It’s normal for your cat to follow you around every now and then since, after all, these cute feline companions live for their owners’ attention. But the problem comes when your furry buddy insists on hanging out, feeding, playing, and cuddling in the middle of the night, denying you some much-needed shut-eye in the process.
So why won’t your cat leave you alone at night?
Your cat won’t leave you alone at night because they are lonely or bored. Kitties left alone during the day might look to recover lost time by stalking their owners through the night. They also might be hungry. Health problems might also make your cat overdependent at night.
In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at some of the reasons behind your cat’s self-appointment as your new nighttime bodyguard. If he attacks your ears, nibbles your toes, yowls for attention, and confidently walks across you during sleep, then keep reading!
Reasons Why Some Cats Nag at Night
While it is normal for some cats to be active during nighttime, most home cats prefer keeping up with the household schedule. This means sleeping when everyone sleeps, despite lazing around all day.
Below are some of the reasons why your cat won’t let you sleep at night.
Being Home Alone
If you’re the busy type that leaves your feline companion alone at home, chances are your cat will spend all day sleeping and relaxing. This means that by the time you come home, your little kitty will be active and raring to get involved in endless play with you.
Therefore, if you don’t engage your cat in play once you get home, he will almost certainly accompany you to your bedroom, expecting to get his share of your attention.
All cats love to eat, regardless of size and breed. And if there are something cats are good at, then it has to be securing their meals.
So if your cat is meowing endlessly through the night, there’s a huge possibility he is hungry or desperately craving a snack or that midnight treat that you’ve made a routine.
You’ll know your cat is hungry if he meows persistently as if trying to wake you up. To avoid such situations, it’s highly advisable to stick to a solid meal schedule since switching it up can leave your cat hungry at night, especially if he takes time to adjust.
If your cat continues meowing and nagging you through the night despite you giving in to his demands, then there could be an underlying medical issue. Some health complications may make your kitty uncomfortable, vocal, or needy, and hyperactive at night.
Some of the conditions include chronic illness, hyperthyroidism, anxiety, and pain.
Therefore, if your cat comes off as unsettled and uncomfortable throughout the night, then he might be trying to wake you up as a cry for help.
Don’t hesitate to consult your local vet if the behavior persists for two or more days, especially if there’s a significant change in his feeding and play patterns.
Cats thrive on attention and love to play and cuddle with their owners. Therefore, failure to provide enough toys or activities to keep your cat busy during the day means he’ll have all the energy to burn at night.
To ensure your cat leaves you alone at night, getting him creative toys like the Flurff Interactive Cat Teaser With Replacement, available at Amazon.com, is highly recommended. This automatic cat toy will keep your kitty entertained for hours, as the toy butterfly is attached to the base with a bouncy wire.
You can also get the Songway Cat Hammock from Amazon.com to motivate your cat to get some shuteye next to you during the night. Cats love a gentle swaying and this hammock provides just that. The bed is soft and it will help your cat go right to sleep.
Similar to other pets, cats need behavior training in order to respect and observe home rules.
Inviting your cat to bed and engaging him in endless play and cuddles before sleep kicks in is a sure recipe for disaster as he’ll get used to the patterns and become entitled sooner rather than later.
Therefore, if you don’t want your cat hanging around you at night and initiating cute, but still annoying, play, it’s best not to invite him in the first place.
Train your cat to sleep in his section by maintaining a strict schedule.
Don’t give in to the cute meows, no matter how adorable and round his eyes get.
Cats love and trust their parents to the extent of following them everywhere, especially when scared or unsettled. As a result, your cat will almost certainly follow you and try to be as close to you through the night, and day, if you’re in a new or unfamiliar location.
The good thing is that he’ll stop nagging you at night when he acclimates to the new environment. So try being a bit understanding to your cat by giving him enough time to settle if you’ve moved houses or made some modifications to his bedding area.
Your cat might also insist on sleeping with you if he’s scared of a new family pet or an unfamiliar guest. The trick is to help your cat adjust by making him feel comfortable.
How To Make Your Cat Leave You Alone at Night
Now that we’ve examined some of the reasons why your cat nags you at night, let’s take a quick look at some ways to solve or prevent the problem.
Observe a Strict Meal Schedule
A hungry cat won’t stop at anything until you set him straight. This means that, provided he’s comfortable enough with you, he’ll meow throughout the night until you get up and serve him some goodies.
To avoid such situations, it’s best to adopt a strict meal and snack pattern that’ll prevent him from getting hungry. Ensuring your cat is well fed before heading to bed means he won’t be hungry at night, allowing you to get that much-needed sleep.
Ignore Your Cat at Night
Sometimes the best way to kill off the bad habit is by ignoring your cat until he gets disinterested. Try as much as possible not to give into cuddles and respond to his meows lest he thinks he can grab your attention at night.
And as Jackson Galaxy advises in his youtube video, teaching your cat to respect nighttime is a solid way to ensure he leaves you alone at night:
Add Another Cat
Adding another cat to the family will give your first cat a companion and a play buddy.
This might work well to prevent boredom, especially if you live alone and have to spend hours away at work or school.
Be careful when adding another cat, as you must ensure you get one that’s compatible with your cat. Ideally, you should consider adding cats in their kitten stages as they’re a lot more likely to get along compared to adult cats.
Train and Set Boundaries
Behavior training is a great way to keep your cat in check, especially if he can’t sleep or function when you’re not around. Try using positive reinforcement, mostly in the form of treats, to reward your cat for good behavior.
For instance, you can give him a treat for sleeping in his designated area.
Setting boundaries will also help you cut the nighttime attachment. An example is keeping your bedroom area out of bounds, not only for your cat but also for other household pets you might have.
Some of the main reasons behind nocturnal cat behavior include:
- Poor behavior
- Medical problems
- Adjustment to new environments
The trick to preventing your cat from nagging you at night is setting boundaries and observing a strict meal schedule.
Don’t allow your cat in your bed or room if you don’t plan to be sleeping with him. It would also help to give him some toys and play companions if you have a busy schedule and often leave your cat alone.
- WebMD: Nighttime Activity Cats
- The Spruce Pets: How to Stop Your Cat From Waking You at Night
- Pet Educate: My Cat Won’t Leave Me Alone All Of A Sudden [What Can It Mean?]
- FAQ Cats: How To Get A Cat To Leave You Alone – 11 Tips
- WebMD: When Your Cat Wakes You Up
- Gallant: HOW CAN I GET MY CAT TO STOP WAKING ME UP DURING THE NIGHT?
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.