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Question
I adopted a 4-year-old cat from a shelter a couple of months ago.  Despite being in a cage for 6 months, he's very good natured and I adore him.  However, he is also needy and his  habit of waking me up at 4:30 am every morning and wanting attention is taking a toll on my energy and overall state of mind.  I live in a studio apartment so it's impossible to shut him out.  I've put him in the bathroom but he just whines and whines and that makes it even harder to rest.  Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance.

Answer
Hi
oh how i know this problem. Many people contact me about this type of behavior, it is very common and completely natural. This is because the cats main natural time to be awake and hunting is at night. So from your cats point of view he wants to be active and play and so that means getting you to play with him.
Their are a few ways to try and wean him off of this behavior. the first is to play a real runaround game with him about an hour before bedtime. This will help to wear him out. If they continue to meow at you at night try your hardest to totally ignore the cries and make no sound or movement. This is a negative response for your cat and after a while (sometimes a long while) they will understand that they don't get a reaction from you and will stop the behavior. If this doesn't work then you can try the aversion method where you spray them with some water when they wake you. This works for some cats and not others and does not hurt them at all, it is purely seen as a negative reaction and again your cat should learn to understand that this is what will happen if they cry.
This behavior can take some time to beat I'm afraid, the secret is to be constant with your response. If you crack and get up or stroke them then this will reinforce this behavior.
Good luck and best wishes
Kate
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Kate Tilmouth

Expertise

I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.

Experience

I run my own cat website at http://www.our-happy-cat.com and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

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I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Education/Credentials
Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

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