Many cat owners struggle with the fact that their frisky feline decides to wake up and play in the middle of the night. What is an owner to do?
A lot of people think of domestic cats as being nocturnal, and while this is not entirely true, we find they sleep on and off throughout the day and night. Cats actually sleep about twice as much as people, so getting your cat to settle down when you want it to should not be a problem.
I have four indoor cats. If left to their own devices the two youngest run around the house like idiots about an hour after the humans have gone to bed, sometimes involving the other cats. As such I have had to find a solution to my cats playful nighttime activities. Below I will list some solutions and tips for you, the concerned, and tired, cat owner.
One of my good cats.
If your cats have access to the outdoors it is not a good idea to put them out at night. This is when most dangerous predators are active, and the cats cannot be seen by drivers. Try not to use putting them out at night as a way of getting sleep. You may find if you increase the amount of time they spend out in the day that they will sleep more at night. Building a safe cat enclosure is one way of allowing them out but keeping them safe too.
Feeding cats properly helps maintain their natural body cycle. Cats are browsers in the sense they like to eat several small meals throughout the day. So cats that have free choice access to their dry food have more natural way of eating, thus a more natural way of sleeping.
Proper food may make a difference. Consumers should be well aware to avoid pet foods containing food colorings. Food colorings serve no other purpose than to appeal to the human buyer. Some cats (like some people) have sensitivity to some color dyes resulting in hyper activity and behavior. As an added note the foods that use food coloring are typically low quality foods, containing more filler than nutrition. See the links provided at the bottom of the page.
A sleeping kitty!
Playing with the cat before bed time is a good idea. Cats are particularly fond of toys they think are new, or have not seen for a while. It is not a good idea to have every cat toy out in your house all the time. Rather you may find that having a container of 15 or so assorted types of cat toys, and putting out 3-4 toys at a time, is a good way to get the cats to play with their toys. A half hour of play time right before bed should help tire them out. Put the toys away at the end of the day, and be sure to put some out the next morning. Look for honeysuckle toys and cat nip toys to keep among your cat toy collection.
Give it a restless day. If you catch your cat napping in the hours before bed, pick it up and encourage some activities. Remember that on the whole they do need more sleep than us.
Locking a cat up in the basement is not cruel, and may be the best solution. The cat should have its litter box in the basement, a place to sleep, and food and water.
I probably dont have to tell you, but this is the cat that causes most of the problems. Just look at that face!
Divide and conquer! If you have more than one cat, as I do, the best idea is to separate them at night. Pick the one who is most dog like, that being the one who wants to be with you the most. Keep that cat in your bedroom or a childs bedroom. That cat should follow the pattern of the human it is with – and go to sleep. The other cats should be separated accordingly, as putting one in the basement. In my house I take the one cat into the bedroom with me, although he is the biggest trouble maker he settles down immediately. I put the second trouble maker in the basement, and the other two cats remain in the house fine. It works!
Good Luck and may you have many sleep filled nights.
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Published in: Pets