By Nan Talleno
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Cats are, by nature, primarily nocturnal, meaning being active at night. But they have also adapted extremely well at becoming diurnal, which is being active by day.
Many cats have made that shift successfully without much effort. But there are those who may still experience a degree of difficulty in shifting from ingrained sleep patterns and may need a little help as they still resort to roaming around in the twilight hours while you sleep.
If there is no safety issue for your cat overnight and your cat isn’t keeping you awake, then no harm done with a little nighttime activity. But if your feline is wreaking a little havoc and putting himself/herself in danger while seeking out nightly mischief, then it’s time to intervene.
Whenever possible, try to keep your cat very active during the day by providing playtime at several regular intervals; try offering new toys and various scratching posts too. A little change always incites some interest. Just don’t deviate too much from structure to create stress. A tired cat by day’s end will mean a sleepier cat at night.
Make sure feeding times are on schedule every day and feed shortly before bedtime to help induce sleep. Check your food’s nutritional value, a healthy balanced diet is vital and can make a difference.
Provide a warm comfortable bed for your cat to call his/her own. Sometimes other animals, especially dogs in the household also help to influence sleep patterns too.
Never punish for this behavior. Be patient, it may take a few days to a couple of weeks but stay consistent and, in time, your cat can be nodding off when you do.