Help! Cat walking on me at night

posted 10 months ago in Pets
Post # 16
241 posts
Helper bee

If your cat is scratching at your door or meowing, do you ignore him, or do you yell at him, or let him in? Any kind of reaction from you is a win for the cat. Even if you’re scolding him, he’s gotten you to respond. You have to ignore the scratching and howling if you want to keep him out and sleep peacefully. This might mean a night or two of bad sleep, but once he realizes you’re not going to talk back or let him in, he’ll give up.

I use something called Ssscat to keep my cat from the bedroom door at night. It’s a motion activated can of pressurized air. If it sees something in its line of vision (about a foot away or less) it shoots out a spray of unscented, harmless air. I put one on either side of the door in the hallway when we close it for sleep. The cat hates them, it’s startling and sounds like a hiss. Plus it’s not us spraying her, so she gets no positive reinforcement in the way of attention. (She loves being sprayed by water bottles, I think because she thinks we’re playing.) Of course, it doesn’t stop the howling, but she only cried for a bit after we out out the cans at first and mostly leaves us alone.

Also, someone mentioned lots of play. While we play with her throughout the day, we always try to work in 15-30 minutes with the cat before bed, and then feed her. This tuckers the cat out, as they’re wired to hunt > eat > sleep it off. It also gives them attention that they might be missing.

The last thing is be consistent. Cats are wily creatures. If you deviate from the script, they know they’ve found an in.

Post # 17
1180 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

When I lived with my mom, my cat used to walk on me as I slept, but was “gentle” about it, like she would walk on my stomach and take a nap there. Eventually I got used to it and it wouldn’t wake me up. But then me and my then-FH (now husband) moved in together and I brought my cat with me and we got a new cat. The new cat was more aggresive about cuddles than my first cat, she would try to take over the pillows and rub on our heads lol, we couldn’t sleep through it. So we decided to close the bedroom door while we slept. My first cat scratched the door since she’s so used to being with us at night, so after trying to ignore it with no success we sprayed that cat relaxing spray (feliway I think) on the door and it kind of repelled her. Now we sleep in peace!

Post # 18
4333 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

As a kitten, my cat did this because she either wanted to play or she wanted food. We intentionally  ignored it, and she seemed to figure out eventually that it wouldn’t work. (She then moved on to knocking items off my dresser, but we eventually resolved that, too.)  

We got her an automatic feeder, so now she tries to get food out of that instead of waking me up. She’s older and more used to our routine, so she now sleeps peacefully at our feet (or against my stomach if it’s cold).

Post # 19
1003 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

When we lived in an apartment we made a pretty strong effort for our cat to not be in the bedroom, which included always having the door closed and having an aluminum foil-covered piece of cardboard blocking it so that he wouldn’t scratch. It worked for a while but then we ultimately just took it down because he got used to it and it wasn’t effective anymore! Now we’ve moved to a house and we don’t have a bedroom door, just a curtain, so there’s no way to keep him out. Generally I think it’s less disruptive, to be honest. There is hair everywhere which isn’t my favorite, but his nighttime behavior is a lot less sporadic and he usually just likes to snuggle. Occasionally he will stand/walk on me (which is particularly irritating now that I’m pregnant and my chest/abdomen do NOT appreciate that), but it’s typically a few mornings in a row and then he stops doing it. His nighttime behavior changes with the seasons, so we know between what to expect now! For the most part he’s just curled up at the foot of the bed or under the covers! 

Post # 20
1470 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

I have two 6-month-old kittens. I would love for them to sleep on the bed with us but they disturb our sleep too much because they walk around us and purr or walk over me. Both of my cats will also nudge my hands and head to be pet while I’m fast asleep (or trying to be). Or they will be exploring the room and knocking things on the floor and waking us up.

Now we shut the door, but we had a problem with one of our kittens scratching at the door randomly through the night. We tried Sssscat but it didn’t dissuade them enough. One night, I would just get up and squirt them with water whenever they would scratch. It only took them one night to learn not to do that. I also try to play with them a lot in the evenings before I go to bed. I have also bought a couple of toys for them that I take out only at night and put it away in the morning. So, when I get it out right before I go to bed, it keeps them busy for a while but they don’t get bored of them (hopefully) because they aren’t out all the time.

Post # 21
485 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Our 6 month old kittens can’t sleep with us. Since day one our bedroom has been off limits at all times so that they don’t have it as a favorite sleeping place during the day. As they’ve gotten older I’ve caved a few times while Fiance was out of town, but they would wake me up within hours to play. Now they have no problem cuddling and playing with each other at night because they’ve got a friend to hang out with. Since you only have one, I’d put foiled cardboard on the door so he doesn’t like scratching it, and use a squirt bottle like Keroppi. Each time they wake you the door gets quickly opened for a squirt of water.

Also, we have trained ours not to be expected to be fed when we wake up. FI’s old cat knew that, if he woke his human up in the morning, food would come immediately. Now we feed ours on the way out the door to work, so as not to associate wakeups with breakfast. 

Post # 22
362 posts
Helper bee

Haha what a funny title! We have a cat and randomly he will decide he wants loving at 2am if I wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom or something. I give him some love, then he goes back and forth between me and my fiancé. When I’ve had enough and want to go back to sleep I firmly tell him no and he knows it’s time to go back to sleep. Maybe if your cat starts walking on you, firmly pick him up and place him away and tell him no. Repeat.

I wish I could be more help, but cats really have a mind of their own. 

Post # 23
261 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

When we had cats they would do this and I would NOT put up with that. I don’t allow cats in the bed anyway, but the scratching and meowing was not allowed. I put them in another room if they started that. They learned eventually not to do that. Giving them attention when they do that reinforces the bad behavior so I’d recommend putting him in a different room until he learns 

Post # 24
1669 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

Our cats go in the laundry room at night. I feed them wet cat food then to so they look forward to it. Our boy Marvin is great at night but his sister Snickers is a terror at night.  She will scrach the bed and run around making the most odd meows.  She also loves to run full speed and slide down the door frames with her nails.  

Post # 25
5716 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2016

lauralaura123 :  Ha! That’s just one of the things cats do 😉

Our cat is not allowed in the bedroom. It was an adjustment at first but the way I “trained” her not to howl at our door every night was pretty simple. I started feeding her right before I went to bed. That way she was way more interested in her food bowl than the fact that she was shut out of the bedroom. Still took a couple months before she stopped meowing and scratching at the door all together, but she got there. 

It’s a process and takes time (and patience!). But we’re going on 5 years now of a cat-free bedroom! 

Post # 26
2127 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

When our cat is feisty in the early mornings we just put him in his little travel crate. He goes in no problem, doesn’t cry once he’s in it, and we’ve never had an issue with him once he’s in there! He’s only shut away for an hour or two. He loves his crate, we’ve caught him sleeping in it even when he is free from time to time.

Post # 28
141 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

lauralaura123 :  You may not like it but I was kind of mean to my cat.

I do not want to be interrupted in the middle of the night as I usaully can’t fall back asleep and feel like crap during the day.

The cat was fine until about 4-5am and then would start purring really loudly, making this little chirp, small meow sound, it would play and bat things around on our hardwood floors.

Finally I kicked the cat out and started closing our bedroom door and putting the cat on the outside. Then the cat would start pawing at the door and meowing around 5am or so.

I started getting up and angrily opening the door and chasing the cat off. I tossed a pillow at it a couple of times. Mean? I didn’t care I just wanted to sleep. The cat repeated the behavior a few times but after being shooed away from our door several times it finally let us sleep and waited until 6am to be fed.

You could use a mister bottle to chase the cat away fro the door. He/she will ajust after a few times.

Post # 29
625 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016 - Wedgewood Las Vegas

derville :  I had to get mean with my cat too. She likes to wake you up for attention, which means laying on your face, batting at your face with her paws, loud meowing, etc. I had to do the following:

  • First time…gently pick her up, transfer her to my feet.
  • Second time…pick her up, loud NO, and toss off the bed.
  • Third time…pick her up, VERY LOUD NO, and a physical toss down the hall and out of the bedroom. If she dared to come back on the bed I’d boot her off. Every time. Even if it was hours later.

She quickly learned that laying at my feet quietly on the bed, was better than being banished completly. Took just one night. She still tries to pull this shit on my husband, but she won’t dare with me.

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