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Felix wakes us up at 5am every day! Help!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I can't remember when it started, but it has been going on for at least two months now. (We never let the cats into our room at night)

Felix stands outside our bedroom door and meows, and scratches at our door. I usually get up, and he is usually quite affectionate. I usually pet him and lead him back into the livingroom.

It is starting to take it's toll on us - a broken sleep isn't good! I have tried ignoring him, but he stands and meows for ages....

....help!!!
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by sazza View Post

Felix stands outside our bedroom door and meows, and scratches at our door. I usually get up, and he is usually quite affectionate. I usually pet him and lead him back into the living room. I have tried ignoring him, but he stands and meows for ages....
Sorry to say this but ignoring him now after you responded to his 5 a.m call will make it harder to break the habit. Wear ear plugs and hope he gives up before you do.
post #3 of 10
LOL! Sounds normal, cats can be very annoying at this game. You might enjoy this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0ffwDYo00Q
post #4 of 10
You get to sleep in until 5am?
post #5 of 10
Count your blessings! My Grigio starts waking me at 2 a.m.! I've tried everything, but I tend to be a softy.

Feeding him well just before bedtime--he doesn't eat if he doesn't want to.

Playing with him just before I go to sleep to "wear him out" - he plays only as long as he wants to.

Putting him out of the bedroom as soon as he disturbs me--he cries pitifully at the door, and I can't take it--I'm soon wide awake.

I'm still searching for a solution. He's only been with me for 3 months (adopted from a shelter), so I'm hoping I'll find a solution soon!
post #6 of 10
Do you feed him when you officially get up? If so, you might try feeding him breakfast food he doesn't really like and then he might stop wanting to wake you.

My oldest cat would literally open my eye with his paw at 4 a.m., he'd be so excited about breakfast. I switched to a really bland, unappealing cat food (for his breakfast only) and he pretty much knocked it off. Then I'd give him his "real" food, the stuff he liked, later in the day and at night.
post #7 of 10
How old is your cat? If he/she is young, they may well outgrow it but you'll need to be patient and not give in to his early morning demands. Have you tried letting him in your bedroom to sleep with you? We do this with both cats and they'll sleep in as long as we sleep which is wonderful since I'm not a morning person. It may just take some retraining to impress upon your cat that you will NOT get up at 5 am to feed him/her. If you've put up with it for a couple months, another couple weeks until he/she gets the message shouldn't be too hard to cope with. Good luck with the retraining.
post #8 of 10
Now keeping in mind that I have only had kittens for 4 weeks or so now....one of our 16 month old kittens wake up between 5:45 to 6:15 every day. We do not let them sleep with us. One will mew a the door for a few minutes and we let him continue and then he'll walk away and come back later and try again. I think that if you can work through the ignoring, the time mewing will lessen but you have stick to it or he won't quit knowing that you'll come for him sooner or later.
We also let them in when they are not near the door, random times so that they will learn that we control that behavior, not them.
Seems to be working for us.
post #9 of 10
I just read something that I'm going to try, and it might help you, too. I'm the one whose baby wakes her at 2 a.m., and I've tried putting him out of the bedroom, but he is very, very attached (part of being so affectionate, I think), and this morning, he was in such distress when I finally opened the door that I decided never to do that again.

In one of my "cat" books, I read that their internal clock is regulated by hunger. I had not considered that because I always keep a bowl of dry food available (he eats mostly wet) in case he gets hungry between feedings. BUT I've realized that this guy rarely goes to his food unless I feed him. So when he's hungry, he naturally comes to me, and if I'm asleep, he tries to wake me. So my challenge is to re-set his internal clock by NOT feeding him at 2 a.m. I realize now that for the past month, I've been reinforcing his behavior (unintentionally) because I'm such a light sleeper that when he wakes me, it's easier to get up, feed him, and make my coffee, etc. Since I'm retired, I can nap later in the day--although I hate doing that, and I wind up in a funk most of the day from my 2 a.m. wake up call.

So I'm going to ignore him as much as possible even though I know I won't be able to sleep. I'll read or watch TV until a time that I want to have his "clock" set at. It will probably take a couple of weeks, but this seems to be a system that will work.

The idea that the cat is motivated by hunger rings true for me because my first cat was always an hour off whenever we re-set our clocks for daylight savings time or back to regular time. Since I refused to get up an hour earlier, she gradually adjusted to the "right" time because I was regularly feeding her at that hour.

So if I wait to feed my guy until a time that I'm willing to be wakened, he should adjust to that. I know he'll be upset, but when I've had to take a cat in for anesthesia and can't feed in the morning, the cat usually gives up after a while when I don't respond.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you to everyone for all your feedback. Well, great news! Felix is no longer scratching at the door!

Like all of you advised, we simply ignored him! We had also fed him on a couple of occasions at night (they generally free feed from dry) but we gave him some wet later at night.

Horrayyyyyy!!!!
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