Cats are active at Night

Cats have a different sleep-wake cycle than other animals, and they are frequently active at night. This is due to the fact that cats are crepuscular, meaning they hunt and are active in the evenings and early mornings.

This type of nighttime cat activity is known as the night crazies, and it can cause cat owners to lose sleep. There are several things you can do to help if your cat won’t let you sleep.

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Signs of Cat Behavior at Night

Different activities from your cat may keep you up at night. These actions may begin in the evening or wake you in the middle of the night, and they include:

  • Wild, excited play across you or your furniture 
  • Nibbling your toes while you sleep
  • Attacking your ears while you sleep
  • Walking across you while you sleep
  • Crying or yowling

Causes of Nocturnal Cat Behavior

Cats are sometimes more active late at night or early in the morning. Your cat’s natural urge to hunt and travel at these times is typically at fault. However, there may be other reasons that contribute to cats’ excessive nocturnal behavior, such as:

Being home alone

While you’re at work or school, you can leave your cat alone at home throughout the day. Your cat may spend the most of the day resting or relaxing during this period. All of that slumber each day can lead to a nocturnally active cat.

Boredom

If your cat spends the most of the day alone, he or she may become bored and search for more connection and attention. Your cat may have additional activity or be waking you up for attention because cats are social animals. This might be a fun way for your cat to interact with other cats.

Hunger

Cats are known for waking up in the middle of the night to feed, which is in line with their natural urge to hunt in the twilight hours.

Old age

As cats get older, they tend to change their sleeping habits. You may notice that your cat is more active at night, which could be due to health issues or the natural aging process.

Health conditions

Certain medical issues can make your cat energetic, uneasy, vocal, and needy at night. These may include the following:

  • Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Chronic illness
  • Dementia that causes problems with
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Poor memory
  • Neediness

Your cat may be naturally more active at night, but if their nocturnal activity suddenly changes and intensifies, you should consult your veterinarian to rule out a health condition.

How to Get Your Cat to Sleep at Night

With a few changes during the day, you may train or encourage your cat to sleep at night. The most crucial element is to schedule daytime play and feeding with your cat rather than rewarding nighttime behavior with attention.

Keep your cat awake with play

When you get home from work or later in the evening, spend time with your cat. Allowing catnaps while playing with or training your cat is not a good idea. This could involve the following:

  • Laser light play
  • Cat teasers
  • Fetch 

Change the feeding schedule

After feeding, cats frequently fall asleep. Changing the amount of food and feeding your cat more frequently throughout the day will help keep your cat active while you’re gone. You can use an automatic feeder to provide lesser amounts of food at various intervals throughout the day.

Changing the type of food and delaying evening meals may also help your cat sleep better before bedtime. Set an automatic feeder for early morning if your cat has a habit of waking up early for food. Feeding your cat in the middle of the night, on the other hand, will train your cat to stay awake for food.

Give your cat daytime activity

A feeding toy filled with food or treats will provide both mental and physical activity for your cat. Purchasing new toys or rotating your cat’s current toys might also keep your cat occupied.

Manage your own space

Close your bedroom door and keep your cat out if daytime modifications don’t work. Set up a comfortable sleeping place with a litter box as far as possible from your room. To avoid door scratching or rattling, place a cloth at the bottom of the door.

Medications may help

If no other changes work, your veterinarian may recommend prescription or natural sleep aids such as melatonin or valerian. Sleeping drugs, on the other hand, can build up a tolerance in your cat and stop working after a few nights.

Treatment for health conditions that induce hyperactivity or sleep difficulties, like as hyperthyroidism or dementia, may also help with cat nocturnal behavior.

Managing Nocturnal Behavior in Cats

You might think that getting up and soothing or feeding your cat will help, but the best thing you can do is ignore your cat’s behavior as much as possible. Your cat may learn to stay awake at night for food and attention if you pay attention to him.

Even if you’re weary or frustrated, remember that your cat’s night activity is natural. Punishing your cat for this common habit will just add to his or her worry. If your cat won’t let you sleep, try changing your everyday routine to allow your cat to get more exercise and play.