Cat owners can have challenges sleeping at night because their feline friends tend to keep them awake. Cats may grab at toes or “comb” their owner’s hair during the night, among other things that keep them awake.
Do cats adapt to your sleep schedule? They can adjust and sleep through the night but you must work with them to get them on your routine. That means including more play, changing some feeding times, and creating a more stimulating environment for when you’re away.
The article below explains why your cat gets a nighttime personality and how to manage it.
A Cat’s Rhythm
Every living thing has a rhythm of sleeping and being awake, called circadian rhythms. Humans wake up with the morning sun, wind down as the sun sets, and sleep through the night.
Cats are crepuscular, which means they are highly active during the early morning and late-night hours. This is a passed down train from their wildlife ancestors who knew their optimal prey moved during the late-evening and early-morning hours.
You may notice your cat wanting to play hard as you get ready for bed. He grabs at the sheets you are pulling down to crawl into bed, as well as plays with house slippers, and pounces on pillows.
Cats sleeping habits include sleeping about 18 hours a day with that time broken down into smaller naps of about 78 minutes each. They also sleep in the middle of the night but will get up before their human counterparts, sometimes pawing at them to wake them up.
A challenge to changing a cat’s sleeping pattern is daytime boredom. Many cat owners work or go to school during the day, leaving the cat alone. The cat becomes bored so he sleeps. That means he will be raring to go while you are winding down at night.
How to Change a Cat’s Sleep Time?
You can do many different things to get your cat suited to your schedule, although it can take weeks or months to make the transition complete.
The easiest thing you can do is keep your cat awake more and longer during the day and early evening. That will tire him out for bed. You can do this by playing games with your feline and taking him for walks.
Add Stimulation to the Environment
Changing a few things in your home can help keep your cat stimulated while you’re away during the day. Puzzle toys that use food, smart bowls that open at designated times for treats, and leaving the television on nature shows can help keep your cat mentally stimulated.
Other things like a scratching post, safe hiding areas like cardboard boxes, a cat water fountain, and an outdoor enclosure so your cat can sit outside all make for good options.
Giving your cat a small meal before bed will help your cat fall asleep faster. Anyone will fall asleep after a meal. The automatic smart feeding bowls can be a lifesaver if your cat is waking you up too early for eating.
Don’t Give In to Demands
Cats learn from you! Cat owners that get up out of bed whenever their cat needs something are teaching their pets bad behaviors. Set a routine schedule and stick to it. Your cat will learn the schedule.
How do I get my kitten to settle down at night?
Kittens are going to be more active than adult cats. They just have more energy. Play hard with them in the evening and then feed them before bedtime. Pick them up, pet them and let them curl next to you as you are getting ready for sleep. They will go to sleep.
My older cat suddenly will not sleep at night, what do I do?
Older cats who suddenly refuse to sleep at night may have health issues. Take your cat to your vet immediately.
Why does my cat have to sleep next to me?
Animals, cats especially, love human contact when they sleep. Cats like the warmth of your body heat and your blankets. They trust you and also want to protect you.
Do cats dream?
Cats go through REM sleep like humans. That is the dream state of sleep. Those who watch their cats sleep will notice some twitching of the legs and mouth. Your cat may even make sounds like growling and hissing. This is evidence of dreaming, according to researchers.
Is it normal for a cat to sleep all night?
Some cats have been trained by their owners to sleep through the night. However, cats with health issues may suddenly sleep much more or less than normal for them. Take them to the vet if this happens.
Is it okay for my cat to sleep in my bed?
Yes, it is fine to sleep with your cat. The only issue is allergies. There are risks of some diseases like ringwork or cat scratch disease but those aren’t significant risks for those with healthy cats.
The only other problems may be adjusting to your cat’s movements and noises.
What do cats do at night?
Cats love to play and vocalize at night. Some will suddenly start jumping on furniture and pouncing on feet under the covers at nighttime. They will do anything to fulfill their hunting instincts.
Why does my cat go nuts at 3 a.m.?
A cat’s sleep-wake cycle is different from humans so a cat being awake at 3 a.m. isn’t unusual. It is probably exacerbated by your cat sleeping a lot during the day or he just has a lot of energy that needs an outlet.
Try to keep him up more during the day and play hard with him throughout the evening, He may settle down at night if he is stimulated a lot throughout the day.
Do cats know when you’re asleep?
Yes, cats can tell when you’re sleeping. It doesn’t matter though because cats will wake you up to get them something they want. It’s what they do.