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Readers Respond: How did you solve cat-related sleep deprivation?

Responses: 58


Have you lain awake at night because a cat is scratching at the door, running across your bed (and you), pawing at your face, or meowing to be fed? I've shared my own Top 10 Ways to avoid cat-related sleep deprivation. Here is your opportunity to share your own solutions with other readers. Perhaps you've come up with a novel idea not covered in my list.

Originality earns extra points. Here's how: When we have sufficient entries, I'll chose the top 6, and we'll have a poll to select the best one. Put the best spin on your answer - grammar and spelling are important too.

Share your tips

Find your cats a new home

I came on here looking for help. But reading about one family having multiple cats locked in crates sickens me. I'll put up with my old guy awaking me at 3. Multiple cats locked in cages makes me think of the Hoarders episode where they had done the same thing. All sick cats, locked in a feces ridden cage. What a sad life for an animal.
—Guest Sickened

another cat behavior I need help with

We live on acres. Our cat is great with other humans, but has developed attack behaviors with our neighbors cats. He went at the neighbors cat yesterday (on their porch) and clawed at the man who came to help his cat. This man is really scratched up. Our cat is a rescue cat, we have had him for two years, and we tried at first to keep him an inside cat but he cries and talks to us all day until we can't take it anymore and we let him out. We are not sure what to do. Please do not recommend de clawing. Would love to hear other advise. Thank you.

throwing up ?

My sisters cat is young (I dont know the age) but she says he will go to sleep peacefully and the suddenly get up run around and into things .. then just throw up. He is NOT throwing up hairballs hes is really THROWING UP .. please help monster Nicole, your sister needs to take her cat to the veterinarian.
—Guest Nicole

my cat

hi I have rescued a 7 month old kitten and I started putting him in the wet room at night with food and clean litter tray, but he use to scratch the door and cry till I let him out. I started putting him outside when it was bedtime for us but he still crying and scratching the door at early hours, its getting to the point where I'm thinking of having to find him a new home as he keeps pouncing on my daughter and waking her. please give me some advice as he really is part of family and don't want to give away but need our sleep .
—Guest claire

That is not just, "how cats are"

Several respondents are blaming the owners or stating the obvious by saying, "OMG people they are cats", as if disruptive behavior is unavoidable. I have had nearly a dozen cats that have been respectful of sleep time once they became used to (my) the owner's living patterns. If the owner keeps odd hours (sleeping at 8pm one night and 2am the next) the cat will not be able to adjust to a routine. I've only had one cat that has continued to be disruptive (current problem). She wakes me up intentionally by knocking over heavy objects only at night, because she wants attention; she then runs away and waits until I'm back in bed to do it again. Contrary to the opinion of the respondent at the top of this page, I don't believe that having issues with one cat out of a dozen makes me irresponsible or unsuited to caring for a living being. Realistically, what parent or pet owner has NEVER asked advice? I like the crate idea listed above and will give it a try. Thank you!

Cat tent

Stop feeling so bad for your cats and put them in a tent or large crate at night. The people saying it on here are right. Your cat will still love you and attention at 3am only reinforces the very behavior you all complain about. Do yourself a favor and put them in another room or bathroom in a cat tent large enough for litter food water and close the door. PROBLEM SOLVED.
—Guest Knowswhatsup

Horrible owners

I've never heard so many selfish and ignorant pet owners; surprise, owning a living creature, even if it's 'just' a cat, is a lot of responsibility. People need to ask themselves if they really want a pet; unwanted kittens, and adult cats are constantly dumped at shelters because people who thought owning a cat was 'easy' got fed up with their pets basic needs. Ironically many of these people, who can barely take care of a cat, choose to have children. Just do yourself a favour, if a full night sleep is important to you, don't get a pet/have a child. Unless that pet is a gold fish, or an online pet.
—Guest JackReacher


My 5 month old kitten George sleeps in a crate and he loves it. I started crating him because I didn't want him getting into trouble at night. I always ensure he has his stuffed toy (he curls up with it). Now, if my bf or I fall asleep before we close the crate door for the night George goes in himself and sleeps until morning.
—Guest Keightie


My cat Is very sweet and gentle but at night he used to become crazy running everywhere on top of us under the bed he would throw himself against the window and do a 360 flip in the air. Watching a cat doing Parkour is awesome but not at 2am. After many failed attempts at playing with him before going to bed, we just locked him in the washroom. He has a little bed where he sleeps right besides the sink (we figured that's the cleanest area) and right before he goes to bed we give wet food and water and a clean litter. So now he looks forward to going to the washroom at night and he knows is sleep time and he actually sleeps and runs during the day. At the beginning he would cry but now he is okay with it. AND now everyone is happy :)
—Guest Cat lady

nothing works

I have two 4-yr-old bengals, a male and female brother & sister who go outside during the day. Usually let them out around 6am and they come in around 6pm. The male wakes every night like clockwork around 4am and yowls until we let him out at 6. We live in a tiny house that is passively heated with a woodstove so if we shut the door, there is no heat in the room (we have three rooms - our bedroom, our daughter's bedroom and a main room where the woodstove is located). Can't let them out before dawn bc too many predators (coyotes, fishers) out at night. Don't know what to do. We both work full time and have a 3-year-old who is in daycare, all three of us are exhausted but we can't shut our boy up. We would never consider sending him away, he's family, but we need a workable solution. He doesn't want food, he doesn't want cuddles, all he wants is to go outside and hunt, but he can't go out until dawn. Any suggestions?
—Guest tundraleigh

Its a process

1) I was not aware until recently that all cats have a need to hunt- and they WILL FIND a way to do it- even if it means hunting you! To satisfy this need get a "Cat Teaser" - a long stick with feathers on the end. (Available at PetSmart) When you shake it, it sounds like a bird flying- and they love to chase it. Play this game at before bed, and when you get up with you cats ( on your timeline not theirs) . It satisfies their need to hunt, and helps them settle down. 2) feed them only at night, right before bed. Never in the am. 3) wake them up during the day (if you are home) 4) bad behavior - waking you up- gets them removed from you (gently and temporarily). They will learn to not displease you.
—Guest jelly

Sleepless cat

Im taking care of my roomates cat, charlete, and she constantly wants to be petted and loved but when lights go out she tends to want to rip out the window screen and mess up the curtains. I put her away from the window and she crys cause she wants the window. I block the window she goes all the way around and finds a way back onto the window. I finally put her in her crate and she hates it. You can hear her clawing at it, but I rather have her in there getting used to it then her being on the street. Shes meowing a little less now I think she might be calming down but every so often she starts up again.
—Guest Layla24

cat related sleep deprivation

OMG people they are cats! cats are naturally active at night, LOCK THEM OUT! also if u feed them/give attention at 3am it will be expected. never give positive reinforcement to unwanted behaviours. they love to race and play in the wee hours, put dry food/water and a litter tray in the lounge and shut the door. your sleep must come first. Be consistant, your cat will still love you.
—Guest jess

Lock em out.

It's the only way to get the message across, we find it hard to play with our Kitty Astro during the day in order to tire him out because he ends up becoming too agressive and nasty, and he's a very heavy sleeper!! He is a year old and although is purely an indoor cat, needs to be desexed so we have resorted to locking him out of the hallway -the main entrance way to any of the bedrooms- at night because he's yeowling is terribly loud, even my husband who could sleep through a bomb going off gets woken up by his meowing. It wasn't just meowing for me either. He would make an absolute pain in the butt of himself because he would be trying to get behind the venetian blinds of the window right next to my bedside and the clanging of the blinds against the window frame would wake me between his melodrammatic yeowls of "harrrooooww?!" so out he stays until he's desexed which hopefully works to calm his hormones down. If not, then he'll be lounge room cat at night forever more.
—Guest Eerie

Crated cats yell!

Cat's do not stop yelling in crates at all, I have 8 cats, 5 are starting to scrabble and poop at night making us on the verge of divorce cos all my partner does is moan and threaten me because of it yet he is the animal hoarder! 3 of the cats ruin the home and I have cancer. I struggle to decorate 1 room, it causes me to go back into hospital ill and before I know it he has let them in there and it's destroyed, they have lived in crates for 3 years and they rattle and yell every single evening, they will rattle and jump up at the door so I can't leave them loose either. Where we live is pretty open plan so I have nowhere to shut them in downstairs either and the kitchen even if a door was added is too tiny for that number of cats. I just want to die. I can't cope!
—Guest RedCyan

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How did you solve cat-related sleep deprivation?

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