Cats use their claws for many purposes, such as climbing, marking territory and stretching.  Allowing your cat to scratch is one of the best ways to show them that you are open to your cat’s needs.  However, a cat’s scratching can become troublesome when it is their owner that they are scratching and it can be even more frustrating when it is done at night. This post will show you a number of likely reasons why your cat might scratch you at night and what you can do about it.

So, why does my cat scratch me at night? Possible reasons why your cat scratches you at night are that it has more energy at night, you interact with it differently at night, you move about at night, or that it gets intimidated.

There are a number of possible reasons why your cat scratches you at night and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider to help in figuring out the main reason and there are things you can do about it.

Why does my cat scratch me at night?

Below are likely causes and what you can do about them.

It has more energy at night

In the wild, cats are often nocturnal animals. This means they are most active at night, unlike humans, who are generally active during the day. Even though your kitty might spend a lot of his time sleeping or lounging around during the day, his internal “clock” tells him when to be active, and night is the prime time for him to be on the prowl.

The reason why your cat scratches you at night is likely to be that it naturally has a lot more energy at that time and naturally wants to hunt things. This would be more likely if your cat seems to be playing when it scratches you.

You interact with it differently at night

A part of the cause might also be that you interact with it differently at night. If you tend to be louder around it, you touch it more firmly or pick it up more at night, the cause could be that it is intimidated. This would be more likely if it also does things such as hiss and move away from you.

You move about at night

If your cat scratches you, while you are in bed, the cause might be that it sees you as prey because you move around in the bed. In this case, it would be an option to get your cat to sleep in a different room at night.

Anxiety

It might be the case that it has been doing it due to something causing it to be anxious. This would be more likely if your cat does it more at a certain time such as when there are noises inside or another animals around.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider to help when figuring out the main reason.

If your cat has always scratched you at night

If your cat did not always scratch you at night, it would help to consider what else happened when your cat first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it might be due to things such as a change in the way you interact with it at night or something causing it to get intimidated.

What is different when your cat does not scratch you at night

If your cat does not seem to scratch you every night, it would help to consider what is different when it does not do it. For example, if it does not do it when you pet it in a certain way, it might be due to how you pet it.

What to do about your cat scratching you at night

Below are some options you have to help deal with the behavior.

Give it a scratch post

Cats are very good at keeping themselves clean. But they can’t do it if their claws get too long, which can happen if they don’t have something to sharpen their claws on. If they don’t have anything to scratch on, they are going to keep scratching anyway – maybe your furniture or even you. Giving your cat something to scratch on is one of the most important things you can do to keep it happy and healthy and to limit how much it scratches you or other items such as furniture.

Give it another place to sleep

If your cat currently sleeps in the same room as you and it scratches you when you are trying to sleep, one option would be to get your cat to sleep in a different room by putting a bed down for it to sleep on somewhere else.

Wear it out during the day

Another thing to do would be to wear your cat out during the day by playing with it, giving it toys to use and things such as a scratch pad.

Make it easier for it to sleep

It would help to make sure that the room your cat stays in, at night, is not too hot, bright, loud, and that there is a safe space for it to lie down on.

Be calm with it

It would also help to interact with it calmly and to pet it in a manner that it likes. Often, you will find that cats prefer to be rubbed below the chin instead of being petted firmly.

Author

I created and currently run Kitty Cat Tips, the website that you can go to when you have questions about your cat's behavior. It's my hope that you find Kitty Cat Tips to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your cat. You can read more about me and my website here.