Are you not sleeping well these days? Is your cat’s constant yowling, kneading, playing or nuzzling keeping you awake? You are not alone.
Many cat pet parents experience distinctly disturbing cat behavior at night. While the causes for this are varied, disruptive nighttime cat behavior can often be resolved through a series of simple steps.
Consider the following tips when trying to help your cat (and, by extension, you):
- Check for Medical Issues
This is especially true for pet parents who notice new nocturnal behavior in their cats. For example, if your cat suddenly yowls through the night, it is time to see a vet. Cats who are afraid, in pain or sick often act out this way and the first step to resolving the behavior is ensuring the cat is not sick or otherwise suffering physically.
- Feed Kitty Before Bed
Often, cats wake their parents because they are hungry. Fortunately, this is a simple problem to resolve. Feed the cat her dinner right before you go to bed in order to prevent the cat from waking you during the night in search of food. If the cat is still hungry at night, consider getting a timed feeder that can administer a small amount of food during the wee hours of the night. This will keep kitties from getting a craving for a midnight snack and waking you up to help.
- Consider a Second Kitty
Eight hours of sleep is a long time for a cat and many just cannot wait that long for playtime. If your cat is waking you up in search of companionship or stimulation, consider bringing a second cat home. If the two get along, they will play with one another at night, leaving you to sleep peacefully.
- Shut the Cat Out of the Bedroom
If your cat is waking you out of boredom rather than a genuine need for food or water, consider shutting kitty out of the bedroom while you sleep. If you are going to do this, however, ensure the cat has everything she needs (food, toys, water, litter box) in an easily accessible room.
- Call in the Professionals
If you have tried everything to get your cat to let you sleep peacefully and none of it has worked, consider enlisting the help of a trained professional. An animal behaviorist can likely get to the root of the issue and help you understand why kitty keeps waking you.
If your cat keeps waking you during the night - have heart. These issues can usually be resolved through alteration of patterns and a little extra attention to the root of the issue. Cats are playful creatures and waking their parents at night is often just one way of searching for love and attention. By ensuring your cat has plenty of food, water and toys at night and that she is not suffering from any painful or stressful medical issues, you can ensure sweet dreams for the entire family.
Content reviewed by a veterinarian