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Why Does my Cat Wake me up in the Morning? - Answer & Solutions

 
By Alice Tapiol Breeze, AnimalWised Editor. Updated: July 25, 2017
Why Does my Cat Wake me up in the Morning? - Answer & Solutions

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Do you feel a sudden prodding on your face or wake up ten minutes before the alarm clock rings? If its your favorite furry friend that's waking you up every single morning and won't let you rest the amount of time you'd like to, you may be asking yourself why this may be, if you should worry or not, and how you can change this behavior.

If you are wondering: why does my cat wake me up in the morning? First of all, you should know that all cats are crepuscular creatures, which means they are at their most active during sunset and sunrise. This is why it can be normal for your cat to wake you up, although at AnimalWised we'd like to go into further depth on the subject so you know how you can solve this situation if it's increasingly becoming a problem.

My cat wakes me up every morning

As we've mentioned above, cats are not nocturnal as one may think. Cats are in fact crepuscular, meaning they are awake and more lively at dusk and dawn. Why? Their ancestors, the African Wildcats[1], used to hunt for prey such as rats and mice when in the wild, which is why this is an instinct that has prevailed throughout the years.

Your cat will be most active at these times but, how do they know what time it is? This is simple: sunlight. This is the most obvious sign that it's time to wake up, which is the reason why your cat may wake you up earlier than usual during summer, as the sun rises earlier than in winter.

However, you may still ask yourself what your cat wants. There are several underlying reasons you need to check for in order to solve this problem and ensure you get a good night's rest. Look out for the following symptoms to determine why your cat wakes you up in the morning.

Why Does my Cat Wake me up in the Morning? - Answer & Solutions - My cat wakes me up every morning

My cat wakes me up meowing loud

Does your cat wake you up meowing? Does he or she start with a faint sound that increases the longer you ignore them? There may be several possible reasons for this behavior. Let's take a look at the option

Your cat is warning you about an illness

Although this is a rare reason why your cat wakes you up in the morning, it's important to rule out this option for your cat's health. You will have noticed your cat wakes you up meowing due to an illness as your cat has never acted this way before. If you suspect your cat has an illness or have not been to the vet in the past 6 to 12 months, take them for a regular checkup as soon as you can. If your cat is moving into old age, look out for signs of the following:

  • Arthritis:You will also notice a decrease in your cat's activity, will also meow if you pick them up in certain positions, their joints will swell, will have less flexibility and you notice a change in their litterbox habits.
  • Hyperthyroidism: This disease usually appears in cats that are 12 or older. There are no clear symptoms and diagnosis should be carried out by a vet who will perform a blood test as well as a thyroid gland palpation.
  • High blood pressure: You will also notice blood in urine, eye hemorrhage, dilated pupils, blindness, seizures, nose bleed, weakness in the side of the body or legs.

If you notice any of the symptoms or you suspect this may be a problem, make sure you take your cat to the vet so he or she can be properly diagnosed.

Your cat is hungry

Cats are creatures of habits, this we already know. Therefore, if you feed your cat a long time before bedtime, it will usually demand food sooner. Moreover, if you give your cat food early in the morning during week days, your cat will still demand food at the time when you usually feed them.

Your cat is seeking attention

If you are used to always take notice of your cats meows, whether through feeding or by stroking your cat, it will quickly associate this positive reinforcement with the action of meowing. If you are away from home during the day, it will probably sleep out of boredom, which is why it will seek your cuddles and attention through meowing, the morning being one of the times when they are at their most active mood. This is also one of the main reasons why your cat meows so much, not only in the morning.

Why Does my Cat Wake me up in the Morning? - Answer & Solutions - My cat wakes me up meowing loud

My cat wakes me up purring

The reason why your cat wakes you up purring is simpler. As we've said, your cat is more active during sunrise, which is why they will seek for some attention and cuddles during this time and go back to napping to complete their 16 daily hours of sleep.

Why do cats purr? It's their way of expressing like or pleasure and they generally only purr to members of their family. It also helps relieve stress. If your cat purrs it's a very positive sign, your cat probably loves you and feels safe by your side.

Moreover, a cat can actually predict when you are going to wake up. As you may know, people have up to five stages of sleep, in which several bodily functions change. Through your breathing and heartbeat rate, your cat will know when you are about to wake up and will be there to greet you with purrs and affection.

How to stop my cat waking me up early

Now that you know the reason why your cat wakes you up in the morning, here are some tips and useful tricks so you can use to stop your cat waking you up early.

  1. Get hold of some dark blinds or blackout curtains. This will avoid sunlight from reaching the room where your cat sleeps, which is why your cat won't notice it is actually daytime until you open the blinds.
  2. If your cat is waking you up out of boredom, make sure you keep your cat entertained during the day while you're not at home with toys, scratching posts, brush them.. However, if you don't have much time it would be interesting to enrich its environment by getting your cat some interactive games, intelligence games, cat grass or cat feeders they can interact with on their own. Tire your cat out as much as possible before going to bed too by playing with them.
  3. Feed your cat right before bedtime and wait for a while after you get up in the morning. This process may last for a few weeks, but you'll notice how your cat readjusts his or her schedule so they will be needing their food later on in the morning.
  4. Use positive reinforcement at the right time. This means, when your cat is meowing or trying to wake you up, do not take any notice of him or her. This may seem difficult, but you will need to shift positive reinforcement in moments when your cat is silent. If your cat meows to wake you up, try to pet and stroke them when they are silent and have stopped meowing. This will send the message that they will be noticed only when being quiet.
  5. Remember that closing your bedroom door, using aversions or telling your cat off will not give good results. Be patient, loving and try to understand feline psychology. These are the best tools when trying to solve the problem.

If you want to read similar articles to Why Does my Cat Wake me up in the Morning? - Answer & Solutions, we recommend you visit our Behavioral problems category.

References
  1. http://science.sciencemag.org/content/317/5837/519

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