It is a well-known, well-documented fact of life that there is actually nothing better than snuggling with your furry companion when it comes time to turn in for the night. Nothing gets you ready for dreamland like feeling those teeny tiny little kitten paws circling around your entire bed 500 times, then flopping down on your face and kneading at your gut for 20 minutes until both of you fall into sweet, sweet slumber. It’s these priceless moments that make kitty parenthood all worth it.
Unless, of course, your cat has been stricken with The Midnight Crazies. What. The. HECK. Getting to sleep is hard enough as it is these days, what with all the unanswered questions of the universe begging for your undivided attention at 2 in the gotdang A.M., and the unrelenting sound of STUDENT DEBT ringing in your brain, what else could possibly keep you, an emotionally fragile and anxiety-ridden disaster awake ALL FREAKING NIGHT? Oh yeah! Your cat.
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What peril! What betrayal! Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. There was one instance when my first born son and heir to my throne, Danger, decided to go full-throttle Attack Ninja in the middle of the night on my face. My FACE! My money-maker! Granted, he was but a wee kitten back then, but sweet baby Jesus if there’s anything more terrifying than being woken up by tiny little needle-like kitten claws then keep me out of it.
We’ve all been there before. Just when you finally hit that perfect moment when your brain shuts the heck up and you cease the endless agonizing over everything that could ever go wrong in your life, Princess Porkchop Esq. decides to go all AWOLNATION all over your precious slumber time, wreaking havoc for no reason. It’s like John Travolta himself snuck into your house and stabbed her right in the heart with Epinephrin, all Pulp-Fictiony-like. Et tu, Princess Porkchop? Et tu?
Day Dreamers/Night Owls
Image: Jessica Fless-Hill via flickr
But why? Well, one reason is the fact that cats are pretty much nocturnal. I say “pretty much” because cats have an insane sleeping schedule. The average cat sleeps 16 to 20 hours a day, not unlike myself, and those hours usually span across the daytime when the sun’s a’shinin’, also not unlike myself. With all that down time, their awake time can be pretty action-packed. Cats, especially younger cats under the age of 7, need a lot of stimulation during the waking hours, which, unfortunately, happen to be at night. Don’t stress, though! There are some things you can do to try to curb the nighttime craziness.
Save The Action For The Daylight
The first thing, of course, is to keep ‘em active. Always try to make time for playtime. If you’re away from home a lot, get a few cat toys that don’t require, well, you know, a human. You know those little scratching posts with the feathery doo-dad stickin’ out of the top ? That’s usually a winner. Something like that will do. If they lose interest in their toys over the course of time, spritz them with some catnip spray to keep their attention piqued.
The next thing you can do is schedule their dinner time right before bedtime… and I mean right before bedtime. Like, get your Hello Kitty jimjams on, brush your pearly whites, get your hair in rollers, slather on that overnight Dead Sea mud mask, and get ready for bed. Then you can crack open the Fancy Feast and give Goopy Gilscarbo his dinner. Feeding your babe right before you go to bed will get him nice and satiated, and, just like humans, cats don’t really get in the mood to do any serious cardio on a full stomach, so while you’re starting to snooze, Goopy over there will still be digesting his chicken of the sea.
The Answer To Everything: MORE CATS
Lastly, if you’re currently in a single-cat household and your sweetpuss is sociable, consider getting a companion for your companion! This could mean getting another cat, or a dog, or whatever creature you think is a good match for your baby. This will also help to keep your kitty active during the day, especially while you’re away.
Doing all of these things will help prevent your cat from losing her mind once the stroke of midnight hits. That’s right my friends, once your shmookums gets rid of all that excess energy and she’s got “The Itis” from recently feasting on all that tuna, there’s not much else standing in the way of you and your dreams. Your lofty, lofty dreams about having more than 32 cents in your bank account and being able to afford a pair of sneakers that actually have soles in them. You’ll get there one day, Ponyboy, so stay gold and keep dreaming!