Happy Silly Cat

How to Get Your Cat to Sleep at Night: Tips and Tricks

Cats are fascinating creatures that have captured the hearts of many people worldwide. They are known for their quiet and aloof demeanor, but they also have some quirky habits that may puzzle their owners.

Among these habits is their sleeping pattern, which is different from what humans are used to. In this article, we will explore the sleep cycles of cats and why they wake you up at night.

Understanding the Sleep Cycles of Cats

Cats, like humans, have a circadian rhythm, which is their internal clock that helps regulate sleep and wakefulness. However, their sleep cycles are more complex than humans.

Unlike humans who sleep for eight hours straight, cats take several short naps throughout the day. This behavior is known as polyphasic sleep, which involves sleeping for a few hours, then being awake for a while, then going back to sleep.

Cats have two distinct types of sleep, namely:

Non-REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep – this is when cats are in a deep sleep cycle. During this phase, their body temperature drops, and their breathing and heart rate slows down.

REM sleep – this is a light sleep cycle where cats may twitch, move their ears, or even purr. The REM phase is when cats dream, just as humans do.

This sleep cycle is vital for cats as it helps them consolidate memories, process emotions, and maintain their mental health.

Explanation of Crepuscular Animals

Cats are known as crepuscular animals, meaning they are most active during dawn and dusk. This behavior is attributed to their wild ancestors, who hunted prey at this time of the day.

Although domesticated cats do not hunt for their food, they still retain this behavior.

Sleeping Habits of Domesticated Cats

Domesticated cats sleep for an average of 12 to 16 hours a day. This figure may vary depending on their age, activity level, and personality.

Kittens and older cats tend to sleep more than adult cats. Active cats, such as those that hunt or play, may sleep less.

Indoor cats may also sleep more than outdoor cats, as they have limited distractions and stimulation. Cats have the ability to fall asleep quickly and wake up even more quickly.

Therefore, it is normal for a cat to take a nap for a few minutes or hours and then wake up alert and ready to play.

Reasons Why Cats Wake You Up at Night

Cats are known to be nocturnal creatures, meaning they are most active at night. When cats wake their owners up at night, it is usually because they have a legitimate reason.

Some of the reasons why cats may wake you up at night include:

Clashing Sleep Schedules with Humans

Humans are diurnal, meaning they are most active during the day and require a full night’s sleep. When a cat is awake at night, it may interrupt the owner’s sleep schedule, leading to fatigue and irritability.

This situation can be remedied by ensuring the cat has enough stimulation during the day and limited access to activities at night.

Cats Being Bored and Lonely

As mentioned earlier, cats are crepuscular animals that are most active early in the morning and late at night. If a cat is left alone during these hours, it may become bored and lonely, leading to behavior changes such as meowing, scratching, or even throwing objects.

To prevent this behavior, owners can provide their cats with interactive toys or a companion cat.

Medical Issues in Older Cats

Older cats may develop age-related medical conditions that can cause them to wake their owners at night. One such condition is hyperthyroidism, which makes the cat restless, anxious, and constantly seeking attention.

Other conditions that may cause night-waking include arthritis, kidney disease, diabetes, and stress-related issues. Owners should consult a veterinarian if their cat’s night-waking behavior changes suddenly.


In summary, cats are unique creatures that have complex sleep cycles. Their sleeping habits vary depending on their age, personality, and activity levels.

It is normal for cats to wake their owners at night, and this behavior may be attributed to a variety of reasons such as boredom, loneliness, or medical issues. Understanding the sleep cycles of cats and their reasons for waking up at night can help owners provide their cats with better care and reduce problematic behaviors.

Cats are playful and adventurous creatures that can generate a lot of energy throughout the day, which makes it challenging for them to sleep at night. As owners, we want to ensure that our cats get a good night’s rest, as this can greatly impact their health and well-being.

In this article, we will discuss various techniques to get your cat to sleep at night.

Keeping Your Cat Awake Longer

One of the best ways to get your cat to sleep at night is to keep them awake longer during the day. Providing your cat with interactive toys throughout the day can stimulate them mentally and physically, causing them to exercise and shed excess energy.

Toys that require chasing, pouncing, and batting, such as balls, wands, and puzzles, can be useful in engaging your cat and keeping them awake. Entertaining Your Cat While You’re Out

When you leave your cat alone at home, it is essential to keep them entertained to prevent boredom and anxiety.

Interactive cat toys such as automated laser pointers, puzzle feeders, and scratching posts can be useful in keeping your cat stimulated and less likely to wake up during the night. Additionally, playing calming music or leaving the television on can also help your cat relax while you are away.

Feeding Your Cat a Small Meal Before Bedtime

Feeding your cat a small meal before bedtime can help them feel satiated, reducing the likelihood of waking up at night due to hunger. However, it is essential to remember to avoid feeding your cat large meals before bedtime, as this can lead to digestive problems and other health issues.

Providing a small amount of dry or wet food, or even a small treat, can be helpful in satisfying your cat’s hunger.

Setting Up Separate Sleeping Spaces

Setting up separate sleeping spaces for your cat can be beneficial if they tend to wake you up at night. Providing your cat with their own bed or designated sleeping space, such as a cat tree or a comfortable pillow, can help them get used to sleeping on their own.

Furthermore, placing their bed or sleeping space away from your bedroom can also reduce disruptions during the night.

Not Responding to Demands Unless Necessary

Cats can be demanding at times, especially when they want attention or food. It’s essential to avoid reinforcing this behavior by not responding to their demands unless necessary.

Responding to your cat’s meows or scratches can encourage them to continue their disruptive behavior, leading to a vicious cycle that can be hard to break. Instead, it’s essential to teach your cat that meowing or scratching at night will not result in the result they desire.

Being Patient with Behavioral Modification Programs

As with any behavioral modification program, it’s essential to be patient and persistent to achieve the desired results. Cats can be stubborn creatures, and it may take some time before they get used to sleeping at night.

Consistently implementing the techniques mentioned above, along with the use of calming aids such as pheromone sprays or diffusers, can help your cat adjust to a new sleep schedule.


Getting your cat to sleep at night can be a challenging task, but implementing the above techniques can help your cat get the rest they need. Keeping your cat awake longer, providing entertainment while you’re away, and feeding them a small meal before bedtime can help reduce the likelihood of waking up at night.

Setting up separate sleeping spaces, not responding to demands, and being patient with behavioral modification programs can also be useful in training your cat to sleep at night. As cat owners, it’s essential to ensure our feline friends get a good night’s rest.

This can greatly impact their health and well-being. By implementing techniques such as keeping your cat awake longer, providing entertainment while you’re away, and feeding them a small meal before bedtime, you can reduce the likelihood of your cat waking up at night.

Setting up separate sleeping spaces, not responding to demands, and being patient with behavioral modification programs can also be useful in training your cat to sleep at night. Remember to be patient and persistent, and your cat will soon have a new sleep schedule that promotes their overall health and happiness.

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