When going to sleep you tuck yourself in really tight. You know that the monster under your bed is a real thing. Well, every night he’s after your feet, treating your face like a trampoline. Or he runs like a thing possessed all over the house, knocking off everything on his way. Sounds familiar?
Cats are known to be nocturnal hunters. The Internet is full of pictures of cats sleeping during the day and going bonkers at night. It’s fun to laugh at, but, oddly enough, it’s not so fun when it’s actually happening to us. Woken up in the middle of the night, shaken awake from a deep sleep, we are not as tolerant to our cat’s foibles. But can you really call this all-night-party such an odd thing?
Well, regardless of what you make of it – cats are predators. In their natural habitat they hunt rodents, which are most active after dark and early in the morning. Of course, they may also hunt during the day (e.g. reptiles and small birds). After all a mouse or a vole caught at 4:00 AM will not provide the kitty with sufficient energy for the whole day. Remember though that cat senses are designed to hunt for food in very scarce light. That is – at night. That’s how cats are programmed. Try as you might, you will not change it…
…but you can hack this programme!
If you want your pet to let you have a good night’s sleep, then you should follow these steps. When the evening is drawing near, first of all, tire your cat out with play. Even better – ask your kids to join in. This will tire them out too (win-win situation!). Depending on the age, health and temper of your kitty, vigorous play may last around 15 to 30 minutes. When the cat decides to lie on his side or starts to pant, it’s a sign to move on to the next step – feeding. Give your predator his evening serving of food. Now you may go to sleep. The probability of a late night wake-up is much lower.
Remember, your cat may need a bit of time to get used to sleeping at night. Do not get discouraged when it does not work the first time around. Just treat this evening play time (and the feeding part afterwards) as a new routine. Consequently repeat all the steps every evening. You will see the results fairly soon!
What is your cat up to at night? Are you still struggling with late-night frolics or have you found a way to deal with it?