Does your cat have a disturbed sleep and does not let anyone sleep in the house at night? Let’s find out why cats don’t sleep well and how to soothe them.
It is well known that cats are very active. It is also well known that they never manage to have a long restful sleep: due to their nature as hunters, they are always on the lookout for prey and are always in a state of alert, even when they sleep. In fact, instead of getting long sleeps of up to 16 hours a day, they take short naps. But sometimes even these short ‘siestas’ are disturbed. Here are the reasons why a cat does not sleep well and all the remedies to make him rest well.
Cats sleep-wake rhythm: because they sleep differently from us
It could be said that cats are predators even when they sleep! This means that their short naps only serve to recharge the energy between one prey and the next. In fact, even without going out of the house, cats need to hunt at least 20 prey a day, even the size of an insect. So their biological rhythm is really very different from that of us humans, as they need a few moments to recover their strength and, once this is done, they come to wake us up.
Cat owners will certainly have been woken up in the middle of the night for baby food or maybe to play! The cat tries to wake us up and does so with meowing and caressing us with his whole body. But he does it because he is absolutely awake, while for us it is still the middle of the night: but in the end they will win and they will ‘convince’ us to get up.
The cat does not sleep well: is it just a matter of light?
Recall that the sight of cats works perfectly even without any lighting, and therefore they could hunt without any difficulty even in the dark. They are very active, especially at night, also because the prey have greater difficulty in hiding and are more easily captured. Think of the birds: it seems that the best time to hunt them is around five in the morning, as soon as you start to hear their melodious verse.
It is probably also a matter of habits! We know how much felines are attached to their routine and, the domestic ones and accustomed to household rhythms, enjoy rest during the day and recover, in short stretches, at night. At least this is their process during the first 7-8 months of life. But if they hunt at night, why do they wake up the master? Because they probably want a companion for hunting, a shoulder, in short, a kind of friend to accompany them during the hunts.
The cat does not sleep well: what to do
The best solution, paradoxically, is not to react to their provocations. Although it is difficult not to give in to his insistent meows and constant stroking while we are in bed, we will have to try to discourage the cat from his intent. In fact, if the cat sees that his attempts are useless or encounters too many insurmountable obstacles, it is likely that he will give up. So here’s what we can do to ‘discourage’ his nightly alarms.
- Closed door: let’s close ourselves in the room where we sleep and make sure that it cannot enter. Of course this could damage the door, on which there will be scratches and scratches, but at least we will have ‘safeguarded’ our sleep.
- Do not let him sleep under the covers: before the controversy arises on the issue, it is good to specify that it is advisable not to sleep under the sheets with the cat just because his sleep will be much shorter than ours. Having us within ‘paw reach’, the cat will have no difficulty waking us up.
- Secluded place: the cat sleeps lightly, due to its predatory nature, always ready to shoot, but at the same time its nap should not be disturbed by sudden noises and lights. We therefore guarantee the feline a quiet space at home, perhaps away from the noise of traffic, the street and the shouting of any children.
- Establish a meal time: the cat must understand that he cannot wake us up in the middle of the night to eat. The time of the baby food will be fixed in the evening, before going to sleep: half an hour before going to bed we will have to fill the bowl. If we gave in to feeding him food at night we would make him get into a bad habit.
- Make the day more lively: cats get bored easily, so they need to be distracted and, why not, also get tired during the day. We make sure that his room is full of games and hobbies and try to spend most of our free time with him.
- Do not make him feel in a cage: often the cat does not sleep well also because he feels intolerant to the four walls in which he is confined. The cat doesn’t have to be locked in a room with no openings: he needs to see the light from a window and to know that, if he wants, he has an outdoor space (even a balcony is fine) to go out.
If all of these solutions prove ineffective, the only remedy will be to consult your vet and find an alternative solution to what appears to be a feline sleep and behavior disorder.