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Why Does My Cat Moan When Sleeping? (Joy or Pain?)

If your cat is moaning when it sleeps you may be wondering why this is happening and what causes this behavior…

Why does my cat moan when sleeping?

If your cat is moaning when sleeping this can be because it’s dreaming, has a health issue or it may be snoring. Like us humans, cats can have vivid dreams causing them to moan or move around. If it’s a health issue it could be a few things, such as an infection, or a polyp.

So, now you know. But, are these noises classed as normal? What other noises can they make? What can cause a cat to be awake and make weird noises at night? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

3 Reasons why your cat may moan when sleeping:

Why does my cat moan when sleeping?

A ginger cat sleeping on a white fluffy cat bed.

Earlier I briefly mentioned a few reasons why your cat may moan when it sleeps. Therefore, in this section, I will explain each one in more detail:

01. Dreaming

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Like us humans cats dream. When they dream, depending on the content of it, they may moan, or even move around. during this time they may even twitch or jerk (click here if this is happening while it drinks).

When cats get deep into their sleeping cycle they have a known behavior called “Rapid Eye Movement” (REM). This is when they are more likely to make sudden movements or sounds like this.

02. Health issue

Various potential health issues could cause your cat to either moan during sleep or disrupt their sleep in general. For example, an infection, more specifically, a respiratory infection. But, this is more likely if this is a new symptom, and out of character.

If it’s an ongoing issue, there is a chance they have polyps that is causing this. However, in extreme cases, this could turn out to be a tumor. If in doubt it’s worth getting your cat checked over with your vet. Even if it’s just to rule out a health issue.

03. Snoring

Yes, cats do snore, just like us humans. But, when I say just like us, it’s not the same stereotypical snore you may have seen in a cartoon. It may cause your cat to moan, make little squeak sounds, or something related.

This snoring is not usually a big issue, but if you are concerned your cat may have some problems with this, such as problems breathing, then get your vet to check it over.

Is it normal for cats to make noises while sleeping?

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It is quite normal for a cat to make noises while it sleeps. The common noises are moaning sounds, squeaking, or even snoring. As well as this you may see your cat make random moves, such as twitching, jerking, or stretching.

If you have not seen or heard this behavior before then the chances are that you will be a bit shocked. But, in most cases, it is normal behavior. But, if you have had your cat a while, and you are concerned with this sudden change, then get it checked out.

What other noises do cats make in their sleep?

Apart from cats moaning in their sleep. They are also known to snore, squeak, or trill. If you have not heard of a “trill” before, it is a high-pitched sound, often repeated, or even known to be repetitive.

The theory is, this trilling sound, is a vocal version of the communication cats use between themselves. But, I have seen no studies or research to back this up. Either way, you may hear this while they sleep.

Is it normal for a cat to be active while it sleeps?

It is normal for a cat to be active while it sleeps. This movement and activity is commonly known as “Activated Sleep”. During this time your cat may move around, kick its legs out, stretch, move its head, etc.

The theory is this is an important part of muscle development while they sleep. If your cat sleeps with you sometimes, or regular, this type of movement can be disruptive to your sleep.

This is why some cat owners prefer to get their cats a bed of their own to free up their bed and help them sleep better. But, be warned, this may help, but your cat can still return to your bed, out of habit and loneliness.

What can cause a cat to make weird noises at night?

Now that you understand that some cats make noises at night while they sleep. Other cats make these wild noises at night while they are awake. The problem is they can keep you, and your neighbors up.

Here are some of the reasons why this may happen:

01. Restlessness

Cats may be up making weird sounds because they are restless and feel active at this time. This is because most cats will naturally be active from dusk till dawn. Which is usually when most owners are sleeping.

The theory for this is the availability of their prey, such as mice, and other small animals. These types of animals choose to be active at these times to avoid being detected by their predators, such as us humans.

Therefore, cats are hard-wired to stay up at these times to increase their chances of getting their prey.

02. Seeking a mate

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If you have ever been awakened by two cats making a really loud caterwauling sound, the chances are the female cat is seeking a mate. When this happens it is loud and disruptive for the cat owner’s sleep.

Personally, I have this issue. There are a couple of cats that tend to wait until the early hours of the morning to make these weird sounds, which seem to be some kind of mating call.

03. A Health issue

Other reasons for these sounds are health issues. There can be many that may cause to make these sounds. But, the common one is Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS). This is known to affect older cats more.

It causes them to get confused, do random things you have not seen them do before. It’s similar to dementia for cats. This can cause weird noises at night also.

What can you do if your cat wakes up in the night and moans?

If your cat keeps waking up and moaning causing disruption to your sleep you need to try and wear them out before you go to sleep. This can be done by spending 30-60 minutes before bed playing with them.

This can be as simple as throwing around a simple cat toy ball (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad), or some crazy toy mouse (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad).

What do most cats dream about?

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Cats are known to dream about previous experiences, or things that have happened in their day, according to the Author Dr. Dodman (Click here to see the price, on Amazon #Ad). When you think about it, it’s not much different to us humans.

An example might be chasing a mouse or being chased by a local cat. The scenarios are endless.

Lindsey Browlingdon