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Why Does My Cat Wake Me Up Every Morning? 5 Reasons

Written by: Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Last Updated on May 15, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat sleeping with its owner on the bed

Why Does My Cat Wake Me Up Every Morning? 5 Reasons

Some cats wake up their human companions in the wee hours of the night for whatever reason. There are also those that somehow know how to wake up their humans at the same time every morning, no matter what day of the week it is. Some people like to joke that cats must be able to tell time!

There are a few reasons that your cat might wake you up in the morning, but it isn’t that they are keeping an eye on your wall or bedside clock. Here are five interesting reasons that your cat is waking you up every morning.

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The 5 Reasons Your Cat Wakes You Up Every Morning

1. Your Cat Is a Creature of Routine

Felines love routine, and they count on it to lead what they perceive as healthy and happy lives. Routine gives cats a sense of security and peace, so when their routines are disrupted, they can feel anxious and nervous. Part of a cat’s routine entails waking up at the same time, expecting meals at certain times, and even knowing when humans will come and go during the day. While not everything can be completely routine in a busy household, a cat will do their best to keep their own routine daily.

So, your cat might get used to you waking up at a certain time during the week for work, and once they do, they’ll make sure you wake up at about that same time every day, even on the weekends when you want to sleep in. They might decide that they enjoy waking up before dawn and ensure that you don’t miss that wonderful time of day yourself. If they adopt a routine of waking you up at a certain time every morning, they’re usually doing so more for themselves than for you.

What to Do About It

It can be tough to break a cat’s morning wake-up routine. You could close your door and hope that they won’t scratch at it and meow from outside, instead opting to keep themselves occupied until you arise. Another option is to make sure your cat has a cozy place to sleep right next to you so they feel okay about sleeping in whenever you do. You may still have to get up and feed them, though, even when there’s no alarm clock to contend with.

cat sleeping in bed
Image Credit: Deyan Georgiev, Shutterstock

2. Your Cat Is Hungry

A cat might decide to wake their human companion because they are feeling hungry and want food. If this is the case in your house, it could be because you forgot to put enough food out for the morning, you’ve changed their feeding schedule, you’re dealing with a quickly growing kitten, or you decided to sleep in after you would normally feed your cat in the morning.

Cats can learn this behavior in many ways. For example, if you get up at 4 a.m. for a week to take medication and feed your cat and then you go back to your normal routine, chances are that your kitty will keep waking you up at 4 a.m. to eat.

What to Do About It

Feed your cat at the same time every day, with no exceptions. This will help ensure that they know when to expect food and minimize the chance that they will try to wake you up because they feel that it’s time for it. You can always utilize an automatic feeder if your kitty insists on eating early in the morning when you are not ready to get up yet. An automatic feeder can also help maintain a strict daily feeding routine with little effort on your part.

3. Your Cat Wants Attention

Sometimes, a cat might decide to wake their human companions in the morning in an attempt to get uninterrupted attention because they’ve been lacking it. If you find that your schedule has been busier than usual or that something else is taking up a bit of the attention that you have given your cat in the past, you might get woken up in the morning.

What to Do About It

Dedicate the last 10 to 15 minutes (or more!) of your day to spending quality time with your cat. Play a short game, interact with toys, or provide cuddles, hugs, and back rubs. Don’t pay attention to anything else but your kitty, no matter how much attention you’ve shown them throughout the day. This should help set your cat’s expectations for your attention, and in turn, they’ll feel less of a need to wake you up later.

cat sleep in owner stomach
Image Credit: OKcamera, Shutterstock

4. Your Cat Is Bored

Bored cats will do just about anything to quelch that boredom, and waking up humans early in the morning is typically their best option. If your furry family member does not feel physically and mentally fulfilled, they can get extremely bored and try to wake you up for a reaction, if not to have a fun time together. Even negative reinforcement is something that cats will look for when they are bored. It’s something to help pass the time, after all.

What to Do About It

Make sure your kitty has plenty of toys to play with while you sleep. Keep a few toys in the closet or a drawer, and then every few days, rotate them with the ones that are available in the house. This will help ensure that your cat does not get too bored with the same old toys day in and day out. Ensure that you’re also spending time playing with your feline family member during the day, as this will help cut down on the boredom while you sleep.

5. Your Cat Is Unhappy With Their Living Arrangements

Your cat could be waking you up in the morning because they aren’t happy with one or more aspects of their living arrangements. Their litter box may not be as clean as they’d like it to be, their bedding needs to be cleaned, their favorite resting spot is cluttered, or they need a more comfortable spot to snooze throughout the night. Whatever the case, if your kitty is unhappy, they’ll show you in some way, even if that means interrupting your sleep.

gorgeous ginger cat lying on owners belly
Image Credit: SeventyFour, Shutterstock

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What to Do About It

Focus on all aspects of your cat’s living quarters. Is their litter box being kept clean? Do they always have access to clean water? Is food offered on routine? Is a soft, warm bed available for long slumbers? Making sure you can answer yes to all these questions should help ensure that your cat is happy with their living conditions and surroundings as time goes on.

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There are many reasons that your cat might be waking you up in the morning. Hopefully, with the help of this guide, you can narrow down the possibilities and determine exactly why. From there, you can figure out what to do about the problem so everyone, including your cat, can be happy in the coming years.

Featured Image Credit: Pixel Shot, Shutterstock

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