Does your cat keep you awake all night? Guess what – you can solve the problem! By understanding why your cat might be keeping you up and making a few changes, you and your feline friend can get back to sleeping soundly through the night!
By the Numbers:
Since 1998, the number of cats sleeping in beds with their humans has increased from 45% to 62%.
According to surveys, 21% of cat parents said their cats wake them up every single night! Almost 40% said their kitties bother them some nights. Only a lucky 27% of the pet parents polled said their cats never wake them up.
How to Stop the Problem:
So what can you do to keep your cat from keeping you up all night? First, we need to determine why it’s happening.
Is Your Cat Sick?
Some medical conditions might cause your kitty to stop sleeping soundly. Even a mild toothache can make a cat restless, so if staying up all night is a new behavior – especially in an older cat – you should have your cat seen by the veterinarian. Some illnesses that might cause your cat to yowl at night are arthritis, hyperthyroidism, and high blood pressure so your vet should rule these out.
Is Your Cat Hungry?
Many of us are guilty of feeding our kitties the moment we get out of bed in the morning, without realizing we’re encouraging our cats to wake us up earlier and earlier so that we will feed them. If your cat is waking you up for food, consider getting an automatic feeder that will dispense food while you’re still sound asleep.
Is Your Cat Bored?
If your cat is just waking you up to play, then you probably need to increase play time during the day. Cats that rest a lot all day are left with a lot of excess energy at night! Look for ways to keep your cat entertained during the day, like interactive toys. And be sure to get kitty moving with a game of laser tag or go fishing with a wand toy. Whatever her favorite toy is, just be sure to get her tired in the evening before you go to bed.
Is Your Cat Seeking Attention?
Do you snuggle or pet your cat when he wakes you up in the night? Without meaning to, you’re unintentionally rewarding his behavior! As difficult as it is to ignore a purring, snuggly fluff ball, try not to acknowledge your cat when he wakes you up. Instead, increase the amount of daytime attention you give your feline friend, maybe with a grooming session to nurture the bond between you and your cat.
Some small changes that might have a big effect on you and your cat’s sleeping habits:
Darken the room – If it’s not completely dark, try using light blocking curtains and covering the light from your alarm clock to make it pitch black in your room. Cats have great sight in low light, but they can’t see in complete darkness – and therefore won’t be able to see you to wake you up!
Make your room off limits – If your cat is really interfering with your ability to sleep, shut kitty out of your bedroom and toss him some toys for nighttime play that are quiet and easy to see in the dark.
When it comes to cats – always keep your cool. Never yell or punish your cat for doing anything you don’t like. They simply don’t learn that way, and it only serves to hurt your relationship with your cat, and might even cause your cat to act out. Focus on positively reinforcing good behaviors, increasing daytime activities, and affection and you (and your cat) will be on your way to getting a full night’s rest!
Do you have any other tips or tricks for keeping your cat from keeping you up all night? We’d love to hear them!
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