Q. My 4 yo kitty picking at the bed with her nails at night while I am trying to sleep any way to stop the behavior? Or why is she doing this?
A. I'm not sure if you mean kneading or claw sharpening. Kneading is the action that cts engage in when they feel comfortable and relaxed, it what kittens do to their mother's belly to induce the flow of milk. Claw sharpening is usually done more in an active state, such as play or excitement. It is how they keep their claws clean and in good condition, but it can be damaging to furniture and trying to sleep. Make sure your cat has plenty of scratching posts, shelves to climb on, places to hide and places to look out the windows. Provide her with plenty of toys, including one or two bigger stuffed animals that she can wrestle and be more aggressive with. Make sure to pay attention to her and play while you're awake. This will occupy her mind as well and wear off some energy so that hopefully by the time you're ready to go to bed, she will also be ready to relax. Keep in mind that cats are naturally more active at dawn and dusk.