Wide-awake cat steals Mom’s sleep
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