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Rebecca, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 15596
Experience:  Veterinarian for more than 30 years
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I am having the same issues, moved about 3 weeks ago and she

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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 every day! Help! And may I add she is a very spoiled husband is home with her most days and gets plenty of attention.
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.

Customer: replied 4 years 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,

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:

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


Rebecca and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for the good rating!