How to Calm Your Cat at Night So You Can Sleep!
15 October, 2015
Our cats love to sleep all day long and then are wide awake and ready to play just as you are ready to go to sleep! And it can be difficult to coordinate with their ‘sleeping’ schedule if you are at work and they tend to nap the day away. If you can keep your cats active during the day and tire them out when you are ready to go to bed, you both should sleep well.
Try the following to see if this helps your nocturnal night owl:
If you aren’t home during the day, try keeping items that are stimulating to your cat
When you aren’t home to play with your feline friends, make sure your cat has a toy or something that will be stimulating for him or her. Try finding toys that are interactive or require your cat to play. Leave treats around in hidden spots so that your cat wants to play and move around. Leave a perch by the window so your cat can watch the birds and activity that will keep them awake and stimulated. Cats love tall cat trees in strategic places around the house. Good locations include next to a secure window and around family hangouts. Look for cat trees with wide shelves and a covered box or hiding area.
Cats sleep less when they have an adopted friend to play with all day long
If you have only one cat at home, how about adopting a second cat which is great for so many reasons. You are saving another cat’s life while enriching the life of your cat at home. If there are two cats, they are more likely to play together all day long and be more awake during the day and subsequently more tired at night.
Make sure to have a play session with your kitty right before you go to bed
If you can get in the habit of having a play session with your kitty an hour or so before going to bed, this will help tire him out. Throw some mice around and see if he runs after it. Use a fishing rod toy or whatever it takes to get him active. Take a break and then try again.
Feed your cat before you go to bed
Right after your play session, feed your cat half his daily food and this should help him sleep. If your cat continues to wake you during the night for food, purchase a timed feeder that you can fill and set to dispense once or twice during the night. If your cat’s hungry, he’ll learn to wait by the feeder rather than bother you while you’re sleeping. Make sure you reduce meal sizes during the day so that your cat doesn’t gain weight.
If your cat cries during the night, try to ignore him or her
If your cat wakes you up at night, the worst thing you can do is to get up and feed him or her. As soon as you get up to see what is going on with your cat, it only reinforces the bad behavior by giving in to his or her demands. Even yelling out a simple “quiet down” can be perceived as attention and could encourage your cat to continue meowing. Just put your pillow over your head and go back to sleep.
If your cat is older or the night meowing is sudden, take your cat the vet
Your cat might be more active at night or meowing because there is some medical issue that is bothering him or her. Or maybe your cat is older and starting to suffer from dementia. Either way, if the meowing behavior at night is new, make sure to take your kitty to the vet to rule out a medical issue.