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cat wakes me up every morning for food - help?


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hey ena, it's nice to be posting a thread about animals as opposed to broken hearts for once, haha.


i have a beautiful 4 y.o. tabby that was a rescue. she is an outdoor/indoor cat. basically, i'm sick of being woken up for food with her YOWLING!

she hasn't always done this, and it isn't every morning, just most mornings. usually i am awake with the birds so it is okay, but some mornings when i want to sleep in past 7, i can't. she yowls so i get up and let her out, and will usually feed her once she stops meowing.


i have lived with her in lots of share houses and even having told flat mates i don't want them to feed her, often i'd come home and they'd say "she was meowing so i fed her". cat people just don't understand that she has different voices. there's only one that is asking for food and i feel that other people have fed her when she has meowed for "outside time" or attention, whereas i only feed her at two set times - morning and night. so, this in turn has sort of trained her that if she meows, she gets extra food.


how can i stop her from meowing in the morning without using a spray bottle? sometimes if i even leave dry food in her bowl overnight she will still yowl around 6 or 7am. by the way she is de-wormed and spayed.


any tips would be great. thanks.

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I don't really know what to suggest apart from re training. So she know's that she won't get fed for every yowl.

But I do know how frustrating that noise can be.

What are the living arrangements now?

Are the current housemates feeding whenever she cries

If not, how long has it been that she doesn't get fed when she makes a noise?

Is kept away from where you sleep during the night (I know how loud they can Meow when the want to)

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well i've never had a cat but have you tried getting a crate for her and once you put her in you only let her out when you feel like it and she is calm and quiet. and if she starts meowing just put a blanket of the the crate to muffle the sound. thats just how i would start troubleshooting that situation if i was in your shoes, but i'm sure there are people with better ideas then me

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Oh gosh, I wouldn't put a cat in a crate. They are very active in spurts, and really like to be independent. Honestly it sounds pretty cruel to me to just leave her in her crate meowing.


It sounds to me like she is either hungry, or just wants her special treat she gets when you feed her, if you feed her something other than dry food in the morning.


What do you feed her? Something other than dry food? My parents have our cats at home on a "buffet" of dry food, i.e dry food available round-the-clock, and so they never meow for food. Cats aren't as prone to overeating like dogs, and in my experience most cats do ok with a buffet. The cats I've had have not been overweight.


Right now, I feed my cat once a day, in the evening (she doesn't eat it all in one sitting, usually, so she has her own leftovers in the morning). She was meowing in the afternoons when she started getting hungry (my interpretation), so I increased her food a bit, and now she's fine.

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Thanks for the reply.

At the moment I have one house mate and I woke up normal time this morning and my house mate said she gave her dry food because the cat woke her up around 6am.

I usually feed her dry food at 7am (if there isn't any in her bowl) and kangaroo or tuna at night time. I used to feed her dry day and night and raw meat occasionally, but she stopped eating dry food and would continue to cry for food, so i started giving her the raw meat once a day. I think she weighs about 5KG last time I checked about 6 months ago.

At the moment, as I've just moved house, I only fed her when she was quiet (she was really quiet because she was unsure of her surroundings). She is usually a very vocal cat by nature anyway. She talks a lot for a domestic.

Now she wakes me up in the morning I feed her almost straight away. I try to let her outside first but usually she comes straight back in and sits at her bowl chirping at me until I feed her, hahaha. It's adorable, but I'd rather not have her meow at me all morning with my head buried under the pillow.


I guess for now I will try the buffet thing and see how that develops. Thanks!

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Invest in a good automatic cat feeder....it will change your life. lol


Seriously, my cat loves to talk, especially when she wants food and the howling would drive me nuts. I bought an automatic cat feeder for a trip and continued to use it afterwards. It was a true godsend. My cat got used to eating at an exact time everyday and she recognizes the sound of the cat feeder when the food starts to come down. She literally zooms to the feeder, eats, and I don't have to blink, get up, or lose any sleep. I will post a link to the cat feeder that I use.


Here is my cat feeder. It is also great for use if you ever have to leave your cat for a few days.


link removed

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When my cat was a year old he would meow for food every morning between 5 and 7. I asked my vet for advice and she recommended that I leave out a bowl of kibbles 24/7 (dry food buffet lol) and feed him 1/4 can of wet food at night. That did the trick. If your cat isn't eating her dry food, you could try a different flavor or brand.

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Unfortunately leaving food out 24/7 can led to obesity - the number one health problem in cats in the states.


1) tough it out and learn to ignore the requests and feed the cat on a set schedule so that the cat will know when its fed rather than insist it be fed. None of my cats would ever think to wake me up to be fed because well... I just won't! Over the years they know they get fed when I get up! As soon as I'm up and about for awhile I will place a small meal in their bowls for them and I repeat that again late in the evening (8-9pm).


2) by a food bowl that is set on a timer to give a small amount of food at a certain time. Just make sure not to exceed what should be her overall daily calorie intake by feeding to much at a time.

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I second the obseity - reason why my kitty is on a diet! - he weighed 15.5 lbs. at the beginning of June why? Because my ex liked to just throw food in the feeder and let him have at it. Jasper (my cat) will eat all day long if you let him. Now he's down to about 13 lbs. so we are slowly reaching the weight his vet set him at. But yes, you have to watch just leaving food out fo ryou kitty. I still use an automatic feeder but I just put the amount he's suppose to have daily and nothing more.

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I have seen very few outdoor cats with obesity problems, because they tend to get a lot of exercise. I think it's also quite rare for cats to gain weight if they eat just dry food - wet food and other "treats" are the more common culprit. I do agree it's best to give a limited amount of food.


My sister's cats are on an automatic feeder and it does work very well - they will sit beside it at the appointed time or come running to get food as soon as they hear the sound of the food coming down. Otherwise I agree with toughing it out and telling your roommates to ignore the cat at all costs when it meows in the morning so as not to reinforce her behavior. I guess I am the only person who feeds her cat once a day, in the evening. Seems to work fine for the cat (she eats half when I feed her and half stays in the bowl for later), and it means she is never expecting food in the morning and harassing me.


I would ask the vet for a recommendation of how much you should be feeding your cat daily. Some cat foods have a chart on the side with recommended amounts - though an outdoor cat will generally need more food than an indoor cat. It's possible you're not quite feeding her enough and that's one reason why she is so insistent in the morning.

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First, the feeding issue.


Dry food is the biggest obesity issue, not lack of exercise. Yes, a lack of exercise will help make your cat fat. Do not let your cat loose outside. Apart from the obvious impact on wildlife, your cat is in huge danger outside from dogs, disease, other cats, predators, cars, and other people. If your cat needs more exercise, buy a cat running wheel, a cat outdoor run, or give it more playing time with a toy that requires it to jump, run and pounce.

Alternatively, you can teach her to walk on a leash and take her on daily walks every day. PM me if you want step by step instructions on how to teach this. It's very easy, and very fun.


Dry food causes a host of urinary tract issues due to it's low water content, drastically alters the blood sugar level due to the carbohydrates, and is made of plant protein, which is in the totally opposite direction of what a carnivore needs to survive.


Completely eliminate the dry food.


Also, tuna and kangaroo only? No no no!

Kangaroo is often preserved with sulphur dioxide which can cause a serious vitamin B/thiamine deficiency, causing seizures, aggression, cervical ventroflexion, ataxia, and many other serious illnesses.

Feeding too much tuna can cause Steatitis, which is a painful condition resulting from a diet high in unsaturated fatty acids & deficient in Vitamin E. If untreated, steatitis can certainly lead to a painful death.


If you want to feed your cat a proper, balanced diet, check out a few sites such as link removed and link removed


On the meowing issue.


Don't give in. Completely ignore her. I don't remember reading how old she is, but unless she's a large breed kitten {maine coon, siberian, persion, ragdoll, etc} that is still eating a few meals a day to keep a healthy growing weight, and provided she's been fed the night before, ignore her.

Use ear plugs if need be, listen to an ipod, do whatever you can to ignore the noise. You're positively rewarding the behaviour of meowing by feeding her. A week of ignoring it will either solve the problem completely or greatly lessen the frequency of the meowing. Feed her at a set time every day.


Last of all, crate training can be an asset. My Maine Coon girl has been crate trained since she was a few weeks old. This is mostly because her breeder is very involved in showing her cats, so they need to be used to crates.

It's become very useful for me in a variety of ways. If she needs to be shut up for any reason {meaning put away}, I can open her crate, say "In the crate!" and she'll sit in there quite happily until I let her out.

I got her used to daily crating by feeding her in her crate. I'd open the door of it, say "In your crate!", place the foodbowl in there, and let her walk in by herself. Then I'd shut the door and keep it shut while she ate. When she was done and had given herself a wash, I let her out.

Hence she associated the crate with something very positive....food, and safe eating of food.


When she wants a sleep, most of the time she'll go off to her crate by herself, curl up and have a nap. It's a safe haven for her, and as such it's extremely easy to transport her, keep her at the vets, or quickly put her somewhere safe if I need to.

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