Cats are well known for their ability to sleep for extremely long hours. However, when they are not fast asleep, these cats are likely to be extremely active, which is the last thing a tired cat owner would want in the middle of the night.
Unfortunately, cats are naturally active at dusk and dawn, and if you’d like a change from the sleepless nights, read on to find out why some cats can’t sleep through the night and how you may encourage them to do so.
Why are domestic cats so active at night?
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You may be wondering why your housecats are able to stay awake throughout the night. The reason behind their activeness at night can be traced back to their ancestral roots — wild cats are crepuscular by nature, hunting during the quiet hours of early mornings and evenings.
Not to be mistaken as nocturnal (most active at night), this crepuscular behaviour is very typical of natural predators (like cats) as dawn and dusk hours are when prey animals are most often on the move.
Additionally, a cat might be very active when you’re trying to catch some sleep at night because of the lack of daytime activity while you’re away at work. This lack of mental and physical stimulation for your cat may result in your cat snoozing until you’re back home, which is no wonder why its doesn’t need more sleep when you are, too.
How to get some shut-eye
1. Check for discomfort
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If your cat only recently started keeping you up at night, it’s advisable to bring your cat for a checkup at the vet in case of an underlying medical issue. This is especially so if your cat is exhibiting other unusual behaviours as well, such as incessant meowing and restlessness.
2. Change their feeding routine
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On the other hand, if your cat has always been active during twilight hours, try feeding your kitty its meal one to two hours before your bedtime. Just like how we naturally feel tired after a satisfying meal, your cat will be more inclined to snooze when you do if you readjust its feeding time like so.
However, some cats may be persistent in waking you up in the middle of the night to ask for more food and treats from you. In such a scenario, refusing to give in to your cats’ requests is more beneficial in the long-run, and will dissuade your cats from habitually waking you up for food.
3. Ignore its behaviour
On that note, one of the most important tools in your arsenal is to simply ignore your cat. Avoid giving in to its requests in a bid to placate it and buy yourself some more time in dreamland. This only translates to attention to your kitty, and may backfire and encourage its nightly behaviour instead.
Keep in mind that negative responses such as pushing it away or removing it from the room also constitutes as attention to your feline friend, so make sure you stay firm in your resolve and ignore it unless it’s behaving uncharacteristically.
4. Schedule more playtime
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Playing with your kitty for about an hour before their evening meal is also a good way to help them readjust their body clock. The use of interactive toys and gadgets such as dangle rods or laser pointers are simple ways to tire them out, making it easier for them to fall asleep at night.
In addition, you can also consider purchasing climbing racks that can provide your cats with daytime entertainment. This encourages them to stay active even while you are busy and away during the day.
As long as you have ensured that your kitty is safe and healthy, adopting these small changes to their routine will go a long way in helping them to readjust their internal clock, and you can definitely look forward to getting a good night rest!