After sundown, your cat is on the prowl for chaos and crazy! What is it about the evenings that makes our cats more agitated?
Although you might think “Midnight Madness” is a late-night sale at your local mall, those of us who have feisty cats in our homes know better. It involves Fluffy wailing and running through the home in the wee hours of the morning.
For my little tabby Shelby, everything went according to plan. The throaty call and frantic claw tapping on hardwood floors would begin at three in the morning. By morning, she had “killed” and given me a number of my favorite stuffed animals.
Your cat may think the witching hour is the best time to let off steam for a variety of reasons, and this agitated behavior is not uncommon in cats. Here are six common notions about the cat phenomenon:
Natural or nurtured traits? No matter how well-fed your cat is, she may still engage in late-night mischief because she wants to chase and hunt the predators she believes are in your bed and cabinets. Wild cats frequently go on the hunt at night. Furthermore, if your cat isn’t rushing around the house in the middle of the night, you might discover that she prefers to rise early in the morning to go hunting, just like she would if she were a lone cat living outside.
Because cats are typically most active at dawn and dusk, this is the case. Their favored prey animals are more active and easiest to grab during this time of day. Her exuberant energy could be really unpleasant if it wakes you up before your alarm is supposed to go off, whether she is most active at night or in the morning.
whenever you feel hungry. If your cat is starving, she could also act out in the middle of the night. While you may be completely asleep, her stomach may be growling and begging for a late-night snack or dinner. She might be trying to get your attention by making a lot of noise and racing about. Alternately, it can happen in the early morning when she feels the need to get up and hunt for breakfast. If this is the cause of your cat’s irregular behavior at night, establishing the right feeding schedule may be helpful.
Stupid, slothful, or both? Cats spend the majority of their days indoors, just seeking out a solitary sunbeam. They often feed, sleep, and then continue to sleep. This used to be due to the huge hunt that night, but now that it isn’t, they have pent-up energy that needs to be released from all the idleness. It is important to bear in mind that your cat might become more active at night in an effort to seek your attention, even though it is probable that she is merely letting out all the pent-up energy from her inactive day.
After spending the day by herself and perhaps even growing very bored, she might let all of her energy out at night, especially if she doesn’t have any other kitties to keep her company. Your pet might be requesting that you try to talk to her during the day, give her plenty of time with you, and schedule time for interactive play with her.
We require the guard. My team panics if a new cat appears outside a window in the middle of the night (not so much for raccoons or possums). She yowls a deep, menacing yowl as she runs from window to window to help keep the perpetrator out and defend her territory. If you have multiple cats, a yowling tag team will emerge right away.
Fleas can be present. Instead of pent-up energy, the issue may actually be caused by annoying, itchy fleas that are driving your cat crazy. She may still come into contact with fleas even though she spends most of her time indoors. Never assume something “can’t be,” as this is one likely cause you’ll want to identify and take care of right away. Believe me! If you don’t take care of the flea issue soon away, you could develop an infestation that affects not just your cat but also you and your family.
Is she scratching herself? Your cat might have allergies, whether they are food- or air-borne, and the itchy skin that goes along with them can lead to unpredictable behavior and abrupt bolting/flying about the home as she tries to escape the agony. Ask your veterinarian for guidance on this and set up tests if you think it might be the cause of her manic behavior.
The house has a mouse in it. It’s possible that you have a mouse or other pest in the house that emerges at night. Kitty is working as an exterminator, and you’re privately cursing her hard work. Be reasonable and look in the cabinets for mouse droppings, or if she appears fixated on a certain area of the house, have a look to see if her late-night activities are justified. Give your cat a wonderful incentive, such as a new toy or a special treat, if you do discover some vermin. You can thank her for bringing your attention to the issue.
Is it an illness or old age? Cats’ behavior can change in a variety of ways as they age. Although every cat is unique, you can learn a lot about your companion’s unexpected change in behavior by simply observing how she behaves as she ages, especially at night. She may seek medical assistance at night due to health problems, in addition to old age, because she may feel restless, uncomfortable, or in pain. It is recommended to call your vet to see if you can get to the bottom of things and make your cat truly feel better if you see a lot of changes in your pet’s behavior at any time of the day or night.
How Can You Help?
Some might advise putting her in a different room at night, but it just seems like punishing her for being a cat. Additional options comprise:
- Prior to going to bed, spend some time playing actively with her. Try chasing a laser pointer, hiding toys, or playing fetch. Her need to hunt and catch game can be reduced by doing this, and being satisfied also has a relaxing effect. My father used a fishing pole with a plush toy attached. Her pouncing will be achieved quickly if you cast out and reel her back in (without the need to get up to fetch toys she caught and ditched) (without the need to get up to fetch toys she caught and ditched).
- Keep her interested throughout the day. There are several interactive devices available that will let you communicate with your pet and even summon her to it so you may occasionally toss her a reward.
- Look at toys that have timers available. When you’re not around, it will surprise her, keep her occupied with her toys, and help keep her from getting bored.
- When it comes to her toys, mix it up. Pull out some new toys and put the old ones away for later when you notice she’s losing interest in the same old, same old things. Put some catnip on them, and you’ll have hours of playtime even when you’re not home.
- Cat-friendly YouTube channels include ones with birds, fish tanks, and scurrying mice. Put something on for your cat if she enjoys watching videos to keep her entertained when you’re not home.
- Let them put an end to their explorers’ urge. Every morning, I give my crew 10 to 15 minutes on the deck. It satisfies their need to survey what’s happening in their yard, check to make sure their catnip plant hasn’t been tampered with (yes, even in winter), and generally just tends to settle them for the rest of the morning (be on hand to let them in immediately, rain or snow) (be on hand to let them in immediately, rain or snow).
- If she’s the only pet you have, you might want to think about growing your family. Cats are gregarious creatures and adore the company of other cats or dogs. Make thoughtful decisions and give integration time.
If these methods are unsuccessful and your pet has not been infested with fleas or other pests, you might want to consult your veterinarian. Hyperesthesia syndrome is a condition that has symptoms similar to those described above, such as compulsive scratching or grooming and pacing. Despite not being lethal, it does need to be treated and controlled according to your veterinarian’s advice.