Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Chicago suburbs
Re: Ideas for night time
Experiment with lots of different toys, and things that can BE toys, until you find one that your cat loves and will play with for hours that doesn't require much effort on your part. For example, after one of Fergie's favorite toy-on-a-stick toys broke, we discovered that she loves the plain stick just as much as she loved the toy. My husband will lay on his back on the floor and push the stick under his back so it pops out from under his side, and the girls both go nuts trying to get it. He can simply lay there with the ends of the stick popping out on either side and they'll play for a couple hours. He does this in the evening, and for the last couple of weeks it has gotten the cats to leave us alone until 5:30 in the morning instead of 4:00. I've also taken a long piece of felt and tied it loosely around one cat, and the other will attack the end, and they'll roll around on the floor playing with the felt and each other for a while. Part of the key here is to put these things away when you're not playing with them, so the cats don't lose interest.
You can also experiment with different reactions when your cat comes to you looking for attention at four in the morning. I've noticed with both of my girls that if I give them a quick pat so they know I'm still alive, and then roll over and ignore them, that they will then leave me alone and curl up next to me and go to sleep. If I try to ignore them completely they start frantically digging at the covers to get to me, and if I give them more than a quick pat or two they think it's playtime.
~Diana, happy mom to Fern and Fergie