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C2004-38

Dear Christopher Cat

Zoey, our 14-month-old calico, is restless at night. At 2:00 a.m., she jumps into bed with us and wants attention. If we close the bedroom door, she sits outside and cries.

She lives indoors and is spayed, but we walk her outside on a leash. Should we stop the walks -– or let her outside on her own? Will her restlessness ever stop?

Christopher Responds

Ah, Zoey is a girl after my own heart. I was just like her in my youth.

We cats are nocturnal creatures, so we are naturally energetic at night.

Zoey’s exuberance will wane as she gets older -– yes, I’m almost mellow now -– but here are some ideas to help you sleep until then.

Adopt another young cat. If Zoey has someone to play with, she won’t need to awaken you.

Tire her out at night by tossing cat balls or having her chase a feather at the end of a toy fishing pole.

Reserve special toys and treats for nighttime. Before you go to bed, hide them around the house so Zoey will find them when she “hunts.”

Set your VCR to play an entertaining video at 2:00 a.m. Songbird videos are very popular.

Continue to enjoy the outdoors with Zoey on a leash, but don’t let her play off leash. It’s just not safe.

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