If you’re a cat owner, an incessant meow right around 3 AM is probably a fact of life. Or maybe your cat noisily knocks things around – or, possibly, she simply sits on your face. All of these are experienced by even the most devoted cat owners, and it’s really cute. That is, until it really isn’t.
Cats are nocturnal animals by nature. Often, they simply don’t get enough stimulation during the day. The trick is to exercise them enough during daylight hours so that at night you’re both getting a more restful sleep.
The ideal routine for a cat is: Hunt – Catch – Kill – Eat – Groom – Sleep
1. Hunt/Catch/Kill – It’s important to satisfy your cat’s predatory instincts. During your set interactive playtime with your cat, use wand toys, laser pointers, or automatic toys to provide mental and physical stimulation for your cat. “Da Bird” toy by GoCat is one of our favorite toys available! Try doing this within an hour or so of their final meal.
2. Eat – Firstly, it’s important to establish set meal times — don’t fall into the temptation of free feeding! Ideally, a cat should eat every six to eight hours, but if this is not realistic with your schedule, twice daily usually does the trick.
Feeding your cat before you go to sleep lengthens the time during which they will be full and helps them sleep.
3. Groom – If your cat enjoys being brushed, this is a great thing to do before bed to get them relaxed and ready to sleep. As all cat owners know, there’s nothing cuter than a cat who loves being groomed.
The most important thing to do while establishing the new schedule is to IGNORE. Cats that intentionally wake you up thrive on attention- either positive or negative. If you ignore their behavior, you take away the reward! If you follow your cat’s new routine, you should notice a significant difference in your sleep schedule in 8-12 days. Plus, who knows? You might even get some extra cuddles!