Cats can have annoying habits, like scratching the furniture and climbing above the cabinets, but one of the most annoying has to be when they wake you up at night, especially when you have work in the morning. So, why do they do this?
Unfortunately, no one is completely sure why cats wake their owners at night, but keep reading for a list of several possible reasons so you can see if one makes sense for your pet.
The 8 Possible Reasons Why Your Cat Wakes You Up in the Middle of the Night
1. They Are Hungry
Cats are crepuscular by nature, which means they are most active during dawn and dusk. If your cats get hungry when they first wake up or just before bed, they might find that you are already sleeping and try to wake you up.
2. They Think That It’s Playtime
Cats have bursts of energy that can occur at any time, even late at night. If your cat is bored or feels like playing, they might paw at your face, step on you, or meow insistently to get you up.
3. They Want Attention
Cats are social animals that frequently seek attention, especially if they feel lonely. Waking you up in the middle of the night could be their way of expressing a need for companionship or a desire to be close to you. If you are someone who likes to get over 8 hours of sleep each night, your cat might start to feel lonely while they wait for you to wake up and take action.
4. They Are Being Territorial
Cats are territorial creatures, and nighttime can trigger their instinct to patrol and mark their territory. If there are other animals around or if they’ve noticed changes in the environment, your cat might be marking you and your sleeping area as their territory and waking you up in the process.
5. They Need a Bathroom Break
Just like humans, cats may need to relieve themselves during the night. If the litter box isn’t easily accessible or if there are issues with the litter, your cat may wake you up to signal their discomfort or need for a clean litter box. If your cat likes to dig when they do their business, the scratching noise can also easily wake you up if the box is too close to your sleeping area.
6. They Have Medical Issues
Persistent nighttime wake-ups could indicate underlying health problems, especially if they seem to be anxiously waking you. Cats may try to communicate their pain, discomfort, or anxiety, so seek veterinary advice if you think that your pet is suffering from a health condition.
7. There Are External Disturbances
Cats have heightened senses, and external stimuli like unfamiliar sounds, scents, or even wildlife outside can trigger their curiosity or concern. Your cat might wake you up to alert you or seek reassurance if they feel scared.
8. They Have Hormonal Changes
Unspayed or unneutered cats, particularly if they are reaching sexual maturity, may display more restless behavior at night due to hormonal fluctuations.
What Do I Do If My Cat Wakes Me Up at Night?
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Normal for Cats to Be Active at Night?
Yes, it’s normal for cats to be active at night. However, consistent disruptive behavior at night might signal an issue that needs attention.
Should I Let My Cat Sleep in My Bedroom?
Allowing your cat to sleep in your bedroom can provide comfort and reduce nighttime disruptions. Provide a cozy bed for them to sleep in to promote a sense of security.
Are There Products to Help My Cat Sleep Through the Night?
There are multiple calming products designed to reduce stress in cats, such as pheromone diffusers or sprays. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if one might be suitable for your cat.
If your cat wakes you up in the middle of the night, they likely do it because they are playing, and they may or may not do it on purpose, since many cats are active throughout the night. Some cats also become active when they are about to use the litter box, and if they find the litter box dirty, they may wake you up to take care of it.
If your cat gets hungry, they might also wake you up, especially if they know that you will get them food. However, if they seem to be urgently trying to wake you or if the waking is persistent, it could be a sign of a health problem, so it’s a good idea to contact the vet to have your pet looked over.
Featured Image Credit: Stanimir-G.Stoev, Shutterstock
- The 8 Possible Reasons Why Your Cat Wakes You Up in the Middle of the Night
- 1. They Are Hungry
- 2. They Think That It’s Playtime
- 3. They Want Attention
- 4. They Are Being Territorial
- 5. They Need a Bathroom Break
- 6. They Have Medical Issues
- 7. There Are External Disturbances
- 8. They Have Hormonal Changes
- What Do I Do If My Cat Wakes Me Up at Night?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Is It Normal for Cats to Be Active at Night?
- Should I Let My Cat Sleep in My Bedroom?
- Are There Products to Help My Cat Sleep Through the Night?