‘Help, my cat is keeping me awake all night’ is a common refrain from cat owners. We’ve all experienced that persistent paw tapping in the early hours of the morning as our feline friend tries to wake us. Or the incessant meowing or knocking items off furniture to get attention.
It’s infuriating, no matter how much you love them, and it’s bad for your health.
Here are things you can do to break these bad habits:
My cat is nocturnal
Don’t feel you’re trapped by your cat’s habits because cats are nocturnal and therefore awake all night. That’s not true. Cats are crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk) and that’s when they’re programmed to hunt.
A healthy diet helps
Cheaper foods tend to contain fewer nutrients. Give your cat better food to ensure more restful sleep.
Like humans, cats need to play
Cats like to play. Stop them pawing you at 3am by keeping them busy during the day. Check out the wide range of toys at EberVet Vetshops or make your own; a paper ball, a box with holes in it and a toy tied to a piece of string (which you’ll need to pull) will keep her busy. If you have a climbing castle for your cat, tie dangling toys to it at various heights to keep her occupied while you sleep. Remember, a cat that’s played all day is more likely to sleep all night.
Re-consider your sleeping arrangements
It’s said that up to 62% of cat owners allow the cats to sleep on their beds. If this is you, make sure you have enough room on the bed to stretch out comfortably. Cats are very territorial; once allowed on the bed they’ll consider it part of their domain and getting them off it can be difficult.
Don’t give in to that persistent paw
Let her know who’s boss. If you want your cat to learn to leave you alone during the night, ignore her pawing. If you give in and start playing with her, she’ll learn that she can win and consider herself the dominant one in the house.
Feed your cat at night
Cats tend to sleep well after a feast so time her evening meal to just before your bedtime.