Click here to learn more.
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
A. Cats have night vision that puts any man-made invention to shame. When you think about that, it’s not surprising that a lot of cats, especially young ones, love prowling about in the dark. If you have other plans (such as sleeping) they really don’t care. It’s showtime at the Cat Cabaret!
The “solution” to this problem used to be to put the cat outside, turn out the lights and go to sleep. But these days we know that remedy isn’t the best. Free-roaming cats generally don’t live anywhere near as long as indoor cats, because of the hazards of life outside. From cars and coyotes to cat-hating neighbors, there are plenty of dangers for a
cat outside. And, of course, there’s an argument to be made that these cats cause problems just by doing what comes naturally, including hunting and burying their feces in the neighbors’ gardens. Keeping your cat inside is safer for your cat and more considerate of your neighbors.
When you bring a cat indoors, though, you can't just shut the door on him and call it a day. You have to provide for a cat's physical and mental needs by creating an enriched environment for him. That’s the subject of a wonderful new book called
Your Home, Their Territory: Creating the Right Habitat for Your Indoor Cats. The author is my friend and colleague Dr. Tony Buffington of
The Indoor Pet Initiative at The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center.
Since I know that this behavior is common among indoor cats, I asked Dr. Buffington to weigh in with his suggestions for getting a good night's sleep with a cat in the house.
Change meal time. “Feed the
cat before you go to bed vs. before you leave in the morning,” Dr. Buffington suggests. Because we are all more likely to sleep after a meal (think about the postprandial pause after we push back from the Thanksgiving table!) feeding just before your bedtime will make your cat more likely to snooze, too.
Make time for playtime. “Providing play opportunities will help ‘wear the cat out’ before bed," Dr. Buffington says. If a long day at work leaves you too exhausted to play with Kitty, get a
toy that your pet can play with on his own, like the
Fling-ama-String, one of my Dr. Becker’s Best from the
Global Pet Expo. Set it up at the other end of the house and hit the sack!
Widen your cat’s world. “I’d suggest they enrich the environment so they’re not the only source of the cat’s stimulation and activity,” Dr. Buffington says. “Add feeding
bird feeders outside, cat videos, etc.” This keeps your cat busy all day and makes him more likely to sleep all night.
I love these suggestions from Dr. Buffington. Not only will they help you sleep, but they’ll also make your cat happier as well. Talk about a win-win!
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Duke, a handsome 9-year-old Great
Pyrenees, was handily elected to a third
term as mayor of Cormorant, Minnesota.
We asked veterinary experts how pets
are affected by the plant — and if they
can spread its oils to people.
Does your dog expect a food reward
every time he comes when called? Make
these changes to the way you train him.
Veterinary clinics have seen a rise in
marijuana intoxication in pets, especially
from edibles and cannabis…
If your cat isn't leaping onto furniture and
counters like he used to, then a visit to
the vet might be in order.
Known as the gentleman of the Terrier group, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier has a self-confident attitude.
Parasites are no fun for dogs. Learn how
to protect your canine from heartworms,
hookworms, whipworms and more.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.