Managing Your Cat's Night-Time Activity

Cat up at night

How to Keep Your Cat Calm at Night

It's 2 a.m. and everyone is fast asleep, except for your cat. Your feline friend races through the house, skidding around corners and knocking over everything in its path. Although your cat might think that the middle of the night is the perfect time for these frenzied runs, you probably disagree.

What to Do If Cat Capers Interfere with Your Sleep

You and your cat have different opinions about the perfect time to sleep. In the wild, felines often hunt at night. Those natural instincts are still active even though your pet may not need to hunt for its food. Fortunately, you can prevent or reduce the behavior by trying a few of these suggestions.

Just Ignore Your Cat

If your parents ever advised you to ignore an annoying brother or sister when you were young, you know that advice wasn't always helpful. The same is true of cats. Ignoring them when they bat at your forehead or meow in your ear may encourage some cats to give up but won't deter others. Still, it's worth a try.

If you can't ignore your cat, don't offer food or pet him or her. Those actions reward your cat for the behavior and make it more likely to continue.

Keep Your Pet Active During the Day

Busy cats are tired cats. Playing with your cat in the afternoon and early evening may help release some of that excess energy. Choose games and activities that involve stalking, pouncing, or chasing, such as:

  • Fetch. Many cats enjoy a game of fetch just as much as dogs do. Fetch requires very little effort on your part and can keep your cat entertained and active for a long time. Toss toys your cat can easily hold in its mouth or other small objects that don't pose choking dangers.
  • Chase the Light. Turn on your laser pointer and play a rousing game of chase the light with your pet.
  • Fishing. Cats love pouncing on a dangling toy at the end of a kitty fishing rod. You'll find the rods at any pet supply store.
  • Bird and Squirrel Watching. Stimulate your furry friend's brain by providing the perfect spot to watch birds and squirrels outdoors. Adding a resting shelf to a window overlooking your yard provides hours of fun for cats. Encourage birds to fly by the window by adding a bird feeder outside.
  • Videos. Your cat may enjoy watching videos that feature birds, squirrels, mice, fish, and other creatures darting back and forth on the screen. YouTube offers several videos that run seven hours or longer.
  • Electronic Toys. Electronic toys keep your cat entertained when you're not at home. From electronic laser tag games to battery-operated mice, you'll find plenty of toys your cat is sure to love.
  • Tag. Some cats enjoy rousing games of tag with their people. When your cat starts dashing through the house during the day, join in on the fun.

Change Feeding Times

Have you noticed that your cat likes to nap after eating? Your pet may be less likely to roam your house or apartment at night if you offer the last meal of the day later than usual or give your pet a treat at bedtime. If you add an extra treat, decrease the number of treats you provide during the day.

Close the Bedroom Door

Your cat may still enjoy a midnight romp through your house, but at least you won't notice it as much if you keep your door closed. Your pet might complain at the door for a few nights before he or she finally realizes that the bedroom is now off-limits when you're asleep.

Talk to Your Veterinarian

If your formerly calm cat is suddenly more active or won't stop meowing at night, let your pet's veterinarian know. A health condition that causes pain or discomfort may be to blame.

Are you concerned about a behavioral issue? Try these tips to improve your pet's behavior.

Sources:

YouTube: Videos for Cats and Dogs

Pets.WebMd.com: Nightime Activity in Cats

Petfinder.com: Keeping Your Cat Calm at Night

Modern Cat: How to Stop Pesky Meowing at Night

Inverse: Why Your Cat Runs Around at Night Like a Maniac According to Science



Now Offering Acupuncture for Dogs and Cats!

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Vaccine Clinic Hours

Monday:

9:00 am-11:00 am

3:00 pm-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 am-11:00 am

3:00 pm-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

9:00 am-11:00 am

3:00 pm-5:00 pm

Thursday:

9:00 am-11:00 am

3:00 pm-5:00 pm

Friday:

9:00 am-11:00 am

3:00 pm-5:00 pm

Saturday:

9:00 am-12:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Office Hours

Monday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

8:00 am-2:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Location

Find us on the map

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "They have the best people working there. Got good information and care for my dog. Highly recommended place"
    caseyp, Lake Hughes
  • "Everyone was very polite, listened to my concerns and treated my dog very well"
    rayleen & johnw, Lancaster

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

  • Fish

    If you’re thinking of getting a pet fish, you should know that your veterinarian has a lot of good advice about pet ownership. Fish can be very rewarding as pets, and you just may be surprised about how much fish actually interact with their owners. Here’s more valuable information about choosing ...

    Read More
  • Caring for Senior Cats

    Thanks to advancements in veterinary care, today’s cats can live well into their teen years. It is not uncommon for cats to live to be 18 or even older. However, in order for cats to live a long full life, they need proactive veterinary care to stay healthy. As cats age, they are at greater risk for ...

    Read More
  • Feline Stomatitis: Treatments

    Cats rarely display their pain, but cats with feline stomatitis are often the exception. If your cat appears to have mouth pain, is reluctant to eat, doesn't want to groom, is drooling, and doesn't want you to open its mouth, it may be suffering from this debilitating, degenerative oral condition, and ...

    Read More
  • Feline Leukemia Virus: What You Need to Know

    Feline leukemia (FeLV) is a virus that weakens your cat's immune system. Unfortunately, when the immune system does not function properly, your cat may be more likely to develop other diseases, such as cancer and blood disorders. How Cats Contract Feline Leukemia Cats get feline leukemia from other cats. ...

    Read More
  • Family Cats and Pregnant Women: Take Measures to Prevent Toxoplasmosis Infection

    Nothing must spoil the joys of becoming a new parent. Not even your pets. But family cats with normal, every day habits can pose a risk to expectant women. Women's immune systems can be disturbed by a parasite carried in fecal matter. If you're the primary caretaker of your family's feline friend it ...

    Read More
  • Create an Environment Your Cat Will Love

    The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery confirms that feline emotional wellbeing, behavior and physical health are a result of how comfortable they are in their environment. Understanding how our cats interact with their environment can help us create a space for owners and cats to mutually thrive ...

    Read More
  • Catnip: Why Cats Love It

    Few things stimulate a cat's pleasure faster than catnip. Exposure to this simple herb can reveal a new side to their feline personality. Many cats will go crazy at the smell of this plant. Catnip has a reputation of being a feline drug and many cat owners wonder if it is safe to give it to their pet. ...

    Read More
  • Zoonosis

    Zoonosis refers to diseases that can be transmitted to humans from animals. In particular, they occur when an infected animal passes on bacteria, parasites, fungi or viruses to humans through scratches, saliva, feces and urine. Vectors (e.g., organisms like fleas and ticks) can also carry zoonotic diseases ...

    Read More
  • Sugar Gliders

    Thinking of getting a sugar glider? These tiny marsupials are energetic and friendly, making them popular choices as pets. Though they weigh less than a half-pound, they're more closely related to kangaroos than they are flying squirrels. If you think a sugar glider would make an ideal pet for your family, ...

    Read More
  • Epilepsy

    Epilepsy (often referred to as a seizure disorder) is a chronic neurological condition characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures. It is commonly controlled with medication, although surgical methods are used as well. Epileptic seizures are classified both by their patterns of activity in the brain ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles