If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’ve probably been woken up one too many times by a furry little paw tapping on your face at 3am.
I have been there before, and it’s really not fun at all.
If you’re tired of waking up to your cat meowing or scratching at your door, don’t worry!
Here are some effective ways to keep your feline friend out of your room at night.
1. The Classic Door Shut
The simplest solution is often the most effective for you (when you can ignore your cat’s noise).
Closing the door can keep your cat out of your room and give you a peaceful night’s sleep.
Just make sure that your cat has access to food, water, and a litter box before you close the door.
2. The Kitty Palace
Create a separate sleeping area for your cat that is more enticing than your bedroom.
Set up a comfortable bed, toys, and a scratching post in a designated area of your home.
Cats love having their own space; with time, they will get used to sleeping there instead of in your room.
3. Mealtime Manipulation
Feed your cat their main meal just before your bedtime.
A full stomach often equates to a sleepy cat, and your cat will be more inclined to snooze in their bed.
4. Playtime Prep
Play with your cat before you go to bed to tire them out.
The more energy they use playing, the less likely they are to engage in nocturnal escapades.
Make sure your cat has enough mental and physical stimulation throughout the day.
This could include interactive play sessions with toys or just spending time bonding with them during their daily grooming routine.
You can use a variety of toys like feathers, laser pointers, or stuffed mice to keep them entertained.
Trying to get your cat to do anything new can cause them anxiety.
To help my cat relax when she seems stressed and more anxious, I use Stress Stopper Cat Relief.
Stress Stopper is a flower remedy cat solution that helps cats feel calm and safe when they are feeling stressed or scared.
It works for short-term stressors such as vet visits, thunderstorms, fireworks, unfamiliar guests, and unusual noises, as well as long-term changes like vacations or new pet introductions.
6. Pawsitive Reinforcement
Reward your cat when they sleep in their own bed instead of trying to get into yours.
You can use treats, praise, or extra cuddle time to encourage them to stay in their designated sleeping area.
Positive reinforcement helps your cat associate their behavior with positive outcomes.
7. Professional Help
If everything else fails, consider consulting with a pet behaviorist.
They can help identify potential stressors in your cat’s environment, create a plan to manage sleep disruption, and provide other useful tips to improve your cat’s behavior.
The Importance of Sticking To A Routine
Jackson Galaxy, a well-known and amazing cat behaviorist, emphasizes the importance of the Three Rs – Routine, Ritual, and Rhythm – in managing cat behavior.
Here’s a breakdown of what he says about the Three Rs:
Establishing a routine for your cat is crucial. This involves feeding your cat meals at specific times rather than free-feeding.
By doing so, your cat will learn to expect food at certain times, and their body will regulate around that feeding schedule.
After about three weeks of following your routine, it becomes a ritual. Rituals become part of your cat’s daily life, which is how you help them manage their behavior.
Jackson suggests incorporating playtime into the ritual, preferably around mealtime.
The last meal of the day should be given about an hour or an hour and a half before bedtime. This way, your cat will have an outlet for their energy before settling down to sleep.
Cats are naturally crepuscular, meaning they are most active during sunrise and sunset.
By aligning your cat’s rhythm with your own, you can encourage them to be more active when you are awake and calm when you sleep.
The goal is to create a circadian rhythm that suits both you and your cat.
Keeping Your Cat Out of Your Room Takes Discipline, Support, and Consistency
Jackson Galaxy stresses the importance of having everyone in the household on board with the strategies and plans you decide to implement.
Consistency is key, and if everyone responds to your cat’s behavior in the same way, it will be more effective in bringing about a change.
He mentions that adjusting your cat’s rhythm to align with yours is not a long-term process.
He compares it to overcoming jet lag, where your body adjusts to a new time zone relatively quickly.
Similarly, with commitment and dedication to the Three Rs, you should see a difference in your cat’s behavior within about a week.
Rewarding silence is another aspect highlighted by Jackson.
Instead of rewarding your cat’s demanding behavior, such as meowing for attention, wait for a moment of silence and then provide rewards, such as food or attention. This helps reinforce the desired behavior of being calm and quiet.
Lastly, he advises against excluding your cat from your bedroom.
He believes that allowing your cat in socially significant areas, like your bedroom, helps strengthen their sense of security and territorial confidence.
Here is Jackson in his YouTube video telling you how confident he is about sticking to a routine when we want to teach our cat to do something and how it will actually work:
I know you wanted to find ways to keep your cat out of your bedroom at night, but I wanted to share a more long-term solution you can use as well.
I trust in the three Rs and think you should really try them.
Cats are creatures of habit, and changing their behavior can take time.
Experiment with different methods until you find the one that works best for you and them.
Remember to keep your cat’s comfort and safety in mind at all times because they deserve to be in a happy, loving, and nurturing home.
Whatever you do decide to do, make sure to have a routine that you stick with so that things are easier for your cat to adjust to in the long run.