Have you ever wondered, “Why does my cat wake me up in the morning?”
They’re like little alarm clocks, right?
It probably has happened a thousand times, but you’ve never questioned your cat’s strange habits.
So, let’s unravel the mystery of why cats are up in the morning and how to end this behavior.
Why Does My Cat Wake Me Up in the Morning?
Most people think that cats are nocturnal creatures and hunt during the night.
However, the truth is that cats are crepuscular. That means that they’re most active before sunrise and sunset.
So, it’s quite normal for your cat to be awake so early in the morning.
But why do they have to wake you up at 3 am every morning?
Why can’t your cat sleep during the night when they sleep so much all the time?
Let’s see the most common reasons why your cats won’t let you get your beauty sleep in the morning.
#1 Your Cat Is Hungry
Cats are creatures of habit. If they’re used to getting their breakfast early in the morning, they won’t understand why you’re not getting out of bed on Saturdays and Sundays.
After all, cats don’t care about trivial things, such as work or you getting enough rest. They’re hungry, and they want their food immediately.
Moreover, sometimes your cat might cry during the night if you tend to feed them early in the evening.
Whenever cats are “starving,” they’re quite resourceful. It doesn’t matter if they don’t have access to your bedroom.
They’ll scratch at the door and meow like crazy until you get up and fill that bowl with cat food.
If they can enter the bedroom, you might expect a paw in the face or a toe attack. Not a good way to wake up, right?
#2 Your Cat Is Bored
Another reason why your cat wakes you up in the morning is boredom. Your fluffy kitties have gotten their beauty sleep, and they’re ready for some playtime.
Unfortunately, you’re still asleep and unable to provide entertainment. So, your cat has to get you up.
Cats that spend the better part of their day sleeping are more likely to wake you up in the morning.
That’s because they’re bored during the day and want to spend some quality time with you before you get to work.
You’d better provide them with enough toys and scratching posts to keep them busy.
Most cats go crazy for the red dot laser, and it’s one of the easiest ways to make even the laziest cats active.
#3 Your Cat Is Seeking Attention
Do you know that adult cats never meow at one another? They use body language to communicate.
Only kittens meow to their mothers to express their needs. As such, it’s curious that cats use their voice to communicate with us.
So, whenever your cat meows in the morning, they might be seeking attention.
Even though cats play it cool, they need human contact and care as much as any other pet.
Some cats might not like to be held, but they will want you to dote on them.
If you tend to get home late and can’t pay your cat a lot of attention, your feline might wake you up in the morning so that you can make up for it.
That’s one of the reasons why your cat is so affectionate in the morning. The other one is that your kitty is hungry and trying to curry favors.
#4 Your Cat Wants Out/In
My cat usually wakes me up in the morning whenever she wants to get out and can make quite the noise until I drag myself out of bed.
So, if you have an indoor-outdoor cat, they might wake you up because they have some important business outside or want to come inside.
On the other hand, if you tend to close your cat in the bedroom with you, they might want you to let them out to explore the rest of the house.
#5 Your Cat Is in Distress
Rarely, a cat that wakes you up in the morning might be sick or in pain.
If your cat usually sleeps through the night and doesn’t bother you, a change in their behavior might indicate illness.
While cats are excellent climbers and jumpers, it takes one bad landing for them to get hurt.
Moreover, some outdoor cats might run into predators or cars and get injured.
Usually, cats have a very distinctive meow when they’re about to be sick on the carpet or are in pain.
It’s very different from the sound they make when they’re hungry, so you should check it up as soon as possible.
#6 Your Cat Knows You’re Waking Up
Do you know that your cat can tell when you’re about to wake up?
Our sleep cycle consists of five stages, during which our breathing/heartbeat changes. We move from deep to light sleep several times a night.
It can be difficult for your cat to rouse you in a deep sleep, so your clever feline waits for you to enter the light stage of sleep.
Then your cat knows you can respond to their meowing and wake up to feed or play with them.
How to Stop My Cat from Waking Me Up in the Morning?
So, you want to know how to stop your cat from waking you up at 4 am in the morning.
Well, I can tell you that it’s not going to be easy because you’ve made one mistake.
If your cat wakes you up at night or early in the morning every day, you’ve reinforced this behavior. How?
You’ve gotten out of bed, and you’ve fed your cat or paid them attention. After all, you want to get back to sleep as soon as possible.
Cats are very good at training their owners, and they understand that if they meow or scratch the door long enough, you’re going to get up. And they can be quite stubborn.
So, what can you do? Here are some tips:
- Don’t ever get up to feed your cat when they meow.
- Get some blinds to block the sunlight so that your cat can’t tell it’s morning.
- Tire your cat during the day so that they sleep soundly at night. Provide enough physical and mental stimulations, or your cat will wake you up with their shenanigans at night.
- Feed your cat before you go to bed or use an automatic feeder for the night.
- Pay attention to your cat only when they’re silent.
I’m not going to lie. It’s a nightmare to make your cat stop waking you up in the morning when you’ve reinforced this behavior for years.
You’ll have to lie in bed and let your cat meow until they understand that you’re not getting up. It can take months.
So, my advice is to be patient, don’t spoil your cat, and avoid reinforcing any behavior that you don’t want your kitten to repeat.
Closing the bedroom door or isolating your cat won’t fix the problem because cats hate closed doors or having their movements restricted.
What do you think about these 6 reasons why your cat is waking you up in the morning? Does your cat wake you up? Tell us in the comment.
I’ve grown up surrounded by animals – dogs, cats, cows, goats, sheep, and horses and that has shaped me into what I am today – a crazy cat lady who always has a place for one more cat (or a dog). I’ve got two female cats – Kitty and Roni, and two tomcats – Blacky and Shaggy, but I also feed my neighbors’ cats when they come for a visit. I just can’t say no to them.
I discovered that writing is my vocation early in my school years. Since then I’ve taken part in several literature contests – writing horror and fantasy short stories and novellas.
For the past three years, I’ve been an ELS teacher, pouring my heart into showing children and teenagers how important English is for their future and trying to educate them how to treat their pets with care.