It’s 3am and you are all cozy in bed when all of the sudden you have a paw in your face and incessant meowing…you may be asking yourself “why in the world is my cat doing this?!” Below we have some answers and solutions to your new nighttime terror…
Why your cat could be so active during the night:
- Boredom: Cats who sleep all day are ready to play when you get home for work, which is just the opposite of what you would like to do after a long day’s work. Try finding some fun interactive toys to entertain them during the day or when you get home.
- Hunger: Cats have a set rhythm. If they get hungry in the middle of the night, they will try to wake you. Make sure you do not give in to getting up and feeding them in the middle of the night or it might lead to our next point.
- Habit: If your feline friend is waking you up in the middle of the night and food or petting is the way to make them happy, be aware that you are getting them into a habit and rewarding an unwanted behavior. This can lead to them getting into a routine and causing a 4am wake up call every day.
- Illness: Illnesses like arthritis or hyperthyroidism can keep your kitty awake at night. We are also more likely to notice problems and reactions of our pets at night when the rest of the house is quiet. If you feel like your cat is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is time to call in the professionals-we are always here for you!
- Reproduction: Cats who are not spayed or neutered are more likely to keep you up at night due to their hormones that trigger certain behaviors like howling or acting restless.
Good news-there are ways to help fix it!
- Schedule kitty playtime: schedule a time where you can give them your undivided attention for at least 10-15 minutes a day. This will not only help to strengthen your bond with them, but also help to expend their pent up energy.
- Regulate mealtime: Cats do love routine. Start by doing their playtime, then feed just before bedtime and they will be more likely to sleep through the night. Cats will rely more on the actions and sequence than the actual time of day we do everything.
- Ignore the behavior: It is much easier said than done, but try to ignore the unwanted behavior. It is recommended to not even scold the behavior, but to completely ignore the behavior all together with no reactions. Breaking the pattern of giving them attention will help to stop the unwanted behavior.
- Veterinary check-up: There can be some underlying health issues like hyperthyroidism or dental issues that could be causing them to stay awake all night due to them being painful or uncomfortable. Call us to set up an exam to check if there is anything going on that can’t be seen.
- Spay and Neuter: Not only does this help with population control, it also has MANY health benefits. It can also help to prevent any unwanted nighttime behaviors because no one wants to listen to their cat howling at 3am.