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Welcome, Crazy Cat People!
Maine coons can be a very vocal breed but what does it mean when your Maine coon howls at night time? Maine coons express their feelings in lots of different ways and one of those ways is through vocalisation.
I have studied the behaviour of cats for several years and have grown to understand why they do the things that they do, so let’s answer your question!
When a Maine coons howls in the night, it can be for several reasons such as attention-seeking behaviour and age-related issues such as loss of vision, hearing, and cognitive decline. Maine coons who have not been spayed/neutered may also howl at night when looking to find a potential mate.
Now we know some of the common reasons why they howl and what it means let’s examine howling in a bit more detail, knowledge is power, my fellow feline lovers! The more we understand why our Maine coons do the things that they do, the quicker we can solve them!
This post looks at what howling is exactly and more importantly how to rectify this behaviour!
So, keep reading crazy cat people to learn more!
Check out the featured post in this series that looks at just how vocal Maine coons are and how to deal with over-vocalisation! – Click here to read now or bookmark for later
Why Does My Maine Coon Howl?
The Maine coon is a vocal breed, maybe not as vocal and persistent as some breeds such as the Siamese but when a Maine coon wants your attention they will get it!
Their vocalisations tend to be more gentle, high pitched and a Maine coon will often trill, chirp and chirrup!
To find out more about what is a chirp, trill and chirrup check out one of my other posts in this series ‘‘Why does my Maine coon chirp”, click the link to take a look!
However, they can sometimes howl and when they do you will know about it! Let’s examine first what howling is!
What is Howling?
Howling and Yowling tend to be the same noise. It’s that haunting noise that you used to hear outside when you were a child that sounded like there was a baby crying!
We’ve all heard it and in the deep of the night, it can sound quite disturbing.
A howl is a long drawn out low pitched sound that comes from your Maine coon and it is often very loud.
It’s a distressing sound that once you hear it, you won’t forget and it’s hard to ignore! Some vocalisations such as a meow are used just to communicate with humans but a Yowl is also used in cat to cat communication.
Just so you know what a howl is then listen to these cats below on the youtube video!
Maine coon is howling because of a drive to mate!
One of the most common reasons why your Maine Coon may be howling at night is their need to mate.
When a cat is in heat there are so many hormonal changes going on inside of them that give them an insatiable desire or need to find a mate. Female cats will become very loud during this period, especially at night.
Nighttime is the perfect time for your female to be heard by potential male cats in the area so she will begin to Yowl, this is often called Caterwauling. It is often very melodic and loud! When the local males hear this sound they will often respond in excitement knowing there is a female in the area.
The female Maine coon is letting the males know she is available.
Some other signs to look out for when a cat is in heat are
- Loss of appetite
- Grooming genitals
- Urine marking around the home
- Mood swings
- The need to escape the home
- Restless and anxious behavior
Your Maine coon could be bored and stressed!
The reason I have linked boredom and stress together is that they frequently go hand in hand!
Maine coons are playful and naturally intelligent and they have needs like any other cat. They need regular stimulation and human companionship otherwise they may become very bored and this can lead to stress.
Cats are also creatures of habit and routine and even the slightest change in their environment can lead to stress. Maybe there is a new partner introduced into the home, a new pet or a new baby? Even moving furniture around can unsettle a cat’s territory and cause conflict and stress.
Look out for other signs of stress in your cat to see if this is a causing factor
- Eating or drinking less
- Scratching furniture
- Vomiting / Dioreah
There is another pot I made in this series that looks at why cats hiss, it is often a sign of stress and fear! To learn more about why your Maine coon may be hissing at you or other people then click here to take a look!
Older cats can sometimes howl at night
Unfortunately, this is very common and it is one of the hardest things as a cat owner we can experience when we know our cat is suffering.
Cats over the age of 10 years old may start to experience cognitive decline syndrome (CDS) which can have many similarities to humans with Alzheimer’s, according to this article I found from the British Veterinary Association.
Excessive vocalisation, altered sleep-wake cycles, the cat suddenly being more affectionate or aggressive, house soiling and disorientation are all signs to watch out for but if in doubt take your cat to vets to have them checked over.
They may just be hungry or need something from you
Sometimes cats will howl at night for attention or because they need something from you.
The litter tray may need a clean, they may want food or water or they may simply be wanting a treat. When a cat tries to wake you up for a reason that is not immediately important this is when it becomes a problem and a habit you don’t want to give in to!
How to Stop Maine Coon Howling at Night?
This all depends on the reasons why your Maine coon is Howling!
If your Maine coon is howling due to them being in heat or seeking a potential mate then you have two options. Get them spayed or neutered which will no doubt stop any hormonal behaviours or learn to live with this until your cat finds a mate.
If you don’t want kittens then please get your cat spayed/neutered, there are so many unwanted cats out there at the moment and the last thing we want to do is create more unwanted little fur babies!
If your cat is yowling for suspected medical reasons then please see a vet. The sooner you get a medical issue diagnosed the better. Veterinary treatments are getting better year on year so if spotted early there may be a medical intervention that could save your Maine coons life.
When changing your cat’s routine such as the introduction of a new person or pet then these changes need to be implemented slowly to reduce stress levels. A sudden big change will likely cause stress in your cat and can result in night howling.
Slow and steady is the way to go!
Let’s say you are moving in a new partner or housemate it could be a good idea to leave some of their clothes around for the cat to get used to the new smells before they move in or if its a new baby then set up the baby room with the cot etc… a few weeks before baby comes home to get your cat used to the changes.
Boredom however can be the root cause of many behaviour issues in your Maine coon, they need an enriching environment with lots of toys and vertical space to climb up onto.
Regular interactive play can go a long way in keeping your cat happy, sane and quiet! So get the toys out before bed and use up some of their stored play energy.
Stick to a routine with feeding and play and remember to give them the stability they require, don’t give them a reason to become stressed or anxious!
Lastly, if they are Yowling due to seeking attention or wanting treats you must ignore this behaviour and never reward them with affection or give in to them because if you do then the clever Maine coon will learn that if they yowl they get what they want!
Recommended Maine Coon products to relax and calm!
- Create vertical space with wall mounted cat shelves – Click here to see how cool these are on amazon!
- Invest in Pheromone plugins and watch your cat’s stress melt away just like magic – Check out the price on Amazon!
Key Takeaways: Why does my Maine Coon Howl at Night?
- Maine coons are generally chirpy, vocal cats but may sometimes howl
- Maine coons mainly howl due to hormonal changes if they are not spayed/neutered
- Howling can often be a sign of stress
- Never reward any attention-seeking behavior
- Please see a vet if in doubt to rule out any health issues
As always take care of yourself and your little fur babies!
Mark (The Crazy Cat Man)