Catster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Why Is My Cat Annoying At Night When I’m Sleeping: 5 Annoying Things

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat sleeping on its owner's chest at home

Why Is My Cat Annoying At Night When I’m Sleeping: 5 Annoying Things

If you have a cat, you know that nighttime is party time. Cats are crepuscular, which means they hunt and play the most in the evening and early morning. For you, that could mean annoying behaviors at the crack of dawn while you’re still getting your beauty sleep.

Cats’ nighttime behavior can be annoying at best or disruptive at worst. If you don’t find a solution, it can negatively impact your sleep and disrupt other aspects of your life. Here are some common annoying nighttime cat behaviors and some possible solutions.

divider 2 cats

The 5 Annoying Habits of Your Cat That Don’t Let You Sleep

1. Nipping or Pouncing on Your Body

Image By: Valeriia Miller, Unsplash

One of the most annoying nighttime cat behaviors is treating you like a cat toy. If your cat wants you to wake up, they may nip or nibble at your toes, fingers, or ears, play with your hair, or pounce on any lump or bump under the covers. No matter how deeply you sleep, that’s tough to ignore.

2. Meowing or Yowling Incessantly

Whether you lock your cat out of the bedroom or leave the door open, cats know that meowing or yowling gets attention. Your cat may sit outside the door meowing, or worse, climb on your chest and meow in your face until you wake up to give them what they want.

3. Pawing or Scratching at the Door

tabby maine coon cat in door gap
Image By: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

If you do close the door, your cat may sit outside and paw and scratch, rattling the door the whole time. There are a lot of reasons cats want to get behind a closed door, but when it’s your bedroom at night, it’s an attention-seeking behavior to wake you up.

4. Running Around the House

Cats are active at night, so if your cat is bored, they may tear through the house to amuse themselves. This could include walking across the counter or bookshelf, knocking loud things over, or climbing the furniture in your bedroom until you react.

5. Playing Loudly

british shorthair cat playing with mouse toy
Image Credit: Garmasheva Natalia, Shutterstock

Like running around the house, turning nighttime into play by excitedly jumping across you or across furniture, chasing shadows or faint slivers of light. If you move in your sleep, that’s a good opportunity to chase and pounce to keep themselves occupied.

divider 2 cats

Why Are Cats Annoying at Night?

Cats have a natural instinct to hunt and get out excess energy late at night and early in the morning. This is common, but there could be some other causes for the behavior:

  • Boredom: If your cat is alone a lot or doesn’t have adequate stimulation, they may take to nighttime behaviors to get attention and relieve that excess energy.
  • Daytime rest: If your cat is home alone during the day, that’s a lot of time to nap and lounge around, leading to a cat with a lot of energy to burn at night.
  • Hunger: Depending on your cat’s sleep schedule, they may be waking you up at night because they’re hungry and want food.
  • Health problems: Some health conditions can cause annoying night behaviors, especially if they arise out of nowhere. In older cats, dementia is a common cause of strange nighttime behaviors like vocalization and neediness. Pain and thyroid problems can also affect your cat’s night activity. If this is a new behavior, schedule an appointment with your vet.

How Can I Get My Cat to Leave Me Alone at Night?

Your cat may always be a bit of a night owl, but you can take some steps to help them sleep better at night and leave you to sleep. Here are some tips:

  • Don’t reward nighttime behavior by giving in to your cat with play or food. Even negative attention, such as scolding, inadvertently reinforces the behavior.
  • Dedicate time to play in the evening. If you tire your cat out with vigorous games of fetch or laser play, they may sleep better through the night and leave you alone.
  • Adjust the feeding schedule. Cats often eat and then take a long nap. You can feed your cat later in the evening and give your cat more food if they’re a healthy weight to see if it helps. Another option is an automatic feeder, which ensures your cat has the food they want at set times—preferably when you’re still asleep.
  • Get interactive toys for when you’re away. If your cat is napping throughout the day, automatic toys can keep your cat busy when you’re not there. Try toys like electronic lasers or chase toys and treat-dispensing toys.
  • Speak to your vet. If you suspect there are health issues contributing to your cat’s behavior, schedule a checkup and discuss options with your vet. Some medications may help your cat sleep better and stay relaxed through the night.

divider 2 cats


Cats settle into a routine, but for some, that could include irritating behaviors designed to wake you up and get attention during the night. If your cat’s nighttime behaviors are becoming disruptive, you can try a few of these tips and schedule a vet appointment to get back to a good night’s rest.

Featured Image Credit: Maliflower73, Shutterstock

Get Catster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Catster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.