Avoiding the 3 AM Foodie Call

I’ve had several clients recently lamenting over their cats waking them up in the middle of the night to be fed, especially cats who might be undergoing a gradual weight loss program. Owners try closing the bedroom door, but that just results in cats crying and scratching, which keeps them up anyway. Most pets have an internal clock that, once set to receive food at 3 a.m., is difficult to reset, but here are some suggestions that take advantage of the feline’s unique nutritional requirements and metabolism that could help:

1 Feed a high protein / low carbohydrate diet, which if your goal is weight loss, you should already be doing. These tend to provide longer periods of satiety. This mimics a cat’s native diet, where it might eat 6-8 mice per day.

2 Offer a bedtime snack stressing protein, such as a piece of meat or fish. This could be the difference between your cat waking up hungry at 6 a.m. instead of 2 a.m.

3 If all this fails, and remembering that resetting their internal clock can be difficult, consider an automatic feeder that can dispense a closely measured meal four times a day, nourishing your feline’s middle of the night hunger pangs. They are not expensive and come in a variety of clever designs.

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