Dear Miss Behavin’: My cat, Louie, has been roaming around the house and meowing in the middle of the night, waking me up. How can I get him to stop?
Cats are naturally nocturnal animals so this behavior is no surprise. Luckily, there are a few ways you can encourage him to sleep through the night. The first thing to check off your list: is he hungry? If you think he may be, try feeding him dinner a little later, or offering him a small bedtime snack. If you free feed, make sure he has some food in his bowl before you go to bed.
Next is exercise. Is Louie getting enough physical and mental activity to be tired enough to sleep through the night? Keep in mind that cats sleep most of the day, so are fully charged by the time we are ready for bed. To help them adapt to our routine, set aside a good amount of time to play with your cat in the evening. Think of playtime for cats like walks for dogs– this should be a regular part of their routine for their physical and mental wellbeing.
Lastly, he may just be bored and looking for attention. Each time you acknowledge his nighttime meowing, he is assured that his method works! Do your very best to ignore him at night, since he will become more persistent the more he is rewarded for it. However, make note that Louie is craving more attention and be sure to spend some quality time with him during the day. Satisfying his emotional and physical needs will make him more relaxed in general and more likely to sleep peacefully through the night.