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Can I train my cat to stop waking me up?

(109 Posts)
maggiethecat Mon 26-Oct-20 23:19:31

We're new cat owners and have had our 2 yo rescue cat for about 6 weeks and she's lovely. However I've never been so sleep deprived for a long time!

She sleeps in dd's top bunk bed but gets out at about 6am, or earlier, and insists on someone escorting her downstairs for breakfast which someone usually does and then they go back to bed. But after she's had breakfast she'll go back upstairs, sit on the landing and meow until someone pays some attention.

If she wakes me up too early I'll go on to the landing and say "No Lola" and then go back to bed but tbh I don't think she stops meowing, I think someone else has just been getting her so she stops the racket grin

Any hope at all of trying to get her to stop waking us up confused

OP’s posts: |
DappledOliveGroves Mon 26-Oct-20 23:36:16

Our cats go through phases of being annoying twats and yowling or scratching at the bedroom door in the middle of the night. They want attention (whether positive or negative) and it drove us mad.

In the end we hooked up the vacuum cleaner so it sits outside the bedroom door and as soon as they start scratching, we turn it on at the plug from inside the bedroom. The cats soon learn not to bother you. The only downside is tripping over the bloody vacuum when you get up in the night to go to the loo. But it's a price worth paying.

I think you can also buy similar aerosol squirters which are on motion sensors. They emit a hissing air noise if a cat goes past, but cost about £70, so the vacuum cleaner maybe a cheaper option!

Coldemort Mon 26-Oct-20 23:40:22

I treat my cat a bit like having a child. Spend all the evening playing -sitting on sofa waving laser pen- so she's tired out and sleeps through the night grin

Eekay Mon 26-Oct-20 23:42:40

Following with interest. Our girl has started waking us almost hourly in the last few months yowling at the top of her voice. She's 15 but had clean bill of health from the vet.

MiniMum97 Mon 26-Oct-20 23:46:49

I lock my cat downstairs if she starts this. She has plenty of room and lots of soft and warm places for her) before anyone says I'm cruel!).

Every 6 months or so she'll try it. I put her straight downstairs and she doesn't do it again.

I will put up with a lot of things but I will not have my sleep disturbed. It's a red line for me. Pets or children. Babies are of course the exception as there's bugger all you can do about them disturbing sleep!.

TheHighestSardine Tue 27-Oct-20 00:11:04

Don't let anyone feed her when she demands. That's giving in to terrorism - and reinforces her belief that yowling at 6am will get her fed. So she'll carry on doing it.

Whoever stumbles out at 6 needs to acknowledge her, perhaps give her a quick stroke, then sod off back to bed and ignore her. Feed her at whatever time of the morning is suitable for your own schedule. Eventually she'll get the hang of it and only start yowping quarter of an hour before food time...

EatsFartsAndLeaves Tue 27-Oct-20 02:06:29

If mine makes requests before 8am then I throw clothes at him. Pair of sock won't hurt him but gets the message across.

Never, ever feed or give attention in the middle of the night or they'll never stop!

Toddlerteaplease Tue 27-Oct-20 02:23:55

I had this with Cheddar. When I first got her. I didn't get an unbroken nights sleep for 8 months. She just wanted to be cuddled. However, she's now a lot better. She sleeps on the other pillow and will only come for fuss if I'm awake. Though the biscuit making on my face is pretty guaranteed to bring me fully awake when I'm trying to have a lie in.

madcatladyforever Tue 27-Oct-20 02:29:43

My 19 year old cat just woke me up by smacking me in the face. Its 2.25 am and she wants me to get up and wash her shitty paws. She accidentally trod in poo in the litter tray in the dark and hates it. I had to get up, wash her paws in the sink. So she's gone back to her bed and is fast asleep and I've had to clean out the litter tray, change my bed sheets that she walked over and now I'm lying here wide awake.

Runningdownthathill Tue 27-Oct-20 05:05:33

I don’t let my cat in the main house at night. She has a basket by the back door which has a cat flap. If she yowls to be fed too early I ignore her or she learns I will be summoned on demand. She watches my window outside and as soon as I wake she is in for breakfast like a flash!

ivfbeenbusy Tue 27-Oct-20 05:19:28

Ditto on the socks! I keep a supply handy and my aim in the dark has got pretty good now! 🤣

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 27-Oct-20 08:19:36

Probably a bit of boredom, if we’re not up they’ve got nothing to do.

sashh Tue 27-Oct-20 08:28:58

Your cat's breakfast is 6.00am you, human slave, need to adjust to getting up at this time, watching her eat and playing with her.

Seriously, good luck. One of my lecturers at uni who was deaf had two cats, they learned to set his alarm off (alarms for deaf people use light and/or a vibration pad).

Oh and can we see a pic? We may be able to help you better if we see her?

OnCandyStripeLegs Tue 27-Oct-20 08:29:19

The clock change and half term has meant extra early wake up calls this week. Stupid cat has decided 4.30am is the time to wake up. He'll try a bit of mewing and purring and then it's straight onto getting onto the desk and knocking stuff off it. Usually i just throw him out of the window and that's an end to it but he's been rather resistant to that. He's also a fan of having someone accompany him downstairs to check his food bowl is still full, on the off chance it's not, as then he'd have to come back up and that would never do. He also howls in the front porch waiting to be let in when DH goes and comes back from his jog which is now an hour later than he's expecting and also not happening in half term.

We had started putting a bowl of dry food upstairs which had stopped 98% of this but the clocks changing have stopped that.

DH is convinced a diet would help, and that the only reason the cat doesnt use the cat flap is that he doesnt fit through it. I can't imagine starving the poor bugger is going to improve his mood and get me more sleep.

MillieTheCat Tue 27-Oct-20 08:48:06

Meeow! Some of you humans need to learn. We cats have not owners, we have staff. That means you!

You are here to give us cuddles when we feel cuddly, and play with us when we are excited or bored, and feed us when we’re hungry, or just when we want to watch you get up from your comfy bed or chair and give us food. One of our favourite teaching methods is to climb upon your book, or your keyboard, to help you understand that attention to us is so much more important than whatever trivial thing you are doing. One of our favourite games is to meow until you get up and open the door, so we can go out ... and back in ... and back out ... and back in ...It’s so much fun, I could play that game all day!

But, we are so adorable with our soft fluffy fur and our big eyes, and our affectionate rubbing against you, and curling up on your lap ... PURR! You cannot resist, and when you have been kind to us, then neither can we. We can grow attached to you, and we can love you. You can see it in our eyes. We are made for each other.

maggiethecat Tue 27-Oct-20 10:57:46

She was up at 4.10 this morning! (probably clock change related).

Went out and bent down face level and gave her a firm "No" - sleep breath probably blew her away as she didn't come back until 6.45 grin

Will ask everyone not to feed her earlier than we wish to be up which is about 7 anyway. Also seriously thinking of locking her downstairs at night. Would have to get another litter tray for her to use at night as the she would not be able to access downstairs loo where her litter tray is.

OP’s posts: |
slipperywhensparticus Tue 27-Oct-20 11:11:29

Puzzle feeder toy?

maggiethecat Tue 27-Oct-20 11:19:40

she always has dry food to hand - she just wants to be waited upon 😡

OP’s posts: |
Smallsteps88 Tue 27-Oct-20 11:21:22

I’d leave a dish of dry food in the landing.

motherofawhirlwind Tue 27-Oct-20 11:22:30

Our old girl shouts at the top of her voice at random points in the night, but she's deaf (so doesn't realise how loud she's being) and has doggie dementia as the Vet puts it, so can't remember where we are. Calling out used to work before she went deaf....

One of the younger ones wants cuddles at 5am.

It's such fun!

maggiethecat Tue 27-Oct-20 11:45:36

Sash - hoping you can diagnose problem better now you've seen her grin

OP’s posts: |
maggiethecat Tue 27-Oct-20 11:48:39

Matcatladyforever - I realise I have life easy!

OP’s posts: |
Larsingsong Tue 27-Oct-20 11:50:02

My cat does the same, and her meowing is so loud. We feed her early anyway about 7ish, but then she'll go and sit outside everyone's bedroom door and won't give in meowing til we're up! Diva.

I now shut her downstairs at night with her litter tray and food, she still meows but we can't hear here enough to wake us. She's got the run of the whole downstairs so she's fine.

TOADfan Tue 27-Oct-20 11:53:36

I'm wondering if I'm a bad mummy. We got out cat rescued from a farm. My husband didn't really want a cat so agreed with one request..that she's not allowed in the bedroom and is kept downstairs at night.

So we keep her downstairs at night and she's fed when we get up which is 7 during the week and anytime between 7-10 on the weekend.

She's never bothered us. Are we ignoring her? I worry if she doesn't have enough stimulation but I'm too chicken to let her outside.

Gingaaarghpussy Tue 27-Oct-20 11:57:45

I ignore my cat, until she blats my face, claws out. Then Bury myself under my duvet, while she tries to dig me out. I used to have a touch lamp on my bedside table until she pushed it off and broke the shade. She will push anything off in the hope that I surface.
Fortunately my patience lasts longer.
Sometimes I stick my arm out of bed and she's happy to fuss herself, then leave me in peace.

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