How to teach a cat to sleep at night?
Has it ever happened to you that when you are already falling into a deep sleep, or actually asleep, your kitten becomes active and wants to play? Cats are naturally active animals at night, but since most of them are typical couch potatoes these days, we can accustom them to our lifestyle. Today I will show you practical tips on how to teach your cat to sleep at night.
How long does a cat sleep?
Sleep is a very important element of a cat’s life. During sleep, the body regenerates and prepares for a more active mode during the day. In the wild, cats are most active at dusk and dawn. This is when they hunt. On average, a cat sleeps during the day from 12 to 16 hours. Cats sleep both during the day and most of the night.
Many factors influence the length of sleep in cats. Among other things, it is the age of the cat. A young kitten sleeps longer than an adult because it develops and grows intensively while sleeping. On the other hand, if we look at senior cats, they can also sleep for a long time, up to 20 hours a day. This is, of course, due to the fact that such an older organism has slower regenerative processes.
Playing with a cat
One way to teach your cat to sleep at night is to play with your cat every day. In most sensible cat homes, cats are not left to roam on their own, but are typical house cats. This is, of course, a plus for the cat, because we care about its safety and the balance of the environment. However, it also has some consequences. Cats have a natural need to hunt. Since the cat is at home with us, we must provide it with this need.
Imitation of a cat hunting is, of course, fun. In addition to playing during the day, a very good practice to get your cat to sleep through the night is to let him sleep shortly before bedtime. For example, if we go to bed at 11 p.m., let’s play with the cat 15 minutes before going to bed and give it a meal after playing. While playing, the cat has the need to hunt, and the meal after playing gives the cat the feeling that the hunt was a success and that it can consume its “prey”.
There are also ways to make a cat toy yourself. If you want to know how, be sure to read the article: “How to make a toy for a cat?”
Feed your cat regularly
Another important aspect of teaching your cat to sleep at night is to provide it with regular meals during the day. By giving your cat food at regular times, we impose certain habits on it that simply become a routine. We can then “program” the cat to eat meals at certain times and sleep at other times. It is, of course, worth combining this method of teaching a cat to sleep at night with the imitation of hunting that I wrote about above.
The enemy of regular feeding of your cat is dry food. Apart from the fact that dry food is simply unhealthy, unfortunately in many homes it is constantly available to cats. The cat just comes and eats whenever it wants. In this situation, not only do we not provide the cat with the sense of hunting, but we also significantly shorten the path to widespread cat obesity, which is unfortunately often underestimated.
I wrote about overweight and obesity in cats in the article: “How to make a cat lose weight?”
Let’s also remember that cats prefer smaller, more frequent meals.
I know many people who have a hard time falling asleep if they don’t watch a movie on TV before going to bed, or more often on their smartphone. Many people even fall asleep with the TV on. There is such a thing as cat television and it is nothing more than the ability to observe the outside world. Cats love to spend time observing what is happening outside. Therefore, it is very good to provide your cat with the opportunity to observe the world outside the window or on the balcony. Cats then relax, which makes them sleep much better at night.
However, we must remember about safety. When letting your cat out on the balcony, remember to prepare it properly. Such a balcony should be fenced, because unfortunately the cat will not always land on all fours and may instinctively just jump out of it. Likewise, do not leave your cat alone with the window open. Let’s take care of the safety of our pets.
Bringing a second cat into the house
This is also one of the ways to teach your cat to sleep at night. Cats can take care of each other and play together. Such fun will make both of them tired and sleep soundly at night.
However, let us remember a very important aspect when introducing a second cat into the house, which is socialization with isolation. I wrote about it in the article: “How to get a cat used to another cat? – i.e. socialization with isolation.”
Let’s remember that some cats can be really stubborn. We cannot give up and we must be consistent. By following the above tips, we will teach our cat to sleep through the night. We have to get the cat used to it, so the process of teaching a cat to sleep at night may take longer in some cases and shorter in others.
Be sure to check out my free ebook “Proper nutrition for dogs and cats”. By providing your cat with a nutritious diet, we make the meal filling, which also supports the animal’s proper sleep.