Cats and their sleep

Cats of all shapes and sizes like their sleep, ranging from lions lounging about under the shade of a handy tree on the savanna during the heat of the day to the domestic moggie curled up in their favorite place – normally your favorite chair. It is an instinctive thing, born from generations conserving precious energy in between hunting bouts – many of which can be an unsuccessful waste of time and effort before they land their next meal. Our beloved moggies may well get two good meals a day, or even food on demand if they have their humans well trained, but this does not detract from the hereditary urge to curl up after a good long wash and nap away the majority of the daylight hours.

In modern zoos with well planted enclosures, this often leads to a disappointed public peering in at an apparently empty enclosure – next time this happens to you, remember, the inhabitants are simply doing what comes naturally. At home with our furry companions, it has the potential to lead to sleepless nights for we humans – especially those of us without a cat flap. One gentleman I know is a case in point. His cat has him so well trained that he will sit up into the early hours waiting for the cat to come in (the alternative being to go to bed and then get woken up by the wailing under the bedroom window), and then obediently get out of bed a little later that (still early) morning to let the fiend out again (the alternative being to lie in bed awake listening to the wailing from the livingroom).

How do we avoid this tiring fate I hear you ask… Well for those of you who are happy for your cats to roam at night, it is simple – install a cat flap and let them come and go as they please without having to persuade you to work that tricky door for them. For those of us who prefer our cats inside at night, the solution is equally simple – will power!

Cats are highly adept at training their humans, using a surprising variety of miaows ranging from loud and insistent to squeaky, sad, and pathetic, depending on which approach seems to get the best result from their human target. However, while cats instinctively want to sleep most of the day and then roam from dusk to dawn, it is possible to come to a mutual agreement about an acceptable routine.

For example, our cats are more than happy to go outside in the morning to check out their territory, which suits us and them fine. We let them out before going to work and they have the run of the neighbourhood gardens

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