Cat-Related Sleep DeprivationPublished February 4, 2013
Mark Anderson: Andertooons Cat Cartoons
After dinner is over, after all the dishes are done, you finally have the opportunity to wind down. Wrapping yourself in an blanket, you make yourself comfortable on the couch; eager to watch your favorite TV shows. Mister or Miss Kitty, purring softly, curls up in a ball right next to you, and then promptly falls fast asleep.
When the programs are over and it’s time to head off to bed, getting up slowly, you tip toe out of the room, being very careful not to disturb your peacefully slumbering cat. But the moment you tuck yourself into bed, turn off the lights, close your eyes and are just about to drift off to dreamland, apparently out of nowhere, your cat lunges onto the covers to announce “It’s play time.” You sit up scratching your head wondering, “Why is my cat doing this? What makes my kitty pick the craziest times to play?"
Hoping to entertain and appease kitty while you try to get back to sleep, in frustration, you hurl a toy across the room. But within a nanosecond, she’s showing off her predatory talent by fetching the darned mouse and with a demanding look on her face, drops it on your chest.
However by tossing that toy, you inadvertently invited this seemingly endless game to begin. And now, being sleep deprived, you pick up the cat, remove her from the room and close the door. Shortly thereafter she starts serenading you and scratching under the door. You let kitty back in. Now the tables have turned, and your cat has started her training program for you to succumb to her wishes. You ask yourself, “How will I ever again get a decent night’s sleep?”
Although many folks refer to cats as nocturnal creatures, they are crepuscular; hunting first thing in the morning and then again at dusk. Evening hunting is part of their essential nature. So by taking advantage of these feline cycles using Cat Daddy Jackson Galaxy's, description of feline behavior; “hunt, catch, kill, eat, sleep” you honor your cat’s needs. With patience and consistency, following this routine, you will ultimately get all the uninterrupted shut-eye you need.
To release your cat’s pent-up energy, a half-hour before retiring, engage your kitty in energetic play for about 15 minutes. Use a feather flyer, (a feather attached to a wand), or drag a rolled up piece of paper attached so kitty can “hunt” and “kill.” After playtime is over, give your cat a bed-time snack; soon she will want to sleep.
But if your cat continues to hound you to play, don’t give in. Resist the temptation to throw a toy, or to exile her to another room or even squirt her with a water bottle. Pay absolutely no attention to her at all. Your cat will eventually realize that this behavior gets no rewards (negative or positive!) and will ultimately give up. But remember that this phase will require a lot of patience and total consistency, but you will be rewarded with a good night’s sleep.
What steps have you taken to “correct” your kitty if you identified with the above scenario? Share them in a comment.