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What To Do When Your Cat Wakes You Up Too Early

 by jaime on 18 Aug 2014 |
1 Comment(s)
Your cat's charming and affectionate antics may delight you during the day, but you probably feel quite differently when your furry friend won't let you get a full night's sleep. Whether your pet paws at your face, stands on your body, bites your toes or screams in your ear, you will wake up feeling profoundly annoyed. Some cats have perfected the art of disturbing an owner's rest, and it can be quite difficult to change this routine. Here's what you need to know about your cat's annoying morning behavior, and advice that will help you to change their habit.

Why your cat is waking you up

In many cases, food will be the motivation for waking you up. If the longest gap between meal times happens to fall when you're asleep, your cat's rumbling stomach may motivate some very annoying behavior. However, some cats will just be looking for attention. If your cat is highly sociable but doesn't live with any other pets, loneliness may drive the cat to paw at you in an attempt to solicit affection. It's also worth noting that boredom can lead to a cat trying to wake you, and this issue is once again more common in single cat households.

How to change your cat's habit
  • If the cat's goal is to obtain food, giving in to their demands just reinforces their behavior. Even though it is tempting to throw some food in your cat's direction so that you can be left alone to sleep, this short-term solution will lead to repeated instances of early waking. Delayed gratification can also influence your cat's likelihood of sticking to the same pattern of behavior, so even waiting for twenty minutes or half an hour is reinforcing the early waking pattern.
  • While you might also be tempted to shut your cat in a room that is far enough away that you won't be woken by any crying, this tactic may distress your pet. If it turns out that your cat is primarily looking for affection or stimulation, being trapped in a small space may be frightening or upsetting.
  • One of the best ways to change your cat's behavior is to change what you do with your cat at night. In particular, feeding your cat late at night (i.e. right before you go to bed) can help to keep hungry kitties satisfied throughout the night. In addition, a night time playing session that leaves your cat feeling happy and tired can promote restful sleep and reduce the need for stimulation during the night. However, it is always good to leave plenty of toys for the cat to play with at night as well.
  •  If you feed your cat dry food, you can experiment with a meal delivery system that is automated. Once your cat learns that you are not directly responsible for meals, you may find that the animal stops pestering you during the night.
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Joe C - Comment
Joe C29 Aug 2018Reply
Cats are a pain in the ass. Period.

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