Cats are terrific! However, has your furkid ever decided that he or she would like to be your new alarm clock? Wondering why your cat wakes you up so early?
As a pet sitter I get asked the question a lot. In fact, this is one of the main questions I get asked by clients throughout the year about their furkids. In my article about cats waking up their pet moms and dads early, I eluded to a few issues that could be easily changed to help.
Today, I wanted to give you a fresher look at the issue, and how you can help your early mornings by staying in bed just a little bit longer.
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So why does our furry feline friends decide that 7 AM just isn’t early enough, and we should rise and shine at 5 instead? Why do we get nibbled on and snuggled an hour before the uncomfortable buzzing of an alarm ‘should’ be waking us humans up?
I’m pointing the finger at you!
Sorry Mr. and Mrs. Human…but you are the culprit in all of this.
The simple truth is this…
We love our cats…they are our kids, our friends and our hugs and kisses.
In that love-giving, we also show a few other things – some unintentional. The big one is a positive reinforcement within our furkids that getting mom and dad out of bed is “ok”. Waking us up with a kiss to get some food, snuggling us by our face and legs to get petted and nibbling at our toes and fingers to play, well, to them, these are just the way we do it.
However, we trained them to know this activity is ok.
But, from your tired eyes, I’m guessing it is not as cute as it once was.
So let’s change things!
The largest improvement that you can make is to install blackout shades in ‘activity’ rooms. Places that your furkid sleeps and naps should have some blind spots to tone down their natural instincts in the mornings. Yes, that bright, fresh sunshine in the morning triggers their primal instincts to hunt, feed and travel (no, cats are NOT nocturnal).
Feeding Times Can Change
By altering the feeding times for your furkid, possibly 30 minutes to an hour later in the morning and the evening, you will start to reset that schedule. Remember, your cat is a creature of habit, and by slowly making feeding time later, their internal clocks will want to be fed later.
Play Time and Activity Changes
Everyone wants a little love. Your furkid is no different. As a natural hunter, (yes, that is Snowball’s natural instinct no matter how cute she is), cats want to play, hunt and train. So, wear out your friend with some real cat play a few hours before bedtime.
Likewise, you should also purchase and use self-play toys for your furkid. These are toys that will allow them to use up some of that extra energy so that the late, late nights and early mornings aren’t the outlets.
The final, last-straw, last step…well, you aren’t going to like it.
You may need to lock out your cat from your bedroom.
Yes, this stinks, and I hate saying it…but it works. However, it should be a last resort.
After all, you are reading an article about why your cat wakes you up in the morning. If you are taking the time to do that, and have read this far, I’m betting that thinking about keeping your furkid out of your room makes you as sad as being awoken at 5 AM or earlier, everyday.
Did you get your answers?
I hope today you have seen why cats are, well, cats! Sometimes, they might wake us up earlier than we want. However, for chronic instances of this, we can look to altering our own habits and theirs, to have a nice, refreshing sleep.
Hopefully, you can get your early mornings back, and have a much more fun, playful and AWAKE day tomorrow!