Why Does My Cat Keep Waking Me Up?
We’ve all been there. You’ve finally gotten to sleep and are in the middle of a great dream, when all of a sudden, a loud meow wakes you up. Or a cat sitting on your head. Or scratching at the door. Whichever method your cat uses to wake you up at 3AM, you’re probably pretty fed up. If you’re wondering “why does my cat keep waking me up,” there are a few possibilities. The first is the age-old explanation: cats are nocturnal creatures and in their natural state, they hunt at night. However, domesticated cats typically cater their schedules to their humans’. Usually if cats wake you up at night, it’s because they want or need something.
How to Stop Your Cat from Waking You Up
Whether your cat wants food, attention, or playtime, it’s important to recognize what your cat needs so you can fix it and finally get back to sleep! Here are a few things to try to get your kitty on the same schedule as you or at least let you sleep.
- Your cat may be hungry – if your kitty is meowing at you in the middle of the night, they could be hungry. Depending on your cat’s feeding schedule, consider an automatic feeder. This is particularly helpful if your cat can pace themselves throughout the day. If your cat is an overeater or eats all their food at once, try giving them a little treat just before you go to bed. This should hold them over until morning.
- Your cat has too much energy – if your cat is restlessly walking on you or scratching at your door, there’s a good chance they want to play. Playing with your cat an hour before bed can help calm them through the night. Doing this every night will create a habit in your cat and an expectation that after playtime is over, it’s time to sleep.
- “Give me attention!” – If your cat lays on your head at night, it’s possible they just want attention. Especially for owners that are away from home all day, your cat misses you and needs attention just like a person might. Spend some scheduled and habitual quality cuddle time (or playtime) with your kitty to prevent them from waking you up.
- If you’re a restless or light sleeper, it may be best to not let your cat sleep with you. Create a space for your cat outside of your room where they can eat, play, and use the litter box. Your cat will recognize that whatever it needs is not in your bedroom.
Still Being Woken Up by Your Cat?
If you’ve tried all this and are still being woken by your cat in the middle of the night, it may be time to consult a vet or a trainer. For more information on how to get your cat to stop waking you up in the middle of the night, or to schedule a vet appointment, call the Cat Clinic at Cherry Hill at 856-662-2662. Or you can check out our blog for more helpful cat tips!