We love our feline friends, but we don’t love when they wake us up 30 times a night by meowing or jumping on our chests! Have you ever wondered why your cat isn’t sleeping on the same schedule as the rest of your household? This post will tell you the top reasons why your cats might be awake in the wee hours, and give you some tips on how to help your cat sleep through the night.
4 reasons your cat may be awake while you’re sleeping:
Cats are naturally nocturnal, so if you are leaving them alone for long hours during the day, you can bet that they are snoozing A LOT! This will cause them to play and want attention in the middle of the night. Sometimes people forget that cats need exercise just as much as dogs. Young cats and kittens are more likely to bother you through the night. They have a lot of energy and are testing their boundaries with their new families.
If your cat is yowling, crying, or acting spastic in the night, the first thing you will want to rule out is illness. Cats don’t have many ways to communicate that they aren’t feeling well or that something isn’t right. If your cat is crying or yowling during the day as well, that is a sure reason to get them checked by a vet.
Having a second animal can help your cat sleep better because they will have someone to play with, and need less playful attention from you. But this one can go both ways. You may find that your kitty and her friend want to play through the night. At my house we have a 6-year-old dog and a 6-month-old kitten, and they seem to be a great combo. When my dog is feeling frisky, he will run around and play with the cat, but he sleeps well through the night and doesn’t respond to the cat’s advances to wake up the house. Think about what dynamic will work best for your fur family.4. Hunger
Check with a vet to find out the best diet and amount of food for your cat. Some cats do pretend they’re starving when really they want to eat for fun, but your cat could be hungry if they’re not getting proper nutrition throughout the day. You can try waiting to feed your cat right before you go to bed, because she is more likely to pass out with a full tummy. If your cat is waking you up early to eat, you can also try a feeder on a timer so the cat learns that the food doesn’t come from you.
2 great tips on how to divert your cat’s attention:
1. Control your reaction
Much like kids, your cat could be bothering you in the night because she wants attention and wants to test what she can get from you. If you get up and make adjustments for your inconsolable cat, she will learn that when she meows, scratches the furniture, or runs across the bed, you will always get up to check on her or even yell at her to leave you alone. The cat doesn’t care that it isn’t positive attention. As hard as it is to not try to fix the situation in the moment, try not to get up or have any measurable reaction. This was so hard for us when tested, but it totally helped. The cat gave up and decided to go find something else to do.2. Give her special toys
There are toys designed to entertain your cat that stay quiet and encourage quiet play. These are great for the middle of the night, when your cat has lots of energy but you would rather not hear her playing from across the house. At our house, we tried the Nighttime Catnip Rolls from PetStages, and our kitty loved them. She played around and we didn’t hear a thing. It always surprises me what my cat is entertained by. Next, we want to try the Flashing Firefly Mat, also from PetStages!
Do you have any toys that have helped quietly entertain your pets throughout the night? Comment and let us know.