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How to Make a Cat Fall Asleep Instantly

Marta Sarasúa
By Marta Sarasúa, Psychologist. March 5, 2024
How to Make a Cat Fall Asleep Instantly

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There are many reasons you may want to help your cat to get to sleep. Some cats may be having a period of stress or hyperactivity which is making them restless. Helping them to sleep better will hopefully help with the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Another reason is the disruption even happy cats can cause in the home. It is well known that some cats will be particularly active at night. The domestic feline is a crepuscular animal, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk. It is common for them to cause commotion at the times we are asleep. Helping the cat to sleep can benefit the feline, as well as creating more peace in the home.

At AnimalWised, we provide the tips that will best help you know how to make a cat fall asleep instantly. While each cat will respond in their own way, these are the best ways to help your cat (and yourself) the rest they need.

You may also be interested in: How to Get Rid of Wet Dog Smell


  1. Steps to put a cat to sleep in 10 seconds
  2. Home remedies to put a cat to sleep in seconds
  3. Other tips to put a cat to sleep quickly

Steps to put a cat to sleep in 10 seconds

If you want to get a cat to sleep instantly, we need to create an environment which is conducive to rest. While this may take some preparation, the cat can move quickly between a state of hyperactivity to restful sleep.

The only true way of getting them to sleep instantly is to put a cat to sleep with drugs. Doing so requires strong anesthetic or hypnotic drugs which can only be prescribed by a veterinarian. While they are effective, these drugs can only be used in a clinical setting. The powerful tranquilizers which can help induce sleep artificially can have serious side effects and will likely be fatal if an overdose is administered.

When a cat has serious health problems such as acute anxiety, a veterinarian might prescribe drugs to help them feel calm. These will be determined after assessment and diagnosis by the professional. In cases where the problem isn't pathological, we can do the following to make a cat fall asleep quickly:

Step 1: Prepare the rest area in advance

The first step to helping a cat fall asleep instantly is to ensure they have a place where they can rest easy:

  • Find a place in the home that is clean and hygienic. Since cats are such hygienic animals, they cam be particularly sensitive. For this reason, it needs to be far from their litter and feeding areas.
  • Make sure their bed is comfortable and compatible with their size and body build. It should have good padding and a plush surface. Learn about how to get a cat to sleep in their own bed with our related guide.
  • An excellent idea is to elevate your cat's bed. Felines have a natural predilection for sleeping in high places because it makes them feel safer in their environment. You can also place pillows or comfortable padding on suitable shelves.

Step 2: Reduce environmental disturbances

Another way to help you cat fall asleep instantly is to create a peaceful space:

  • For your cat to fall asleep quickly, a calm environment is key. This means avoiding stimuli such as TV noise, intense light, unpleasant odors or anything else which will distract the cat from sleep.
  • A good practice is to close the windows and curtains to reduce the light in the environment and prevent your cat from becoming anxious when perceiving the presence of possible prey visible from the window.
  • Silence is always welcome, but if there are external noise sources, try playing soft music at a low volume.

Step 2: Use relaxing aromas

Just as bad smells can prevent a cat from sleeping, having a pleasing aroma can help the cat to rest. However, many scents which are pleasant to us can be displeasing to the cat. Their sense of smell is much stronger than our own, so the amount we use is also very important. Essentially, we can use a trial and error process with the following scents:

  • Lavender
  • Lemon balm
  • CBD in oil
  • Valerian
  • Synthetic feline pheromones

Some of these can be appealing to some cats, but other smells act as repellants to others. Although it is not well understood, different cats will have different reactions to different smells. Lavender and valerian can make some cats go wild, while others will ignore them. Synthetic pheromones are generally more effective across the board, but even they will differ according to the individual.

Step 4: Offer your cat a relaxing massage

One of the best techniques to help us to relax can also be beneficial for your cat. Massaging our feline when they are laying down can help the cat to relax to the point of sleep. This will only be effective when the cat is receptive. If we try to force affection or tactile interaction, they can respond very negatively. Not only will they not fall asleep, but they can become angry and even more energized.

While each cat has their own individual preference on where they like to be petted and massaged, there are some general areas cats tend to enjoy. These include the cheeks, top of head, neck, back and base of tail. You should avoid massaging their belly unless you know they enjoy being touched there. This is one of the most sensitive areas on a cat's body and some will feel insecure when touched there.

Massaging can have a very quick effect on a cat's rest, but it is important not to overdo it. Generally speaking, we should limit a petting session to 5-10 minutes. If we try to do it for longer, the cat might become upset and will leave rather than fall asleep. Learn more with our article on how to give a cat a massage.

Step 5: Let your cat sleep with you

This option will not be for everyone, but many of us find it is the best way to get our cat to fall asleep instantly. Too many of us see our cats as loners, but felines are social animals. While each cat has their own preference, they will often seek our company when they want to feel relaxed. If your cat is like this, you can let them cozy up to you and enjoy a nap.

The reason this is conducive to sleep is because cats often see us as a reference point for their security. Our physical presence can make them feel safe and relaxed. When we add massages and affection, it can be just the thing to help the cat fall asleep immediately.

Learn more about cat sleeping behavior with our article on how long does a cat sleep each day?

Home remedies to put a cat to sleep in seconds

We have already mentioned using scents and aromas to help a cat to sleep. These are home remedies which differ in terms of how your cat will respond. The scientific evidence to support the use of essential oils and similar products is limited in humans and even less so in cats. There are certain oils from plants toxic to cats which need to be avoided at all costs since they put their health at risk.

Keeping the above in mind, there are some home remedies which might prove useful. You can make an infusion of chamomile or lemon balm which you can give to the cat when it has cooled. The effectiveness of these remedies are not well supported by science, but they are considered safe for cats in small amounts. We need to observe our reaction in the cat and only continue its use if we see positive results.

Catnip is another common home remedy for cats. It is not well understood, but cats can have different reactions to the properties of catnip. Some can have a very strong response and enter a state of hyperactivity after being exposed to catnip. Some will have little to no reaction at all.

If our cat does respond to catnip, we might see they don't fall asleep immediately. On the contrary, they might run around or roll in the catnip excitedly. However, after this initial period of excitement, the cat may crash and fall into a deep sleep. For cats that do not have a reaction, they may respond better to plants that are safe to cats such as valerian.

How to Make a Cat Fall Asleep Instantly - Home remedies to put a cat to sleep in seconds

Other tips to put a cat to sleep quickly

When our cat has problems falling asleep, we need to remember that it is related to their physical and mental well-being. Disturbances in our cat's routine, physical health problems, traumatic experiences and other factors can affect their ability to sleep.

For example, if a cat has a sedentary life in an environment which lacks environmental enrichment, their sleep can be disrupted. This is because they are not sufficiently active to release the pent up energy they store. This is particularly the case in cats which eat a lot of food. but do not have the opportunity to release the energy it provides. This is also a common contributor to obesity in cats.

Cats which have active stressors in their environment can also have problematic sleep patterns. For example, if there is another animal in the home, this can cause the cat to become very anxious. Whether another cat, a dog or any animal, if they do not get along, the cat may not feel sufficiently secure to rest easy. Take a look at our articles on how to make a cat and dog get along and how to make a cat get along with other cats to learn more.

Another important factor is to ensure your cat has environmental enrichment in the home to allow them to express their feline behaviors. These include toys which mimic a cat's hunting behavior. Scratching posts are also helpful, especially if you want to protect your furnishings.

Interaction with our cat is also a very important factor. If we do not allow our cat to interact by playing with them and providing affection, they can be understimulated and have trouble sleeping. Similarly, if we force interaction or manipulate them in ways they do not like, this can cause them trauma.

Some cats may have trouble sleeping due to previous experiences. This is particularly the case with cats that have been rescued or adopted from shelters. These cats have often been abandoned, neglected or actively abused. The trauma these experiences can cause may lead to disturbed sleep. For this reason, we need to show a lot of support and use positive reinforcement to help them actualize your home as a safe space.

If your cat won't sleep, it is possible they will meow to get your attention. This is particularly the case in cats that have issues with separation anxiety. Learn more about how to deal with this issue with our article on why my cat is meowing all through the night?

If you want to read similar articles to How to Make a Cat Fall Asleep Instantly, we recommend you visit our Extra care category.

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How to Make a Cat Fall Asleep Instantly