You’ve just reached a deep sleep and your flighty feline has chosen now to want attention. But what can you do to prevent this from becoming a recurring theme?
Cats are creatures of habit, so as long as you stick to training methods and ignore unwanted behavior, your cat will soon learn to adapt to the new rules. Supplying stimuluses both before bed and for them independent of you while you sleep can also help with keeping the kitty occupied.
What are Common Reasons?
Cats were not always domesticated creatures, and those who are feral in the wild will need to catch an average of 8-13 small prey animals daily to sustain themselves. Furthermore the animals that cats tend to go after are quite often nocturnal themselves. This makes the shadow of darkness not only good by means of cover and sneaking up on unsuspecting prey, but is the most active time to find that tasty meal.
Your indoor cat may have you providing routine meals throughout the day, but just providing food is not going to remove the pent-up energy your cat has for hunting and needs to be released in some way. Like a tightly coiled spring, something has to give and it is these times you will often find your furry companion experiencing zoomies as if they were being chased with hounds at their heels!
**It is important to note whether this is sudden onset and intense behavior as this could be a result of an illness and veterinary advice should be sought out in these cases.**
What Steps Can You Take?
First and foremost you will need to address the excess energy your feline companion is storing. It is good practice to play with your cat – with any toys, such as wands that help stimulate catching prey – before each meal to relieve some of the pent-up energy they had built ready to find their next meal. An extra playtime at night is also a great way to assure your playful feline is as ready for bed as you are.
Play should not just be limited to mealtimes, though. Need to take a break from work? Go take fluffy for a quick play! The less time your moggy has to sleep during the day, the less energy they will have come nightfall to play gatekeeper on your peaceful rest.
Remember, just because your cat is domesticated in many ways, they are still a wild animal and still have these instincts!
Other than play, you can invest in treat toys and other such independently interactive toys that also help with stimulation with food rewards in a similar vein to their natural hunting practices. These treat toys do not need to break the bank either and many tutorials are available online for you to make your own from everyday household items.
What NOT to Do.
For your cat waking you up to become a problem enough for you to seek resolution, it would suggest this is not a one time pattern of behavior. In many instances, this is your cat’s way of training you to work to a routine they want – feeding on demand.
Now when they are getting to you at a vulnerable time where you are tired and desperate for a quick fix, it’s easy to cave in and give them the attention or food they are asking for in the hopes of getting that sweet shut-eye. However, what you are doing here is positively rewarding the behavior and encouraging further repeat offenses. The best thing to do is to simply ignore them – they will get bored soon enough – hide yourself under the blankets if you must – but under no circumstances should you give in.
It is also not always advisable to suddenly start shutting your cat out of the room if they have previously been given full reign. In some cats this can lead to detrimental territory marking behaviors that could leave you with damaged property that may or may not be ‘marked’ with your kitty’s scent in protest of the shut-out.
It will take some time and patience, but pretty soon your tremulous tabby will be leaving you to a peaceful trip to dreamland.
It can be frustrating when anything begins to impact our sleep and any cat owner knows that when your mischievous moggy wants something, they will be very persistent to get it. The key here is that you need to be just as persistent in showing that you decide the rules and routines and not your cheeky sleep-stealer.
With that being said, it is also important to understand and recognize if your cat is not getting enough daily stimulation to tire them out for those twilight hours of restful peace. Nothing comes without a little effort and the solution may indeed mean putting in that little extra work to tucker your little mouser.
Hello! My name is Stacey and I’m a cat enthusiast from merry old England. I spend my days taking care of a haughty tripod kitty and her plucky nemesis and have trained my tripod to walk at the heel like a dog to join me on shopping journeys.