It’s 5:00 in the morning and your cat is racing from room to room, meowing. Why is it that your cat must run around during the hours that you’re sleeping? These tips can help you to keep your cat from waking you up at night.
When Cats Are Active
Cats are crepuscular animals – they’re active during the dawn and dusk hours. These are the times when your cat would be hunting for prey. Your cat’s natural instinct tells him to get up and hunt during dawn and dusk, and to sleep during the midnight hours to rest up. The problem is, this schedule can be very disturbing when you are trying to sleep. Below are some ways that you can keep your cat from waking you up at night.
Maintain a Schedule
First, make sure that you go to bed and wake up on a fairly regular schedule. Over time, your cat can adjust his sleep schedule to accommodate yours, so establish a schedule and stick to it.
Play With Your Cat
Playing with your cat frequently during the day can help to use up some of his excess energy, making it more likely that he will sleep at night. Perform several play sessions with your cat during the day. You can make these play sessions mimic your cat’s natural hunting pattern by giving him a bit of his food at the end of each play session. Hold your last play session with your cat just before you go to bed – after playing and eating, your cat should want to go to sleep.
Provide Food Overnight
You can help to minimize your cat’s nighttime activity by providing him with food during the night. You might leave out food for your cat, but if he eats it all at once then he may be active in the early morning. It’s best to buy an automatic feeder which can dispense small amounts of food throughout the night.
Leave Out Quiet Toys
If you anticipate that your cat may be playing at night, then leave out toys which are quiet for him to play with. Remove any toys that make lots of noise, like shaker toys or squeaker toys. Give your cat these exciting toys back during the day to encourage him to play.
Look for Other Reasons
Look for other reasons why your cat may be waking you up at night. Your cat may be lonely, or may be meowing because his litter box is dirty. Your cat may also be bored because he’s not getting enough entertainment during the day, and is looking for attention.
If your cat has gotten into the habit of meowing early in the morning to ask for food, it’s important to ignore this meowing. Getting up and feeding your cat is only rewarding this behavior, and will make your cat more likely to repeat this behavior in the future. Try feeding your cat right before bed, but don’t make a practice of feeding your cat first thing when you wake up.