Post # 1
I have a 6 year old Burmese cat, have had him all his life (since 12 weeks), he’s an inside cat and has never been allowed to roam the neighbourhood. I take him on walks on a harness and lead once a day.
My FH and I both work full time Monday to Friday so the cat is alone in the house all day long (but I’m sure he sleeps for most of that time). He also hates other animals so seems content being a One Cat Band.
ANYWAY. We moved house 2 months ago to a big, spacious place with a nice backyard (we bought our first home 🙂 ), the first month was OK but just lately the cat has taken to meowing at night and running psycho all over the house in the wee hours of the morning. That included running over our heads, meowing in our faces, which woke me up. I tried the ‘shut the cat out of the bedroom’ tactic but he just banged on the door which kept me even more awake.
I have a background history of insomnia during times of ‘sleep anxiety’. I get it maybe once a year for a few weeks at a time until things settle down (whatever is currently bothering my subconcious I guess). Now that the cat has kept me awake a few nights in a row, it seems that I am lying in bed for hours at a time, every night, because I am anxious and I don’t know what to do about the cat.
Sorry, this is long. The cat is basically my baby, I have no children and he’s my furchild. He’s really spoilt, which I’m only recognising now (begs our dinner at night, demands he be the centre of attention during his waking moments). But yeah, for 6 years I’ve had him, and nearly every night of those 6 years he’s slept on our bed with no problems. So the decision I have to make is: do I lock him up in a spare bedroom overnight or do I just ‘wait it out’ and see if it’s just a phase he’s going through?
Locking him up overnight makes me feel super guilty especially as he’s alone during the day anyway and here in Australia we’re moving into winter so it’s getting colder at night. But if I don’t lock him up, the ball is in ‘his court’, he could meow at any given moment and I find myself lying awake ‘waiting’ for it.
What would you do?
Post # 3
My cat used to do this. Spraying her in the face with water fixed it real quick. I would keep him out of your room at night and punish him for bothering the door. As far as your insomnia goes try taking a melatonin pill 30 minutes before bedtime.
Post # 4
@amyinbrisbane: Lock him in the spare room, no question! We have taken to doing this with most cats I’ve had, at some stage. The cat will be fine, he’ll just go to sleep. Your sleep is more important.
Post # 5
My cat does this ALL. THE. TIME. I refer to it as “the night crazies”. Unfortunately for me I live in a 650sq foot condo, so there physically isn’t anywhere else to put him!
I agree with the melatonin pill – also, before you go to bed, perhaps try to make 20 minutes into some play time for the cat to help wear him out. Sometimes that works with mine.
But, ultimately, he’s a cat. and he does whatever he freakin’ wants.
Post # 6
Don’t let him outside, unless you have a yard that is cat-proof (if there is such a thing lol).
What if he were to run away, or get hit by a car, or get into a fight? I think cats need to be inside animals. I live in a rural area and many people disagree and let their cats run around everywhere, but those same people are the ones pissed off when their cat gets pregnant to a stray, or gets hurt/killed. The life expectancy of an inside cat on average is 12 years, an outside cat is 2 years. So yeah, I don’t think letting a cat outside is a good thing. I may be wrong, but do we have a law in Australia that they actually aren’t aloud out at night because they kill the native wildlife?
As for a solution, do you walk him before bed time? If not, give that a try, hopefully it will make him tired. If that doesn’t work I would close off part of the house, or lock him up in the laundry for the night so he isn’t banging on your door/running across your head.
Not sure about how to fix the insomnia, I get it too actually. I very rarely have a normal sleep pattern (I’m usually awake until 3am every morning), but there are times when I won’t sleep.for a couple of days.
Post # 7
All of my cats do not tolerate closed doors and it just makes things worse. My two cats play together often at night and tear around the apartment. I tried to lock one in the bedroom so they couldn’t wrestle with each other, but my boy cat tore up the carpet in front of the door trying to get back in!
I do have a water bottle next to my bed and will spray them if they get too rowdy. On a bad night I might have to spray them 2 or 3 times but they do stop and go to sleep.
Post # 8
You can try to get him on a schedule that fits better with yours. Cats have a very predictable pattern of play-eat-groom-sleep. Make sure you play with him until he’s too tired to go any longer. It works well for me.
If you decide to lock him up, he’ll eventually get over it and just sleep like the others said. The scratching at the floor/door will stop when he realizes it doesn’t work, and you can get creative to prevent damage from the scratching if necessary (if you need ideas, just ask). By The Way the part about ‘realizing it doesn’t work’ is crucial – if it ‘works’ even once (you get out of bed), he will get much worse.
Good luck – I hope you get a good nights sleep soon!
Post # 9
Yeah, nothing works for my insomnia until I resolve the anxiety behind it (absolving the stressful situation lol).
My parents said I should shut him in the garage – I just worry he’ll get cold at night time. I’m such a wuss!!
Post # 10
@carnivaltheme: This is so true! Cats really do do whatever they want.
My cat is only 1 1/2 years old. She still in a lot of ways has a lot of kitten still in her. But for the most part she usually lets us sleep. But the past 3 nights shes been waking me up from knocking stuff off my dresser. She knows shes not allowed up there. She goes through little stages of hyperness. Like every couple months or so for about a weeks time she gets like this. I shut her out of our room night before last and still could hear her running around and jumping on everything out in the living room. Hopefully this time is still just a phase, for my kitty and yours. Lol
Post # 11
I wouldn’t put him in the garage. He should have a room with things he likes..warm blankets, a nice bed, maybe some toys. You can lock him up and spoil him rotten at the same time 🙂
Post # 12
Watch this and create a new routine for your cat. Mine gets so moody and wakes me up all night if he doesn’t have his routine. I feed him later than I used to now, just before bed which means he sleeps longer til he wants his breakfast and he always has a game just before bed (as well as other times during the day). It could be that you’ve recently moved and so the routine is a bit out ofwhack for your kitty or that he just isn’t active enough during the day.
I think it is awesome that your cat is an indoor cat btw! Mine is too and I am so glad that I always know he’s safe. 🙂
Post # 13
@Dogsbody92: Oh snap! You beat me to it this time!
Post # 14
I second the water spraying idea. My cats hate that. One of them runs and hides as soon as you pick up a spray bottle. I also agree that he will eventually stop trying to break down the bedroom door if you just ignore it. Every time you get up and open the door, even the yell at the cat, he feels reinforced in the behavior.
Our cats were locked out of the bedroom at night for the first year of their lives because we had a roommate. Then he moved out and we started opening the door. They were kind of a pain but not too bad. Then one of them fell off the windowsill over the bed onto my face…split my lip and tore me up pretty good. They’re not allowed in the bedroom at night anymore! They banged on the door for a couple nights, but then they stopped. Their beds are in the hall outside, and they are usually in them if I get up at night.
Post # 15
Do NOT use water sprayer another alternative is an automatic air sprayer that wen he gets too close to the door a puff of air will blast out enough to irk him. If u use water he will associate water with something negative so baths and other activities like that will become more difficult because he sees it as a bad thing. But that’s just half of the problem the other half is energy I think the reason he is acting out is due to way too much energy even tho he is being taken out its nt enough to tire him out so designate a 20 min playtime that will wear him out also remember do not treat ur animals as babies. I adore my animals BUT spoiling them nt only breeds unnecessary behavior but also allows for insecurity and territorial issues.
Post # 16
Get some super-powered extended release melatonin (I had the same sleeping problem as you), and let the cat be free. He’ll be even more unhappy if you lock him up.