How to Keep Your Cat from Waking You Too Early

How do I get my cat to let me sleep until my alarm goes off?

This is a common question among cat owners.

It usually starts in kitten-hood when kitty needs to eat frequently in order to grow healthy and strong. However, when momma kitty is not available, kitty often decides that his new “momma” or “daddy” should get up whenever kitty wants…even if it is the middle of the night.

So what can you do to get a good night’s sleep?

A few steps that you can take right away include the following:

First, before you go to bed, be certain to refill the food bowl and the water fountain so that kitty will have no real reason to alert you to a “problem.”

Second, when kitty begins meowing, or scratching, or pawing, or sitting on your face, or whatever kitty does to try to wake you up and get your attention, simple hold very still and pretend to still be asleep.  Do not open your eyes. Do not speak aloud. Do not react in any way that would reinforce the kitty’s behavior.  You want the kitty to believe his methods are not working.  Do not reward his behavior by giving him what he wants.  You may need to go through this routine a few nights/mornings in a row before kitty gives up…especially if these tactics have worked in the past.

Third, be certain there is plenty to entertain kitty. Remember, felines are nocturnal.  So their biological clock tells them to prowl and hunt at night. Make sure they have toys to play with, and trees in which to climb and play hide and seek.

Fourth, If kitty really does get hungry and needs food before morning, you may want to invest in a timed automatic feeder that releases food at predetermined times and/or intervals.  That way, kitty will soon learn that the food magically appears without your intervention and will leave you to sleep in peace.

These four steps should give you and happy, healthy feline friend as well as a good night’s sleep.

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