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At wit's end w/ morning cat...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, I haven't been to the site for a while as I've been busy - hope all is well!

OK, I'm at a point where I just can NOT deal with Kaylee's morning behavior anymore. She wakes at 5:00 on the button every single day and will stop at anything to try and wake us up to. My husband and I are suffering a real lack of sleep and start every day in a bad mood.

Here's what we do before bedtime...
*Clean litter box
*Put out fresh water
*Feed dry food
*Spend 15-30 minutes playing with kitty, including high-energy running play with laser pointer chasing, jumping for feather toys, etc.
*Praise her when she calms down from all the playing

She sleeps through the whole night at this point, until 5:00 (or more precisely, 5:08). The first thing she'll usually do is walk over us, knead, sniff/lick faces, roll around on the bed...that part really isn't so bad. After about 10 minutes of that, she hops down and goes off to use her litter box. Then the madness starts - she runs around the apartment, crashing into things, including dive-bombing us on the bed and playing with things she knows she shouldn't (and never does otherwise), jumps up on walls and doors, and meows loudly the whole time.

We have an alarm set for 6:10, when we get up. We never give her attention or even any hint we might wake up before then, no matter what she does. She does get excited when she hears the alarm because she knows that we'll finally get up, but I don't know if maybe she thinks her behavior is what eventually causes the alarm to go off or what. We've tried shutting her out of the bedroom, but she just sits by the door and meows CONSTANTLY with this loud, desperate meow, and scratches the door.

No matter what her behavior, we ignore her completely or squirt her with a water bottle and none of this stops her. She just goes full-speed constantly until it's time for us to get up. Letting her outside is not an option, and we don't want another cat. She's about one year old and spayed. We want to kill her every morning, it's just awful, but we love her to pieces aside from this and are unwilling to give her away.

I simply cannot think of anything else, and right now we're just hoping she'll grow out of it....there has to be something else we can try...
post #2 of 14
If you figure it out, let me know. I get pretty much the same behaviour from Chester! He likes to eat my hair, lick my eyelids, howl, and run around knocking stuff off of other stuff and generally being annoying. Mostly it's the howling though. I've been dealing with this for 3 years now, and honestly, he's a tough nut to crack (yes, he has a playmate, doesn't matter....she doesn't do it though).
I've tried:
-Water squirts

-Putting tinfoil up where he jumps-doesn't like the sound but will do it anyway in the morning

-locking him out - worst idea ever! He doesn't stop howling until you get up, even if it's AFTER I've fed him and I just want some peace and quiet AND he has Dynah to keep him company. I've lasted 2.5 hours in the past waiting for the howling to stop to reward good behaviour. Had to get up to use the washroom in the end! couldn't hold it anymore

-ignoring him-that's when he picked up the licking the eyelids, because you can't not move when your eyelids are licked. He also started digging under the covers and biting my feet and legs

-most recently I just push him off the side of the bed, doesn't work, but it's the best I can do to get him to walk around the apartment howling instead of next to my face.

Ok, so totally not hijacking this thread! I'm just saying a few things:
1. Try these things, maybe if you're more consistent or your cat responds to one of them better you'll have more luck. Well, not pushing it off the bed...that's my last resort, and I figure it doesn't hurt him, but doesn't help the situation either.
2. If you do find something other than these things that stops it, PLEASE let me know.
and finally
3. If you don't, know that while it doesn't stop being annoying (especially on weekends), you learn to have it be part of the routine and at least with 2 of you you can work it out so each of you only have to get up every other day.
post #3 of 14
I am waiting for an answer on this too....my SO is getting pretty upset because we have not slept in since we brought our guy home....we tire him out every night, but still he is up between 5-5:30 every day.
post #4 of 14
Kittens just get up and want to play then. Kinda like babies. You don't get a good night's sleep when they are young. They need to eat and interact then take a nap.
post #5 of 14
Do you give her wet food in the morning? If so, her excitement over it may be the reason she tries to wake you up.

I learned with my oldest cat to give him food he was pretty blah about in the morning. That way he didn't care if I awoke. Before that, he'd get so excited about breakfast, he'd open my eye with his paw at 4 a.m. every dawn.
post #6 of 14
Hmmmm......that's a thought about the wet food in the am. I might try to wean him off of it so early in the morning and see if that will buy me a couple more hours of zzzzz's.......
post #7 of 14
One member had a terrible time with her cat doing that, and solved it by finding something that her cat had an aversion to (in this case, a window envelope like what bills come in). When the cat tried to wake her up, she would shake the envelope. And it only took a few days to make the cat stop. So...I guess it's just finding that thing that really bothers your kitty...
post #8 of 14
My suggestion is just keep the bedroom door closed and get ear plugs. Yeah, he will howl and cry to get in, but he will get over it pretty quickly. Make sure there are a lot of toys he can play with laying around. Or, with my first kitten, he slept in the room with me, but when he woke up around 4:00, I would pick him up and have toys ready and throw them out the door and let him go, then firmly close the door behind him. It took a few days for him to realize I wasn't going to get up when he is scratching the door and crying like I was killing him. He finally learned that was his play time and he just had to amuse himself until the alarm went off.

This is why we usually don't allow cats in our room when we are going to bed. I love sleeping with the cats if I'm taking a nap, or sometimes on the weekend, but during the week when we have to get up, it is off limits. They are allowed in to get lovings before we settle down, but once it is bed time, they are kicked out. And, truthfully, they usually are happy to go since they got pettings and are ready to see what kind of trouble they can get in to!
post #9 of 14
I love my 2 cats.. but when it's bed time.. the door gets shut & my cats do not sleep with me. In the morning Clinton will scratch at the door & meow. Then I will let him in, he wants treats & love!
post #10 of 14
I also have 2 cats (about 8 months old) that would love to sleep with us every night. They start off great, but in the morning (around 5:30), they just can't hide their love and excitement at getting to sleep with us. They just have to get right in our faces and purr like nobody's business and head butt repeatedly. One of them will even nibble on me to encourage petting. It's not that they want to eat, either. I have tried getting up and feeding them. They follow me to the food, but then usually don't even eat. They just think this is a great time for a love fest! Needless to say, they don't get to sleep with us too often! It is sweet, though.
post #11 of 14
I think this is something they may get better about with age. My guys are around 7 and 8, and they snooze away on the bed until I get up. One of them will accompany me on a wee-hours bathroom trip; the other just keeps sleeping

Meanwhile, try some of the suggestions here. 8 years is a long time to not sleep! (Although I think they were able to sleep till I was awake starting at around 2 years old.)
post #12 of 14
I have the same problem with Forrest and have resulted to getting up around 5am when he wakes me up being a brat and shutting him into the back wing of the house (where he used to stay when he was a little kitten). He's only 8.5 months old now and it seems he sleeps a little later each night. Lilly sleeps all night on our bed and I hope one day he will too.

Forrest does not seem to mind at all when I put him "away". In fact, he gladly will stop whatever mischief he's into and trot on back to his early morning area. He never howls or anything after I shut the doors. Once my husband or I get up we let him out.

I know it's a routine he's gotten into, but it's easier for me to get up for a few seconds than put up with him getting into everything and not letting anyone sleep. Nothing else I've tried has stopped him from being anoying. At least this way he gets to sleep with us for the majority of the night.
post #13 of 14
Maybe a couple things to help:
1. Don't feed right after you get up (if you do) and/or ignore the cat for a good while after you get up (i.e. waking you up won't get her anything she wants).

2. Try double sided removable tape on your door...this helps keep one of my cats from "bumping" the door...yes, he actually likes to "body slam" the door. Figured his old owner had bad door knobs and he could open the door by bumping it...

3. You could try putting a car mat in front of the door, pointy knob side up.

4. Make your room off-limits at night, start a routine where after you play w/ cat, close the door and don't open it till after your alarm goes off (ditto on the ear plug rec.)

post #14 of 14
Originally Posted by artgecko View Post
Maybe a couple things to help:
2. Try double sided removable tape on your door...this helps keep one of my cats from "bumping" the door...yes, he actually likes to "body slam" the door. Figured his old owner had bad door knobs and he could open the door by bumping it...
LOL! Chester does this too! Good idea with the tape though. He usually breaks through the door after about an hour and a half, BOY does he have to body check hard to get through!
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