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Hi guys!

I've got two cats, both about four years old. Up until recently, neither had given me any problems at night since they were kittens. But lately, Ziggy has been waking me up at all hours of the night. He's got a very loud meow—which he uses quite liberally—and if I close the door, he rattles it nonstop all night. He's incredibly persistent, fairly smart, and pretty naughty in terms of temperment. He's not hungry and doesn't appear to need anything. I don't know what's up. This has been going on for a while now.

Any ideas on what's causing it or how to get him to stop? Has anyone has had similar problems? What's worked for you? I'd appreciate any suggestions!

Thanks!
 

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is he siamese? i've had three of those and one dsh and the siamese have all done this.

my first one would go in the bathroom and holler sometimes. once i caught him and he looked embarrassed and left. i swear he was doing it because it sounded louder in there.

at one point he would do it every night about 3 AM in a really ugly meow. i took him to the vet, he said all was well, i have no idea why he was doing it but it sounded awful. i was afraid my neighbors would think i was torturing him.

the two i have now do it at different times. the older one sits out here and does it late at night and often will walk up to my bed, yowling (somewhat muffled) with a toy in his mouth, so i've assumed he wants to play. the other one does it on top of the cat walk (my kitchen cabinets) and occasionally will zoom onto my bed and yell, "me-YOW" and run off and come back and do it again. he almost sounds like he's hunting, or reprimanding someone. it's sort of angry-sounding. the other one sounds sad.

i don't know why they do it, and i don't know how to make it stop. i've learned to sleep through it, but i live downtown and there's a lot of street noise (a light rail train that dings every 15 minutes and drunk shouting people) that i've tuned out as well.

unisom? ear plugs? lol

(yours probably wants to play so i recommend never responding to him. if he gets no response ever, he'll probably stop. if you ask him what's wrong or tell him to come to bed, he'll take it as getting *some* attention and figure it will just take a little more perserverance to get you up and playing. :) but if he does it in the daytime something may be bothering him physically and only the vet can rule that out.)
 

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If you really need a good night's sleep to function well the next day (and I do), I've never let my cats sleep with me at night (only for naps). You have to make a firm decision that cats can't sleep with you, and stick to it and be consistent. You should put them away in another room as far from your bedroom as possible. If you give them a good active play workout before your bedtime and feed them their evening meal then, they will likely sleep most of the night. But it's consistency and tough love that will get them used to a new routine, and you'll just have to ignore any howling (wear ear plugs if you must). If you give in, then they'll just keep howling to try to make you get up. Once they get used to the routine, they'll accept it, and you will have a good night's sleep. Good luck!
 

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Hi guys!

I've got two cats, both about four years old. Up until recently, neither had given me any problems at night since they were kittens. But lately, Ziggy has been waking me up at all hours of the night. He's got a very loud meow—which he uses quite liberally—and if I close the door, he rattles it nonstop all night. He's incredibly persistent, fairly smart, and pretty naughty in terms of temperment. He's not hungry and doesn't appear to need anything. I don't know what's up. This has been going on for a while now.

Any ideas on what's causing it or how to get him to stop? Has anyone has had similar problems? What's worked for you? I'd appreciate any suggestions!

Thanks!

I would keep your door open and let them in. Sounds like they just want to be with you. My ragdoll is like this. She is very people oriented and wants to me with me at all times. I usually keep the door shut because the two kittens love to play and run around at night but I can never sleep when they are in the bedroom beacuse they try and bit our toes, etc. Sasha like to sleep at the end of the bed but when I shut the door she sit outside of it meowing loudly and scratching at the door non stop until I open the door to let her in.

I just read about the playing thing now. When my kittens pounce on the bed with a toy I take it away and put it on the dresser. They usually bring a few different toys until they run out, then they usually walk away.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
cinderflower: I actually laughed out loud when I read about the meowing in the bathroom thing—and BOTH of my cats do that! I think they like the echoey noise it makes.

And it's funny that you mention siamese; he's a short-hair tuxedo cat, but my vet thinks he's probably at least part siamese, and he's certainly got the dog-like temperament characteristic of the breed and is very vocal.

catloverami: There's another problem I forgot to mention... Ziggy can open doors. I guess maybe I could rig a doorstop that might give him more trouble with the door. I just hate to NOT let them in my room at night. They haven't caused me any sleeping problems up until now, so they're really used to being on the bed and seem to be really unhappy with being shut out.
 

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Sounds like your kitty is unhappy about the closed door. If you have always let them have free access and suddenly start closing doors they'll let you know they aren't happy about it. One of my cats has to have free reign. A closed door gets attacked and howled at.
 

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cinderflower: I actually laughed out loud when I read about the meowing in the bathroom thing—and BOTH of my cats do that! I think they like the echoey noise it makes.
it's crazy, isn't it? (funny at the same time) you know that saying, "i'm not talking just to hear myself talk," but that's exactly what i think the cats are doing. :)
 

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Tyler does that too from time to time. I can't figure out why. When I'm at the house, I put him in a far away bedroom, but here at the condo -- it's too small. I've tried earplugs to block him out. Ignoring him doesn't work -- yelling at him doesn't work. Getting up and hugging him doesn't work. He just likes to meow at times in the middle of the night. He meows more than my siamese! (He's a DSH brown tabby) So if you figure out sometime, please let me know!
 

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I once saw on a "My Cat from ****" episode that Jackson used a can of Ssscat (canned air with a sensor) near the bedroom door. If the cat approached it, the can would burst out some air (not painful) scaring the kitty away.

However, if your cat is howling from another room, this suggestion may prove futile. :)
 

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You are seeing natural cat behavior. A cat walking around with a toy or object in his mouth and vocalizing is doing the equivalent of 'calling the kittens to eat the prey'. My one male does it every night and I have learned to sleep through it. Rosie goes into the catroom every night before her first nap and calls her two kittens to her, I guess telling them it is time for bed. The kittens are a year old now, so they both run to find out what she is calling for and then leaving once she lies down to sleep.

I also think Ziggy wants you to wake up and keep him company. He is lonely. To combat this you have two choices. Lock him up in a room as far from your bedroom as you can so you do not hear him call you and he has no resort to rattling the door to get you to come to him, or deliberately play with him and tire him out before bed so he will lie down and sleep and leave you sleep as well. At four years old he is fully mature and feel he is in charge of making sure you do what he wants you to do, when he wants you to do it!
My cats sleep with me in definite shifts. Two of them are there the entire night, the others come and go. If one wakes me up yowling at night (unusual), I just call their name and tell them to come to me. Even if they do not come to me, they stop yelling. I can also tell when a vocalization is because they looked out a window and saw something that they felt they had to challenge with a yowl. Again, I will call out the cat's name and just go back to sleep.
The key to sleeping with cats is making sure they are tired at YOUR bedtime, that they are not hungry and have a few snacks available over night and that they understand you do not want to play in the middle of the night. If they bring you a toy and wake you up to play, put that toy away where they cannot get to it and go back to sleep. This, more than any vocalization, says NO!, I am not available to play. None of my cats will bring me a toy in bed, but they often bring me a toy when I am in a chair downstairs, etc.
Create boundaries and maintain them. Understand what their vocalizations mean. Ziggy is going through a new stage in his self view and you just have to go through it with him and guide him to better behavior.
 
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