Every new cat owner usually has the same question, why does my cat wake me up? The harsh truth is because the cat’s owners responds to the kitten’s demands for attention. Thus, through unintentional positive reinforcement, has trained the cat that it is ok to get their owner out of bed. After sharing a home with you for even a few days, your feline friend will get to know your schedule at least as well as you do. If you wake up at a certain time to get ready for work, your cat will figure that out. Not because she can read a clock, but because she can read you. No one really likes to hear that answer, so instead we should look at why the cat is predisposed to waking early.

Why Does My Cat Wake Me Up? – Nature

The house cat is true to its ancestry. Today’s cat is descended from the ancestors of wildcats (The New York Times). Wildcats fed on prey that was usually active in the dawn and dusk hours. Therefore, wildcats had to be up and active at daybreak too. Many people don’t realize this and they mistakenly believe that cats are nocturnal, meaning that they sleep during the day and are awake at night. This belief may arise from the fact that cats sleep 16 hours or more each day and are often seen taking naps during the daylight hours. However, in reality, cats are crepuscular, which is a very fancy word to say that cats are active during the dawn and dusk hours just like the wildcats. That is why kitties are often awake during the very early hours and are ready to eat or to play while their human only wants to sleep just a little longer.

Why Does My Cat Wake Me Up? – Schedule

It takes a while for a cat to grasp the concept of weekends, so get accustomed to being rousted out of bed at the same time or within an hour of your typical workday wake-up time. The good news is that as your cat settles in, she’ll start to understand that you sleep later on your days off and will adapt to that schedule. These regularly occurring late-sleep days become another routine.

Humans’ sleep cycle consists of five stages, ranging in depth from barely napping to so deeply asleep it would be hard to rouse you even in an emergency. Through each stage of sleep, your respiration, heartbeat, and activity levels change, and you go through four or five of these cycles a night. Once you’re at a light enough stage of sleep to respond to your cat’s kind attentions, she’ll be right over to help you start your day.

Why Does My Cat Wake Me Up? – Remedies

There are some things that can be done to alleviate being woken too early. Install blackout blinds or blackout curtains to prevent sunlight from entering the room in which the cat sleeps. This may help to prevent the sunrise from triggering the cat’s instincts. If the cat is fed on a schedule, you can change the schedule so that the morning feeding is later in the day and the evening feeding is right before bedtime. In this way you can gradually train the cat to expect to eat later in the day so that it doesn’t wake you up to feed it early in the morning. It will take several weeks before the cat learns its new schedule.

If you free feed, it would be advisable to fill its bowls with fresh food and water immediately before going to sleep. Try to prevent boredom by spending a lot of time playing with the cat. Give it a lot of attention and exercise every day. Make sure it has toys to keep itself entertained. Don’t allow your cat to sleep in the room with you and shut your bedroom door to prevent it from coming into the room while you are sleeping. This is a really hard thing to do. But, if you don’t respond to the cat’s demands to enter the bedroom, eventually it will content itself sleeping some other place just as comfortable.

Why Does My Cat Wake Me Up? – Final Thoughts

As we mentioned earlier, today’s cat is descended from the ancestors of wildcats. Many people don’t realize this and they mistakenly believe that cats are nocturnal, however, in reality, cats are crepuscular. Because of this, cats are active at dusk and dawn. There are certain steps to help you and your feline friend get on the same schedule and we hope this article helps owners in that very way. It also never hurts to consulate your veterinarian when changing cats feeding habits.