How To Get Your Cat To Sleep At Night
You can train or encourage your cat to sleep at night with a few adjustments during the day. The most important part is not to reward nighttime behavior with attention and instead schedule daytime play and feeding with your cat.
Keep your cat awake with play. Spend time with your cat when you get home from work or through the evening. Dont allow catnaps and play with or train your cat. This may include:
- Laser light play
- Cat teasers
Change the feeding schedule. Cats often fall asleep after eating. Changing the amount of food and feeding your cat more often during the day can keep your cat active while you’re away. You can use an automatic feeder with smaller amounts of food set at different times throughout the day.
Changing the type of food and moving evening meals to later at night might also make your cat sleepy before bed. If your cat tends to wake up early for food, set an automatic feeder for early morning. Don’t allow feeding in the middle of the night, though, as this will teach your cat to stay awake for food.
Give your cat daytime activity. A feeding toy with food or treats will give your cat both mental and physical activity. Buying new toys or rotating your cats toys may also help keep your cat busy.
Treating health problems like hyperthyroidism or dementia that cause hyperactivity or sleep disturbances may also help with cat night behavior.
What Changes Should I Look For In Breathing
Breathing difficulty such as shallow breathing, mouth breathing, or panting may indicate a problem with the airways or lungs. Cats with breathing problems often will have their head and neck extended or may be unable to sleep in a normal position. Repeated bouts of sneezing or coughing are signs of health issues.
We Want To Keep Them Safe
When we see a cute animal or human baby, our brains recognize their cute features and start to respond.
The part of your brain thats responsible for decision making, the orbitofrontal cortex, sends a message telling you to protect and care for the cute cat.
At the same time, the area of the brain known as the nucleus accumbens, or pleasure center, releases a hit of dopamine, a hormone that makes us feel good.
So, as we care for our cats, our bodies respond with dopamine, making us feel happier than before.
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What Things Should I Look For
Cats that are ill will usually show changes in overall appearance, energy level, sociability, coat appearance and/or amount of shedding, appetite, litterbox usage, breathing, or discharges from the eyes or nose. In general, any sudden change should alert you that your cat needs veterinary attention.
Are There Any Other Symptoms That Are Abnormal
It is not normal for a healthy cat to have any discharge from the nose, debris in the ears, excessive salivation, bad breath, or unusual odor from other parts of the body.
Vomiting, particularly vomiting of clear foamy fluid or bile-tinged material, is cause for alarm.
Gums, skin, or eyes that are pale may indicate anemia, while a yellow tint may indicate jaundice, and a bluish tint may indicate a lack of oxygen. Delaying treatment for these disorders, even by a few hours, can be fatal.
“If you have any concerns or questions about your cats health, visit or call your veterinarians office.”
Because signs of illness can be very subtle, if your cat does not seem right to you, err on the side of caution and to make an appointment for a veterinary examination as soon as possible. If you make it a habit to give your cat a general once-over on a regular basis, you will have an idea of what is normal and will be more likely to catch minor problems before they become major health issues. If your cat will not eat for more than 24 hours, or if you notice any breathing problems, straining in the litterbox, or abnormalities in eyes, seek immediate veterinary attention. If you have any concerns or questions about your cats health, visit or call your veterinarians office they are your best and most reliable resource to ensure your pets wellbeing and health.
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Discovery Of Rem Sleep In Cats
In 1958, William Dement discovered REM sleep in cats. Around the same time, French physiologist Michael Jouvet ushered in what has been called the “golden age” of sleep research. Jouvet called REM sleep paradoxical sleep. Jouvet chose the term “paradoxical” because during this phase of sleep animals showed biological signs similar to those of an awake animal. It was theorized that perhaps they were acting out their dreams in their sleep.
Cats are most active at daybreak and sundown. That’s why kitties seem to love playing at these times and can pester tired owners with wake-up calls and bouts of activity. But they typically adapt to the humans they love, sleeping on the owner’s schedule. That way, they sleep when you are gone and spend more awake time when you are home.
Peever, John. Fuller, Patrick M. The Biology of REM Sleep. Current Biology, Volume 27, Issue 22, Pages R1237-R1248, 2017. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2017.10.026
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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Why Do Cats Snooze So Much
Never one to be accused of an overly active lifestyle, most cats sleep an average of 15+ hours per day. But this sleep is somewhat different than our own. In fact, about three-quarters of their sleep might better be described as snoozing.
This semi-alert slumber has its roots far from the safety of your window sill and all the way back to the pre-domestication days. Cats, like most animals in the wild, needed to be continuously vigilant about predators. To help stay both rested and alert throughout the day, our four-legged friends developed an ability to stay in this light-sleep state for hours at a time.
You can tell when a cat is snoozing because their ears will twitch and rotate toward noises and their eyes may be slightly open. Moreover, a cat can attain this kind of sleep when theyre sitting up, and their sense of smell and hearing can remain active during most of their sleep.
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Side Effects Of Medication
Is your cat on any medication? If so, them being increasingly lethargic and sleeping all day could be a side effect of the drugs theyre taking. In fact, lethargy is a common side effect of many pet medications, especially for anti-anxiety drugs and sedatives where making your cat relax more is the drugs purpose.
However, it can also be an unwanted side effect of many other drugs. For example, opioids such as morphine, codeine, fentanyl, and buprenorphine, are medications sometimes prescribed to relieve severe pain in felines. Yet, all of these drugs list lethargy as a side effect.
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What Can You Do
Be sure to do everything possible to keep your cat stimulated and busy during the daytime so boredom doesnt result in oversleeping and then excessive activity during inappropriate times. Active, vigorous play before you get ready to head to bed can help your cat sleep better through the night. This is especially important to do if you have a kitten. Its imperative not to get up and feed or play with your cat because your cat will learn that pestering you to get out of bed will result in exactly what she wanted! Alternatively, if you try to stay in bed and ignore your cat and then get up only when youve reached your personal limit, it will make your cat determined to continue that behavior. The only way to stop this particularly frustrating feline behavior is to nevereither accidentally or intentionallyreinforce it.
Contributed by Dr. Cathy Lund, DVM
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Ways To Tell If Your Cat Is Bored
Hello Catvocates! I am writing to you from my office this morning. One of my favorite clients and her beautiful, giant Maine Coon named Mongo were in for their annual appointment. Mongos mom is a busy lady. Between work and family obligations, she is not spending as much time with Mongo as she likes to.
Mongo means the world to me, she told me . How can I tell if hes bored?
Wow. What a great question. How can you tell if your cat is bored? The answer is a bit complicated. Boredom is a human emotion. In the world of cat behavior, we tend to think of this emotion as stress. Here are three ways to tell if your cat might be stressed and what you can do about it.
1. Sleeping all of the time. Your cat may adapt to an under-stimulating environment by sleeping life away. It is normal for cats to sleep a lot – up to 16 hours a day. But, it is normal for this sleep to be part of the rest, hunt, eat, groom, sleep cycle. If your cat is sleeping more than is normal, he/she may need more play/hunting stimulation during the day.
2. Overeating is a common outlet to deal with stress, for cats AND people. Providing an all day buffet in the form of a giant bowl of food is understandable. But, it is not doing your cat any favors. Appropriate play/hunting stimulation is a much healthier outlet for these emotions. In fact, cats do best with multiple small meals of controlled portions throughout the 24 hour period.
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Why Does My Cat Lay On Me
Have you ever woken up to find your cat sleeping on your chest or curled up on top of your legs? Or maybe your kitty likes to nestle on your lap while you’re watching TV. Whatever the case, you’ve probably asked at some point, “Why does my cat lay on me?” Cats generally snuggle up with you because they love you and you help them feel warm, safe, and secure.
What Eye Changes May Be Present In A Sick Cat
Droopy eyelids, discharges that are green, yellow, or white, squinting, pupils that are dilated or constricted, or anisocoria (one pupil dilated and the other constricted are all signs that something is amiss. Cats that are sick often have elevated third eyelids the third eyelid is located beneath the lower eyelid and in a sick cat it will cover part of the eyeball. Any abnormality with the eyes can result in blindness if in doubt at all, DO NOT DELAY – see your veterinarian.
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Causes Of Lethargy In Cats
Cats sleep a lot by nature, however, excessive sleep or inactivity could be a sign of illness. Rest is your cat’s natural response to not feeling well and could be a normal part of recovery from a minor condition or it could be an indicator of a more severe condition.
Common causes of lethargy:
- Infection with a minor common virus such as cat flu
Other more serious conditions that are common in cats and cause lethargy are:
- Viral infections such as feline immunodeficiency virus or feline leukemia virus
- Bacterial infection
- Abscesses from bites by other cats
- Musculoskeletal injury
Less common but serious conditions that could cause lethargy in your cat are:
- Protozoal infection
- Cardiovascular disorder such as heart disease
- Respiratory problems resulting in low oxygen levels such as asthma
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Organ failure
Is A Cat Always In Deep Sleep
While its known that cats spend two-thirds of their lives asleep, they arent always in a deep sleep the way we are. Oftentimes, they are just snoozing and this light sleeping makes up about three-fourths of their sleeping time. Cats take light naps, what we like to call cat naps, so that they can get the rest they need while still being alert and ready to pounce. Megan McCorkel, DVM, cVMA, veterinarian, and cat blogger says, Compared to humans, cats are much more alert while they sleep. Youve probably noticed your cat relaxing and sleeping with their eyes partially open. This goes back to their wild instinct, which requires them to stay alert!
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History Of Sleepy Felines
Even if the majority of their time is spent snoozing, cats still sleep a lot. Again, we look back to history for a better understanding. Cats are sprinters. While this mostly comes out in the swift jives around the living room, back in the day it was in pursuit of prey.
Cats evolved to hunt with bursts of energy, and that would hopefully pay-off in a high-protein meal. Whether you like to admit it or not, your cute little kitten is closely related to the fast cheetahs or fierce lions you see on the Discovery channel.
Hunting required a high expenditure of energy and one the best way to restore energy is… sleep! In the wild, a cats ability to rest and recover effectively would often make the difference between feast or famine. Nowadays your cat might get their prey served on a harmless food dish, but the DNA of a hunter still flows through their body.
Obesity / Lack Ofvitamins
Obesity is a very likely reason why your cat sleeps a lot. Apartfrom overfeeding, obesity in cats may also be caused by an imbalanced diet andlack of exercise. An average cat should be fed three to four small meals daily.Feed him a lean, protein-rich diet.
Some cats that are left alone for most of the day with all thefood they can eat are more likely to become overweight. If you have to leavefor long periods, make use of feeders with portion control so your cat doesntovereat. If your pet is an indoor cat, find ways to give him plenty ofexercise. This might require leash training your cat or providing him with interactive toys.
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General Information And Causes
Cats save energy for hunting which means they often sleep for 12-16 hours a day . However, if your cat is sleeping more than usual it could be a sign that something is wrong. Lethargy can be caused by many different conditions ranging from a simple cat bite abscess to more serious problems such as kidney disease, diabetes or poisoning. There are so many different causes of lethargy in cats that it would be difficult to list them all here.
Cat Sleeping Positions & What They Mean
Just like their owners, cats sleep in a variety of positions. From sleeping on their side to sleeping belly up, we can learn a lot about our feline friends through their sleeping positions and habits.
Many cat sleeping positions are instinctual poses from their wild ancestors and are a form of protection. Others demonstrate vulnerability and devotion to their owners. All cat sleeping positions offer little clues that can give insight into how safe and comfortable they feel in your home. Read on to learn more about the meaning behind common cat sleeping positions.
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And What His Crazy Sleeping Positions Mean
Doesnt it seem like your cat is sleeping pretty much all the time?
If youre wondering why your BFF sleeps so much, it has a lot to do with his wild roots and his natural hunting instincts.
The Dodo spoke with Dr. Michelle Burch, a veterinarian from Safe Hounds Pet Insurance, to learn all about why cats sleep so much.
Reasons Why Your Cat Is Sleeping A Lot More Than Usual
Haveyou noticed your cat sleeping more or deeper than usual? An average cat sleeps12-16 hours in a day. The number goes up to 20 hours for kittens and oldercats. Its different for every cat, of course, but basically, your cat wouldspend about 2/3 of its life sleeping or napping. Cats sleep a lot, to say the least. However, changesin sleeping pattern along with other symptoms to watch out for could indicatethat your cat may need some medical attention. So, is your cat sleeping a lotmore than she should be? Here are the possible reasons why your pet kitty maybe sleeping a lot more than usual.
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Curious Kitties Why Does My Cat Sleep So Much
Theres nothing quite like a good cat nap!
You may have noticed that your fluffy feline friend isnt so active during the day, and spends most of their time napping – but why? Despite now living a more domesticated lifestyle, our kitties get this tendency from their wildcat ancestors who would sleep lots during the day so that they had plenty of energy when it came to hunting time at dusk or dawn. Of course, our own kitties wont need to hunt in quite the same way today, but they do still love to snooze!