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Newbie at wits end.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi, firstly I am sorry if this question has been asked already but I searched the forum & I could not find a similar issue.

Well here goes, I own a 3 year old male cat (fixed) called Tigger, I got him from the animal welfare as a 9 week old kitten, his mother was feral so I would guess he would be counted as feral. He is a house cat & has been very happy as far as I can tell. Recently however he has begun crying at night.

At first I thought it was I may have forgotten to put food & water down or to clean his litter box but this is not the case, he has toys to play with & I play with him everyday for at least an hour.
I work shift so I am in & out of the house at irregular times so maybe that is an issue???? The crying always happens when I am in bed so it is affecting my sleep, I have tried ignoring it to see if it is just him looking for attention but this definitely does not work.

Would anyone out there have any ideas as to why he is behaving like this, any help would be appreciated, I really need some sleep at night plus it is only a matter of time before the neighbours complain.
post #2 of 10
Oh dear I know whats this is like!
However my cat that cries is getting on a bit (18) so I have always put it down to the fact that she gets a bit confused.
Does Tigger know where you are when he cries? Does he sleep on the bed or in the same room as you so he can see you etc.
Sometimes I just have to re-assure my elderly cat that I am still there and she will settle. If not I have to get up and give her a cuddle for a couple of minutes - maybe this would work.
post #3 of 10
My Pipsqueek does the same thing. Its usually shortly after I have gone to bed. I call out to him, tell him where I am. He comes in the room, gets a little extra cuddling, and then he lays down in his bed and goes to sleep. He gets "lost". He's 5 yrs old.

post #4 of 10
Believe it or not, this is not an unusual problem. I'll share some techniques I have used with my cat who does this, and a few other techniques I have read about here.

My 10 year old neutered male, Chester, does this sometimes. What I find is that if I spend a minimum of 10 minutes playing with him and cuddling with him before bedtime he is doesn't yowl at night. The younger cats need 10 minutes of very active play time right before bed.

I also find that leaving a night light on in the hallway helps.

Hissy has had success feeding a little warm cooked oatmeal before bed (my cats LOVE oatmeal).

And last, but not least, ear plugs are wonderful in this situation! When you are really tired, put in your ear plugs and sleep like a baby!
post #5 of 10
I have a little boy named Taylor, he is about..(hmm...counts in head, 3 or 4?) he gets "lost" as well. A lot of the time it is at night (there he goes again, he is lost in the bathroom again and crying) this mostly happens when he is in our bathroom, he just sits and cries, we usually have to talk loud so he can see where we are. Or we have to go pick him up and carry him into whatever room we are in. The only thing that gets him to stop every now and then is just tell him to stop crying. He is my baby boy, but sometimes I wonder if he has much of a brain, lol he gets lost a lot. Good luck finding a way to stop the crying!
post #6 of 10
The at night part I don't know. Mine does that during the day just randomly and I don't care too too much. But I sometimes find it bewildering. I mean I just start meowing back! ANd he doesn't stop, sometimes looks surprised I am meowing!
post #7 of 10
My cats want to "chat" just as I am about to go to sleep, they dont want to talk all day. If I ignore them, one will sit on my stomach and chatter away and the other will pat my face with their paw until I talk back for a few minutes, then they will lay down and go to sleep. I swear they do it just to harass me.
post #8 of 10
Have you thought about getting your cat a buddy?? I have 2 cats and I find they tend to keep each other company at night and don't wake me up as much.

Here is an article that may help you:


Why does my cat seem to be most active at nights?

Some cats are active at night or awake and "raring to go" very early in the morning. Since many owners are out at work or school during the day the cat may spend the daytime hours in rest and relaxation, especially if it is the only pet in the household. The cat’s day then begins when the owner arrives home to provide the cat with feeding, play and social interaction. Typical complaints are cats that nibble or even attack the owner’s ears or toes in bed, walking across the sleeping owners, nighttime vocalization, or explosive, uncontrollable play sessions across the furniture and/or owners, during the night or early morning. Some owners inadvertently reward the behavior by giving the cat a little food, affection, or attention to try and calm the cat.

How can I stop my cat from keeping me up at night?

You must learn to schedule and encourage play and feeding during the daytime and evening hours, so that the cat’s schedule more closely matches that of yourself.

Some cats can be retrained by keeping the cat awake and active by playing, feeding and interacting with the cat throughout the afternoon and evening. Catnaps in the evening should be discouraged.

If the cat continues to disturb you during the night, confining your cat out of the bedroom, and providing it with a comfortable sleeping area and litter may do the trick. Do not provide food through the night as this encourages the cat to stay awake. On the other hand, if the cat remains awake, providing the cat with ample opportunity for scratching, climbing and play in a confined area may occupy the cat until it becomes tired.

Cats that are vocal when locked out of the bedroom must be ignored. Going to the cat or giving attention in any way will only serve to reward the demanding behavior. Cats that scratch or bat at the bedroom door can be kept away by the use of an upside down carpet runner, electronic pet mat or perhaps a motion detector (although it might disturb the owner). If the cat is overly vocal, lock it away in as sound proof an area as possible such as a washroom, or a cat carrier in a distant bedroom. Nested corrugated cardboard boxes around the cage help to further reduce the noise.

What if it is necessary to have the cat sleep in the bedroom?

If you decide that your cat would do best if allowed to stay in the bedroom, you must remember that any attention whatsoever will further reinforce the behavior. React to the demanding cat with inattention. However if the cat persists or the behavior escalates to a point where it cannot be ignored, punishment may be effective.

It should first be noted that punishment is generally contraindicated in cats because punishment that is too mild is likely to be ineffective and may actually serve to provide enough play or attention to reward the behavior. Punishment that is too harsh on the other hand could lead to an increase in anxiety, fear of the owner and even aggression. If punishment is to be used, devices that quickly deter the cat without the need for owner contact, such as a water sprayer, air horn, ultrasonic device or compressed air are usually the safest and most effective.

Is there medication that might help?

If all else fails and the cat does not sleep through the night with behavioral techniques alone, your veterinarian may be able to provide some medication to help your cat fall asleep for the first few nights.

Good Luck

post #9 of 10
While I agree with most of the information in the last post, there is one point on which my cats differ, and this may be just that-an individual difference. I find that I am less likely, not more likely, to have my cats wake me at 4:30 if I do leave them some food overnight. If there is food there, they are able to leave my bed and come back without disturbing me. But when they are hungry, look out! Purdy typically tries to get me up by either chasing his tail on the bed or running down the hall, into the bedroom, up over the top of me, and down and off into the hall again. Red Cat, on the other hand, has a BIG VOICE and doesn't hesitate to announce that it is time to eat. Now that the two are eating different foods, I can no longer leave the food out overnight, so the last two mornings we've had the 4:30 wake-up call again. Oh, well, with my terrible sleeping habits, sometimes I wake THEM at 2:00, 3:00 or 4:00, so I can't complain too much.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies everyone.
A lot of helpful stuff here for me to work on with Tigger.
I will let you know how it works out, Thanks again.
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