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Old 11-07-2006, 02:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cats crying outside the door in the morning

So, I've had my two cats since early July. They're 11 months old now.

They're very sweet cats but have a habit of sitting outside my door in the morning crying. (The cats are not allowed in my room at night since they kept waking me up. I may reconsider this as they get older.)

This doesn't actually bother me because I always sleep with earplugs (so as not to hear my upstairs neighbor get up) and can't hear them until I actually get up and take the earplugs out. But, someday I might want to have houseguests, or may live in a quieter place and want to sleep without earplugs again, so all things considered I'd prefer it if they stopped.

What confuses me is that (thanks to the earplugs) I have never once opened the door in response to their crying, and when I get up normally I try to time it for times when they're not crying. Yet they keep doing it.

I only feed them dry food in the morning and I make a point not to do that until right before I leave for work, so I'm never getting up and then feeding them right away.

Any thoughts?

Other than that, they're very cute in the morning, they rush in to greet me as soon as I get up -- even if there's still some dry food left in the bowl.
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Old 11-07-2006, 04:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hmmmm....it sounds like you're doing everything right. I wonder what it is that encourages them to continue calling for you. Are you sure they aren't getting any reinforcement some way?

All I can think of is the standard recommendations: play with them and feed them treats before you go to bed. Never respond to their calling until you're ready, or make any other indication that you hear them ("shut up and go to sleep!!" ) Make sure they have something to occupy them during the night: solo-play cat toys, window perches to look out the windows, a light left on. Perhaps you could even leave on a radio or a TV (if you want to run up your electric bill. )

But there's still one thing I'm a little confused about:
Quote:
I always sleep with earplugs (so as not to hear my upstairs neighbor get up) and can't hear them until I actually get up and take the earplugs out.
Are you sure they're still crying while you're asleep with the earplugs in? Maybe they don't actually start until they hear you take them out and get out of bed. Or maybe you're just dreaming of cats crying?
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Old 11-07-2006, 04:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Could they be responding to an alarm clock going off? I know that mine understand that the alarm going off means that I'm getting up. Do you actually get up and move around before taking the plugs out? Even just sitting up in bed....the sound of the bed creaking may be enough for them to know you're getting up.

To really test it, you might want to try no alarm and stealthly taking the plugs out and see if they're crying.

Do they cry in the middle of the night if you get up to use the bathroom?
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Old 11-07-2006, 05:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My cats can tell the difference between me getting up in the middle of the night and me getting up in the morning. I think cats must have a built-in clock. They sure can tell time good.
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Old 11-08-2006, 03:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hmm. I hadn't thought about that. I think I'm pretty quiet about taking the earplugs out (I don't get out of bed before I do it) but I guess I don't know for sure.

The cats have plenty of toys and, of course, the best toy of all -- each other to chase. I also just got them a new distraction this weekend: I put a cat door into the opening of the window between my apartment and my screened-in porch. Dogs, cats, birds, squirrels, deer, and insects to watch! Plants to eat! So far it's really only one of them who's taken advantage of it, though.

I don't take the earplugs out when I get up to use the bathroom but from the way they react when I wake up hungry and slip out to get a snack I'm pretty sure they know the difference between morning (when I'm supposed to be getting up) and the middle of the night (when it's strange and interesting that I'm up).
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Old 11-10-2006, 10:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Crying at the Door

You are so lucky if that is all your cats do is cry at the door...if I dare to shut the bedroom door so my cat can't come in, he will lay on is side, stick a paw under the door, pull on it so it rattles, and HOWL ( I have yet to find ear plugs that will block him out) the whole time. He is very insistant and doesn't give up easily. I have sat in the bedroom before, ignoring him just to see how long he would keep it up before he gave up. I gave up after 45 minutes
I do have to give him credit...he is the only alarm clock I have ever had and gets me out of bed everytime.
I really don't worry about my obnoxious cat if guests spend the night...usually, it is family that spends any overnight visits here and everybody in my family lives with cats.
Have you tried making a tent with an old sheet or towel and two chairs or use two couch cushions before you go to bed? Most kittens I have ever met absolutly love cubby-holes they can ambush each other from. That might keep them busy until they tire themselves out
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