By: Chryssa Rich
Pets Best Insurance Marketing Associate
Even before I began working for a pet insurance company I was a bonded pet owner. I’ve always let my cats sleep wherever they please—which is usually the top of my bed during the summer and under the covers when it gets chilly.
I like having my cats curled up beside me, but I’m not a fan of early morning annoyances when they decide they want to get up and eat. Over the years, I’ve gathered a few tips that might help other pet owners enjoy a little more shut-eye.
1. Ignore them
It’s easiest to establish good habits when your pet is new. Make it clear from the very beginning that the day begins when you choose to wake up. If a new pet is pestering you to wake up, try ignoring him or her and don’t get up until they stop. This will help establish a mind frame of, “Hey, my human gets up when I’m quiet.”
If a new puppy needs a potty break before you’re ready to be up for the day, quietly let him out without making eye contact, petting him or talking to him (aside from a little praise for going potty outside). After the break, it’s straight back to bed.
2. Give them a bedtime snack
My tabby Monica went through a phase where she’d wake me up by patting my face every day at 5 AM. After a few days of caving in and getting up to feed her, I realized she was going right back to sleep after eating. To ensure optimum cat health care, and also get some more shut-eye, I started giving her a few kibbles right before bed every night. I now enjoy an extra hour or two of sleep most mornings. For new cat owners, try feeding kittens right before bedtime as well for a more restful night’s sleep.
3. Keep your bedroom dark
When the sun comes up and the birds start chirping, your pet thinks it’s time to get moving. Install light-blocking curtains to help keep your house dark and quiet – they also act as a sound barrier and can even help lower your energy bills. Need proof this works? Think about the time change every spring: most pet owners enjoy a week or so of extra peaceful sleep in the mornings until their pets readjust.
4. Invest in an automatic pet feeder
If your pets don’t steal each others’ food, an automatic pet feeder might be a good idea for both cat health and racking up your Zzzzs. The device will dispense food at a certain time each day so you can sleep while they eat their kitty chow.
5. Keep a squirt bottle handy
Every once in a while, my cats will have a day where they just want to get up and play. Regardless of whether they’ve eaten, they want to jump around the bed and bite my toes and chew on my hair. In these cases, a fine mist of water from a squirt bottle is enough to send them running to another room while I keep snoozing. In fact, just hearing the water slosh in the bottle is enough to do the trick now.