Cat waking me up in early hours of the mornings

Juanita the cat

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Hello. I have a 15 year old cat who has just moved to a new house with me. My new house is a flat with no terrace or garden, whereas my previous house had a garden so she went outside at night.

She has adapted very well and the only big issue is her waking up in the middle of the night at around 3-6 am meowing because she wants to be cuddled and wants attention. The flat is not sound proof at all and I can even hear my neighbours go to toilet, so letting her howl at 3am is not an option. When she does meow, I pick her up and put her back to where she was sleeping and give her a fuss so that she goes back to sleep. I understand that this routine is what is making her meow now, as she knows that if she howls I will give her attention, but how can I stop her from howling without giving her attention? How should I break the cycle and make her sleep through the night from 12-7? I don't mind her waking up but the howling is the problem.

I wear her out by playing with her, then I give her a big dinner before bed and I don't let her nap in the evenings. She is locked in my room so that she doesn't go and meow in the living room, which takes longer to get to.

Thank you for any advice you can offer.
 

Caspers Human

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Our cat, Casper, has a bedtime routine with us.

I go to be late because I work second shift. Casper's Girl-Human is already in bed by that time.
The cat will usually be sleeping in bed with his Girl-Human, on my side of the bed.

I'll go to the bed to pet him and "make nice" before I lay down. He'll usually go off the bed and hang out by the foot of the bed while I bed down and cover up. A few minutes later, he'll hop up again and start purring and making "figure eights" around the bed.

I know that Casper is just trying to be friendly but, some nights, I'm really tired and I just want to go to sleep.

When he does his "figure eight dance", I'll move the covers and pillows around to make a little nest then pat the bed to signal him to lay down. Sometimes he lays down and stays relatively quiet. Other times, he keeps circling and fussing.

When he does that, I'll shuffle my feet and flush him out of the bed. Maybe, in a few minutes, if he behaves, I'll let him back into bed.

It kind of peeves me off because, in reality, all Casper has to do is move over by about two feet and I'd let him stay in bed as long as he wants to. Instead, we have to go through this ritual that, occasionally, takes as long as half an hour... Circling, fussing, getting kicked off the bed, jumping back up then more fussing until he either lays down quietly or gets kicked out for good.

Bottom Line: Set some rules and stick to them. If your cat obeys, she gets to stay in bed. If she fusses more than you're willing to allow, she gets shooed off the bed.

After a while, she should learn what the rules are and how to live by them so that both of you can sleep in peace. :)
 

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In order to help me sleep through apartment noise I run by a box fan at night (usually blowing away from the bed.) A fan also helps drown out kitty cries. With senior cats a nightlight can help wonders (elderly cats often get dementia, get lost and cry out for help during the night. Your cat is 15 years old so it could be she is feeling lost. I talk to them and give them a quick cuddle.)

Cats are most active at sunrise and sunset. This is when they most want food. My kitty has a bed next to my bed (it used to be on my bed next to my pillows when I had a bigger bed.) I also am nocturnal so I often feed him at 6 am and go back to sleep. 🤷🏻‍♀️
 

caity_bean

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Hello. I have a 15 year old cat who has just moved to a new house with me. My new house is a flat with no terrace or garden, whereas my previous house had a garden so she went outside at night.

She has adapted very well and the only big issue is her waking up in the middle of the night at around 3-6 am meowing because she wants to be cuddled and wants attention. The flat is not sound proof at all and I can even hear my neighbours go to toilet, so letting her howl at 3am is not an option. When she does meow, I pick her up and put her back to where she was sleeping and give her a fuss so that she goes back to sleep. I understand that this routine is what is making her meow now, as she knows that if she howls I will give her attention, but how can I stop her from howling without giving her attention? How should I break the cycle and make her sleep through the night from 12-7? I don't mind her waking up but the howling is the problem.

I wear her out by playing with her, then I give her a big dinner before bed and I don't let her nap in the evenings. She is locked in my room so that she doesn't go and meow in the living room, which takes longer to get to.

Thank you for any advice you can offer.
i think it’s so sweet she meows for ur love but i can see the howling being a problem. is she locked in ur room with u in it at night? my advice would be to ignore the behavior and just let her meow her self to sleep because any attention u give her she will still think ok if i meow she’ll pay attention to me.
 

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Tucking my senior cat in seems to help him settle. We don't before bed with a little cat blanket. Now he relates being tucked in to settling so when he is fussing when I'm asleep I can tuck him back in. We just got a bunch of soft baby ones from the dollar store. All the same.

Having some enrichment left out for the night is amazingly helpful too. A treat ball or he can "hunt" his food because we leave it out in small amounts in different areas. Great fun. You could do similarly with tiny pieces of catnip or spray catnip.

It's amazing what some new enrichment can do for a senior/geriatric cat.
 

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I’m having spooky flashbacks that’s my other cat in my pfp I had to give away before I had to move 😂 Sylvester does that 3 am wake up calls sound familiar
 

terestrife

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I set up a cat feeder and my cat eats at 2:30 sm and then 4:30 am. I sleep without hearing her howling meows anymore. We're both very happy with this set up. 🤣
 
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Juanita the cat

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i think it’s so sweet she meows for ur love but i can see the howling being a problem. is she locked in ur room with u in it at night? my advice would be to ignore the behavior and just let her meow her self to sleep because any attention u give her she will still think ok if i meow she’ll pay attention to me.
I tried this last night and completely ignored her. I bought myself some earplugs, sent my boyfriend to sleep on the sofa in case he couldn't sleep because of the howling (haha) and let her meow until she stopped. She only meowed three times, to my surprise!
 
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Juanita the cat

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I set up a cat feeder and my cat eats at 2:30 sm and then 4:30 am. I sleep without hearing her howling meows anymore. We're both very happy with this set up. 🤣
It's strange because she isn't hungry. I think she just wants cuddles.
 
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Juanita the cat

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Our cat, Casper, has a bedtime routine with us.

I go to be late because I work second shift. Casper's Girl-Human is already in bed by that time.
The cat will usually be sleeping in bed with his Girl-Human, on my side of the bed.

I'll go to the bed to pet him and "make nice" before I lay down. He'll usually go off the bed and hang out by the foot of the bed while I bed down and cover up. A few minutes later, he'll hop up again and start purring and making "figure eights" around the bed.

I know that Casper is just trying to be friendly but, some nights, I'm really tired and I just want to go to sleep.

When he does his "figure eight dance", I'll move the covers and pillows around to make a little nest then pat the bed to signal him to lay down. Sometimes he lays down and stays relatively quiet. Other times, he keeps circling and fussing.

When he does that, I'll shuffle my feet and flush him out of the bed. Maybe, in a few minutes, if he behaves, I'll let him back into bed.

It kind of peeves me off because, in reality, all Casper has to do is move over by about two feet and I'd let him stay in bed as long as he wants to. Instead, we have to go through this ritual that, occasionally, takes as long as half an hour... Circling, fussing, getting kicked off the bed, jumping back up then more fussing until he either lays down quietly or gets kicked out for good.

Bottom Line: Set some rules and stick to them. If your cat obeys, she gets to stay in bed. If she fusses more than you're willing to allow, she gets shooed off the bed.

After a while, she should learn what the rules are and how to live by them so that both of you can sleep in peace. :)
Thanks a lot for replying. Do you let Caspe
Tucking my senior cat in seems to help him settle. We don't before bed with a little cat blanket. Now he relates being tucked in to settling so when he is fussing when I'm asleep I can tuck him back in. We just got a bunch of soft baby ones from the dollar store. All the same.

Having some enrichment left out for the night is amazingly helpful too. A treat ball or he can "hunt" his food because we leave it out in small amounts in different areas. Great fun. You could do similarly with tiny pieces of catnip or spray catnip.

It's amazing what some new enrichment can do for a senior/geriatric cat.
Thanks a lot for replying. Do you let your cat nap in the afternoon/evening? I've read that I shouldn't so that Juanita sleeps at night but it's hard to make a cat not sleep and she gets quite annoyed.
 

Caspers Human

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Thanks a lot for replying. Do you let Caspe
Do we let Casper... What? ;)

Casper has three rules to live by:
1) Use the liter box.
2) Don't scratch furniture.
3) Stay off the kitchen counters & stove.

Beyond those, Casper can do almost anything he wants.
He is very good about obeying his rules. He almost never breaks them.

The only time he has ever "missed" the litter box is when he was sick.

He used to scratch, occasionally, when he wanted attention and didn't think we were giving him enough but, once we got him enough scratching posts and put them in the right places, the behavior has stopped.

The reason why he's not allowed on the counters is because of sanitation and safety.
We don't want him to get hurt on the counters where there are knives and utensils that could be dangerous. We don't want him to get burned on the stove. Lucily, Casper has never been a counter surfer. He's allowed to climb almost anywhere else he wants so he has little reason to go on the counters or the stove.

As far as "Bedtime Rules" go, there aren't many except, "If you annoy your humans while they are trying to sleep, you'll get kicked out."

We don't consider that to be a "rule," per se, but more like a "condition."

Casper is allowed on the bed, the sofa or other furniture with the condition, "Humans first. Cats second."

Since Casper is so well-behaved, we have very few run-ins.
 
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Alldara

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Thanks a lot for replying. Do you let your cat nap in the afternoon/evening? I've read that I shouldn't so that Juanita sleeps at night but it's hard to make a cat not sleep and she gets quite annoyed.
I used to try that, however, I did not find it as helpful as leaving out enrichment over night. I play with them, and then I put the enrichment out, usually food based so there's movement+hungry. I finish getting ready for bed and then the cats join us. We tuck each in with their blanket.

I wouldn't say they never wake us up. Usually someone gets up and rambunctious after one of us goes to the washroom. I don't ignore the yelling because I find they just get louder or into trouble. Magnus will legitimately scream for 5 hours if ignored but will settle faster if I tell him no. Nobel is 16 so usually he wants put on the bed and then I tuck him in. For Magnus or Calcifer, I tuck them back in or provide a quiet toy (I keep a couple high reward toys by the bed. Calcifer's problem is usually that he lost his toy in the night and it's faster to replace it with an identical one). Mags and Cal are young though so we are still training them. Already our sleep has vastly improved.
 
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Juanita the cat

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Do we let Casper... What? ;)

Casper has three rules to live by:
1) Use the liter box.
2) Don't scratch furniture.
3) Stay off the kitchen counters & stove.

Beyond those, Casper can do almost anything he wants.
He is very good about obeying his rules. He almost never breaks them.

The only time he has ever "missed" the litter box is when he was sick.

He used to scratch, occasionally, when he wanted attention and didn't think we were giving him enough but, once we got him enough scratching posts and put them in the right places, the behavior has stopped.

The reason why he's not allowed on the counters is because of sanitation and safety.
We don't want him to get hurt on the counters where there are knives and utensils that could be dangerous. We don't want him to get burned on the stove. Lucily, Casper has never been a counter surfer. He's allowed to climb almost anywhere else he wants so he has little reason to go on the counters or the stove.

As far as "Bedtime Rules" go, there aren't many except, "If you annoy your humans while they are trying to sleep, you'll get kicked out."

We don't consider that to be a "rule," per se, but more like a "condition."

Casper is allowed on the bed, the sofa or other furniture with the condition, "Humans first. Cats second."

Since Casper is so well-behaved, we have very few run-ins.
Sorry, not sure why it didn't send the whole sentence. Do you let him sleep or nap in the afternoon and evening to make him sleep well?
 

Caspers Human

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Casper sleeps wherever and whenever he wants.

He's got several spots around the house where he frequents in rotation.
There's a kotatsu table in the living room where he hangs out so much that it's his personal clubhouse.

If we are trying to find Casper, around the house, the first two places we look are under the kotatsu or next to the heating/air conditioning vents.
 
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Juanita the cat

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She has been waking up at 6.30 every night, which is acceptable. But last night she was awake all night meowing and walking all over us in bed :(
 
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