What to Do When a Cat Wakes You up at Night

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What to Do When a Cat Wakes You up at Night

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Many cats have a habit of rising slightly before dawn and poke at their owners to feed them or to let them outside. According to experts, they inherited the habit from their African ancestors that had usually hunted at dawn and dusk. Even though these two intervals represent the cat’s most active periods during the day, the truth is it can be changed. Experts for cat’s behavior claim that cats can be trained. They did not live in Africa for ages, and they have already adapted very well to life with humans. Frequently, the reason for cat’s early rising is boredom. Namely, a lot of cats stay alone during the day without many stimuli in their environment, especially if the cat is exclusively indoor one. Even though some experts suggest that it is in the cat’s best interest to be indoors, that lifestyle can deprive the cat of many essential things that make the ordinary cat’s life beautiful and interesting. Therefore, they highly recommend playing with the cat at least twice a day, particularly with the indoor one. To find out more about what to do if the cat wakes us up at night, the article “Help! My Cat, Puccini, Wakes Me up Wailing at 4:30 a.m.!” suggest the following.

What to Do When a Cat Wakes You up at Night

Reinforce the right behaviors

The first step to stop the behavior is in two parts. Bill has to quit cuddling and tossing cat cookies to Puccini when he starts yowling. He also needs to refrain from calling out or interacting with the cat while he is demanding attention through vocalizing. That is only one-half of the pie. Bill also must address Puccini’s need for attention and reinforce the cat with affection when he is quiet.

This translates into a few more sleepless nights for the neighborhood. When Puccini starts serenading, Bill needs to practice the fine art of no action.

The second part involves reinforcing desired behavior. Puccini’s usual MO is to howl and wail for attention. The cat will have to stop at some point to take a breather. When the howling stops and Puccini is quiet, Bill reinforces the silence with a short cuddle or a cat cookie. It will take a few repetitions, but Puccini will finally make the connection — his needs are met when he is silent. The quiet times will gradually lengthen while the wailing decreases.

A good strategy that can help the cat to wake up later is not only interactive playtime but also a good, rich meal before its sleep. Namely, the idea is to postpone the latest meal and feed it before the grooming time. According to experts, it will simulate their ancient habit when cats hunt at dusk, eat its prey, and then go to sleep to preserve the energy. If we can postpone the latest meal after the cat’s playing time, we can be sure that the cat will not get overweight and still have a good sleep. Other ideas to keep a cat sleeping and not to wake us up at night refer to finding a reason and help the cat to eliminate it. For example, if the cat wakes us up because it is hungry, we can eliminate the problem by introducing the automatic cat feeder. Whatever strategy we choose, we have to be sure that it is perfectly tailored to our cat and its lifestyle.

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