Sunday 3 August 2008

Cat Habits

Maine coon cats pictures of cats
Maine Coon brother and sister. Perfect companions at 4 in the morning! Photo strictly copyright (please) Helmi Flick.

Some cat habits fit in with our lifestyle and some don't. One that doesn't is early rising. Cats are crepuscular. This means our cats are more active at dusk and dawn. This is hard wired as it is the best time to go hunting. Mine always asks to be let out to the garden at dusk and she plonks down in the garden and looks and dozes, waiting for something interesting to come along, which she ignores. Cat habits die hard or never die so she still goes out but the hunting instincts have faded a bit.

She also wakes early at dawn. This can be a problem for me but wasn't really one until I started living in a ground floor apartment with access to a quiet garden. I think her natural cat habits are coming out and she now wants to be fed (or find her own food) and let out at dawn.

What I am saying is she wakes me up at some unearthly hour. But we cannot complain. In fact we must celebrate this. This is a cat's way. We must accept it. If we live with a cat we fit in with the cat and yes she should fit in with our lifestyle too. It's a kind of compromise.

Here are some ideas to modify cat habits in relation to early rising other than changing our habits and rising at the same time:

---try and make your cat have a lie in! If you can ensure that the area where she sleeps is as dark as possible at night and in the morning (think thick curtains) she may not recognize dawn until it is time for you to get up.

---it's not wise to encourage her cat habits by getting up at the same time and responding to her demands (unless of course you don't mind - I don't mind as it happens). Responding to her trains in cat habits that clash with our habits. We should never shout or frighten our cats, though; no matter how irritated we might become (I never get irritated but I can see why some people might).

---If we can get our cats to sleep really soundly and for as long as possible this might help. That means plenty of exercise in the day and evening. I'm not sure that this is all that practical for some people but as much exercise is always good for our cats as a lot are too soft and indoor too much; sleeping and eating and getting fat.

---Feed our cats late and not early (when she wakes us up).

---Although it is a big step, adopting a cat or dog partner for our cats if appropriate in terms of space, time and effort etc. could resolve the problem as she'll have another animal other than us to wake up and get active with. The thing is the dog partner will have to learn to open the patio door to let her out to do her dawn hunting.....

Cat Habits to Cat Anatomy

Cat habits - Source:
  • Myself
  • Dr.Jon

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