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Is Your Cat Waking You Up In The Middle Of The Night?

 by alexandra on 12 Jan 2015 |
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If it has been weeks since you last got a good night’s sleep because of your feline friends, it may be time to investigate why they keep waking you up in the middle of the night. Some reasons include illness, boredom, habit, the need for gratification, or even the lighting of a room.

Some medical conditions inhibit a good night’s sleep for both you and your cat. Even mild ailments can lead to feline restlessness. Some of the more common culprits for sudden onsets of midnight visits are arthritis, hyperthyroidism and high blood pressure, all of which can be diagnosed and treated by a veterinarian. Begin with a visit to your vet if your cat is repeatedly exhibiting unusual behavior at night as the road to recovery will mean you’ll both be sleeping soundly again.

If your cat is alone for most of the day, they can become restless, leaving them energized to play all night. Seek ways to amuse them while you’re out with toys, window perches and innovative feeding methods, such as foraging toys. Interactive play with their human family is also important, whether it be with a laser toy, dangling a wand while you watch TV, or toss a ball around before you leave for work. Keep toys fresh by rotating them and utilize new toys to keep their interest. It is also advised to tire them out for the day with a longer playtime in the evening, at least an hour before lights out. 

Be wary of learned behaviours with regimented feeding patterns just after you wake. These may lead your feline to preemptively wake you for their water or morning meal, invoking the feeding process. If you have you responded to their wake-up calls by giving a cuddle or freshening their water, these can form into learned behaviours and habits which must be stopped with selective attention and ignoring them at the right time.
It is well known that cats see better in the dark due to having more light-sensitive receptors in their eyes. With that, small amounts of light may be quite disruptive. If you leave a nightlight on, sleep with the TV on, or have streetlights shining into your room, that may be just the right light for fun and mischief on the part of your cat. Minimize light in the sleeping area or try room-darkening blinds to discourage activity in your feline.

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