You properly noticed that you and your cat don't always run the same schedule. You are most active during daytime, while your cat can sleep for hours without any hesitation. You sleep tight at night, while your cat suddenly turn into an energetic Olympic sprinter in the house. And you cant help but wonder how you are going to rest while your cat is in a hyper active state.
You see, cats are very playful at night due to their ancestral trait of hunting at night when the bigger predators are at sleep and the smaller preys are leaving their hiding. This day and night cycle is programmed into their internal clock, which allow them to hunt most effectively. They instinctively want to chase and hunt, but with you as its attentive provider, it does not have to. Other reasons are related to boredom due to lack mental and physical stimulation. But luckily there are ways to break your cat's internal clock allowing you a undisturbed sleep at night.
As seasoned cat-owners, we are glad to offer easy 5 steps that has helped us sleep well at night:
1. Install a window hammock seat to engage cats during day time
Cats love to watch birds flying, insects crawling, people walking by and sunbathing in general. Window hammock seat, otherwise known as, sunny seat or window cat bed can help engage your cat on more daily activities so it will sleep a lot less during day time. As we experienced with our cat, it is likely to become the favorite place to stay during daytime for your cat. Make the bird watching experience even more desirable by installing a bird feeder in front of the view.
2. Playtime before sleep
This method works particularly really well for indoor cats that often do not get enough exercise during day time. About 1 hour before your intended sleep, play with your cat for about 15-20 min. to exhaust its energy level. That would leave your cat in an exhausted stage so it has an easier time falling asleep. The best interactive toys are natural teaser rods and feathered rod toys that encourage lots of running and jumping. Next is to hide all its toys for the remainder of the night so your cat will adjust to the new interactive play period.
3. Large meal just before sleep
After the playtime workout, give your cat a heavy meal before sleep to put your cat a satisfied stage, because no one likes to sleep on an empty stomach, especially not cats. Your cat will now sleep much better without starving during night time. The other benefit of a late meal is to help postpone the usual 5AM morning meal which can be so frustrating if you are not a morning person.
4. Cozy warm bed for sleeping
Most cats would love to sleep in a warm and cozy cat bed and would find that to be a welcoming alternative to sleeping in your bed. No matter the room temperature, cats always prefer to stay in a warm and cozy place that will help them feel safe and protected. Also no matter how warm and cozy your bed is, cats are extremely sensitive to our body movements when we sleep lightly, so having a separate bed for your cat can make a difference to an undisturbed sleep at night.
5. Lock your cat out of the bedroom, Never give in to the meowing...
It’s important that you ignore your cat’s nighttime behaviors. If you don’t, it will think that it's behavior is being rewarded, which reinforces and perpetuates the behavior. Get some good earplugs and keep your bedroom door closed. Once it learns you are not responding every time it tries to wakes you up, your cat will give up trying. Even though cats are hardwired to be active during the night, it is possible to increase the amount of time they sleep and decrease their nocturnal activity.
Never Give In
The 5 steps works for us and we certainly recommend you to try. Sometimes it may take a few days or weeks to get your cat adjusted to these new habits, but it is worth a try. A good night’s sleep for your fluffy friend will translate into a good night’s sleep for you.