Cats are my favourite pets. They are fun to play with and can provide great company. These pets are known to sleep a lot during the day and even at night. But what exactly happens when you startle them from their slumber?
Do Cats Get Mad When You Wake Them Up? It is quite rare for your cat to get mad when you wake them up, as their deep sleep last for just a few minutes. However, they can get grumpy if you startle them from a deep sleep.
There are certain factors you need to consider before waking your cat up. For example, if they are ill or sleep deprived, you should encourage them to rest as much as possible. Also, some health conditions can make your cat sleep a lot or very little. Getting your cat to sleep in the proper place will leave you with few reasons to wake your cat up. I have successfully gotten my cats to sleep in their beds and will explore some of the methods I used.
Why Don’t Cats Get Mad When You Wake Them Up?
Cats did not evolve to become house pets. Like other wild cats, their senses are heightened for safety purposes. They sleep lightly so that they can wake up to the sound of any small threat. In the wilderness, cats can even wake up to the sound of falling twigs. Of course, they dream when they are in light sleep, but that only lasts for a short period. Waking a cat when it is in light sleep is unlikely to make them grumpy. It is worth noting that younger cats spend more of their time in deep sleep.
These pets also sleep for the greater part of the day. Most cats spend 15 to 20 hours of the day sleeping, and this means they are highly unlikely to be invested in their sleep sessions. Waking them up calmly has never triggered any of my cats.
It is usually not hard to tell whether your cat is in light sleep. In these sessions, the cat will typically be dreaming. When dreaming, my cats will show some physical signs, the most notable being the movement of their eyes under the eyelids. Before waking my cat up, I always observe their body movements. Usually, he will be twitching his facial muscles and may have a strange breathing pattern. The ears, tail, and whiskers will also be moving. Like dogs, cats can also make running motions when in a deep sleep. When you notice these signs, you can confidently wake your cat up, and he should not wake up with a negative reaction.
I have also learned to check the cat’s sleeping area. Unlike humans, cats don’t randomly fall into deep sleep. They will usually find a safe and secluded location to enjoy their deep sleep as their instinct does not allow them to let their defenses down randomly. It is possible for cats to dream during these deep sleep sessions, but the physical signs will be less vivid. When the cat is in this state, it is almost impossible to tell whether or not they are dreaming. Waking a cat from a deep sleep is likely to stress the cat.
I always check for signs of sleep deprivation so that I can determine how they would react to being woken up. The most common symptom of sleep deprivation is a poor use of the litter box. Most cats are playful and energetic, so if yours is distant and lethargic, they could also be deprived of sleep. Monitor your cat’s mood regularly so that you can tell if they are getting enough sleep. A cat that is deprived of sleep should be encouraged to sleep more and should not be woken up unnecessarily. It is important to note that older cats need to nap for about 80% of the day.
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Why Does Your Cat Wake You Up at Night?
Your cat may not get mad when you wake them up, but you will definitely be annoyed if your pet woke you up at night. My cats used to be restless in the night and could bother me till morning. There are several factors that can make cats restlessness. One of the most common reasons is failing to replicate the natural life of the cat. As a wild animal, the cat had to hunt for its meals, and this means it always felt tired just before eating. After eating, they would instinctively fall asleep to regain the energy lost in the hunt. To get a cat to falls asleep just after its final meal, play with him aggressively before serving him food. This activity will register in their minds as hunting, and that will help the cat sleep soundly after the meal. This way, you will not experience any disturbance in the night.
In some cases, your cat may wake you up because he is sick or in pain. If you suspect your cat of being sick, you should attend to him immediately when he wakes you up. You should consider taking your cat for a medical checkup when they start showing signs of restlessness at night.
Just like people, cats can also learn the bad habit of waking you up at night. This behaviour is usually acquired early in life. Fortunately, the cat can be trained to leave you alone when you sleep. You just need to ignore him when he meows and tries to wake you up. After many nights of a boring interaction, your cat will learn to respect your sleeping sessions.
Sleeping Disorders in Cats
As I have already noted, cats spend the greater part of their day sleeping. However, many cats suffer from sleeping disorders and may not get sufficient sleep every day. Others will sleep a lot but still experience a very poor quality of sleep. These cats usually stand out because of their high stress levels and unpleasant moods. Here are some of the most common sleeping disorders in cats:
It is normal for animals to experience a temporary cessation of breathing when in a deep sleep. This is only supposed to happen momentarily. Sleep apnea refers to a condition where your cat stops breathing for extended periods. This condition makes cats moody and exhausted throughout the day and can sometimes lead to the death of your pet. If you suspect your cat of suffering from sleep apnea, you should see the vet urgently. In some cases, he will have to undergo surgery.
Narcolepsy is not very common among cats. Pets with this condition fall asleep in the middle of regular activities, and the episodes can last for up to 30 minutes. The symptoms of this condition resemble those of diabetes, epilepsy, or heart disease, so pet owners can get alarmed when the cat collapses. Normally, the condition is harmless. The cat will get up after some time and carry on with whatever he was doing. There is currently no cure for this condition, but you should always visit the vet for a proper diagnosis.
If your cat is restless at night, they could be suffering from insomnia. This could be a symptom of another condition, or it could simply be a learned habit. There are several things you can do to help your cat sleep comfortably. I normally overfeed my cat at night in order to get him to sleep faster.
How Do I Make a Cat Sleep in Its Own Bed?
Cats can sometimes be very stubborn and dominating. They will sleep in any place where they feel safe, warm and comfortable. Sometimes, all these requirements will be met, but the cat still wants to sleep on furniture or your bed.
The first thing you need to consider is the size of your cat’s bed. I normally go for larger sizes of beds since my cats enjoy having enough room to turn and stretch. At the same time, I have to limit the size of the bed since cats feel safer in confined sleeping areas. If it gets too big, the cat will not feel secure and is unlikely to fall asleep in it.
I also pay attention to the cleanliness of the bed. All my cats are clean freaks and are not be able to sleep in a stinky or dirty bed. It is important to find a bed that is easy to clean regularly. The material used to make the bed should also be comfortable.
Cats instinctively prefer perched beds since they are secured from whatever predators they would have had in the jungle. You should raise your cat’s bed to a higher level in order to lure them into the new bed. In some cases, I have had to use treats to teach my cats to use their own beds. If you make the bed comfortable and suitable for your pet, you should expect him to adapt to the new sleeping area quickly.
Another great trick I have learned is to place the bed in a fixed area, ideally a corner where they like to sleep. This way, they will know where to go when they want to sleep.
Article by Barbara Read
Barbara Read is the heart and soul behind CatBeep.com. From her early love for cats to her current trio of feline companions, Barbara's experiences shape her site's tales and tips. While not a vet, her work with shelters offers a unique perspective on cat care and adoption.