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deni's avatar

Is there any way to calm my cat down at 4 AM?

Asked by deni (22815points) 2 days ago

Hello Fluther! I hope everyone is having a beautiful day in this chaotic world.

I love my cat, Hank, more than anything in the world! He is big, beautiful, full of personality, super sassy and playful. He is also extremely curious and very much a CAT. For about the past year he has been waking up around 4:40 AM demanding attention. He gets A LOT of attention throughout the day so there is no shortage. He just has a lot of energy and loves to play and be petted, especially in the wee hours of the morning.

So yes, 4:40 AM, give or take a little. I am a very light sleeper so sometimes when he does this I will put headphones in with rain sounds, but really I hate to do that because it’s uncomfortable. But if I DONT, he will keep me up/wake me up frequently. And no, I cannot close my bedroom door or he will meow outside of it.

Luckily I have a roommate who gets up around 6 so he is delighted to have her company at that hour. Some days. Other days he continues to be a menace to me and knock things off my night stand and tear through the house at a million miles per hour.

Has anyone had any experience giving their cat CAT CBD treats? I wondered if that might help, just for those wee hours of the morning when I’m really trying to sleep. I obviously don’t want to medicate him, that is unnecessary. He is perfectly healthy and just has a lot of love and opinions to give, lol. He will be 5 in July. I also thought about some type of toy he plays with on his own that might turn on around 4:30 AM, don’t even know if they make those but just a thought.

Thanks :)

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21 Answers

Zaku's avatar

You could try getting a timed cat feeder that releases the cat food he likes at 3:55am… depending on your cat, that might work. I have seen that work with some cats. Depends on what they want, of course.

I heard great things about CBD treats… from someone who sells them. I haven’t tried them. Of course you’d probably need to give them to the cat a little before 4 am… maybe put that in a timed feeder.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Maybe some playtime before bed to wear him out.
One of my cats likes to wake me up. he taps on my arm or face so I’ll pet him and I usually do.I don’t advise that if you want sleep
If it wasn’t so cute, I’d be mad but I am too tired for that anyway.
Good luck.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Cats are by nature nocturnal and active at night.
Either keep it busy during the day or get it a mate ?
Cats are territorial so it depends on your cats predicament and how long its been “king of the castle” ( territory).
It could be in “heat” and if so there are pills for just that from the vet.

gorillapaws's avatar

Hey @deni, nice to see you again! My inclination is to correct/discourage the behavior rather than accommodate it. I’m certainly not a cat behavior expert, but when dogs behave this way, it’s more effective to ignore the behavior entirely than to try to react to it.

deni's avatar

@Inspired_2write I have tried to keep him awake more frequently during the day and play with him a lot so he is tired at night but nothing seems to make a difference lol. We live with a dog that he does play with, and I can’t get another cat right now, even though I desperately want to. That WOULD help, and has in the past.

@gorillapaws God I try so hard to ignore him. But he is all over the place! Just a maniac, so much energy even when we play so frequently throughout the day! Or, at least as much as I can and am able to be home, ya know. And like I said, being a light sleeper, it’s impossible to ignore. Also he is REALLLLLLLY cute and soft, and I love him, and he knows that and takes extreme advantage.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Yours is obviously a cat restricted to an indoor life. Too bad, but since he is so gregarious, perhaps he deserves a pet of his own—say a puppy or a kitten. But be warned. You are very fortunate to have a cat so obviously taken with you and blessed with such a great disposition. The odds against duplicating those traits in another kitty are long indeed.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Maybe a silly question but, has Hank been neutered ? Hormones can cause the crazies.

longgone's avatar

Not a cat expert, but since you asked about toys: You could get a Kong and stuff that with delicious (canned) cat food. Get Hank used to it during the daytime. Then, when he’s learned how fun it is, leave a frozen (!) Kong near your bed. Hopefully, it will have thawed by 4 am and he’ll empty it happily instead of pouncing on you.

I would also try to discourage the rowdiness during the day. For example, my dog used to think that mouthing my legs and tackling me would get me to play. It would have worked with another dog. I don’t believe in punishment, but I do believe in boundaries and communication. So when he asked to play by tackling me, I just turned away. At the same time, I made sure to notice when he was asking in a more appropriate way, like bringing me a toy or general silliness. Those invitations I would usually accept.

The reliable timing of nightly wakeups is weird. Any chance he’s picking up on a cue there? Neighbour getting up, or something? Because in that case, you might be able to manage Hank’s environment so he never even wakes up.

jca2's avatar

I have 3 cats, all boys, and one of them was a stray for at least 5 years on the grounds of the school, which is a heavily wooded, large property with all kinds of wild animals. He’s tough. All 3 of my cats go out, They stick mainly to my yard and go venturing to the neighbors’ yards. They are only allowed out during the day and are all in the house at night.

The boy who was living on the grounds of the school used to, most mornings around 4 a.m., start pacing around, looking out the window, jumping up on things, just acting agitated. He seemed to have a circuit – jump up, look out the window, jump down, pace around, jump back up, etc. It was very disturbing and maddening because I, too, am a light sleeper. He doesn’t do it any more because I moved my bed out of the room where he was jumping up on the window sill. If he does it now, I’m not in the room to experience it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I have a ton of Nepeta cataria, cat mint, catswort, catnip growing in my garden (USDA Region 6, full sun) . I’d gladly sent anyone some cuttings/plants if you want to try it.
Warning! While the purple flowers are beautiful the plant is invasive.(That’s why I have a ton!)

jca2's avatar

I’ll take some, @LuckyGuy. I was about to buy some from Amazon.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@jca2 Don’t buy it! I’ll send you some – with roots

Patty_Melt's avatar

Put Hank in a carrier at night.
Last one to bed puts him in, just before lights out. If your roommate wants to take him out to play, fine, great, but if she is not keeping him entertained the whole time before you get up, he needs to go back in.
Hopefully, after a while he will learn about the required quiet time.
If it sounds mean, just remember, he will never know what he is not taught.

deni's avatar

@stanleybmanly Your response sounded like a long-winded fortune cookie. I enjoyed the wording a lot. lol. You say too bad he is an indoor only cat, and in a way I agree, but he used to be outdoor, and would venture far and not return reliably. In the past year I have had two friends cats be hit by cars – one died immediately, the other clung to life (driver didn’t stop) and had to have an arm amputated. For these reasons and many more (I am a big birder and Hank is a big bird hunter, which I have come to believe is unnecessary for house cats), I just don’t see why he needs to go out. He lives a comfortable life indoors with tons of attention from both humans and dogs, so, I agree with your sentiment to an extent but for me this is a non-negotiable. He has lived with many other cats over the years and would love a cat of his own, but currently I am unable to get another cat per my lease. When I can though, I will, and i believe that will help greatly.

@LuckyGuy I would LOVE some! (and Hank would love some)

@jca2 @longgone I agree the timing is nuts. He recently stayed at my best friends house for 10 days where he has stayed several times before when i go out of town. She confirmed he did the same thing at her house, so I do not think it is anything to do with someone in my house or a neighbor or etc. waking up at that time….I don’t know what it is! But it is almost on the dot every night! And if not, no more than 10–15 minutes off, in one direction or the other! it’s kinda fascinating.

And someone asked—yes he is neutered.

Kropotkin's avatar

No. There’s nothing you can do.

In fact, if Hank could access and interact with a Q&A forum, he’d be asking why his human slave doesn’t give him attention at 4AM.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Honestly, there’s probably not a lot you can do. Dogs are servile, live to please their masters and are easy to tame. Cats, on the other hand, are individualistic and as strong-willed as it gets. You can try to to tame it, but a cat is going to do what it wants when it wants.

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Lonelyheart807's avatar

Lots of great answers on here, not all of which I’ve read, so forgive me if I am repeating what someone else said. My cats used to tear around the house in the wee hours of the morning, but gradually they grew out of that. It’s true that now I live in a larger place with several floors, so maybe I’m not noticing it as much. (Before I lived in an apartment, all on one level. But, all that being said, if you can, start a nighttime routine. My cats know that I generally go upstairs by 11 p.m. I then watch a little TV (and they lay on the bed and watch with me, or at least appear to), then I get in bed and am on my phone for a bit, at which point they settle down. Right before I turn out the light, I give them treats. Having this routine seems to help settle them down for the night, but my cats are also 8 years old, so maybe as they “mature” they are settling down more?
My little boy cat, Bruno, will actually lay at the foot of the bed until I turn the light off and lay down. Then he makes his way up to me and lays near my shoulder, and I normally put my arm around him, while he will wrap his paws around my hand and nuzzle me,

kritiper's avatar

Feed it some canned cat food at that time.

YARNLADY's avatar

Discuss this with your vet, and ask him about catnip.

oliverkk's avatar

There is no way)))

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