Dealing With opposite Schedules – With Your Cat!
Your sleep app says you were interrupted seven times last night. But you probably don’t need the app to tell you why — you live with a nocturnal animal, and no, it isn’t an infant. It’s a cat.
They bounce around the house, run into walls, bite your toes, scratch at doors. So how do you get your beauty rest when all they want is your attention? Here are five tried and true ways:
Give them some space.
It sounds counterintuitive, especially if your cat is fighting for your attention. But by teaching your feline friends that your bed is not, in fact, their bed — or a space they should even think about entering– you can set a precedent.
Get a (cheap) cat bed or tower for your cat to spend time in, instead, and implement a no-human-bed rule. Easier said than done, right?
This rule is usually most easily enforced when it exists from the start of your relationship, but if it’s too late for that, you may have to tempt him to use his own bed with a bit of catnip or a treat at first.
The most important thing about introducing your cat to his new domain is to enforce that your domain is not his. Don’t allow for sleeping on the bed when you are at work or at home. Be strict. It’s an off-limits area, period.
Close it off.
Your room can be a safe zone at night. You already know you can shut the door, but oftentimes, that results in a lot of collateral damage to your home, like scratched paint and wood. To protect your door, choose a scratch pad like this one.
If the problem is more serious, you might consider buying scratch material in yards and making your own, wide pads at home. (Just cut and attach a string!)
If the noise of the pad/claw is still too much, considering earplugs is an option, though I’m not a fan. Now that I mention it, a fan is also an option.
Opt for predictability.
Try to feed your cat at the same time every day, about a half hour before you go to bed. Choosing a later time to feed can extend your sleeping time in the morning. When it comes to the room, it’s a safe zone for the same hours every night.
That means you’ll have to close the door around the same time each evening. It can beneficial for your sleep not just because it changes your cat’s routine, but also because it allows you to stick to a sleep schedule.
With opaque curtains and close attention to knocking out all lights in the room, you can blackout and block-out the toe-biting, and maybe the playing. Include even the alarm clock light. Cats can see in the dark, but cats can’t see in the dark.
Ease the boredom.
Your sweet cat might be asleep all day at home alone. Or perhaps she’s awake, licking her paws — while lying down. Either way, she’s likely not expending a ton of energy.
Thankfully there are a few solutions.
Set playtime for just before eating time, about one hour before bed. Exhaust your cat for at least a half hour. Break out the laser pointers, ribbons, toy mice — whatever it takes to help her bounce her way through boredom.
Or, the classic solution: get another cat. The two of them should have so much fun chasing each other and play fighting during the day they’ll be tuckered out by bedtime.
How have you tamed the nocturnal nuisance that is your cuddly cat? Tell us your tips on Facebook!