Understanding Why Your Cat is Up At Night

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It is not uncommon for cat owners to experience situations where their cats wake them up during the night by meowing, scratching at the door, or knocking things off shelves and counter tops.

Reasons why:

What to do:

See your veterinarian: If this behavior is new, take your cat to see your veterinarian. Any major change in behavior can be the result of an underlying medical issue.

Increase their play time: Play with your cat in the evening before bedtime (see our handout: “Play with Your Cat”).

Create a stimulating environment: Cats sleep a lot during the day because their environment is not very stimulating. The following ideas can help stimulate your cat during the day, so they don’t sleep ALL day.

Training: Clicker training is a type of positive reinforcement training that will not only provide mental stimulation but will strengthen the bond you have with your cat and can increase the confidence of a fearful cat (see our handout: “Cat Clicker Training”).

Ignore the behaviors: If needed use earplugs.

Keep your cat outside the bedroom: Keep your bedroom door closed and provide a warm, cozy cat bed in another room.

Use aversives: If your cat sits outside your door, meowing and scratching at the door, use an aversive to deter them from hanging out around the door (see our handout: “Cat Aversives”).

What not to do: