Ask Lyle - How do I adjust my human's schedule?
Ask Lyle is our weekly cat-to-cat advice column from Modern Cat (and ridiculously outspoken gentleman), Lyle. If your cat has a question for Lyle. just write him at asklyle(at)moderncat.com, and he will be happy to answer them. Don't forget to include a photo of the cat who needs advice so that we can post it with his response! Follow all of Lyle's adventures on Instagram, @Lylestagram.
I have a concern with my human, so I thought I would come to the expert problem solver! She seems to have the most unusual schedule and no matter how much I try to help her adjust it, she sleeps during the night. It’s absolutely ridiculous. Everyone knows that night is the absolute best time to hunt, play and generally be excited to be alive. And here she is wasting it. I have tried everything! Meowing, playing with her feet under the bed covers, bringing my absolute favourite toys to SHARE and nothing! (And don’t get me started on how she leaves for my ENTIRE nap time in the middle of the day most days – she must be off at clubs or something, which is also concerning, but maybe a problem for another day.) Do you have any advice in correcting your human’s sleeping times?
Thanks in advance!
-Always Awake Adaleen
Thanks for writing in! Boy oh boy, can I relate to your problem here. I am in complete agreement that night time is the right time, and I hardly ever get started on my activities before 11:00pm. My human seems to have the same strange schedule as yours, and it is just foolish. The best thing you can do to shape their behaviour is to be your absolute cutest in the night time hours. First, sit on your human's head or paw at their sleeping face, and then when they are awake, pretend that you didn't just do that, and appear irresistible. This illustrated video from Simon's Cat is a great guide for how to pull this off with style.
It sounds like you are on the right track with some of your other tactics for engaging your human. Bringing toys and other hunting items to their bed is a great idea, and you shouldn't give up just because they haven't responded yet (it's all about consistency and reinforcement). One time I found a mouse in the wall of my Momma's apartment and brought its carcass to her bedside—I certainly got an animated reaction out of my usually stoic Mom for that one!
To sum up: keep working at it. Humans are very trainable animals, and if you don't give up, they will eventually give in and adjust to our more appropriate schedule.
Does your cat have a question for Lyle? Write to him at asklyle(at)moderncat.com!