How To Keep A Cat Awake During The Day

Do you hear a flutter of cat paws across the floor, pouncing, scratching and meowing all through the night? If you are a light sleeper, you may notice that your cat’s activity level spikes during the night. While some cats are more active than others at night, this comes as no surprise because cats are naturally nocturnal animals, meaning they prefer to sleep during the day and hunt at night. Just because your kitty is domesticated and has easy access to food doesn’t mean that the sleep pattern will shift as soon as you bring her home. Her instincts for night time activity may take over.

It takes some time to gradually change her schedule and shift play time away from late at night, or for you to learn how to live with the behavior of your nocturnal kitty. Play with your cat in the evening before bedtime or throughout the day. If you see your cat sleeping during the day, gently wake her up and encourage play.

Use interactive toys to entice curiosity and wakefulness during the day, especially when you are not home to play with her.  Allow your cat to safely explore the outdoors during the day to stimulate her brain. Try to ignore the nighttime behaviors. Giving a response will provide your cat the engagement she is looking for and she will just want to play more.

Keeping the Bedroom Quiet

Changing the behavior may be your first route of action, but living with your cat requires some compromise. The play schedule shift may take time and patience, so you may need to change some of your habits, too. Set the tone that the bedroom is a no-play zone and keep all cat toys out of the room.

Of course cats can decide that rolled up socks and paper scraps are fun too so put away other potential “toys” as well. Keep the bedroom door closed while you sleep. Use a fan or a sound machine to drown out outside noises if you are a light sleeper.

Designate an area or room away from the bedroom as the play space so you won’t hear as much commotion. Because night activity is a natural instinct in cats, it can take time for certain felines to adjust even while others quickly change their habits.

Be patient with your kitty and you will both be much happier in the long run.

Cats have different sleep-wake cycles than other animals and are often busy at night. This is because cats are crepuscular, which means they hunt and are active in the evening or early morning.

Your good night’s sleep is extremely important to your health and shouldn’t be interrupted by your kitty. It can be even worse for people with sleep disorders, who may have problems going back to sleep after being awakened by a demanding cat.

There’s no need to suffer from cat-related sleep deprivation, though. If medication or pharmaceutical sleep aids aren’t an option for you, experiment with one or more tried-and-true tactics for getting a full night’s sleep and still give your kitty the attention it craves. This cat behavior at night is sometimes called the night crazies and may cause lack of sleep for cat owners. If your cat won’t let you sleep, there are things you can do to help.

A single cat may easily become bored when it’s home alone all day and may expect its human companion to provide attention at night. A second cat may offer companionship during the day and may lessen those nocturnal urges to wake you for play. This is especially true of kittens, who have much more energy to burn during their first year of growth. Two kittens are almost always better than one and often is a great time for cat’s to be introduced.​ Selecting a second adult cat for your home to get along with your first adult cat can be very difficult and should be done carefully so that your initial cat has a companion that does not cause it stress or vice versa.

If your cat interrupts your sleep early in the morning to seek breakfast, avoid feeding it at the time of it’s demand or it will continue to wake you up this early. Having a safe, designated area such as a spare bedroom where your cat can sleep, eat and drink and potty that is not in your bedroom can be helpful to your sleep schedule and relationship with your cat.

Give Them Plenty To Eat And Drink

Depending on your cat’s feeding schedule, it might be a good idea to feed them just before bed, ensuring that they’ll have food and water available throughout the night. Within reason, of course, as maintaining a healthy diet is just as important. If your cat isn’t on a particular feeding schedule or diet, having some treats or food toys hidden about the house might keep them engaged and full until the next day rolls around.

Change the feeding schedule. Cats often fall asleep after eating. Changing the amount of food and feeding your cat more often during the day can keep your cat active while you’re away. You can use an automatic feeder with smaller amounts of food set at different times throughout the day.

Changing the type of food and moving evening meals to later at night might also make your cat sleepy before bed. If your cat tends to wake up early for food, set an automatic feeder for early morning.  Don’t allow feeding in the middle of the night, though, as this will teach your cat to stay awake for food.

Manage your own space. If daytime changes don’t work, shut your bedroom door and keep your cat out of your room. Set up a cozy sleep area with a litter box as far away from your room as possible. Put a towel at the bottom of the door to stop any door scratching or rattling.

Keep Your Cat Busy During The Day

Having too many cat naps during the day will reduce the amount of sleep your cat gets at night. The key is to keep your kitty as awake and as active as you can during daylight hours. Making a food puzzle is a simple and effective way to increase mental and physical stimulation during meal times. 

If you’ve been out of the house most of the day, you should make time to play with your cat in the evening. Just like us, they need interaction and companionship. Without it, they can feel lonely, anxious and bored at night, which could lead to some early morning meowing while you’re trying to sleep.

Medications may help. If your cat doesn’t respond to any other adjustments, your vet may prescribe medication or natural sleep remedies like melatonin or valerian. However, your cat can develop a tolerance to sleeping medications and they may not work after a few nights.  Treating health problems like hyperthyroidism or dementia that cause hyperactivity or sleep disturbances may also help with cat night behavior.

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