Does your cat meow all night? Scratch the door? Attack your feet, knead your stomach, meow in your ears? Does he slam the cabinet doors? Drop objects?
Why does he do that? Because your cat is probably in distress! And this is a question I often get asked by my recent cat-parents friends or family members (I guess that’s why they avoid me when I call to ask them to babysit for my two precious cats).
So I’m going to explain the main principles to answer this terrible question “but how to make my cat stop waking me up at night ??!” so that you can get back to sleep and turn your cat into a zen cat!
The problems of your cat’s nocturnal agitation can really kill a mood… We don’t sleep anymore, we apprehend with anguish each night that comes, we are tired, nervously and physically, more irritable as a result, less patient, less concentrated at work, in short, it can be a plague.
But you know what? It doesn’t have to be! Your cat can become calm again and leave you alone at night… How? I’m going to explain to you some important things to take into account so that the problem is finally solved!
How can I make my cat stop waking me up at night?
First of all, you should know that if your cat is restless all night long: it’s not normal. Of course, some cats have particular characteristics, and cats will often have a boost of energy in the evening and at night, but night-time agitation is not a trait of your cat.
Don’t let it be said that you’ve picked the wrong one! Your cat is restless because one or more things are making him angry! He’s restless because he’s trying to vent his tensions/frustrations.
There are many reasons for this nocturnal restlessness and usually, it’s an addition of things that are peeled off during a behavioral consultation. But here are a few elements that can be decisive:
1. Your cat gets loud at night because it lacks stimulation and is bored, especially if he spends all day alone in an apartment.
In this case, I suggest thinking about changing your cat’s toys, buying or making new ones, and arrange his environment so that he feels really good, with lots of things to do!
2. Your cat meows all night long because his food is poorly managed.
The cat is a small being that needs and loves to have multiple small meals a day. He eats a lot, in small quantities. That’s why it needs access to self-service food.
The idea is that rationing leads to a terrible fear of lack for the cat…and it’s a huge stress for him. This kind of anxiety can absolutely drive your cat to do anything at night because he’s on edge. He’s hungry!
3. Your cat bothers you at night because he knows that you are playing the game with him.
Hard not to react? Oh, yes, it is. Mandatory? Yes without hesitation! The more you react, whether by punishing him, cuddling him or going to play with him, the more your cat will start again the next night…
Why? Because he’s looking for interaction, attention… and by messing around at night, he gets an answer from you since you do something in return (yes, even if he gets a slipper in his snout, he still gets interaction…).
So: don’t react at all, and hold on! It’s not a question of holding on for 5 minutes, but for 45 minutes if you have to! There are several strategies that can help you do this.
4. Your cat keeps you awake at night because he’s under stress.
There are a lot of things that could put your cat under stress: poor management of its environment, its litter box, its food, a problem of hyper-dependency on you, a health concern… It is sometimes things that seem trivial to us that stress the cat and lead to this nocturnal agitation behavior.
Final thoughts on what to do to stop my cat from making noise at night
It is important to manage your cat’s food, environment, relationships, and stimulation perfectly.
You can’t prevent a cat from being restless at night by punishing or scolding it, as this will only increase its stress and reinforce its behavior.
There are many factors to be considered when trying to stop a cat from meowing at night (or scratching, or any other unpleasantness). So it’s a good idea to do a complete inventory, to ‘fix’ all those little things! In any case, one thing is sure: the longer you wait, the more it will be hellish!