Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How Do I Stop My Cat From Waking Me Up? 8 Helpful Tips

Misty Layne Profile Picture

By Misty Layne

a tortoiseshell cat on top of its sleeping owner

Cats are wonderful, and we love them, but when they wake us in the middle of the night or at some ungodly hour of the morning, it’s tempting to consider getting a goldfish instead (fish will never wake you up, after all!). It’s hard to blame your cat, though. Felines are crepuscular, so night hours are their time to be awake and active. So, they probably get a bit lonely when you’re asleep and they’re on their own.

Still, sleep is important, so how can you stop your cat from waking you up? There are a handful of tips you can try that should help immensely (especially when combined!). Keep reading for the lowdown on how to get your beauty sleep when you have cats in the house!

Why Does My Cat Wake Me at Night?

While felines are crepuscular creatures, there may be other reasons they keep waking you up other than the simple fact that they, too, are awake.

If your cat is waking you throughout the night, it could be one of a few possibilities, including:

  • It is hungry or thirsty.
  • The cat is bored because it didn’t get enough play time and mental stimulation during the day, so now it wants to be active.
  • The litterbox needs to be cleaned out.
  • Your cat is bored because it spends a lot of time on its own and wants companionship.

And if your pet sticks to waking you in the morning before the alarm clock goes off, it’s because your cat is hungry, and for whatever reason, its schedule is no longer synced with yours.

Top 8 Tips to Stop Your Cat From Waking You Up

Try these eight tips if you’re desperate to get back to a normal sleep routine!

1. Give Your Cat a Bedtime Snack

One of the main reasons the cat will wake you during the night or early in the morning is because it is hungry. And depending on what time your pet has dinner, this makes sense. If you feed your cat a few hours before you go to bed, that’s probably about 12 hours between meals—considering felines have stomachs like ours and tend to get hungry again about 8 hours after their last meal, that’s a lot of time between being fed!1

So, try giving your cat a small snack before bed, like a tablespoon of tuna, a few pieces of their regular food, or whatever else you might commonly use as a treat. This should help keep kitty satisfied overnight, so it won’t wake you up so early.

Hand feeding hungry seal point siamese cat with treats stick
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

2. Have a Play Session Right Before Bed

If your feline isn’t getting enough activity or mental stimulation during the day, it’s likely bored and full of extra energy that has nowhere to go. So, your kitty may be more likely to wake you in the wee hours of the morning to try to get you to play. However, playing with your pet right before bed will help your cat get rid of some of that excess energy. So, pull out a teaser wand or throw a toy for the cat to fetch, and play as long as you can. The more energy your pet expends, the less likely it’ll be to wake you up.

3. Create a Cozy Cat Bed Next to Yours

It’s awesome cuddling up with your cat for a nap, but sleeping with cats isn’t always ideal. Not only do they take up half the bed despite their small stature, but if you’re a sensitive sleeper, every move the kitty makes on the bed could wake you.

To remedy the issue, create a cozy just for your feline and place it next to your bed. It could be on the floor, a bedside table, or a nearby dresser; as long as it’s close, your cat should be fine sleeping there. And you can encourage your pet to use the cat bed if it seems wary by placing treats or catnip on it. Bonus? Less cat hair on the sheets!

cat lying in its bed with toy
Image Credit: Nataliya Derkach, Shutterstock

4. Make Sure the Kitty’s Toys Are Easily Accessible

When your cat wants to play in the middle of the night, you might be able to avoid being woken up by ensuring you leave out some for your pet. Placing a few of your cat’s favorite items in another room where they are easily reached gives it something to do when it’s ready to be active at night. And by putting the toys out in another room, you should avoid getting woken up for playtime. Try alternating different toys on different nights, so your cat doesn’t get bored of them!

5. Get Your Cat a Friend

Sometimes being the only cat in a home can be a challenge because we aren’t always capable of playing with our kitties for as long as they want, nor are we always home. If your cat seems bored or lonely, you might want to get it a friend in the form of another cat. Of course, this won’t be the best option for everyone, as some people won’t have the necessary means for a second cat, or some felines might not be fond of other pets in the home.

But if you’re able to and your cat has had no issues with other felines or pets, a second cat might be an excellent option, so your cat has companionship and a buddy to play with even in the middle of the night.

two domestic cats sleep together on the sofa
Image Credit: Magui RF, Shutterstock

6. Wear Earplugs

For those with felines that are big talkers, earplugs might be the way to go. If it’s meowing that’s keeping you awake rather than unwanted play time or movement, then earplugs are a simple, inexpensive option for staying asleep. They might take some getting used to, but if you get a decent pair, the earplugs should drown out the sound of any nighttime kitty chatter.

7. Keep Your Bedroom Door Closed

Most likely, the easiest way to avoid being woken up by your cat is to keep your bedroom door closed and your kitty outside. Either close the door as soon as you go to bed or put your cat outside and shut the door the first time it wakes you up. The downside to this option is that your four-legged friend might decide to scratch at the door and meow to get back in.

Which leads us to the final tip for stopping your cat from waking you up…

cat near door at home
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

8. Ignore Your Cat

We understand wanting to immediately go check on the cat when it starts meowing, but if this behavior is happening consistently every night, your cat is seeking your attention. And usually, the best way to stop attention-seeking behavior is by ignoring it. That means no yelling at your cat, conversing with it, or even looking at it. It’ll be difficult at first, but over time your cat will learn that being loud at night isn’t the way to get what it wants.


As adorable as our kitties are, they aren’t always the best sleep buddies. If your favorite feline has taken to waking you up super early in the morning or throughout the night, try one (or more) of these eight tips to get them to stop. It might take a little time and effort before your pet gets the hint, but eventually, the kitty should stop waking you up at all hours.


Featured Image Credit: Beliphotos, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database