Wide-awake cat steals Mom’s sleep

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - Markets - Send ques­tions, sto­ries and tips to cathy@pet­pun­dit.com.

Dear Cathy: I am a cat lover and have had sev­eral cats over the years. I have a three-year-old Rus­sian Blue that I adopted from a shel­ter. She is very sweet and smart. The prob­lem is, she sleeps all day and is up all night. I wouldn’t mind it if she would just play, but she cries for me, and I end up get­ting out of bed.

I took her to the vet who has pre­scribed pills to calm her down at night. It didn’t work. I got Feli­way (pheromones) to plug-in, but no luck. I tried Mela­tonin treats, but she didn’t like them. I tried “calm­ing” treats, which she likes. That helped some. I also got cat­nip and cat­nip toys and bouncy balls for us to play with be­fore bed­time. That has helped some, but the minute I go to bed, she cries.

I love her, but I am worn out and sleep-de­prived. I am keep­ing her, no mat­ter what, but I need ad­vice on this. — Linda, St. Cloud, FL

Dear Linda: We can learn a lot from how cats train their hu­mans. If your fe­line cries and you get up, she will cry the next night again be­cause the train­ing worked on you. The trick with cats is al­ways to out­last them. It’s not easy.

Cats are noc­tur­nal, so it’s per­fectly nat­u­ral for them to sleep 16 hours a day and then be up all night. You are on the right track with try­ing to play with her be­fore bed­time. You should feed her be­fore bed­time too. All an­i­mals tend to nap af­ter they eat and play.

Also, do what you can to keep her awake when you are around. When we are tired, we of­ten let our cats sleep in our laps, only to have them wide awake at bed­time.

Use a white noise ma­chine to block her mews. Get some earplugs or put on head­phones with soft mu­sic, so you can get some sleep. It can take up to eight weeks for a pos­i­tive re­sult. Ig­nore her and turn over. Cats are re­sults-ori­ented crea­tures, so if her be­hav­iors don’t en­gage you, she will even­tu­ally find some­thing else to do. Cathy Rosen­thal MY PET WORLD

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