How To Put Your Cat To Sleep
This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 84% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 83,005 times.
Putting your cat to sleep is never an easy decision to make. Untreatable or painful medical conditions, sudden severe injuries, or old age infirmities will lead owners to the decision to euthanize their suffering cat. The veterinary profession is well equipped to help you make the right decision for your suffering cat and, if you do need to put your cat to sleep, to make your cat’s transition smooth and relatively pain free.
Do A Play Session Before The Bedtime Feeding
To Understand Why Our Cats Do What They Do We Have To Look Back At Their Ancestry
The ancestors of our house cats preferred to live solitary lives, were nocturnal or crepuscular hunters. These behavioural traits are retained by many pet cats today, affecting their sleeping and activity habits.
Todays housecat is crepuscular, meaning that they are most active in the hours right before the sun rises and just after its dipped under the horizon each evening.
That means that its perfectly normal for your cat to wake you up early in the morning or skitter around the house in the evening to learn more about cat zoomiesbut you can work with your cat to establish a sleep cycle that works for both of you.
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Are They Happy Sleeping In Your Bed
Some felines dont care much about where they sleep. They may not even want to spend time in bed with you. On the other hand, you may have a cuddly creature that thrives on close contact with you. If it makes your pet happy and it doesnt interfere with your bedtime, then we think that having your kitty in bed with you is sweet and comforting.
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Should I Let My Kitten Sleep In My Bed
Cats sleep with humans because were warm and they love the security and companionship. And even though we love it when our kittens sleep with us, you may want to wait a while before sharing your bed with your kitten. It takes time for kittens to be litter trained so if you want to keep your sheets clean its best to invest in a separate kitten bed. Plus, getting your kitten used to sleeping on their own will discourage the temptation to wake you up for a play session.
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Is It Bad To Let Your Cat Sleep In Bed With You
Does co-sleeping with your cat worsen or improve your quality of sleep? The answer depends on the scientific study in question.
Ultimately, veterinarians canât issue a blanket statement on whether it is objectively âgoodâ or âbadâ to sleep alongside your pet. Only the pet owner can really answer that question.
âSome people feel more comforted with their cat in the bed, other people will have difficulty getting comfortable, or might be disturbed if their cat walks on them or hogs the bed,â Mikel Delgado, a cat expert at Feline Minds and a postdoctoral fellow School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis, tells Inverse.
Pankratz, who works at the Animal Behavior Clinic in Portland, Oregon, says there is âno clear consensusâ and that âfurther research is needed.â
âSome studies support benefits on sleep while others show an association with poorer sleep quality,â Pankratz adds.
But if you want to dig into the scientific literature, here are the highlights:
How To Make A Cat Sleep At Night
If theres one thing that almost all cats have in common their habit of meowing and getting up to all sorts of things in the middle of the night, thus waking up their unfortunate human friend. Here are some useful tips to make a hyperactive cat sleep at night, so that you can finally have long, peaceful sleeps yourself!
Its the same old story every night: kitty jumps on the bed, gives you a lick on the nose, one too many meows and you can say goodbye to your much-desired sleep. For those who live with a cat, this is the pattern that repeats itself every night, but do you know why?
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Why Doesnt My Cat Sleep At Night
Getting on in years can change the way cats behave at night. This is especially true if theyre also suffering from feline dementia, also known as cognitive dysfunction syndrome . This condition is becoming more common, says Petplan veterinary expert Brian Faulkner. There are now more than two million elderly cats in the UK, and more than half of them will show symptoms of CDS from the age of 15.
So how do you know if your cat has CDS? Signs include learning and memory issues, such as pooping in the wrong place, general confusion, and changes to their sleeping patterns. Cats with CDS may start waking up frequently at night, and becoming much more vocal.
If a cat has CDS, not being able to find her owner, not being able to hear properly, or simply feeling cold can all make her feel very anxious, says clinical animal behaviourist Rosie Bescoby. This can lead to an old cat yowling at night.
CDS isnt the only condition that can disrupt senior cats sleep, however. Arthritis, failing sight and medical conditions, including dental pain or kidney problems, can also affect your cats nighttime behaviour.
Be alert to or behavioural changes: As always, if you feel your cat is in distress, physical or psychological, as a result of any symptom, please contact your vet, says Brian.
Adapt As An Older Cats Health Declines
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Respect The Importance Of The Cats Sense Of Smell And Pheromones
Cats use a variety of olfactory and chemical signals to both communicate with other cats and evaluate their environment.
Use a feline synthetic pheromone product such as Feliway in rooms where your cat spends most of their time and when moving to a new environment. This can help to increase their sense of security.
Avoid cleaning areas that have been facially marked by your cat, provide lots of horizontal or vertical scratching objects and scatter dried catnip;as an attractant.
How Cats Choose Who To Sleep With
Many cats are particular about their behaviors. They have specific ways they groom themselves, what they like to do for entertainment and yes, where they like to snooze. Cats are infamous for napping and you may have noticed that there are many rituals about how they do it. One of the more common questions we get from cat lovers is how do cats choose who to sleep with.;
There are a few reasons why cats choose specific people to slumber with. Your friends at Union Lake Pet Services are here to tell you all about it.
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Keep Toys In A Different Room
While it might be ideal for your cat to fall asleep and not wake up until you do, this rarely happens.
Cats are known for sleeping in sessions that can last for anything from minutes to several hours, but they almost never have a full 8 hours of sleep like we, humans, do.;
To prevent your cat from getting bored and seeking out entertainment opportunities when she wakes up in the middle of the night, you should create a special playtime space in a room other than your bedroom.
Your cat should always have access to it.;
A range of toys and food puzzles can keep your cat stimulated and can make her burn off some steam as you continue sleeping.
Shell be less prone to waking you up.;
Are House Cats Nocturnal And How Can You Get More Sleep At Night
Due to their wild ancestry, house cats may display nocturnal behaviors. Meaning they sleep during the day and become active at night. They may also display crepuscular behaviors, where they are primarily active at dawn and dusk.
You can, however, take measures to make a nocturnal kitty more sleepy at night.
Some examples of ways to make a cat sleep at night include feeding the cat a large meal just before your bedtime. Making sure they get plenty of exercise during the day, and ignoring the cat who demands attention or food when youre trying to sleep.
Article by Caitlin Riffee
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Does Your Cat Tend To Make A Fuss
Is your kitty a talker? Does he meow, scratch, or spray if he doesnt get his way? A lot of times we let our pets dictate our lives, but we need to stand firm and decide whats best for us, too. You might determine that you need to close your pet off from the bedroom if hes making too much noise. Or, you might argue that its easier to keep him happy and allow full bedroom privileges.
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Reduce The Light In Your Cat Sleeping Area
Most cats are adaptable creatures, and they are experts at adjusting their schedules to get by on less sleep. A very bright light could make your cat think its playtime. Switch the light to dim light when you want your cat to go to bed. It also makes it understand that dim light means its time to sleep.;
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Reasons Your Cat May Have Trouble Sleeping At Night
While it is normal for cats to be most active in the early morning and evening, cats may have trouble sleeping at night due to health or stress issues.
There could be several causes for changes in your individual cats;sleep schedule. Lets go over a few of the reasons why your cat might wake you up at night.
Address Any Health Concerns
Before attempting to adjust your cats sleep schedule with behavioral modifications, make sure they dont have an underlying medical problem that causes them to stay awake at night. Painful conditions, hormonal imbalances, flea infestations, eye conditions and deafness can make it difficult for your tired cat to sleep peacefully.
If your cat seems restless during the day, too, take her to the vet to rule out these health concerns. For example, some senior animals lose their hearing, so their loud meowing is to try to hear their own noises, explains Dr. Rachel Barrack, a licensed veterinarian and certified animal acupuncturist. Older cats may also increase their cat sounds at night because they cannot see as well, so consider leaving some lights on when you go to bed.
Also note that at certain life stages, a cat waking up at night is actually to be expected. Kittens, for example, have lots of energy to spare!
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How Do Cats Choose Their Favorite Human
Cats can be picky. Some individuals are naturally affectionate with their owners and animal housemates, while others must spend months on earning their confidence. Others make friends with everyone they encounter right away. Cats, more than dogs, are selective when it comes to human connection. If youve ever befriended a picky cat, you know how unique it is to be their preferred companion.
How Do I Stop My Cat From Waking Me Up At 4am
Instinctively cats are active at dawn plus dusk specially during spring and summer when its main prey of small creatures are active in addition theres extended daylight hours. The 4am wakeup call is the time most humans have their deepest sleep but the time your cat is most likely to seek attention.
To stop your cat from;pouncing;on you while you are fast asleep, keep your cat stimulated during the day and avoid over-stimulation before bedtime.
Avoid getting up to feed or play with your cat since it may reinforce the behaviour. An automatic cat feeder or a sanctuary room may be the solution in your household.
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Play With Them Before Going To Bed
Playtime is important for cats of all ages, even though we might tend to think that they need less of it as they grow older.
The best way of making sure that your cat can fall asleep around the time you do is to make sure that she gets enough stimulation during the day.;
If you can, play with your cat at least 30 minutes a day 15 minutes in the morning before you go to work, and 15 minutes in the evening, before her last meal.;
Playing with your cat not only gets rid of some of her excess energy and makes her calm down, but its also important for her health.
Bored and constantly ignored cats can develop a variety of behavioural problems and can end up suffering from depression or anxiety.;
What To Do If Your Cat Is Wide Awake At Night
Until they are seven months old, cats are still kittens and they easily adjust to the rhythms that their master imposes on them, but after the eighth month their true nature, that of nocturnal predators, slowly emerges.
On average, an adult cat wakes up twice during the night and does so with the intent to play, eat or even just because he wants some company. What remedies can be adopted to prevent your furry friend from ruining your sleep?
The first step towards being able to sleep for 8 straight hours is to close your bedroom door, a trivial but very effective solution if you dont want to be disturbed. Initially, you cat might scratch on the door, trying to open it, but when he not generates no reaction, he will soon stop.
If kitty come into your room to see you, dont make the mistake of getting up and filling his bowl, otherwise he will get used to eating in the middle of the night. Instead, give him some dry food just before going to bed. That way, he will go to bed with a full stomach and this will increase the feeling of lethargy. Basically, try not to indulge your cat, giving in to his night-time requests, creating a situation in which your cat will up at night on purpose, to eat or play.
With this advice, you will soon succeed in sleeping at night again and cohabiting with your cat without traumas!
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Calm Down An Anxious Cat
If your pet does seem to be experiencing nighttime anxiety, Rosie recommends trying a synthetic pheromone diffuser, which mimics the pheromone that cats produce when they feel relaxed.
Older cats, particularly those with dementia, are less able to defend their territory at night, and this can make them very restless, Rosie says. Simple tricks, such as closing the curtains to prevent your cat from seeing other cats or foxes, or providing toys to distract her, can help ensure she has a better night.
If Your Cat Meows For Food At Night Do Not Give In And Feed Him
Feeding your cat when he begs for food will just encourage him to wake you for food at night.
Instead, feed your cat his dinner right before you go to bed.
If hes anything like my cat, he will eat a few bites here and there before coming back to finish it at some point in the early morning.
However, if hes like other cats that eat their dinner all at once, then a full belly may encourage him to sleep.
If youre cat doesnt gain weight too easily, you could also provide free-choice food.
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