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Why Does My Cat Keep Waking Me Up at Night?

Does your cat keep you up at night? Perhaps you’ve been asleep for an hour or so before you’re rudely awaken by a pouncing cat attacking your feet, cat calling or scratching. It’s not that uncommon but it is extremely tiring and often frustrating, especially when you have work in the morning. Why do cats wake you up at night? Here are the most common reasons.

    1. The cat isn’t getting enough stimulation during the times when they’re awake

    2. Your cat has a different schedule to yours

    3. Your cat is thirsty or hungry

    4. Your cat is not happy with the state of the litter tray

    5. Your cat is bored

    6. Your cat wants some company

    7. Your cat has a medical issue

    We will touch briefly on reason seven. Older cats may have an underlying illness that is causing them to change their nightly behaviour. If this behaviour is new, if they appear sick or stressed and you are unsure why, take your cat to the vet for a check-up. It’s also a good idea to take your cat to the vet if none of the tips on how to stop your cat waking you during the night work for you.

    How to Stop Your Cat Waking You at Night

    The most common reason for cats to wake up their owners at night is down to lack of stimulation and exercise. This is often more of a problem with indoor cats as they don’t have the freedom to go out and play, hunt, prowl, or roam. The cat is left indoors, often alone for many hours. It’s also important to remember that cats naturally will sleep all day and be up all night. Therefore, it’s only natural for them to want to play around during the small hours.

    The good news is you can stop your cat from waking you by devoting some of your time and attention to your pet. You will need to retrain your cat to help both of your daily schedules to align.

      • Play with your cat for an hour before your bedtime. This needs to be energetic play, replicating hunting with running and climbing as well as mental stimulation. Spend as long as possible in that hour ensuring your cat has your attention and is being stimulated to a high level.
      • Feed your cat and fill up the water bowl after play, right before you go to bed.
      • Once in bed, ignore your cat if they try to continue play.
      • Maintain this new routine every day.

      This is usually enough to stop your cat waking you. However, it is important to remember that there needs to be other times of play and stimulation throughout the day such as before work and when you return home. Indoor cats require a lot more of your time than outdoor cats, you do need to put the time in.

      Other options you have is to increase outdoor access with the use of a safe cat containment system. Adding and cat enclosure or cat fencing to your garden and a cat flap on your door will provide your cat with a lot more stimulation and play activities. You could also consider adding a companion to the family but do think carefully before choosing this option. Not all cats are happy when a second animal enters the home and you will increase your own ‘workload’.

      Making extra effort with your cat and promoting more suitable play times will help you and your family to get an uninterrupted night’s sleep. Let us know if any of these tips help you and share any other advice you may have with us over on our Facebook page