Why Do Cats Go Crazy At Night
When the sun goes down, your cat is on the prowl for madness and mayhem! What is it about the night time that brings out the friskiness in our cats?
While you may think Midnight Madness is a late night sale at the local mall, those of us who share space with a feisty feline know better. It means Fluffy racing around the house in the wee hours while emitting a bone-chilling howl.
For my tiny tabby Shelby, it was like clockwork. The guttural, throaty call and the tap, tap, tap of busy claws on hardwood floors would begin at 3 am. By morning my bed was peppered with favorite soft toys that she had killed and brought to me throughout the night.
This manic behavior is not uncommon in cats and there can be a number of reasons your kitty feels the witching hour is the best time to cut loose and let off steam. Here are six common thoughts about the feline phenomenon:
When hunger strikes. Another reason why your cat might be acting up during the night is because shes feeling hungry. While you might be fast asleep, her tummy might be growling and ready for a midnight snack or meal. This might cause her to run around, making loads of noise to try to get your attention. Or, again, it might happen in the early hours of dawn when her natural instinct tells her that it is time to get out there and hunt down some breakfast. So, figuring out the right meal schedule might make a difference if this is the reason your cat acts a little crazy during the night.
What Can You Do?
When Cats Start Scratching Your Door
Id also like to mention something even worse than cats meowing outside your door: Cats scratching at your door. Its clear in this case that you want to protect your door. You can do this with double-sided sticky tape or Sticky paws*, as cats dont like to get their paws sticky. When we first got our cats, we stuck cardboard on our door, just in case. As kittens, they were only allowed to be in this one room at first before the rest of the apartment was added to their territory, so we wanted to make sure the door didnt take damage in case they really wanted to get out. Luckily they were good boys and didnt damage the door or the cardboard. The sticky tape was also easy to remove at the end.
I hope those ideas will help you get your cats to stop meowing. If you have found any other effective means of stopping your cat from meowing, feel free to share in the comments!
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The Science Behind ‘cat Zoomies’
Sure, the nighttime zoomies can be charming but theyre not great for people who already have trouble sleeping. Increasing a cats daytime activity by providing them with food puzzles, a bird feeder to watch, or some other kind of enrichment can all help calm a cat down before bedtime, Delgado explains.
can also give their cats a nice interactive play session in the early evening with a feather wand or other fishing pole style toy, and then feed cats dinner, she says. Usually the combination of exercise and a meal will help your cat settle down for the evening.
We might never know the one true cause of the zoomies, but at least we have some good ideas. In the best-case scenario, cats are just expending some pent-up energy. At the very worst, theyre trying to open the portal to the cat dimension. But who knows.
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Ways To Play More With Your Kitten
One way to keep a kitten active is giving it a companion. Kittens and puppies often get along, as well as kittens with other kittens. Either way, with a friend around, most kittens stay more active during the day, tiring them out by night.
However, sometimes two cats enjoy getting into nighttime adventures together, so be prepared for the possibility of even more disturbance from time to time.
Setting a specific time for playing with your kitten can make it easier for you to remember to do it daily, and it also trains your kitten and builds your bond with each other.
However, its also a good idea to stop playtime about an hour before you want to go to sleep, so the kitten isnt feeling too hyped-up right before you turn out the lights.
What If The Circling Becomes Excessive
While watching our cats turn around before bedding down is amusing, it can also be a signal that something is wrong. Cats that are in pain will circle excessively as they struggle to find a more comfortable position. They may also crouch and rise several times before completely reclining.
If your cat has difficulty settling down even after making several revolutions, consult your veterinarian. Orthopedic disorders like arthritis and neurological disorders, such as spinal cord or back problems, can turn the routine nighttime circling into a painful experience. With proper evaluation and therapy, bedtime can once again become a comforting and comfortable ritual.
|Contributors: Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM Lynn Buzhardt, DVM|
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This Crazy Cat Behavior Will Keep You Up All Night
Youre all tucked in bed, dreaming peaceful dreams that feature tropical drinks, an ocean breeze, and warm sunshine when it happens. Suddenly, Miss Mittens begins to sing the song of her people while racing through the house at top speed. Cat parents around the globe, we feel your pain. Cat behavior often seems difficult to decode, but were here to get to the bottom of the most common behavioral issues that keep you up all night. Most importantly, well tell you how to nip each problem in the bud so you can go fall asleep peacefully minus the furry interruptions.
What Do They Encounter
Your small little cuddlebug may seem like a couch potato during the day, but youd be surprised that their instincts kick in whenever they get the opportunity. In fact, they may have delivered you a present of a mouse or bird on your kitchen table, if they are allowed outdoors.
A study conducted by the University of Georgia collected the video footage of over 50 cats to see what it is they do, where they go, and what they encounter at night. They found that up to half of the studied cats spent their time hunting wildlife, like lizards, frogs, and mice. Other cats did a lot of exploring, too, but many of them stayed within a ½ mile of their home. Since cats are territorial, they tend to roam in their own neighborhood, on established paths they become acquainted with.
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Kittens Are Wired For Nocturnal Activity
Most species of cat, including house cats and kittens, are naturally nocturnal, making them prone to nighttime activity.
Some people say cats can see in the dark due to being nocturnal, but cats actually see best in low-light levels, such as just after dusk and just before dawn when prey animals are often active. Cats cant see in total darkness.
The hours of early evening and early morning, just before and after light, are the times kittens are often most alert and ready for play and adventure.
Kittens Have Predatory Instincts
Cats of all kinds and their kittens naturally hunt for a living in the wild. In combination with a kittens nocturnal nature, predatory instincts contribute to nighttime activity in kittens.
A kitten thats jumping, leaping, lunging, and going crazy late at night is quite possibly doing it due to pent-up predatory instincts, which are switched on at night.
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Cat Keeping You Awake How To Manage Night Activity
Many cat owners find their felines nighttime habits frustrating, though the cause is natural. Cats are crepuscular, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk. Some kitties are more active through the night, but that doesn’t make them nocturnal animals .Living peacefully with them entails shifting their schedule slightly and managing their environment so you can sleep.
Many people reinforce boisterous nighttime activity without meaning to. They might get up to feed, play with, or simply chase them out of the room. All of these responses teach the cat that disturbing you gets attention. The first step is to avoid rewarding the disturbing behavior with your attention.
Cats will sleep all day if allowed, so make time for regular sessions of interactive play early in the evening. Many cats enjoy cat teasers, playing fetch, or chasing a laser pointer. Even spending five minutes a day on these activities can go a long way in stimulating and tiring out your cat.
One option is feeding your cat meals from a food-dispensing toy. Feeder toys simulate a wild felines hunt-catch-consume behavior, providing both mental and physical stimulation.
If your cat is jumping on the bed and disturbing you, close your bedroom door so they cant practice the wrong behavior. You can also place a towel between your closed bedroom door and the door frame to prevent door-rattling. White-noise machines in the bedroom and ear plugs can also help you get a good nights sleep.
How Can You Stop Your Cat Running Around At Night
1. Buy automated cat toys that can keep your cat entertained.
2. Engage your cat in a heavy play session at night to exhaust your cat and help them sleep throughout the night.
3. Delay your cats dinner until very late in the night when you are about to sleep.
4. Lock your cat out of the room until morning.
Does your cat run around at night and what do you do to stop them?
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Confine Your Cat For The Evening
If your cat is especially boisterous or destructive at night, you may need to confine her to a spare bedroom or bathroom for the evening. Make sure your cat is in a big enough space so that shes able to walk around. Provide food, water, a litter box, and scratching post in the same room. If your cat starts whining because she wants to come out, dont give in. If you do, you will be rewarding the cat for vocalizing and scratching at the door, Simpson says. That means shell learn that shell get what she wants if she cries long enough.
What You Must Not Do
If your cat wont stop meowing at night, you might be annoyed and think: Ugh, Ill just get up and feed the little bugger so hell finally shut up. It might work at first, but what youre teaching your cat if you do this is that he only needs to meow long enough for you to get up and feed him. So he will do this more often from then on.
Its similar if you as an annoyed human step outside your bedroom door and splash your cat with your water pistol. This will likely make your cat stop trusting you, on the other hand the cat registers that you actually got up and paid attention to him. So, again, hell start showing that kind of behavior more often. The general rule for teaching your cats is: Positively enforce good behavior, never punish negative behavior.
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Why Do Cats Do The Crazy Crazy Dash
It is just part of the cats pent up energy. It is just catches us off guard.They do it because instinctively they are hunters and their inbuilt radar tells them to go and catch their prey. This may involve sudden short bursts of energy. This is much like watching a big cat on TV stalk his prey and then go in for the kill.
Its all in the surprise. Sorry to sound gruesome but it is part of kittys natural behavior.
The night part is because cats are crepuscular which means that they are most active at dawn and dusk.
What Are Cat Zoomies
As the name suggests, you’ll know your cat has the zoomies when they ‘zoom’ and frantically run around the house. And then, almost as quickly as they started, the zoomies end and your kitty is back to snoozing on the couch.
“The zoomies typically look as if a switch has flipped,” says Pam Johnson-Bennett, CCBC, author and owner of Cat Behavior Associates.
From a cat parent’s perspective, the zoomies may look as if the cat has suddenly gone crazy for no obvious reason. But there’s a technical term for this behavior: Frenetic Random Activity Periods, or FRAPs. When your cat gets an intense burst of energy, running around the house is a simple way for cats to get that energy out.
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Medical Problems And Night Time Active Kittens
A kitten thats acting crazy at night could have a medical problem thats causing the behavior. A medical cause is not as likely as the other reasons listed above, but if nothing seems to reduce the behavior, a trip to the veterinarians office may be in order to rule out health issues.
A medical problem in a kitten is likely to be accompanied by meowing and other obvious signs of distress or sickness along with possible nighttime activity.
One health issue that can make kittens overactive is flea allergies or an infestation of fleas. If your kitten has fleas, taking action quickly is vital to keep the infestation from spreading and taking hold in your home.
Flea allergies happen when a kitten or other pet becomes sensitive to fleas and reacts strongly to a bite. Scratching and chewing are primary symptoms.
What Can I Do About The Mad Dashing Around The House
First of all, the cat night crazies is not a behavior you are going to stop and there is no need to worry about it. We all know kitties work in mysterious ways.
Keeping the cat active and stimulated can replicate hunting behavior. Provide toys that he can chase and provide interaction.
If your cat is only an indoors kitty, you will need to be the provider of stimulation.
Remember to let the cat catch the toy so that he has some satisfaction of catching what he was chasing.
Toys such as fishing rod toys are great for playing with the cat.
Simon Tofields animation absolutely nails the cat crazies and there is some excellent advice from a cat behavior expert. I couldnt stop laughing while watching this video.
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Tips For Quieting Night
Is your cats meowing keeping you up at night? You’re not alone. Many cat lovers are dragging out of bed to quiet a feisty feline.
A cats night-time vocalizations are his way of signaling a need such as hunger, thirst, or loneliness. Once you figure out why your cat fusses at night, you’ll find it easier to calm him.
Before trying any of our 7 tips, be sure to take your cat to the vet. Like the rest of us, cats can cry because of illness or pain. If you’ve ruled out health issues, though, consider some of these tactics to stop your cat from meowing all night:
1. Reset your cats body clock.
Cats are crepuscular and nocturnal . Even though cats are wired for activity at the same time you’re snoozing in bed, you can reset your cats body clock with a little patience and diligence
Jackson Galaxy from the TV show My Cat From Hell recommends providing toys throughout the day while youre away. Active play can between naps can help your cat stay alert during the day. When night falls, schedule a hearty play session with your feline friend to further tire him out. Follow playtime with his evening meal. Pushing your cats mealtime back will help minimize his crying for a midnight snack.
If your cat is a free feeder and grazes throughout the day, changing this behavior could prove a wee bit more challenging.
2. Provide essentials like food and water.
3. Scoop the litter box before bed.
4. Give your kitty plenty of playtime and affection before bed.
Want more for kitty?
How To Help A Cat With The Midnight Crazies
Midnight crazies in cats are neither fun for the cat nor is for the pet parent. If you are in such a situation, here are a few things you can do as a pet parent:
Play With Your Cat Before Bedtime
An easy but important thing you can do to help your cat out is – play with them. Spend quality time with your pet before their bedtime by playing or training. You can also opt for fun toys like a teaser or an automatic mouse toy.
Keep Them Entertained With Interactive Toys And Playtime
As we all know cats are quite picky – so, make sure they dont get bored by their toys or through playtime. To keep them mentally and physically stimulated even when you are not at home – choose toys like catnip toys or mouse toys to bring out their natural instincts. You can make playtime interactive with new games like cat and mouse chase!
Adjust Your Cats Feeding Schedule
A cat with a full stomach is bound to have a good night’s sleep. To help your cat get rid of their midnight crazies, you can feed them their meals late at night rather than in the evening.As a cat parent, you should also stick to a proper feeding schedule and not entertain cat treats in the middle of the night.
Create A Peaceful Environment For Your Cat
Before bedtime, put away any toys or things that can stimulate your cat. Do not feed them or bring them their favourite toy if they misbehave at night, as this can lead them to stick to their new behaviours. You could also consider crate training to reduce misbehaviour.
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