How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Rebecca Your Own Question

Rebecca
Rebecca, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 8379
Experience:  Veterinarian for 29 years
11877925
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Rebecca is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am having the same issues, moved about 3 weeks ago and she

Customer Question

I am having the same issues, moved about 3 weeks ago and she is fine during the day and all night until about 1-2 hours prior to her owners (my husband and I) alarm going off! I try to ignore it but at 4:30 am this morning I closed the door to our bedroom and had a fan on to drown out her crying. I need to sleep...work every day! Help! And may I add she is a very spoiled cat...my husband is home with her most days and gets plenty of attention.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Rebecca replied 12 months ago.
Hello,
I am sorry to hear about Greta.

My name is Rebecca. I am a veterinarian, and will do my best to help.

When do you normally feed her? The most common reason I see for behavior like this is when the cat gets fed as soon as her owners get up. She associates your getting up with being rewarded ( fed), so from the cat's point of view she is rewarded for waking you up!

When this starts to happen, it is common for the cat to wake the owner up a little earlier each day. If she is doing this at 4:30, next it will be 4:15.

If she is being fed in the morning, the only way I know to stop it, is to not feed her until you are awake and doing things for an hour or so in the morning. Sounds much simpler than it is; it takes awhile to break a habit like this, so she will not understand why she is not fed first thing and will try harder to get her reward. The first few days or so of not feeding her will be hardest. Even if she does get you up with her crying, get up but do not feed her for at least an hour. Eventually she will give up.

Giving her some melatonin, an over the counter supplement that helps with sleep may help to keep in bed later while she is retrained. 3 milligrams at bedtime is a safe dose for a cat.

Another thing to consider trying is one of the automated feeders. Set it to go off at 4, so she gets some food before she starts crying. Then each day you could move it back 5 minutes, until she is used to being fed at 7 or whenever an hour after your rising it.

Please let me know what else I can help with, or answer.

Rebecca
Customer: replied 12 months ago.


Hi Rebecca,
Thank you for your quick response. Greta most usually still has food in
her bowl when we get up each morning. She has just started this since we
moved three weeks to the day, today. She appears to be adjusting well during
the day, my husband is home most of the day and she seems content. It is
not until 4:30 am or 5:30 am that she starts the crying---we get up at
6:30am. This morning I simply got up and closed the bedroom door. She cried
and body slammed the door however, we had the fan on and it muffled her cry.
I know you mentioned being rewarded but she has never done this on a
continuous basis before (she is five years old)—that is why I am so miffed. I
will try the melatonin…good luck getting her to take it, but I will try.
As I have mentioned she is very spoiled.
Thank you for your advice,
Lisa

Expert:  Rebecca replied 12 months ago.
I agree, if she has food and does not associate any "reward" with your getting up, like being fed, then that is not the reason.

I would try the melatonin, or even a prescription medication like amitriptyline to ease her into her new schedule.

Is there anything going on outside that might be setting her off? Other cats she can see outside, other people near your house? If she sees strange cats very near the house that can be upsetting to some indoor cats. Providing "environment enrichment" can be helpful with some indoor cats. This is the best website on that subject:

http://indoorpet.osu.edu/cats/

Please let me know what else I can try to help with.

Rebecca

Rebecca, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 8379
Experience: Veterinarian for 29 years
Rebecca and 5 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Rebecca replied 12 months ago.
Thank you for the good rating!

Rebecca

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
< Last | Next >
  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
  • I will use your service again. I was very pleased with the response and the fact that you have a low cost option so that those of us on fixed income can have questions answered. I will also recommend you to others. Karen Jackson Heights, NY
  • You helped us to come to what we believe is a better next step in Jack's treatment, and hopefully have saved us $800!! Thanks again! Jack's Mom Tuscon, AZ
  • The vet said that the information and my following it will be what made the difference. Thanks again for being so very helpful. Tracy Grayson, LA
  • My oldest male cat had a seizure this evening. This site was the first place I could think of to go after the seizure had passed. Dr. Lucy was fantastic and she was spot on! Debbie USA
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Terri

    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    18938
    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/purrfectkitty/2008-07-10_084515_2006-06-10_me2.jpg Terri's Avatar

    Terri

    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    18938
    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    868
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CE/Cerecita/2011-3-16_2565_JAPIC500x500.64x64.jpg Cher's Avatar

    Cher

    Feline Specialist

    Satisfied Customers:

    9637
    Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/kydoll/2008-11-26_190500_me.jpg Lori's Avatar

    Lori

    Feline Healthcare

    Satisfied Customers:

    3325
    16 yrs health care mgmt & issues relating to cats, reproductive issues and multicat environments
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mccprn/2009-11-20_185102_JA_profile.jpg Micki's Avatar

    Micki

    Expert in cat behavior and health

    Satisfied Customers:

    3153
    Expert in cat medical and behavior issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ER/ERPetNurse/2011-11-7_1293_b.64x64.jpg Candy R.'s Avatar

    Candy R.

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2887
    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    A Voice for your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    2124
    19+ years in animal medicine as a veterinary technician