Having a cat is both fulfilling and adorable but can be annoying when she goes crazy at night and disturbs you at an unholy hour. If you are losing sleep and on the brink of surrender, do not lose hope! You can match your cat’s sleep schedule with yours and get her to sleep at night.
How to get your cat to sleep at night?
These are some effective measures on how to get your cat to sleep at night:
1. Rule out any health issues first.
Before you start to adjust your cat’s sleep schedule so she can sleep at night, address any health concerns first. Your cat may be awake, making weird noises and meowing excessively at night because she is in pain due to an injury, she is anxious, because of hormonal imbalances or health issues like deafness or hyperthyroidism. Your cat may also be restless and pacing the room because of a flea infestation. Bring her to the vet for a checkup.
Senior cats can become more vocal since they have decreased hearing abilities and kittens tend to be awake more since they have lots of energy to spare.
2. Play with your cat to burn off her energy.
Cats tend to wake up at night since they like to play and have much energy to spare. This is because they sleep for most of the day, especially if they are alone at home. Felines are crepuscular creatures and they sleep for 16 hours or more and they are awake and alert from dusk to early dawn.
Schedule playtime with her especially during the day to burn off her energy and provide her with the needed exercise. Cats tend to be less needy and clingy if they are given attention through playtime. Provide interactive toys that your cat will truly enjoy and help stimulate her mental abilities.
3. Feed your cat her main meal before your bedtime.
You can get your cat to sleep at night by giving her the main meal just before your bedtime. Just like humans, digestion makes cats sleepy. For cats to adapt to the rhythm and your sleep schedule, feed them with a big meal at least one or two hours before your bedtime. They will often groom themselves after the meal and head off to dreamland at around the same time as you do.
If your cat continues to wake you during night time because she feels hungry, get a timed feeder that you can set up and fill with food so that it will dispense at least twice during night time. Your cat will learn to use the feeder and will not bother you anymore. Just make sure that the meal sizes are reduced to avoid overfeeding your cat.
4. Establish a bedtime routine with your cat.
Just as you would settle your kids for a bedtime story before they go to sleep, you should guide your cat to establish a routine, too. Lower down the television volume and turn the lights low or just leave a lamplight on to create a relaxing ambiance. See to it that your cat’s sleeping quarters are inviting for her by sprinkling some catnip. It should also smell familiar by placing your old shirt or her favorite blanket to help her calm down.
If you have already done the above-mentioned measures yet your cat still won’t settle down, ignore her. This feline psychology approach can be effective with a considerable amount of strong will and patience on your part. Do not feed, pet or scold her as she tries to lord it over during your bedtime. Your cat will most likely get tired of being ignored and will stop her nighttime tantrums.
How to get an older cat to sleep at night
Here are some tips to get an older cat to sleep at night:
- calm her down with the help of pheromones like Feliway
- create safe spaces for her like an igloo-type bed or a cardboard box with a blanket inside
- play with her during the day and provide senior-friendly toys like puzzle and activity feeders
- place her litter box in an accessible area where she can easily reach it or try adding litter boxes and positioning it in strategic areas at home
Cats can be a handful when they won’t settle down during your bedtime. Get your cat to sleep at night in time with your sleep schedule by feeding her a main meal at least two hours before your bedtime. Having a full stomach never fails to make cats sleepy. You should also schedule playtime with her during the day and early evening to zap her energy and establish a bedtime routine that she can adapt to.
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