If you've owned a cat you've been woken up at 4am from the urgent sounds of a worried feline that has absolutely nothing to do. There are many strategies to this madness. First, the hallway scream. As the creature approaches their hooman's bedroom they let out the deepest of meows to make sure everyone in the neighborhood knows they have arrived. The second strategy is bold. Zoomies on the bed. 452 mph across the pillows, over the feet, and back again before anyone can realize what is going on. The final strategy is the face/chest sit. Your beautiful, and sometimes hefty feline gets on the bed without a sound or movement and then sits directly on your face until you wake up!
The truth is almost too simple. Cats have themselves convinced that they are running the house, and that they have everyone trained to live the life they've been trained to live. Your feline has learned multiple methods that work in waking you up. They completely ignore the yells, mean comments, and grunts as we wake up and do exactly what they want. Once you get up, you either give them attention (good or bad) or food. Both of which will do for your fur baby. They don't have a care in the world for the aftermath or the damage they do to our sleep schedule, as long as they get theirs.
How do we stop it?
After consulting the experts at local shelters in Michigan, the results are in!
1. Plenty of toys and activities to do in the morning.
2. Ignore, Ignore, Ignore. It will take several mornings more than you'd like, but training them that you won't give them what they want will deter the behavior...in most.
3. Automatic Feeders to let them get their own breakfast. Use one with a timer, not a motion sensor, as our kitties can't control themselves in the slightest.