If you are like most people, you work hard during the day and get home tired and sleepy. A goodnight’s sleep is essential for you to remain functional the following day. However, if you have a cat that remains wide awake at night then you have a problem in your hands. A peculiar nocturnal behavior of cats is to paw their human parents when they are sleeping. Sometimes for food, sometimes just for fun and attention. Even if your cat has the sensibility to not wake you up when it’s busy playing Batman, it can be unsafe for a cat to run wild unsupervised. To help you achieve uninterrupted sleep and keep your cat safe, the following are 7 expert tips to manage a nocturnal cat.
Master the Art of Ignorance
Responding to your cat’s midnight shenanigans is only going to encourage it to continue this behavior. Stop incentivising this behavior and refrain from offering a reaction. If your cat is constantly waking you up, it’s best to keep it confined in a room (more on that later). Even if you wake up, try and go back to sleep without interacting with your pet. Any positive or negative reaction can end up reinforcing this habit.
Keep Your Cat Busy During the Day So You Can Sleep at Night
Even if you don’t have the time to play with your cat during the day, you can do a few things to keep it busy.
Catnip toys can work really well in keeping your cat engaged while you are away at work. Buy automatic toys that turn itself on at certain periods during the day. There are quite a few of them out there, so choose carefully.
Do Not Rule Out a Medical Problem
Night-time restlessness in cats may be a sign of underlying health problems. This is more common in cats who suddenly develop a nocturnal problem. Among many health issues, hypothyroidism can be the culprit behind your cat’s nocturnal behavior. Rule out any health issues by taking your cat to the vet’s office for a thorough physical.
Do Not Skip the Evening Playing Sessions with Your Cat
Playing with your cat in the evening or before bedtime will allow it to burn the excess energy. Try it out for a few days to see if your cat responds well.
Create Kitty-Proof Nap Room for Your Cat
As mentioned earlier, you may need to prepare a room to keep your cat confined during night times. Make sure the room is kitty-proof and has an ample supply of food and water for the night.
Refrain from Punishing Your Cat
Scolding and punishments usually do not work and they can lead to other behavioral problems in cats. Focus on humane ways to train your cat to calm down at night without creating a stressful situation.
Never Feed Your Cat at the Middle of the Night
The last thing you want to do is incentivise your cat for waking you up. If your cat knows that it’s going to get food after waking you up it’s going to continue doing that every night. Instead, feed your cat right before going to bed so you know its tummy is nice and full.