Ah, the humble house cat.
By day, a peaceful, purring companion. But by night? A relentless ball of energy that thinks your toes are prey or thinks your house is a race track.
If you’re tired of being woken up in the middle of the night because your feline friend wants to play, here are strategies to help your cat chill out at night so that you can catch some Zs.
1. Play Hard, Sleep Hard
As natural hunters, cats love to play and chase.
Cats are most active during dawn and dusk, so make sure your cat gets enough playtime during the day.
Engage your cat in play activities before bedtime to help them burn off any excess energy.
Use interactive toys that mimic their prey, like wand feathers on strings or laser pointers. This will tire them out, and they’ll be ready to snooze when night falls.
2. Meal Timing is Key
A good meal can make any cat sleepy. Feed your cat their main meal right before your bedtime.
This way, they’ll feel satisfied, and it’ll tap into their natural cycle of hunt-eat-sleep.
Cats can become hyperactive if they are hungry or thirsty. Make sure your cat has access to fresh food and water at all times.
Just in case the small meal they get before bedtime wasn’t enough.
3. Create a Sleep-friendly Environment
Cats love cozy, warm spaces.
Set up a comfy bed in a quiet corner of your home.
Some cats even enjoy having their own little tent or covered bed to retreat to because this helps create a sense of security and relaxation for them.
4. Light Control
Cats are crepuscular animals, which means they’re most active during dawn and dusk.
Try dimming the lights in the evening to mimic the setting sun. This will signal to your cat that it’s time to wind down, and it’ll help them prepare for sleep.
5. Limit Daytime Sleeping
As much as we love seeing our cats curled up in a ball, daytime sleeping can interfere with nighttime rest.
Encourage your cat to stay awake and engage in activities during the day. This will help them sleep better at night.
6. The Power of Pheromones and Soothing Sounds
There are products available that mimic a natural cat pheromone which can help cats feel secure and calm.
These pheromones can be used in diffusers around your home to create a calming atmosphere.
For this, I use a cat stress relief spray called Stress Stopper which works well for my cat.
Cats can also be soothed by soft music or white noise. There are even playlists curated specifically for cats!
Experiment to find out which sounds work best for your furry friend.
7. Check for Medical Issues
If your cat’s hyperactivity is a new development, it might be worth a trip to the vet.
Certain medical conditions can cause restlessness in cats.
For example, hyperthyroidism is a common condition in older cats that can cause hyperactivity.
After your vet rules out medical issues, you can proceed with other techniques.
How do I stop my cat from going crazy at night?
To calm your cat at night and stop them from going crazy at night, engage them in play sessions before bedtime to use up their energy.
Cat-proof your space to stop midnight mischief.
Ensure they get regular mental and physical stimulation during the day with toys or activities.
And establish a routine for play and feeding times to train and regulate your cat’s internal clock, aligning it with your sleep schedule.
Those are some of the first steps to training a cat to calm down at night.
Can I give my cat anything to calm him down at night?
Unless you speak with your veterinarian first, don’t give your cat anything to ingest just so they can sleep at night, even if it seems like your cat just won’t calm down.
Instead of giving your cat a sedative to calm them down, provide them with an environment that is conducive to sleep, and find out other ways you could make your cat feel more relaxed and secure.
Additionally, you can try feeding your cat their main meal before bedtime to help them feel satisfied. This will tap into their natural cycle of hunt-eat-sleep and help them settle down for the night.
If you have to give your cat anything for them to sleep, speak to your veterinarian about it first.
Why is my cat so energetic at night?
Some of the most common reasons why cats become very hyper at night could be because they’re crepuscular animals, they’re bored or understimulated, they’re hungry or thirsty, or they may simply have too much energy.
While we may find comfort in our beds at night, our feline friends are sometimes most active during the night, hunting and exploring.
It’s kind of like their version of hitting the club scene, just without the alcohol and questionable dancing.
Another big part of this is boredom.
If your cat hasn’t been stimulated and entertained throughout the day, they may take it upon themselves to create their own fun at 2am by running around like crazy.
This has happened to me, and I can see the difference in play activity with my cat at night when I take the time to keep her entertained during the day.
Cat owners all over the world understand the difficulties of dealing with a hyperactive feline at night.
With some patience, creativity, and consistency, you should be able to calm your cat and finally get some much-needed rest.
Try some of these techniques and see what works for your cat.