When Your Cat Gets the “Midnight Crazies”

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Interrupt Bad Behaviors

If you allow your cat to sleep in your bedroom or have free reign of the house at night, you may want to have either a spray bottle or a gun-shaped hair dryer on hand so if your cat wakes you up with her meowing, you can just reach for the hair dryer and blast the cat with some air or water. “Doing so won’t hurt the cat, but will simply startle and discourage her from doing the same thing again,” Simpson notes.

Punish the specific action, and do it at the beginning of the behavior. “Then once the cat stops meowing in your face, you can then pick her up and snuggle,” Myers says. But don’t give any attention during the actual bad behavior. “Sometimes pet owners pick up the cat while she is saying ‘meow’ and in effect they are just reinforcing the meowing,” Meyers says.

Keep in mind that it’s unrealistic to think your cat should sleep all night if you haven’t taught her to do so or if you haven’t met her need for play during other times in the day. Remember, cats need recreation and sleep, just as humans do. The trick is coordinating your schedules so both you and your pet can be happy.

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