Keep It Down!

How to stop your feline's nighttime antics

By Debbie Swanson

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Cat Fancy- Nighttime Activity in Cats- August 2011

When Kristan Nolan of Sacramento, Calif., turns in for the evening, she expects Milo, her 2-year-old domestic shorthair, will wake her up at some point. "It could be when I'm going to bed [or] somewhere around 2 a.m.," Nolan says. "Anything from wandering through the apartment trilling to sitting on the window ledge meowing."

Pre-dawn wake-up calls are routine, too. "Every morning around 5:15 or 5:30, he starts trilling at me. He's a very reliable alarm clock, although sometimes [he is] as early as 4:30 a.m."

Nolan is not alone; many cat owners are routinely roused by their feline's nighttime activity. Wakefulness in cats ranges from simple wanderings and meowing to full blown "crazies" — racing around the house, pouncing on blanket-covered feet or swatting sleeping faces.

Get a Checkup
First, visit your veterinarian, particularly if this is a new development or if your cat is a senior. Some medical conditions can inhibit a good night's sleep. Even a mild ailment — such as a toothache — can prevent rest.
When previously quiet Mr. Grimsby began yowling each night, Phyllis Harber-Murphy, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, was surprised. The answer came after a trip to the veterinarian: The 12-year-old cat had developed hyperthyroidism.
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