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Wake-Up Call. 4:00am

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I have had my kitty for about 2 weeks now.

And everyday for the last two weeks she has been making me crazy.

I feel that i have adopted a newborn baby rather than a 3 year old cat.

She sleeps in my bed at night, but she wakes up every 45mins-1hr.

Normally she will go back to sleep, with mild back rubbing.

But at 4:00am she is awake. and wanting to eat.

She eats ALL the time.

Breakfast, Mid-Day, and night.

I cant get her to stop.

Please help.
post #2 of 12
Makes you wonder what kind of life she had before the poor thing. Please have patience. It will get better I promise. All my cats had an adjustment period to the rhythym of the house. Rocko was very food oriented, Fiona woke us up all through the night. They eventually realized food was plentiful and we humans like to SLEEP during certain hours and will not give them attention during those times. I would reach out a hand to Fiona in bed and pet her or scratch her but I would not get up or talk to her much.

They eventually get more secure. But they need routine to get that way. Feed them around the same time everyday. Play with them around the same time everyday. Give affection around the same time (usually before bed is a good idea, than they learn after love comes sleepy time)

For an example this is my routine. I get up around 7, feed them than clean the box out so they can use a clean box after they eat. I play for maybe 5 mins and give lots of love while getting dressed. I go to work, come home. feed them again, clean the box again (i have three cats). Than watch tv while they take turns coming over and getting cooed over and played with. Than before bed I give them their "crunchies" dry food (so they leave me alone at night) and we cuddle in bed till they find a comfy spot to sleep and we go to sleep.

When I first got Fiona I played for at least an hour with her because she is a very active cat. Rocko is more of a cuddler and needed more cuddle time when I first got him. If I was walking around too much he would follow me around till i settled and than hope up on my lap purring and wanting to be petted. So depending on your cat will depend on what it needs to feel secure. Once you give them that security it's a lot better and the neediness will go away.

Give it time and patience. the reward is a great friend!
post #3 of 12
Sounds like pretty normal cat behavior to me.
post #4 of 12
Remember that if you give in to what the cat wants (rubbing, attention, food) then the cat will learn that waking you up gets it what it wants and it will continue to do so.

I concur with wearing the cat out.
post #5 of 12
I totally agree that your cat is probably just getting accustomed to her new life, and isn't quite sure what's happening. I went through the same thing when I adopted my two, as adults, a few years ago. My boy, especially, was eating every second of the day, it seemed, and wasn't sure when sleepy-time was.

I keep a pretty consistent schedule, and they've adapted, but it took a while. Dante, once he realized that breakfast and dinner mushy food was pretty much always at the same time, and that kibble was going to be out there, started grazing, rather than guzzling. And now they we all tend to head for my bedroom at about the same time - I get puzzled looks if I'm staying up late!

Now, they don't quite understand the concept of weekend, but they're ok if I get up and feed them and clean the box, and go back to sleep - we all nap again.

But, I also do warn you about any attention at times you would prefer to sleep. As I get older, I find myself getting up at 2:00 am to go to the bathroom. My little girl always followed me, and I petted her. Oops, now, 2:00 am is petting time, whether or not I need to pee!
post #6 of 12
I have to ask, how old is the kitten?
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
She isnt a kitten,

she was estimated to be about 3 years old.
post #8 of 12
I agree; right now she sounds excited to have a home and should calm down over time. You might want to get another cat because they they play with each other at night -- and especially when they're younger and you've been at work all day, they're crazy to play with you if they're an only cat. (Two cats really are so much easier than one.)

I had a cat who was so excited about his morning feeding that eventually he would wake me at 4 a.m. by opening my eye with his paw. So I stopped giving him food he loved in the morning and instead gave him food that was pretty blah and which he didn't particularly like. Once he learned it wasn't worth waking me, he stopped.

As for the eating-all-the-time, is she super skinny? If so, does she have diarrhea? If you answer yes to both, she may have a tapeworm, which is easily treated by your vet.
post #9 of 12
I have similar issues with the boy I adopted about a year ago when he was 4. He came from a shelter and had been a stray (but clearly had a home at some time), but he wanted to eat ALL the time. I fed him as much as he wanted, and he eventually tapered off. He's maintained the same weight all year, although he asks for food a lot. In fact, he will complain if I dare enter the kitchen and don't offer HIM something to eat!

Be glad your cat wakes you at 4 am, my boy's latest wake up time is 3 and often it's 2! I've tried everything suggested on these boards with no success. A cat behaviorist told me the only solution is to ignore him, but it's difficult to ignore a cat who is patting your face or walking on your head. My vet recently told me that it's basically his biorhythm (which has had several years to become set), and he'll probably always be this way! I love him anyway. Sometimes I can get back to sleep; sometimes I can take a nap, but sometimes I'm just tired. . . .
post #10 of 12
I've found most cats naturally prefer to be up and active from 4-5 until the late morning, then sleep all afternoon, and be active in the evening until 10-11 or whenever bedtime is.

If you allow they will naturally gravitate to this schedule.

As they nap all the time rather than take one long siesta, you can get them to accomodate to your schedule a bit. Have regular feeding times. If you feed twice a day try moving the evening feeding closer to bedtime.

If you heed their urges to get up at 4am and feed the kitty they will expect it and persist in the habit of harassing you for food in the morning. Hold out till 5 or 6 or whatever is a good time for your to get up. The first few weeks will be hard. It may necessitate you shutting the cat out of the bedroom to get some rest. They will learn to wait patiently for you to emerge and give them food on something closer to your schedule.

Sometimes this results in unexpected benefits if the cat can learn to be a patient snuggly next to you on your bed, while waiting for you to wake. (I am assuming you like furry purring cat pillows). And its nice to have somebody waiting for you into he morning with friendly squeaks and mews. Make one feel luved.
post #11 of 12
Try to move the time around a few mins each day. and I do mean a few, Mine want to be feed at 4, because thats when I use to get up. So now I have got them to wait till about 5. Now we are working on 6....and by laying in bed and not getting up when Tuffy starts at 5 and making him wait til 5:05 I will move it. It's kinda like little kids.
Good luck
post #12 of 12
I taught mine that my waking up does not mean they will be fed. When I get up in the morning, I do everything I need to do to get ready for the day, give them all some loves. Just before I leave, they get fed. I also free feed dry because of the youngster so I know they aren't starving.

With Daphne, she learned that I will not get up because she wants to play but it took months. Gotta admire the feline tenacity! When she would play with my face or sit on my chest staring at me I'd give her a stroke or two, cover my head and go back to sleep.

With Galahad, he doesn't do what she does but he does knead on me all night. I'm learning to sleep through it but there have been a couple of nights he has been locked out of the bedroom at 3am. I have faith he and I will both learn to live with the other's foibles

Also, he likes to play-attack Seb who usually sleeps on his pillow next to my head. Has me worried about my face/eyes sometimes. So moved Seb's pillow down the bed a bit

edit: most mornings I wake up with about 10 cat toys and numberous paper balls on me. Seems there is more going on than I am aware of!
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