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My cat will not let me sleep

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
OK, my cat (6 months old) does not let me sleep. She'll sleep with me on the bed for a bit but then starting around 2:30 in the morning every night all she does is meow and run around and pretty much annoy me for the rest of the night off and on. I try feeding her, playing with her for a bit, even squirting her with a water bottle when she starts acting up but nothing works. Is there anything I can do to get her to actually sleep at night?

Also, she has this habit of meowing at the one corner of my room, she'll just sit at the corner and meow, it's so weird. Also on that wall is the doors for the little laundry area which she also meows at. I keep those doors closed so she doesn't go in there. I know its not just cause she wants to go in there and she can't because she doesn't do the same at my closet door which I also keep closed.

I'm just at a loss as to what to do. Does anyone have any suggestions?
post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TabethaC View Post
OK, my cat (6 months old) does not let me sleep. She'll sleep with me on the bed for a bit but then starting around 2:30 in the morning every night all she does is meow and run around and pretty much annoy me for the rest of the night off and on. I try feeding her, playing with her for a bit, even squirting her with a water bottle when she starts acting up but nothing works. Is there anything I can do to get her to actually sleep at night?

Also, she has this habit of meowing at the one corner of my room, she'll just sit at the corner and meow, it's so weird. Also on that wall is the doors for the little laundry area which she also meows at. I keep those doors closed so she doesn't go in there. I know its not just cause she wants to go in there and she can't because she doesn't do the same at my closet door which I also keep closed.

I'm just at a loss as to what to do. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Firstly, you are reinforcing her behaviour by getting up and playing with her. She has learned that by waking you she gets to play. Also, she is just a baby yet and will calm as she gets older.

Play with her to tire her out BEFORE bedtime. I wouldn't recommend spraying with water. If you accidently got any in her ears she can get a bad infection.

You can ignore her when she disturbs you and pretend you do not even hear her or you can put her in another room overnight. If you ignore her she will eventually get the message that you are not going to get up and play or feed her. If you can't ignore her you may need to keep her out of your room until she is older and will sleep quietly through the night.
post #3 of 17
I had the same problem with my boy--and he's 5! He's extremely social and human bonded, so he wanted me to be 'up' for night time frolics with him. Like you, I tried many things, but I eventually spoke to a vet who is a behaviorist--her practice is entirely limited to behavior issues.

She advised ignoring him as much as possible, gradually extending the hours until it was a time that I was comfortable with. That is, his usual 'wake up' calls began at 2 a.m. I practiced ignoring him until 3, then 4. It's not easy to ignore my boy who purrs in my face and pats me with his paw, but the vet compared it to having to let a baby cry it out for a night or two to learn to get back to sleep on her own.

My boy still has "accidents" when he will forget and try to wake me, but for the most part, he now leaves me alone and plays by himself in the middle of the night.
post #4 of 17
C'mon, we only go around once. And they'll never be a kitten again. Go to bed a little earlier and get up and play with your baby.
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TabethaC View Post
I try feeding her, playing with her for a bit
There's the first of your problems. This is lesson #1 in "How to turn your cat into an alarm clock."

Others here can tell you more tricks, but it's really important not to reward the behavior with food and attention. Also, kittens seem to develop this problem around 6 months. She may well outgrow it.
post #6 of 17
Oh, what a familiar situation - I've dealt with similar with kids & puppies, too.
JC still goes through those phases. One suggestion that I found here that has worked well for me is to give them intense play that involves stalking & chasing (simulating hunting) that lasts about 15 min. PRIOR to a large dinnertime meal - it follows nature's pattern of expending energy prior to a meal.
As for her meowing at a corner, she is most likely hearing something in the wall, such as mice or carpenter ants, or a hum of some sort & she's "talking" to her "prey". At least you can rest assured that if it was mice, and there is a breach, your cat-on-duty will happily rid you of that problem
post #7 of 17
My new cat is still crying all night. We think he wants to go out again, but I do not want him to be an outdoor cat. My daughter got him a harness and has been walking him outside on a leash trying to convince him that December in the Midwestern United States is no place to want to be outside, but he's still driving me nuts. Can you even turn an outdoor cat into an indoor cat?
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayne1955 View Post
December in the Midwestern United States is no place to want to be outside, but he's still driving me nuts. Can you even turn an outdoor cat into an indoor cat?
Yes, you can, but it takes time. I have done it twice and am doing it again now with a feral stray. It takes a lot of vigilance - our new boy Buddy can hear the door open even when he is upstairs fast asleep - and a lot of patience. With my first cat, she was a stray who ended up having her babies in my cellar well the week after my dad passed away. We found homes for the babies and let her come and go as she pleased until she figured she got a better deal staying inside with the heat and the food! She was a sweet girl and we had her for 14 years. Lord only knows her true age when she finally passed. With my Angel Casey, he was a kitten who was abandoned with his littermates. We let him out on our back deck only using a harness and leash and he seemed very content all of his life with that. He was sweet and easy to please and seemed to know that was all the outside freedom he would ever have. He was ALWAYS supervised. He was so good even when we opened a door, he never tried to get out until we told him it was okay and the leash was close at hand. Such a sweetie. We will probably do the same with Buddy when the weather gets nicer, so that is a few months off. I think he will be a little more of a challenge!

Outside freedom is a hard thing for them to lose, but it is tough to beat a warm bed and good food on a regular basis! They eventually do seem to "understand" that.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the suggestions. I can't keep her out of the room because when I do she starts clawing at the door and carpet and I can't have her doing that since I rent an apartment. Any suggestions on how to get her to stop that?
post #10 of 17
The advice has been given to just ignore her. Dont lock her out of the room just ignore her. She is still a baby and if you can just make it through this next few months (if her behavior hasnt stopped before then) she will more than likely stop this behavior.

And as Yosemite said, please dont spray your cat, you can cause her to get really sick with an infection if any gets in the ears. Not to mention additional behavioral problems.
post #11 of 17
My excessively noisy kitty is getting spayed on December 15th. Does anyone think that might help keep him indoors? He came to us on the 30th of October and I haven't had a good night's sleep since. I'm walking into walls with exhaustion, but when I found him he'd been in a fight, had fleas AND ticks. The vet bill was ridiculous. I'm not risking that again. Plus we have coyotes around here who I know would be happy to turn him into a midnight snack if he remained an outdoor cat.

I won't keep a cat that is not neutered, but I have also heard it sometimes helps with the ones who are dead set on roaming.
post #12 of 17
I took a cat in from outside. I would say neutering will help A LOT.
Another thing I did is just every time she would cry to go outside, I would redirect her attention. Throw a toy, play with her, anything to get her mind off of going out. Finally she settled in and never asks to go out. You just have to be persistent. Good Luck! And thank you for saving that kitty.
post #13 of 17
This is one of the reasons I'm big on getting a second cat. They play with each other during the night, and you can shut them out of the room and get your sleep. It can be exhausting being a cat's one-and-only; especially when they're young.
post #14 of 17
To the O.P., I feel for you. We adopted Neely at approx. 2 y.o. and have had her for 3+ yrs. She still wakes us up at night and we tried every trick in the book. She is extremely intelligent and very mischievous. We were having some work done in the master bath where we keep her litter box and temporarily moved her to our spare bedroom. It turned out that she liked having the room to herself at night and it has become her new den. So far so good, (fingers crossed). Do you have another room in your apt. where she could spend the night?
post #15 of 17
Getting the cat fixed will help. Many people get two kittens as just one is too much to handle.
Buy lots of scratching posts and trees or at least one huge tree, and scatter lots of toys in the house and play with the cat an hour before bed with interactive toys like toy on string or a laser pointer, make the cat a little worn out. Look at various things to put over your door, like sticky tape and the like to discourage them bothering it.
Our cat still yells and is annoying at night every now and then. She sleeps a lot of the day and sometimes has excess energy at night. You aren't alone in the cat trying to be your alarm clock. Ignore them and never feed them as a reward for waking you up. Cats love to do that to you if they can!http://www.spike.com/video/kitty-alarm-clock/2906014
post #16 of 17
Both of my cats were strays who instantly became totally indoor cats in my home with no difficulties at all. My female was neutered a week after she adopted me, and my male was neutered by the shelter the week before I brought him home.

Neither cat ever showed any inclination to want to revert to the outdoors. I've read that often strays will easily adapt to the "luxury" of indoor living and that seems to have been the case with both of mine.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
I wish I could put her in a different room but I only have a 1 bedroom. I would get a second cat but I don't think I can deal with the added expense of a second cat right now. Plus I don't know how I'd fair 2 against 1 in a small apartment
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