Why Does My Cat Wake Me Up? Here Are the Most Astonishing Reasons

If you are a night owl like me, then you know how important it is to sleep in late to get sufficient rest. However, I cannot seem to enjoy my rest with my little feline pal waking me up just about an hour or two after going to bed. While I love my cat very much, such behavior has become problematic for me as well.

There are several behavioral problems that cats may demonstrate. From scratching, unceasing purring to waking you up at the wee hours of the morning – these can all take a toll on you. Therefore, it was imperative for me to discover the answer to my nightly question – why does my cat wake me up?

Cats can be utterly adorable, but there is certain feline behavior that could easily wear you out. For instance, if your cat likes to play it rough or when your pet keeps you up all night, these are indications that you need to research on the causes to address this behavior effectively.


Four Major Reasons Cats Wake You Up Early Morning

#1. Your Cat May Be Bored


Like humans, cats also gets under the spell of boredom when they have nothing to do the whole day. If you happen to be away all day for work or for school, your feline friend must be resting the whole day. The result? Your cat still has a colossal amount of energy to spend and she tends to use it on you.

With a bit of creativity, you can create a stimulating environment for your cat when she needs to stay indoor the whole time. For instance, you can create crafty cardboard house with that your cat can play with while waiting for you to get home.

There are also other ways to keep your cat busy the whole day. For example, you can create a fun space your cat. You can create mazes, puzzles, and throw in some balls of yarns. Another option is to hang some toys in different sports around the house like the doorknobs or the tower hooks.

You need not spend a whole lot in putting up these activities for your cats. Giving your cat an area where she can be visually stimulated is not only beneficial in keeping her busy, but also helps her in dealing with stress and anxieties.

#2. Your Cat Seeks Your Attention


One of the reasons that cats have this early morning antics is that they also tend to seek attention. This is according to Dr. Pam Johnson- Bennet, the author of the book Psycho Kitty: Tips for Solving Your Cat’s Crazy Behavior.

When your feline pal wakes you up, she achieves different goals such as getting fed, receiving social interaction, or simply ignited an exciting reaction from you. Such gratification is called intermittent reinforcement, according to a certified animal behaviorist named Dr. Katherine Miller.

One strategy you can use to address this problem to try crate training as this would help kittens understand that nighttime is supposed to be a quiet time. Crate training refers to a training your cat to accept crate as a safe and familiar spot for them.

Regardless of the method you choose to help alleviate this behavior, always bear in mind that instant gratification can worsen the condition. If you give in to your cat’s desires immediately, she will have the tendency to do the demonstrate the same behavior over and over again.

#3. Your Cat May Have Sleep Disorder

This is another possibility as to why cats also tend to wake their owners up late at night or early in the morning. There are certain medical conditions that could make your pet restless. Therefore, she may resort to waking you up for comfort.

Note that cats may also experience sleep disorders too just like humans. The most common ones are sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and insomnia. When cats experience insomnia, they tend to roam around the house, search for food or toys or simply wake you up.

Being restless or insomniac is also associated to the nocturnal nature of cats. Moreover, cats tend to wake up or experience interrupted sleep at least a couple of times every night. These can lead to the desire to wake up you up more often.


The best approach to this problem is to have your cats checked immediately by a veterinarian. This is because some of these sleep disorders may also be indicators of other diseases such as feline diabetes. Apart from sleep problems, cats with diabetes may also show symptoms of eye problems.

When your feline pal gets too distracted with light, then you may want to have her eyes checked as well. This could also lead to restlessness as well as the constant need for your attention. Seek medical attention for your cat to know how to properly address the disease and correct the behavior.

#4. It Can Be Connected to Genetic Predisposition

Another factor as to why your cat wakes you up at night is the predisposed behavior of her ancestors. According to an interesting article published in the New York Times, today’s domestic cats descended from the ancestry of wildcats. Wildcats then were more active during the dusk and dawn hours.

The study was performed by a group of scientists led by Carlos A. Driscol from the National Cancer Institute. Mr. Driscol spent over six years gathering wildcat species from countries like Scotland and Israel to understand the evolution of cat’s domestication.

After years of analyzing the DNA of these different wildcat species, his team reached the conclusion that the domesticated cats of today are indeed from the wildcat lineage. This basically means that being awake or active at night which could result in waking you up is due to this factor.

While this behavior is innate, you can still perform a couple of tricks to keep your cats asleep at night. One is to know that it is typical for cats to go all out and then lose their energy at once. Creating a routine such as ‘hunt-feast-groom-and-sleep’ can help them prevent any nighttime activity.


There are other ways to keep your cat calm during night time and prevent her from constantly waking you up. If your pet keeps waking you up at night just to be fed, you may want to consider investing in a timer-equipped automatic feeder. This would dispense food at certain hours of the night.

Another tip is to also play with your pet no matter how tired you may be after work or school. Spending 15 minutes with your cat will help her spend her unused energy and tire her out. The result? A good night sleep for both of you.

I hope that I was able to share relevant information that you could use in dealing with your cat’s behavior. Knowing these pieces of useful information has helped me train my cat to develop a good sleeping habit. Now I never have to ask myself again the question –‘ why does my cat wake me up?’

I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing the list down for you. Fee free to write down your comment below. If you found this useful, then go ahead and share it to the world. I wish you a purrfect day!

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Debby Jackson

Hi there, I am Debby. I am your modern-day cat lady who is just utterly crazy about cats. I am always thirsty for new knowledge on how to keep my feline friends happy and healthy all the time.

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