Train Your Cat to Let You Sleep
Jackson, I haven’tslept in three days. My cat keeps meup all night long. I’m gonna kill her. No, I’m not gonna kill her,but Jackson, you gotta tell me. I’m gonna kill myself here. Tell me, how do I sleepthrough the night?And I say, oh, that one?That’s easy. So let me ask yousomething, people. You ready to get cat-ified?Let’s go!As you have noticedI’m sure, thisis not exactly the cat cave. It is a cave. It’s a little echoey in here. But no, I am in a hotel roomin San Diego, California,where we are wrappingup filming the seasonof “My Cat fromHell” season five,premiering– comingup in the spring. Do stay tuned becauseyou’ll find outeverything you have to knowabout the premier of “My Catfrom Hell” here, onthe Cat Daddy channel. Just, you know, stay tuned. So today we’retalking about what?Your cat allowing you tosleep through the night. Now, the lastepisode I was talkingabout the concept ofcircadian rhythms,a cat’s 24 hour clock,and how naturally itwants to get themup at dusk and dawn. We can help guidetheir circadian rhythm. We can reset their body clocks. But there’s a couple ofreally important things. Now when last we met Ialso gave you homework,and that homeworkwas about making surethat you established a dailyrhythm, that you establishrituals that happenthroughout the day thathelps keep their body going. And the one thing that ismost important to what we’regoing to do right now isthey’re feeding schedule. Remember something,if you allow your catsto graze all daylong, if you allowthem to eat wheneverthey want to eat,then not only do you nothave a chance of affectingtheir behavioreven a little bit,but you’re notallowing their bodyto process food inthe natural way. They’re constantly inthis arc of digestion. And we don’t want thatbecause then their energyis totally unpredictable to us. Here’s what I wouldask you to do. If you free feed, make it stop. The next step is, youbring in meal time. Real big change in a cat’s lifeis not met with nice things. And you do not want toencourage bad behavior,and by making rapid changeslike that, you kind of are. We’ll keep the dry foodout, but then every day youjust put less and less in there. And by the end of that firstweek that, there is fooddown there, they don’t feellike they’re missing anything. But by an hour afteryou leave for work,they’ve polished it off andnow they’re waiting for a meal. Now here’s the rule of thumb. I would like to see nolonger than between sixand eight hours youcan make it happen. So you’re feedingthree meals a dayand then your cat’senergy is coming upto meet those meal times. And I guarantee you,within a week or twoof instituting this mealtime, your cat’s energywill come up tomeet your schedules. Your second stepis to try to getthem to go to sleep when you do. Let’s say your bedtime is 11 o’clock. OK. So by 9:30 you should befeeding your last meal. But you don’t want todo that in a vacuum. In the past– you know me– wehave been talking about hunt,catch, kill, eat. Right?And so that means playtime. That means you have areally nice, chunky playtime right beforethat last meal. You bring them to aboil during play time. You get them just pooped out. Then you let them comedown for a second. Again, all cats have thesecond wind, the third wind. Cats are built forspeed, not for distance. So bring them to a boil,let them come down. Bring them to aboil, now it’s goingto take less time forthem to get worn out. Now less time, nowthey’re tired, right?When they pooped out, boom. Now, hunt, catch, kill, eat. Feed their last meal of the day. What comes after eat?Groom. Yeah, baby. We’re all about gettingclean right now. And then sleep. And then you go to sleep. Now we’re gettingto the hard part. Because now you’ve gotto do some serious work. So now it’s 3 o’clockin the morning,and your cat is waking you up. But you know, I gave youa meal at 11 o’clock. I wore you down at 9:30. You should be down for thecount right now, but you’re not. Now here’s the tough part. I mean, I’m laughingonly because Iknow how ridiculouslyhard this is. What you’ve got to do at3 o’clock in the morning,your cat’s driving you crazy. You ignore them. You ignore them completely. Completely. And you definitely don’t getup, feed them, walk around,go to the bathroom,come back again. You don’t play with them. Nothing. You ignore them completely. Because that is payoff. Negative attention, positiveattention, any attentionwhatsoever is still attention. You have toextinguish the payoff. If you tell themnight after nightafter night that nothing’sgoing to happen when theydo that certain behavior,that behavior will stop. So people, what that meansis that for about 10 daysto two weeks, it may bereally, really long nights. Don’t kill me. Now, if it goes past 13 nights?Whatever, come find me. Because I’m tellingyou, it won’t happen. In conclusion, let’sgive you some homework. Take a look at that blackboard. Now, write it down here. First thing you dois change your catfrom free-feedersto meal-feeders. Big change. Next thing you do is you feedin conjunction with play. Third thing, rememberthat your cat’s energymoves with your energy. So remember that you’re tryingto merge the two together. Your energy, your cat’s energy,your clock, your cat’s clock,merge them together. Then don’t forget, the lastmeal of the day an hourand a half before you go to bed. You’re going to hunt, catch,kill, eat, let them groomand sleep until you go to bed. Boom. Then we get through the night. And then the last step, folks–the last, most important stepis, ignore them. You guys can do this. You can affect yourcat’s body clock,and that’s how you do it. That’s how you sleepthrough the night. Boom. Consider yourself cat-ified. Alright. Let’s wrap this up. Hey folks, if you’re tryingto find me, I’m easily found. Take a look at Facebookand Instagram and Twitterand YouTube and Google+. And don’t forget,speaking of Google+,every month we do Livefrom the Cat Cave. And that is a liveGoogle Hangout. This month I’m just going to bedoing live question and answer. That will be a lot of fun. In the meantime, folks,take care of yourself. Take care of your cats. And all light, alllove, all mojo to you. THEME SONG: You’re a bad cat. I’m not a bad cat. You’re a bad cat. I’m not a bad cat. You’re a bad cat. I’m just misunderstood. Meow.