Is your quality of sleep suffering because your cat keeps waking you at night? This is something that nearly every cat owner experiences at one point or another. The bad news for you is that kitties are more active at night, but don’t stress because there are some things you can do to change your cat’s sleep schedule. Let’s discuss the reasons your cat may be keeping you up at night and what you can do about it.
Understanding Your Cat’s Sleep Patterns
According to CatChannel, four general sleep patterns apply to cats, and those are:
- About 10% of cats sleep the entire day and are very active at night.
- Around 25% are active at dusk and dawn, then take naps throughout the night and day.
- Nearly 25% sleep through the night and then take a few naps during the day.
- The other 40% of cats simply take naps throughout the day and night.
Understanding your cat’s individual sleep pattern is the first step to determine what you can do to make changes. Just don’t get discouraged or feel alone with this issue because nearly 39% of cat owners say they get woken up on some nights each week. Some people find they get woken up less when allowing their cats to sleep on the bed.
Why Does My Cat Wakes Me Up at Night?
By nature, cats are nocturnal animals. This means they sleep most of the day, so they can stay up all night to hunt or play. Here are some common reasons cats wake owners up at night:
- A Medical Problem. Cats are sensitive, so something as minor as a toothache can keep them up all night. If getting woken up by your cat is a new problem, this could be the reason. The best thing you can do is take your cat to the vet to rule out medical issues.
- Hunger or Thirst. If your kitty is hungry or thirsty, there’s no doubt they’re going to let you know. This is one of the most common reasons for cats meowing at night.
- Lack of Stimulation. When cats don’t receive enough stimulation, exercise, or enrichment, they may start to want it at the wrong time of day. This is especially true if you and the rest of the family are gone every day, and the cat spends a great deal of time alone.
- For Fun. Yes, you read that correctly. Some cats will wake you at night to simply mess with you. This may be the case if you wake up only to lock eyes with your cat for one second before they runoff.
- Want Petting. Some cats just want love at the wrong time of day. So, your kitty may get lonely and decide to curl up next to you for some petting in the middle of the night.
How to Stop Your Cat From Waking You Up at Night?
For starters, it’s essential to know that cats need between 16 and 18 hours of sleep in a day. There are several techniques you can use to avoid these common reasons cats wake you at night. If you’re proactive with it, you’ll find that getting your cat to stay quiet at night is easier than you think. Just make sure that each family member is informed of the changes and that they are on board to help if needed.
Increase Play Time
Schedule an hour of interactive playtime each night just before bed. It’s also a great idea to end the play session with a light snack or small treat so that your cat isn’t hungry in the middle of the night.
Ignore the Behavior
If you’ve made the mistake of waking up for your cat’s needs in the past, then it’s likely to happen again. So, if you’ve taken other steps to combat the problem and your kitty still wakes you, ignore it. After a few attempts, your cat will learn they’re not getting what they want and may leave you alone.
Make Your Bedroom Off-limits
While you probably don’t want to shut your cat out of your room, there may be no other choice in certain situations. This is especially true if you suffer from a sleeping disorder. There’s no doubt you’ll feel bad for not allowing your kitty around you at night, but to help feel better, give your cat a comfortable bed in a separate bedroom, along with some food, water, and litterbox access.
Get Your Kitty A Friend
Sure, cats are independent animals, but they still crave affection and companionship. If you and your family are gone most of the day, leaving your feline home alone, then you should consider adopting a second kitty. They will keep each other company and always have each other to play.
Get Ear Plugs
If all else fails, and you can’t seem to make your cat stop meowing at night, then you may want to invest in earplugs. This may not be ideal, but it is a great last-ditch effort to preserve your sleep!
In conclusion, just because cats are known to be more active at night doesn’t mean this has to interrupt your sleep. Take some time to determine why your cat meows at night and then figure out the best solution to make it stop.
Further reading: What Dog Breed Matches Your MBTI Personality?