My cat won’t let me sleep. How do I solve it?

If you’re here, your cat might be keeping you awake. There are many reasons why cats are nocturnal animals. For starters, they are creatures with metabolisms and needs radically different from ours. For that reason, in some cases, it can be challenging for them to adapt to the lifestyle of humans, especially when it comes to nocturnal habits. The problem, often, is that you are a special person to your cat, and it likes to be close to you, so indirectly, you are the one who doesn’t sleep, and that’s something you need to solve.

In this article, we will provide you with some tips to help your cat let you sleep and answer some frequently asked questions on the subject. 

Why Isn’t My Cat Sleeping? 

To understand why your cat isn’t sleeping and won’t let you sleep, it’s essential to analyze their natural behavior. On average, an adult cat spends around 50% of the day sleeping, and in some cases, this percentage can be even higher. 

This is because cats are nighttime hunters, so their genetics are designed to activate their instincts when the sun goes down, even if they live in an urban and domestic environment. They can identify small rodents and birds with their night vision. They can identify humans as well. So, at night, when you can’t see your cat, it can see you perfectly.

Another problem that worsens the situation is that, in most cases, owners are away from their homes throughout the day, causing the cat to sleep a lot.  

Not expending their energy during the day leads to the excess of energy manifesting during the nighttime. That’s why many specialists recommend adopting cats in pairs so that they can socialize and expend their excess energy. 

However, their energy is not the only cause. In other cases, it could be because the sleeping place isn’t comfortable, or they have hunger or thirst during the night. In specific situations, it may be due to an illness or ailment, but these illnesses manifest with other symptoms, such as loss of appetite and inactivity, among others. 

Main Causes 

The main causes of this phenomenon can be summarized as follows:  

  • They have too much energy because they sleep during the day.  
  • They are hungry or thirsty and don’t have access to these elements.  
  • They want to explore the surroundings or other areas of the home.  
  • It’s a habitual behavior for them. 
  • It’s a female in heat or a male.  
  • They have some illness that alters their habits and behavior. 
  • It’s a young cat that demands attention all the time. 

What to Do If My Cat Won’t Let Me Sleep? 

There are some measures you can take to prevent your cat from disrupting your sleep, such as:  

Ignore Their Behavior 

This is one of the best ways to deal with this problem, as the cat realizes there’s nothing to do during those hours. If you give them what they want or respond, you reinforce the negative behavior you want to eliminate. 

Avoid Punishments 

Behaviors without responses tend to disappear. Punishments can lead to fear and frustration responses, which, in the long run, have the potential to become other undesirable behaviors. Punishment is never a good option to correct the behavior of a cat that won’t let you sleep.

Change Their Feeding Schedule 

It’s essential that the cat has access to food and water throughout the day. You can also try delaying their breakfast or advancing dinner time. 

Help Them Adapt 

Newly born cats need an adaptation period when they arrive in a new home, so you must be patient. 

Add Another Cat 

For cats that spend a lot of time alone, adding another cat to the house can help them expend more energy during the day and rest at night. 

Take Them to the Vet 

If their nighttime behavior is sudden and accompanied by other strange behaviors, it’s necessary to take them to the vet for a general checkup. 

How to Get Your Cat to Sleep at Night? 

An effective method to get your cat to sleep at night is training them with a specific sleep schedule. This ensures that the cat sleeps enough and allows you to rest properly. 

Many people choose to have their cat sleep in the main bedroom to avoid these situations. However, in some cases, it’s advisable for them to sleep in a designated place. 

It’s also important for the cat to maintain a routine of physical activity during the day. This way, when it’s time to sleep, they have less accumulated energy. The feeding cycle should be regular as well. The best option, however, is to leave their food bowl so they can access it when they want. 

How to Keep My Cat Active During the Day? 

Keeping the cat active during the day is one of the best solutions to this problem. This way, when it’s time to sleep, they are tired and can fall asleep more easily.  

To achieve this, you should provide physical activity and games that stimulate their senses. If you follow a routine like this, you can shift the cat’s biological clock without exhausting them. However, it’s not easy to keep a cat active during the day as it goes against their instinct for a sedentary and domestic life. 

The best approach is to periodically play with them, every one or two hours without exhausting them so that the cat doesn’t feel the need to sleep before nighttime. It’s also important to consider that daytime stimulation should not stress them. Excessive stimulation can cause them to lose control and even become aggressive. 

You’ll see how your cat gradually begins to change their habits, and you’ll manage to regulate their sleep and yours so that your nights become moments of rest.

Arsenio Coto
Arsenio Coto
Growth specialist, feline rookie. I write to learn and provide answers to the hundreds of questions I've had since Noa 🐱 became a part of my life.

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