Cat won't let us sleep through the night!

by Eli & Justin
(Chicago, IL)

The Sully Obstacle Course

The Sully Obstacle Course

My 9-year old cat, Sully, has been through a lot with me. He has moved from Seattle to London, London to Texas and Texas to Chicago with me and has been a trooper through it all. He is normally a sweet, affectionate, dog-like cat who loves to cuddle and sit on laps!

The ONLY complaint my husband and I have is his tendency (not EVERY night) to start spazzing out between 4 and 6 am. Like I said, it's not every night but it is VERY frequent. He runs from one end of the apartment to the other, meowing often. He is not usually a vocal cat. We have a very small studio apartment, so the solution of locking him in another room doesn't work. Our bathroom won't fit his litter box so we can't put him in there overnight. Our solution to his sprinting across the apartment was to set up an obstacle course so he wouldn't have a direct route (see photo). This is, as you can imagine, such a hassle to set this up every night AND it doesn't even work 100%. Sometimes he jumps the furniture like hurdles, which makes even more noise or, he whines because he can't run full out. It can't be a food issue, as he always has dry food out (he gets a small amount of wet food every morning) as well as water. He spazzes, we call him, he jumps onto the bed, snuggles for about 1 minute and returns to freaking out. Oy.

We are at the end of our tether. Rarely getting a full night's sleep is starting to affect us tremendously. Is there anything we can do to help/change this behavior? No matter what, we love him so very much and always will (even though we hate him a little bit at those moments). ;)

Thanks and we look forward to hearing back from you!

Eli & Justin

Well what can I say, I have a similar issue. Night time is the natural time for cats to be active and they simply don’t understand our own sleeping patterns.

Basically what is happening is he is waking up and wants attention or to play etc and he simply can’t understand why you won’t come and stroke him etc.

The only thing that sometimes works for us is that we have set up a night time routine whereby we play a run around game with the cat about half an hour before bedtime, followed by a meal. This seems to settle them down for the night. However it doesn’t always work and we have to get up at 4am to give them a tickle or let them out etc.
It is difficult when you can’t shut the cat in a separate room over night.
I like your obstacle course but i don’t see any cat toys or distractions. You probably have but it may be worth getting some new toys and rotating them to keep them fresh distractions for your cat.

Other than that I’m afraid I cannot suggest anything else.

Best wishes Kate


Additional Thought
by: Saphira's pawrent

We are about to add a playmate for Saphira, another Oci from the same breeder. We HOPE that they will keep each other tired enough that we will not have kitty races across our bed at night.


A thought for you
by: Saphira's pawrent

We have had our three year old Ocicat for about ten months now, a surprise Christmas gift from our daughters. For those unfamiliar with the breed, they tend to be very active and playful, even playing fetch with their humans. When she first joined our family, she would sometimes get up in the wee hours ready to play. We have almost totally cured her of this by making sure we play with her a bit every evening before bedtime, and now she usually sleeps curled up beside one of us, awakening when we do.

Try it, it might work for you too. A tired kitty is a sleepy kitty!


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