Will a Companion Cat Help with the Early Morning Wake-Ups? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Will a Companion Cat Help with the Early Morning Wake-Ups?

We've been thinking about a second cat for a while. We're interested in a young cat, but not a kitten. We're wondering how our 1+ year old cat, which we've had for 3.5 months, might feel about another cat in her home. We adopted her from the shelter after she came in with her littermates, so know that she's lived with other cats, but she has truly taken over the house.

She starts her wakeup routine around 4:30, but with the full moon this week, it's been earlier. She'll walk over my husband, settle down on his pillow, groom herself and his bald spot, and continue to bother him until he gets up and feeds her. This morning, he got up at 4 to feed her, but then she continued her routine even after she ate. (I sleep through all of this, by the way.)

My husband thinks that a companion will stop this routine. I've warned him that he might have TWO cats going through their paces.

Any thoughts would be welcome. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 04:19 PM
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Re: Will a Companion Cat Help with the Early Morning Wake-Ups?

The number one reason you should get a second cat is because you want another cat.

These are a few possibilities:

1. Your cats hate each other and fight, and early morning wake-ups are the LEAST of your worries.

2. Your cats are frenemies. They co-exist, but that's it (Cinderella and Cleo).

3. Your cats are buddies and BOTH get the crazies and run around the house in rocketbutt mode (Cali and Charlee, who have their own bedroom at night). Seriously - the best case scenario, though.

4. They sleep together and snuggle and never disturb your sleep (this was a dream I had, it'll never happen)

Cali, Cinderella, Cleo and Charlee

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Will a Companion Cat Help with the Early Morning Wake-Ups?

HAHA. Thanks for your reply. I'll make sure that my husband looks at #4!!

I do want another cat, but I'm afraid of #1. I had #2 many, many years ago with my cats and while not unpleasant, wasn't really what I wanted for them. But it was OK.

Love the word "rocketbutt"!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 06:11 PM
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Re: Will a Companion Cat Help with the Early Morning Wake-Ups?

I think the number one thing to remember about early-morning wake-ups is never, ever get up and feed the cat. It's rewarding the cat for their behavior and encourages them to do it again and again, hoping it will work again. This is even true if you only get up and feed them sometimes -- variable reinforcement is often the most effective kind.

The general consensus seems to be that ignoring them is the best thing, if you can do it. Shoving them off the bed is the second-best thing.

Another piece of advice I often see is NOT to feed the cat first thing when you get up in the morning. Apparently cats start becoming active about an hour before they expect to be fed, so it's best if you feed them at least an hour after you generally get up, so they'll start thinking about breakfast AFTER you get out of bed, not before!

I actually am on this weird schedule where I wake up at one time M-W-F and at a much later time the rest of the week. I've started shutting the cats out of the room during the rest of the week because they wake me up at the M-W-F time otherwise! (I don't know if it's because it's an hour before I feed them those days or just because they've come to expect me to get up at that time.)

I always feel bad shutting the cats out, but I've also noticed my sleep quality improves markedly when I do. Of course, my cats have a fairly soft meow and I've become accustomed to sleeping with earplugs, so even if they sit outside the door crying I can't hear them!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 06:30 PM
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Re: Will a Companion Cat Help with the Early Morning Wake-Ups?

I think your husband just wants another cat.

Really, though, a second cat is irrelevant to this problem. Get another cat because you want another cat, not to solve a problem with an existing cat. It doesn't work that way. You've got good advice here already.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 09:58 PM
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Re: Will a Companion Cat Help with the Early Morning Wake-Ups?

I agree to everything said.

Jack has a beautiful morning routine and if he's really smart he'll get hubby to feed him and I won't know it and then i'll get up and feed him again--yes, he is that good, he can convince me he hasn't eaten since before bedtime and that he's starving, when in reality he consumed a bowl of kibble 2 hours before. Harley just sits back and watches, he doesn't want pushed off the bed like I do Jack. I have started to shut the bedroom door. Also now that they eat raw its even worse because Jack is like a 8 week old kitten he goes non stop 18 hours a day so when I get up to feed them he expects me to play with him not get back in bed and watch tv.

Leslie
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-16-2009, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Will a Companion Cat Help with the Early Morning Wake-Ups?

Thanks for your replies.

It was interesting that this morning my husband announced {proudly} that he ignored the cat when she started to pester him. He put his head under the covers, allowing a breathing space. She finally gave up and they both went back to sleep.

I was rather irked at his pride since I'd been telling him to do this for weeks. Oh well, doesn't matter how we get to where we need to be....

Hopefully, the husband will keep it up {doesn't follow instructions too well}.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-16-2009, 07:19 PM
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Re: Will a Companion Cat Help with the Early Morning Wake-Ups?

Someone once told me that the art of selling consisted of getting the prospect to think it's his own idea to buy the product.
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