Insomniac Cats

Late-night play, calming herbs may help cat owners get some sleep.

By | Posted: Mon Feb 24 00:00:00 PST 2003

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By instinct, cats are active at night, because that is the time they would normally be hunting. We, however, expect them to sleep at the same time we sleep. If your cat cannot sleep and frequently wakes you at night, first try to close the cat out of your bedroom. If that doesn't work, try vigorously playing with the cat several times during the evening to help it expend energy. Owners may use herbal calmers for restless cats: Give teaspoon of loose chamomile tea or one tablet of homeopathic Calms (available at health food stores) in a bite of the cat's food at your bedtime. Usually one of these remedies will help quiet the cat through the night. If all else fails and desperate measures to change this behavior are in order, your veterinarian may prescribe 1 to 2 milligrams of Valium to be given to the cat in late evening. Often just two weeks of this treatment will set a new pattern; Valium is not recommended for long-term use.
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