(ORDO NEWS) — You have an important meeting in the morning, and your cat wakes you up at 4 am. Why? And what can you do to prevent this from happening again?
Although the evolution of cats is aimed at nocturnal activity, in the process of domestication, they adapted to the human lifestyle.
Domestic cats tend to be most active early in the morning and at dusk, rather than in the middle of the night. They also change their activity cycles to match their housemates.
This means that if you sleep at night, then your cat should also rest. And many people do sleep with their cat. According to a survey of women in the US, about 30 percent of them slept with at least one cat.
So why do some cats want to play in the wee hours?
The reason your cat wakes you up often helps you figure out how to stop it. Here are three reasons why your cat might wake you up and how to fix it.
1. They are hungry
This is one of the most common reasons. Unfortunately, one of the first things a sleepy person does is feed the cat. This encourages the cat’s behavior and makes it more likely to happen again.
To start addressing this issue, make sure your cat is getting enough food throughout the day. You can feed her a meal or a hearty snack right before bed.
If you usually feed your cat in the morning, you need to make sure your cat doesn’t associate wake up time with breakfast time. Leave a gap of time between getting out of bed and feeding your cat breakfast – try to keep it at least half an hour.
You can also train your cat to associate something else with feeding, such as saying “It’s time for breakfast!”.
2. They don’t have a daily routine
Cats love predictability.
Maintaining a regular daily routine has even been associated with reduced stress levels in cats.
To maintain a routine, make sure that meal times, play times, and any animal care times are the same each day.
Empty your bedding at regular, predictable intervals (dirty or disturbed bedding can also cause your cat to wake you up). Try not to move trays, bowls, and scratching posts unnecessarily.
If something changes in the environment – you go on vacation, rearrange furniture, get a new guest or pet – your cat may return to early morning awakenings. This is typical for cats.
Keep the daily routine as long as possible, and in time your cat will get used to the new normal.
3. They don’t use up their energy during the day.
Everyone knows that cats love to sleep, but they also love to play and move their bodies, just like we do.
It’s important to give your cat access to a variety of toys and resources in the house that she can interact with, especially if you’re away from home often.
Scratching posts give cats the ability to climb and stretch. Balls, soft toys and motorized toys give them the opportunity to play and exercise.
When you’re at home, get your cat to play with an interactive toy (like a cat wand) or play catch-up with her around the house. You can even try to come up with a game that your cat will enjoy.
Cats get bored easily. Add variety to your games. And don’t play with your cat an hour before you want to go to bed. Ideally, playing before leaving the house and after returning home should help your cat calm down for the night.
Help! I made all these changes, but my cat still woke me up!
Your cat may wake you up for a while. In the short term, this behavior may even get worse as your cat adapts. The main thing is not to pay attention to the behavior of the cat at night or early in the morning. Do not get up and, if you can, do not interact with the cat when it wakes you up.
If you’ve tried everything and your cat still wakes you up, it’s time to call your veterinarian. Perhaps the reason for this behavior lies in the state of health.
Hopefully you and your cat can agree on when to sleep and when to stay awake. Definitely, you can love your cat and still get enough sleep.
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