How to get a cat to sleep through the night

Getting a cat to sleep through the night can be a challenge, but with a few simple steps you can make it happen.

First, make sure your cat has a comfortable bed and sleeping area. A soft, warm bed is essential, and make sure the sleeping area is dark and quiet. If your cat is used to being woken up during the night, it will be difficult to get her to sleep through the night.

Second, make sure you are consistent with your cat's sleep schedule. Cats are creatures of habit, and if you try to force them to sleep through the night, they will likely resist. Stick to a regular sleep schedule and your cat will soon get used to sleeping through the night.

Finally, keep a close eye on your cat during the night. If she wakes up frequently, chances are she is not getting enough sleep. Try to keep an eye on her throughout the night and give her a few minutes to calm down before trying to get her back to sleep.

Have you ever wondered why your cat sleeps all day but finds your toes, ears, and every toy in the house the most amusing thing ever when it's time to go to bed?

Or do you find yourself sleeping with one eye open because your cat pounces on anything moving under the covers? How about having your ankles chased if you get up in the middle of the night?

You're not alone if you're wondering why your cat wakes you up at night and how to get your cat on the same sleep schedule as you.

Why Does Your Cat Refuse to Sleep at Night?

Cats frequently appear to be out of sync with our wake/sleep cycles, and this is true.

Humans are diurnal by nature, which means we are awake during the day and sleep at night. You might think that cats are only active at night, but this is not the case. Cats are crepuscular creatures.

Crepuscular animals are most active in the late evenings and early mornings, so they are winding up just as we are. This is the most popular time for cats to play, hunt, and engage in other basic activities.

In the wild, this is also the time when many of their prey animals (such as rodents) awaken and begin to move around, making it an ideal time for a predator (such as your cat) to be awake and hunting.

Many domesticated cats still exhibit these behaviors. Cats will typically sleep 18 hours per day, spread out over a series of 78-minute naps. They sleep during the day and at night, only to wake up and become active right before we go to bed, and again shortly before we want to get up. This could be a major clash!

So, how do you get your cat on a more compatible schedule so you can sleep?

How to Make a Cat Sleep at Night

Just as some people are night owls and others are early birds, most cats have fairly predictable sleep/wake cycles. It is not always possible to persuade them to change their ways. However, if your cat is waking you up at night, there are some things you can try.

An older cat who is restless and howls at night is an important exception to these rules. There are a variety of medical issues that can cause older cats to appear "needy" at night. Typically, these cats are well-behaved until they begin pacing at night, howling, and generally acting anxious. If this is the case, take your cat to a veterinarian as soon as possible for an exam and bloodwork to rule out any underlying illnesses.

Otherwise, here are some approaches you can take.

Try keeping your cat awake for longer periods of time.

The simplest step is to prevent your cat from taking a few late-afternoon naps. If you can keep your cat awake for most of the evening, they may be tired enough to sleep when you go to bed.

Playing games with your cat, such as catch the laser pointer dot, fetch, and feather teasers, can help to tire out eager cats. The longer you can keep your cat awake, the more likely it is that they will "crash" and sleep when you are not around.

Keep your cat occupied while you're away.

These play sessions also address another common reason cats keep you awake at night: boredom and loneliness. If your cat spends the day alone at home while you are at work, they may be eager to spend time with you in the evening. Unfortunately, this may conflict with your bedtime relaxation routine.

Keeping them awake and engaged during the day while you're gone may aid in their sleep at night. Here are some techniques to consider.:

  • Allowing your cat to watch television (try nature shows)

  • Feeding your cat with a puzzle toy rather than a bowl, so that your cat has to work for their food.

  • Set smart bowls to open at specific times to dispensing treats

Food and treats are excellent motivators for keeping cats busy and entertained, but it is critical not to overfeed or over-treat your cat.

Over the course of 24 hours, divide a healthy portion recommended by your veterinarian. Because canned food contains fewer calories per volume than dry food, using canned food for the majority of your meals may help balance out any dry food you feed in puzzle toys or as treats.

At bedtime, give your cat a small meal.

Cats, like humans, tend to fall asleep shortly after eating, so offering a small meal right before bedtime may encourage your cat to eat and sleep. If your cat likes to wake you up for food, especially in the early morning hours, try programming a smart bowl (automatic pet food feeder) to deliver food at that time.

Create separate sleeping areas.

If none of the other suggestions have worked, you may need to take control of your own space and shut the door. You can also create a comfortable "cat space" where your cat can sleep but not bother you. This could be as simple as providing a room with food, water, toys, and a litter pan.

Try not to respond to demands unless absolutely necessary.

If this is not the case, and your cat simply wants you to get up (for example, to play or deliver food), and you respond by getting up just to get them to leave you alone, your cat has now taught you to respond rather than the other way around.

Pushing away a kitten that is pouncing on you has turned into a game. Getting up at 4 a.m. to feed your cat.m. Because you want to sleep in on a Saturday morning teaches them that if they pester long enough, they will get what they want.

Ignore the behavior completely and take steps the next night to prevent it from happening in the first place, no matter how difficult it is. If your cat is older and suddenly appears more needy at night, take them to the vet and don't ignore the behavior.

Be patient.

Many, if not most, cats can be trained to sleep normally all night. However, changing these behaviors takes time, patience, and understanding—not punishment.

Kittens may require time to develop healthy habits, and mature cats may require assistance to change any habits they may have developed. Before beginning a behavioral modification program, older cats should have a medical examination.

How do I get my cat to stop waking me up at 4 a.m.?

Toys and puzzles can provide mental stimulation for your cat, helping to tire them out so they don't wake you up. . You can leave the toy or puzzle out at night to keep them entertained while you sleep. This solution is especially effective if your cat is bored. Play with your cat before going to bed.

Can you teach your cat to sleep through the night?

With a few changes during the day, you can train or encourage your cat to sleep at night. The most important aspect is to not reward your cat's nighttime behavior with attention, but rather to schedule daytime play and feeding with your cat. Play will keep your cat awake.

Why is my cat not sleeping through the night?

Did you know that cats are primarily nocturnal creatures, with irregular sleep-wake cycles?. This sleep schedule, combined with a lack of daytime activity, is the primary cause of your cat's inability to sleep at night. It's also why they appear to prefer playing at night.

How can I get my cat to stop waking me up at night?

To manage nighttime activity, gradually alter the cat's schedule. Cat owners can try to gradually change the cat's schedule by encouraging play and feeding during the day and earlier evening hours, so that the cat's schedule matches that of the humans in the household.