Reset San Jose Cat’s Internal Clock to Fall Asleep at Night


DEAR JOAN: I recently adopted a cat, Sugar. This is my first cat, although I had dogs for many years. I love cats and thought it would be nice to have one after losing my last dog.

So far it’s been pretty good. She is affectionate and uses her litter. She likes to sit at the window and watch the birds.

The only problem I really have is that she sleeps most of the day and gets up at night. She prowls around and sometimes makes a lot of noise, which wakes me up. Can I do something to reverse it so it stays awake during the day and sleeps at night?

Alicia G., San Jose

DEAR ALICIA: Have you tried replacing his decaffeinated morning coffee with a fully caffeinated one?

Although cats are not true nocturnal animals, they are crepuscular, which means they are most alive at dusk and dawn. Cats sleep 12 to 16 hours a day, and because they have retained much of their wild habits and instincts, they like to prowl in the dark and hunt.

Keeping Sugar busy during the day, playing with you or with interactive toys, will mean less sleep during the day and more at night.

Just before bedtime, go on a little hunt with your cat, providing toys that Sugar can stalk and chase, such as a toy mouse on a string that you can drag or hang in front of her.

I had a cat that liked to stalk me at night, which was a little confusing, but we made it into a game that we both loved.

If he makes a lot of noise while playing with his toys, turn on those that are noisy at night and take out those that are soft and quiet.

DEAR JOAN: I have a question about ants. Is there a way to get rid of them when they invade a third floor apartment, without killing them?

Gail Ghose, San Carlos

Dear Gaelle: If you have a handheld vacuum, you can vacuum them up and drop them outside. Then spread talcum powder or cinnamon where they enter, creating a barrier they won’t want to cross.

DEAR JOAN: This is in response to your request for original cat traits. My new geriatric cat (16 we think) has recently started a new game. This involves waiting in a common area to be chased to the bedroom, where he loves to jump on the bed for petting.

When he started doing this a few weeks ago, he was waiting to make sure I followed him, and I was trying to grab his tail. He would meow and growl like he was so happy, then meow again if the petting stopped too soon. Now he knows I’m going to chase him, and it can be so much fun belly rubbing and lots of scratching.

Another weird trait is that he uses his right paw to gently tap me when he feels he’s not getting enough attention or when he wants the attention to be all on him. When he first did that, I turned my back on him. He patted me on the back three times in a row, like a knock on the door, as if to say “Hey, you’re not paying attention to me!” Needless to say it was very effective.

Alice C., Los Altos

DEAR ALICE: You have a wonderful cat, who is excellent at communicating her needs and wants.

I love these stories. Keep bringing them in, readers.

Contact Joan Morris at [email protected]

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