Why Does My Cat Wake Me Early in the Morning?

Get four tips to quiet a cat who wakes you early.

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Why does my cat wake me up at 4 a.m. to be fed?
Chelsea Kathleen Mcpeak

I bet you have a preferred breakfast time, too. Why your cat chooses 4 a.m. is a question only she can answer and she’s not talking, unfortunately.

To keep your cat from waking you early, try:
•    Feeding your cat dinner a little later, which may keep her satisfied longer.
•    Buying a programmable cat feeder, so your cat can eat early without your intervention.

My cat and I also disagree about breakfast. I like to eat at 9:30, right around the time I’m finishing my second cup of coffee. My cat likes to eat 5 minutes before my alarm clock goes off. That’s when she moves from the foot of the bed to the pillow behind my head. And then the loud purring starts, followed by forehead-licking and the laying of paws on my face. Sometimes I grab her and stick her under the covers. Or I turn my face in the opposite direction and pull a sheet over my head. She’s annoying but adorable, so I forgive her. She used to start the pillow takeover much earlier.

I’d give in and feed her, which just provided positive reinforcement for her bad behavior. When I finally had enough, it didn’t take much to convince her to sleep in later. Here’s what I did:
•    As soon as the whining started I’d pick her up and put her on the floor.
•    After she’d been on the floor twice the next step was closing the bedroom door with her on the other side of it. She hates closed doors more than anything, but I’d make her stay out until my wake-up time. I had to endure a lot of indignant meowing and door pounding, but she soon learned I was serious.

I suggest you try these tactics with your early rising cat.

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