LET ME SLEEP!!! <Crying> - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 06:32 AM Thread Starter
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LET ME SLEEP!!! <Crying>

Ugh. It's way too early for me to be awake, but our two MONSTERS have decided that they wanted to start waking up an hour early. So now, instead of 6:00 breakfast, they want to wake up at 5:00.

What's aggrivating is that when they do wake up in the AM, Binx goes over to the bedroom window and starts pawing at the blinds and curtain...because he likes the sound?? He'll just keep doing that!! AND Skeeter, jumps up ON TOP of the t.v. that sits atop a little bookshelf and just sits there like he's king of the hill. If we don't take this as his sign that he's ready for US to get up, then HE starts pawing at the blinds and curtains!!!!!!!!! AH!!!

We try to kick them out, but Binx starts scratching and picking at the carpet and then, if we don't answer, starts his "Prrrrow? Prrrrrrrrrrrrrow? Prrrow Prrow? Prrooooooooooow?" GRRRR!!!!!!

I am just too stressed out with finishing up grad school/job hunting/and everything else to have to get up so early in the morning with only 5-6 hours of sleep. I need them to just do their own thing while we catch a few more Zzzs.

I just don't know what to do. We tried locking them in the front bedroom where their litter box is, but they were picking and jumping around...I try to ignore them, but that just makes my heart race and I can't get back to sleep if that happens. So, like this morning, I just get out of bed.

Question: We've been giving them dinner at 5:00 or so, and then a snack of a 1/4 cup of hard food at our bedtime (11:00). Does giving them a snack at night make them more hungry in the morning because their digestive system doesn't take a break? I know that happens to me if I eat late at night. Maybe we should forego the night snack??

Please...any suggestions would be useful. I'm so worn out.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 09:15 AM
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How old are your cats?

I have to tell you that when we got our cats (they were about 8 weeks old) I didn't have a good sleep for about 5 months. I know it sounds scary, but that's the truth!

Yoda used to be ok. Dunga would start playing, crying, .... at 5-6 am in the morning. She was exactly like your baby - if I would kick her out, she would scratch the door; If I left her in the bedroom, she would do things - mostly, she would try to wake me up by walking on me, licking my fingers, biting my fingers....

I'm so sorry but I don't have any advice. I tried so many things (playing with them before bed time, etc) and I couldn't change her. Then, later, she suddenly calmed down and stopped doing it.

Interesting thing is that she was the only cat doing this. I had no problems with Yoda & Maugli.

-eva-

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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Skeeter is 9 and 1/2 months and Binx is about 8 months.

Thanks, sentimentalgirl, for sharing your story. I know I'm not the only one going through this...it's just hard because of the amount of stress I'm under and that they've only JUST started doing this.

Now that they are best buds (Binx was adopted in October), they seem to be co-consipiritors as well!
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 09:39 AM
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So they are older than I thought. Are they neutered?

I'm sure someone will give you advice. Dunga was much younger when she was doing it and she stopped at the age of 6-8 months.

I guess every cat is different. And of course, they influence each other.

Did you try to play with them before the bed time (every night)? To tire them? It works with some cats. They get tired and don't bug early in the morning.

I know it gets very stressful. I'm so sorry because I know exactly what you are going through.

-eva-

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sentimentalgirl
So they are older than I thought. Are they neutered?

Did you try to play with them before the bed time (every night)? To tire them?
Yes, they are both neutered and have been for a while.

I really don't have the energy to play with them at night because, as a grad student and teacher's assistant, I have day classes to teach and my own classes are night classes from 6:30-9:15. I get home around 9:30, Jim gets home at 10:00 from work. So, he and I only have an hour a day together on our busiest days (Tues thru Thurs). Last night was sort of the end of our busy part of the week.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 10:21 AM
 
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You can win the battle....

First, do you have dry food out for them-free feed? Important if you feel part of their issue is wanting to be fed. I always had mealtimes, but then left dry food out so if I wasn't meeting their schedule, they could always go eat it.

Second, you must teach them the meaning of the word, "NO". It's not always easy, but so far you have surrendered authority and control to them. It can't be in your lazy morning voice or a sweet no.....no should be sharp and stern....they will associate the tone as much or more than the word. They start messing with the blinds.....a stern, sharp NO. The continue, you must make them stop....take them down, remove them from the room, anything....show that no means no. But, do not pick them up and start petting them or playing with them. Do not teach them misbehaving has its rewards.

When I met my wife, Chrissy Cat was already 6 years old and had trained my wife to server her breakfast whenever she demanded it. It was amazingly easy to retrain Christine that she got breakfast when we decided to get up. We just ignored the meows and said no. Cats are smart. They will learn quickly. But, they will learn only if you are clear and consistent. Right now your two have learned that they can make enough noise to get you to cater to them.

So, step one......starting tomorrow....say no...make them stop, but do not get up before you are ready and do not feed them until you are ready (at 6:00 I assume). Even if they make the biggest racket or sound like the most pitiful starving cats...you won't immediately get more sleep but you will be establishing the groundwork for such. Also, I would consider leaving some dry food out.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 10:32 AM
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I'm not a big fan of free feeding. That's just my opinion. But I do agree with saying "no" and showing them they you are the 'boss'. I guess I wasn't that strong and Dunga was taking advantage of it.

-eva-

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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No, we don't free feed as they are both neutered and would start packing on the pounds.

They actually had some food in their bowls left over from their snack last night, so they weren't very hungry. Just felt like being pests I guess.

We will have to start being more stern with them. Jim's the one who keeps getting up and feeding them when Skeeter gets on top of the t.v. I told him not to because Skeeter feels like he's the boss, but we just have no patience when we are so tired.

I will take your advice and STARTING TOMORROW will not get up until WE are ready to get up. I guess it's just something we are going to have to deal with for a while until we get them used to the idea that WE ARE IN CHARGE! Little buggars.

Thanks all! I'll let you know how it goes.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 10:45 AM
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I'm sure they will stop doing it. It's not easy to be strict with them because they are so cute and when they look at you, you forgive them - that's how it is with me.

Good luck to you!

-eva-

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 01:06 PM
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Wow, 5-6 hours of sleep!!! You don't need any more than that....really. Your cats know this and they are trying to keep you from wasting your life sleeping

spike481
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"Ever tried to herd cats?"
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