat superstition claims. If that cat happens to be crying, it is quite likely after some attention.
Black cats tend to get bad press and certain people fear them. In reality, they are not a bad omen at all. The only difference between a black cat, a white cat, or one of any other shade is the color of its coat.
What does crying cat symbolize?
Sometimes there isn’t an obvious reason when a cat is crying. Common reasons include attention-seeking, loneliness, confusion, or being trapped on the wrong side of a closed door.
A cat in a new home might cry because of the lack of familiarity. As a cat owner, you’ll get used to why your cat cries and learn how to deal with it.
Reasons why cats cry like a baby at night
Adult cats communicate with each other using quiet trills. When a cat meows loudly or cries like a baby, it is generally after the attention of its human.
Cats know that we react to their noisy vocalizations and soon learn how to get what they need from us by making loud meows. A baby-like cry from a cat usually provokes a fast reaction and they remember this – always.
Cat crying in the morning superstition
Seasoned cat owners know cats cry in the morning too and usually, this is a demand for breakfast. Superstition has it that if you ignore a cat crying in the morning, you will get to lie in bed a bit longer!
Another reason for early morning cat crying is the desperation to get outside to answer a call of nature. In this case, the superstition might be that if you ignore a crying cat in the morning, you should be prepared to clean something off your floor!
Cats crying at night superstition – Conclusion
If you hear a cat crying at night don’t panic! It is highly unlikely to signify someone’s end is nigh and generally does not signify bad news.
It’s more likely to be a neighborhood cat causing a bit of a din for its own reasons rather than signifying the expiration of a sick person.
How the superstition surrounding cats crying at night originated is unclear. Despite the many claims, there is no definitive answer, just speculation, none of which can be confirmed or disproved.
A cat’s cries at night don’t usually last long and typically the reason can be easily discovered, rectified and peace will reign again.
You’ll be getting that much-deserved sleep once more in no time! Excessive meowing can be quite disconcerting. Look out for signs of something more serious and if in doubt, get your cat checked out by the vet.
If outdoor cats are allowed out after dark, they may make more crying noises than they do during the day. Sometimes the crying may be from a stray cat wandering past.
If you’ve heard of the Cats Crying at Night Superstition, more often than not, there’s nothing to worry about! Just work out what your cat wants – break up the fight if that’s the cause!
One final thing, maybe a cat cries at night because it is feeling bored. Make sure you play with it more during the day and hopefully it will fall into your nighttime routine and sleep peacefully when you do.
Here are some of my favorite products for cats
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you found it helpful whether you own a cat or are considering it. I thought I’d share a few of the cat products I love which you might find really useful too.
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An indoor cat tree: This is an excellent item to satisfy a cat’s urge to climb and scratch. There are several sizes to choose from so you can pick the right height for your home. Our cats love this Amazon Basics tree with multi-levels, scratching posts, and a little hideaway.
Drinking fountain: Cats love to drink from flowing water. Many don’t seem to drink enough so a fountain is a good way to get them interested. This Orsda Fountain is quiet, has a large capacity, and looks stylish too.
Scratcher Lounger: The more cat scratching posts you have the better. Many cats like to claw horizontally which is why we chose the PetFusion Ultimate cat scratcher. It has seen quite a bit of action from 4 Maine Coons but still looks great.