Hi, I'm glad I happened to read the info about declawing! My two cats drive me absolutely crazy at night scratching the bed and walls to get me up, and every night I swear I'm going to simply have them declawed, since it's no big deal anyway. I had no idea that it was painful or disfiguring; I thought that the nails were simply removed somehow, and everything else remained intact. Do you have any recommendations for how to mellow these two out? I've been sleep deprived now for about a year, and really would love be able to sleep well every night.
I'm glad you read the article too.
Believe me, if you had declawed the cats, they would have found other ways to wake you, if that is really their intent. Cats are normally nocturnal animals, and if they become bored, it is natural that they want their human to wake up and entertain them.
I hate to admit it, but my husband has been sleep deprived for over 15 years, because he doesn't listen to my advice about our cat, Bubba. Bubba wakes him every night at about 4:00 a.m., by patting him on the nose, so he will get up and follow Bubba to the utility room to freshen his food bowl, or simply to watch him eat. He doesn't do this with me when Asa is away for a weekend, because he has learned I won't get up. He hasn't "trained" me the way he has trained Asa.
There's a very good article on "How to Get some Sleep," linked from one of my Behavioral subjects, under "Attention Seeking."
I'd also suggest you post your message on my Cats Forum. You can join quickly and easily at http://cats.about.com/mpboards , and my members are always very resourceful in offering what has worked for them with similar situations. Tell them I sent you.