Meal time is key
In the wild, cats are used to hunting their prey at dawn and at dusk. It’s no surprise then that they don’t mind staying up all night. Domestic cats, however, can fully adapt to their owner’s rhythm. And there’s a simple way to achieve this: by making sure their last meal of the day is served at the right time.
Just like us, digestion makes cats sleepy. So, in order to help them adapt to our rhythm, it’s important to give them their evening meal fairly late. Ideally, you should feed your cat one or two hours before you go to bed. This will give your cat time to groom themselves, before nodding off to dreamland at the same time as you.
Make sure your cat gets plenty of exerciseThe best way to make sure your kitty drifts off to sleep is to make sure they’re tired. Before giving your cat their last meal, set aside some playtime. Whether you use a piece of string, cat balls or some other toy, the main thing is to let your cat run, jump and climb. Once you feel they have had enough exercise (not to mention fun!), you can then give them their evening meal.
If you live in an apartment and work all day, make sure your cat doesn’t get bored in your absence. Why not “catify” your apartment by placing toys and curious objects around the place and installing one or more perches. The more you fill your cat’s day, the less likely they are to be active during the night.
Know when to ignore your cat
This is the hardest part, but also the most important in order for the methods above to really work. If your cat wakes you up during the night, ignore them! Don’t feed them, pet them or scold them. Don’t even grumble – the best thing to do is to completely ignore them! After about 10 days, your cat should get tired of this game and stop bothering you.
Similarly, if your cat starts waking you up looking for food too early, you should adopt the same “feline psychology” approach. Take your time getting up: have your breakfast and get dressed before you give your cat their first meal. That way, they’ll eventually understand that there’s no point rushing you to get fed. We know it won’t be easy not to give in, but be strong ;)