Help! My cat won't let me sleep and I'm losing my mind! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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Help! My cat won't let me sleep and I'm losing my mind!

We have 4 cats and 1 of them has become a royal pain the past few weeks. She's a wonderful cat with a great personality, but for the past few weeks she will start vocalizing and scratching at out covers at 4AM. It doesn't matter if she's on the bed with us or sleeping in another part of the house. 4AM EVERY SINGLE DAY she's waking up up with that activity. And if we keep the door closed she will still come and vocalize outside the door and start scratching. I have tried getting up and feeding them early, but she still returns and does the same activity whether the door is open or closed. I have to get up every morning at 4AM just to keep her quiet so my husband can sleep. He is extremely cranky if he doesn't get enough sleep so I'd rather get up and keep them quiet than have him rage about not enough sleep. I may be able to catch a 1/2 hour of sleep on the couch if everyone can remain quiet for a bit, but it's rare. I have had a constant headache and neck ache from not getting enough sleep. I don't need to be up until 6AM during the week and the weekends I would sure like to stay in bed as late as possible. My husband stays in bed until 9 or 10 AM on the weekends and is all refreshed and I've just been constantly tired and achy. She will finally calm down around 7 AM and sleep but by that time I'm ready to leave for work.

We've tried the sss cat by our door which did nothing but wake us up every time it went off. I don't know what to do, but I can't continue doing this day in and day out!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 11:43 AM
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O dear! I can sympathize with you for the early riser. One thing you can try is to feed a meal just before you go to bed, and hopefully that will tide her over until 6 am. Another thing is a timed automatic feeder that may keep her interested in food so that she's not bugging you at 4 am.

There are many different types of various prices...some just for dry food, but there are others that will feed two canned food meals with an ice pack to keep food fresh. Check them out here.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 04:28 PM
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Luna did this too and I had the same problem with the cranky hubby 😁

What I did the first few times was get up and check her food, water and litter tray and everything was fine and she didn't really need anything (all was in order). So seems that she just wanted attention at 4AM in the morning.

So based on some advice of a couple of other cat owners and articles, we decided to ignore her and hopefully she'd get the message and leave us alone.

DIDN'T WORK. She'd bang at the door and cry for an hour straight by which time no way was I going to be able to get back to sleep anyway. I have a really persistent cat on my hands.

So anyway, after a couple of weeks, Hubby had enough of that. So what we did was when she started making noise, I'd get up and stick her in a crate in another room and then go back to sleep for another hour or so until my normal alarm went off and I would let her out.

Did that for about 2 weeks, and I think she got the message that 4AM is NOT a suitable time to be waking up Mommy or she'd be getting detention. So now at least she waits for my alarm to go off before she starts meowing at the door.

My days of snooze button hitting are over, but at least I'm getting my sleep back.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 11:17 AM
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Have you tried the Sentry Calming Cat Collar? It's a lavender-scented rubber collar that also contains calming pheromones that are supposed to help the cat relax. We put this on my cat when we first adopted her because she would be very active and vocal at night, and within a couple days she didn't make a peep. We were able to remove the collar after a couple weeks once she settled into our routine.

You can find a three-pack on Amazon for about $20 USD. The Amazon reviews run the gamut of "sanity saver" and "my cat tried to chew it off." I left a three-star review because it worked, but the scent wore off quickly, was messy, and difficult to fasten. Good luck!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 09:21 AM
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Oof I have been here! I used to live in a studio apartment with my then 3 year old cat and she got into the habit of scratching the couch in the dead of night - which woke me up because it was a studio so my bed was right next to the couch. This isn't going to sound helpful - but literally the only thing that worked for me was completely ignoring the behavior for a couple of nights. She had learned that that behavior elicited the response she wanted - attention - even if it was just me saying no or waking up (lol- even if I moved, she took that as a sign that her plan worked). When I finally realized I had to ignore it, for the next 3 or so nights, when it woke me up, I would stay in bed and not react in the slightest to her. It sucked mostly because I had to suppress my frustration for a few nights (and still lose all that sleep) but it did eventually teach her that 'oh, I guess that won't work for me anymore.' and she stopped.

I also liked the suggestion above of the timed feeder.

Good luck! I'm so sorry - i know how utterly frustrating this can be.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 12:32 PM
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If you get really desperate. I don't let the cats sleep in my room because they also don't last the night. So they would meow outside the door and paw it. Nothing worked until I sprayed them with water bottle once and then I only had to show the water bottle to them. It took a few nights but they wait for me to get up in the morning now.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 01:27 PM
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farrahdiba82's method works for me. Also have an loud alarm. The kitties know they can wake you up when it goes off.

Last edited by marie73; 01-08-2017 at 05:36 PM.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 01:43 AM
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How old is your alarm clock kitty? Does she want food or just attention? And does she seem ok otherwise - ie, no possible medical issue or change in dynamic with the other kitties?

If she likes to play, you might try having a long, hard play session with her, then feeding her a bit, right before you go to bed. That way, she'll have expended a lot of energy and have a happy tummy, and that might be enough for her to leave you in peace. If other suggestions, such as a calming collar, squirt bottle, or automatic feeder, don't work, you may need to ignore her, as others have said, even though you may be supremely sleep-deprived and have a supremely crabby husband for a while...But first, I'd make hubby get up for a few days, so you can catch up on some sleep before you head into sleep deprivation again.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 01:05 PM
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Our cat is 2 yrs old and in great health. She quiets down for the most part once I go out and sit on the couch. Usually by the time I'm ready to go to work, she's happy sitting in the window seat and sleeping! A little too late though!

We have dry food out 24/7 for them, so being hungry isn't an issue. We feed them wet food morning and night but keep the rest out all the time. It did help a bit when, one night, neither of us got home until about 9PM and that's when they got their wet food when they usually get it about 5PM. The next morning she did a little vocalizing around 4:30, but then did quiet down until I got up at 6. Problem is, there's no way we could hold off in feeding them that late every night as they start going nuts when I get home at 5PM if they don't get fed immediately!

We've also tried ignoring her, but that only makes us wide awake for an hour. My husband has tried throwing a shoe at the closed door when she is on the other side to scare her away from it. That works for about 20 minutes and then she's back. He's also tried getting up and opening the door and hissing at her, but that lasts for about 5 minutes before she's back.

I wish we had a basement that we could put them in for the night, but we don't. If we put them in either of the other bedrooms and shut the door, they simply tear at the carpet and the door to get out and now we have ruined carpet. Putting her in a crate might work, but that seems cruel to keep her in a crate all night and she'd probably meow the whole time!
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 01:56 PM
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I wouldn't hold off on the entire dinner, but try giving them only about 2/3 of it at the regular time, and then the rest right before you go to bed, but after a play session.

Getting her to stop waking you up by ignoring her might take a long time - as in a couple of weeks - so you'd have to suffer through that time.

Gah, that sounds hideous. I hope splitting the evening meal will take care of the issue!
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