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Cat walks at night: what to do?

Many cat owners find that their pets start to bark noisily at night, and if they are not alone, only earplugs can help. Why doesn’t a cat sleep at night? Could it be that it is so harmful?

Why doesn’t a cat sleep at night?

The ancestor of our domestic cats, the African wildcat Felis silvestris libyca, is a nocturnal animal.
Domestic pets have more or less adapted to our biorhythms, but the genes are still there. The main activity of cats starts at 8-9 pm and lasts until 5 am. This is the most successful hunting time. During the day they like to sleep.

The hunting instinct makes the cat particularly sensitive at night: it hears all kinds of sounds, rustles, squeaks, smells and looks for prey.

Domestic cats still behave like predators, alternating between long periods of sleep (2-3 hours) and short periods of sleep, but with a flurry of activity over 24 hours. And often the time of the regular burst is 3 or 5 am.

This is particularly common in young and adultfor energetic cats. Older cats sleep more and often fall asleep and get up with their owners.

Cats don’t necessarily wake up during the night, but they can do other important things, such as going out for a snack if you’ve left some food out for the night, keeping an eye on what’s going on outside the window, or just going round the apartment to check that nothing has changed.

What should I do if my cat disturbs my sleep at night?

Make sure your cat is full. It may wake you up because it is hungry or because you have not fed it enough in the evening. Leave a small amount of dry food in the bowl for the night, and be sure to have fresh water so that the animal can feed itself and not wake you up.

Remember the basic rules of cat play: chase, run, jump, catch, kill and eat! If you follow them and allow your cat to catch a piece of chicken or beef before bedtime, before letting your cat have a nap, it will be very satisfied.

In the evening, play with your cat a few times.Slush, which mimics the movements of mice and birds, as well as toys that sway. Ball games, soft plush mice are perfect for cats who like to catch their prey. Play until you feel your cat is tired.

Often a cat that is full and tired will fall asleep straight away. But that won’t stop her from waking up after a few hours and being active again.

Try to diversify your cat’s life by finding interesting activities for her during daylight hours. The more active your cat is during the day, the better the chances of her sleeping soundly at night.

If your cat is still up at night and disturbs your sleep, try closing the bedroom door. To stop it scratching the door and trying to get in, you can place an object it doesn’t like near the entrance. For some people this is a crappy polythene bag, for others a vacuum cleaner hose. The cat will walk around for a while and then find another hiding place in the unlocked parts of the flat.

But in some cases, on the contrary, it helps to let the cat sleep in the bed – many animals settle down more quickly and sleep soundly throughout the night.

If a normally calm cat is restless at night for no apparent reason – not sleeping, meowing, aggressive with people – you should see your vet. Many illnesses, especially in older cats, are manifested by nocturnal unreasonable anxiety.

What should not be done?

If you suspect that your cat is waking you up, even though she is not ill and is feeling well, do not get out of bed or visit her. If you get up and feed, play with or pet your cat, it will be rewarded for waking you up. As a result, your cat will try harder to wake you up each night. If you get out of bed to scold the cat, it won’t work, because negative attention is better than no attention at all.

Night-time grooming is a natural behaviour in cats and is therefore quite difficult to deal with. And of course you cannot use repressive methods.

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