Do you frequently wake up to the sound of your cat’s meow and start to feel resentment?
As if your cat is scratching at the door, knocking things off shelves, and loudly jumping off furniture just to spite you?
Of course, many of us have been there.
Coping with a yowling, spirited early-morning cat is stressful, especially if you live in an apartment.
Sometimes, it feels too overwhelming to deal with it. And when we think about our neighbors, annoyed with us, the anxiety kicks in. We don’t want a confrontation.
Let’s get back to cat basics today.
Which of their natural instincts need nurturing?
And how can you keep your cat quiet from the comfort of your bed?
Why Do Cats Meow Early in the Morning?
First, you must understand that your cat isn’t waking you up at 4 am out of revenge.
There’s a scientific explanation for your early morning serenade: cats are crepuscular, meaning they’re most active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. It’s instinctual behavior to avoid potential predators and find prey — like nocturnal mice — due to their excellent low-light vision.
Other crepuscular animals include rabbits, deer, opossums, and skunks.
When your cat meows in the morning, it’s most likely he’s seeking attention, bored, or simply hungry!
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How Do I Stop My Cat Meowing A Lot in the Morning?
Want to know how to silence your cat in the wee hours of the morning? Below are 5 things you need to muffle your cat’s meow and sleep like a baby.
Tip #1: Keep Your Cat Cozy to Catch More Z’s
You sleep best when the thermostat is set between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit.
And cats love warmth preferring temperatures around 70.
If your cat wakes up to a chill in the air, they might want to wake you up and alert you to the problem.
So, get a plush cat bed and set the thermostat to warm up their space just before dawn so they stay cozy and you stay rested.
Tip #2: Create A Wind-Down Routine to Soothe Your Cat
You might think sleeping is easy for cats.
But have you ever hopped into bed only to lay there wide awake and restless?
Taking the time to unwind before bedtime has been shown to improve our sleep quality. And a similar concept can work for your cat, too.
First, start with an intense 10-15 minutes of playtime about an hour before bedtime to engage their inner hunter. Next, give them high-protein wet food to reward them for the hunt.
Finally, cap off the night with a few minutes of grooming with a cat brush to help them relax.
Intentionally setting aside time each night for a routine signals to your cat that it’s time to sleep.
Tip #3: Minimize Outside Stimulation for Your Cat
Cats love their sleep, and when there’s too much outside stimulation, it can disrupt their rest.
Alarms, sirens, dogs barking, and curious animals peering in through a window can cause anxiety for your cat.
To keep your cat calm and relaxed, close the curtains at night to minimize disruptions outside your home. Providing them with a private environment can prevent territorial issues from arising, like spraying and urinating outside the litter box. Create a relaxed space for your cat to get plenty of peaceful sleep.
Tip #4: Create a Calm Cat Zone Outside Your Bedroom to Fend Off Early Morning Awakenings
Of course, overcoming your cat’s tendency to meow at the crack of dawn is more than just keeping them asleep.
Cats instinctually wake up energetic and eager to explore, eat, talk, and play.
But a cat can stay quiet when they’re awake, too.
And your task is to create a multi-sensory experience for your cat while you sleep.
Think about creating a calm zone around your bedroom door. Pheromone diffusers can relieve stress and anxiety while cat grass offers something to nibble on. Toys and puzzles keep them mentally active, and a self-groomer brush or scratchers satisfy their instincts.
So, create a stimulating play space for your cat while you get the rest you need.
Tip #5: Don’t Reward Your Cat’s Meow With A Meal
Cats have a good memory especially when it comes to food. If you immediately get up and feed them to shush them, they will connect meowing outside your bedroom door with a food reward.
To break this connection, make sure to provide your cat with enough food throughout the day. Opt for four small portions, rather than one or two big meals if possible, to help them maintain a healthy weight and fall into a regular cycle of eat-sleep-play-repeat.
Most importantly, don’t talk back to your meowing cat through the bedroom door or open the door until there is silence—no matter how small the moment—and wait at least 30 minutes after you wake up before feeding them. Instead, take the time to clean the litter boxes, meditate, or read the paper—your cat will thank you for it!
Keep Calm and Quiet Your Cat’s Meow
By following these simple steps, your cat’s nonstop meowing in the morning can become a thing of the past.
Start by being persistent.
It might take a little extra time at first to get your cat used to the new routine but stick with it. Eventually, your cat will give up and adjust to the new schedule.
Make sure to reward your cat for staying quiet, which will teach them to associate quiet behavior with positive reinforcement.
Additionally, muffling the noise with a rug and rug pad will make your mornings more pleasant, and your neighbors will be grateful.
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