Well, I have some bad news for you. Being woken up from a sound sleep in the night or early morning hours by a hungry, nudgy and active cat is less than desirable for a human. Unfortunately, this undesirable behavior is purrrfectly normal for a cat. I will tell you why and explain to you what you can do about it.
Let’s start with normal cat behavior. If your cat lived outdoors, it would need to catch somewhere between 8-13 mice or birds a day to stay fed. To keep up with this need, your cat would hunt both during the day and night, with lots of recharging naps in between. Many of your cat’s favorite meals would be most active and available during the night and the early morning hours. So, your clever cat is programed to be alert and in hunting mode at these times…which is precisely when you would like to be hard at work on your REM sleep!
To make matters worse, your schedule likely reinforces this. Most of our cats have little to no stimulation during the day. You are at work, the house is quiet, and your cat has nothing to do but sleep. For your cat, the active day begins when you get home from work and your home springs to life.
So how can you use this knowledge of normal cat behavior to redirect your nudgy cat and get some sleep?! You can solve this problem in two easy steps.
1- Make night time hunting time! Understanding that it is normal for cats to hunt overnight, and eat multiple small meals in the 24 hour period is all the info you need. Give your cat the opportunity to hunt for their food overnight, instead of eating from a bowl all day! The best way to do this is with The NoBowl Feeding System™. Before you turn in for the night, measure your cat’s favorite dry food or treats, split them between the five NoBowls™ and hide them outside of the bedroom. Now, your hungry cat can fulfill its natural instincts to hunt and eat overnight…and you can finally get some uninterrupted sleep.
2- Don’t give in. Your cat has been training you to wake up and amuse or feed him/her for some time now. So, it might take a few days for your cat to learn this new way of life. Stay strong! Don’t give in! Pull the covers over your head and ride it out. In a few days, your cat will learn that it is way more fun to hunt and eat NoBowls™ than it is to wake up his/her cranky, sleepy human.
Good night! Sleep tight!