Q&A: How to Make Your Cats Let You Sleep

Jackson answers your questions via video.

 “Please address the issue of meowing meowing meowing?”

“Our cat will not sleep at night.  She’s roaming around, knocking things off the nightstand, dresser, walking across our heads, and generally being noisy.”

“My cat always insists on waking me up very early in the morning, anytime between 1 and 4 a.m.”

Jackson tells you how to train your cat OUT of waking you up at the WRONG time.

Get your sleep back.

  1. Brenda   July 9, 2012 at 1:09 pm  

    Oh thank you, thank you! I’m going to try this starting tonight! We’ve had an awful time with my 15 year old kitty. She’s drives us nuts between 3-6 am. And of course I go and feed her then I can’t get back to sleep! I’ve been exhausted.

    1. Rachael   January 22, 2014 at 8:35 am  

      I don’t know if this has been addressed yet either, but if your cat is 15 (any age over 8 really) they should be tested at the vet for hyperthyroidism. One common sign of hyperthyroidism is night time vocalization. I see it almost daily in my cats only vet clinic.

      1. Debbie W.   February 15, 2014 at 6:53 am  

        I wish Jackson, would have addressed the older cat he mentioned. I have a 15 yr old rescue, that was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, which is being controlled by his diet. According to the vet, it’s under control. However, I haven’t found anything that he is remotely interested in playing with. He just sits there and looks at me like “seriously?!” lol I’ll feed him late at night (his wet food), and right after we turn out the lights and close the door he starts meowing. He will meow again at midnight, again at 3, again at 5 and then at 6:30 when he knows we are getting up. He will also meow at me sporadically throughout the day. I had no idea cats were so complex!! lol Love your show Jackson! I consider you the Dr. Phil of the kitty world!!

        1. Poor Bella   November 24, 2014 at 6:10 am  

          I have the same exact issue with my cat and was wondering if you have found any possible solutions?

          1. Angela~ Reply Cats who don't play   January 9, 2015 at 9:46 pm  

            this is a reply to Debbie .W & Poor Bella….So your cats do not show any interest in playing with any toys…… I have fostered many cats and have come across a few cats like that my self. I highly recommend two toys that you can buy from Jackson’s website. The #1 Favorite of all the cats is the Go Cat Cat Catcher. The other one is the Cat Da Bird Interactive Feather Cat toy. I am fostering a cat right now who will only play with the first toy I mentioned.He will not play with not one other toy. Make sure the area you are using for play is an area your cat feels comfortable. If at first you do not succeed, try again. There are many ways to entice your cat with these toys. Sometimes I have to play with my cats separately or ask a friend help me play with one while I play with the other.

      2. mary ann J.   April 22, 2016 at 8:19 am  

        what do you do for that,my cat is 19 years old,and a 17 year old,she is starting to copy the same thing.

    2. Kimmy Susumi   August 18, 2015 at 11:25 pm  

      Hey guys! I’m actually not a adult like most of you, I am 16 with my cat, Haduhi at age 2 now. I have had her sense she was 7 weeks old.
      I have the sleeping and waking problem with her, I have tried the playing before bed for three weeks now with no success, we play for 2 hours before bed at least.
      Now, please keep in mind that I have school, homework, and chores, thus less time with my precious cat, when I first walk in the house door she is crying for me in my room, I can’t do my homework in there because she enjoys laying on my papers, my text books and or my laptop, if I shoe her away or ignore her she ends up biting my legs my hands or my ankles.
      I can’t keep her out of my room due to our newist puppy my mom got from the pound last year, this terrier loves to chase, and bark at my cat, encouraging the other two dogs to do the same, I have tried to have them in the same room while watching and correcting the dog but even doing that won’t stop the for as soon as my eyes are not glued to the dog it starts all over again.
      Thankfully this has decreased but now with my door open my cat won’t leave my room unless I’m out in the house, then any slight movement she jumps and runs for my room.
      She is no bush dweller, she has high and safe places to be where she is most of the time, but I think the puppy struck fear into her after my parents locked her out of my room (accidently) and all three dogs terrorized her, when I got home, I found her hiding in the bathroom sink her fur matted and soaked in slobber. I didn’t find any wounds thankfully, but it was a scare, she looked so scared she was still shaking all night that night…
      Aside from that she is a heathy active cat, hyper more like it. I don’t have much money being a teen and all, but I do save up and get her toys, the problem is…anything with a string or feather she will play with, until she has it then she won’t let go and eat the feather and string, if I take it from her she will ether let me and stop playing all together, or will attack my hand then my feet! I even tried one of the cat toys that spin on its own, she broke it by laying on it after catching it every single time.
      I want to play with her, I do, when she wakes me at 1-4 am I will play with her until she won’t play any more and grooms, but I can’t do that all the time due to exames, and I need a job soon.
      I feel guilty that I’m only there four or five hours out of my day, but I can’t miss school and my home work, and my chores, and club activitys to stay home and play with her…. I’m not sure what to do?

  2. tracey marki   July 9, 2012 at 1:33 pm  

    Great advice,Jackson!!My 3 Himalayans all ”hit the hay” as soon as me and my husband go to bed.Once the lights are off and there is no noise;they all find their own sleeping spots and do not move till I wake up around 5am.They know David does not feed them -he just lets them be.They wait till they hear me move before they quietly look at their dishes.They are very smart kitties.Jackson,you are a God’s send!!

  3. grandefille   July 9, 2012 at 2:46 pm  


    We love you and we thank you. Even after nearly 40 years of caring for (multiple) cats, we learn something new and useful from you all the time, including in this video. We’ve also referred friends with kitty troubles to you, and they say your advice is helping them, too! Thank you thank you thank you for being such a patient, common-sense advocate for cats and their people. What you said in the recent MCFH about the little boy being the next generation of cat teachers is exactly right, and we have the Big Cat Daddy to thank for helping us make the changes now. Hugs, smooches and purrs to you!

  4. judy   July 9, 2012 at 3:22 pm  

    I have my wonderful “backyard” cats (all 12 of them) that I’ve been taking care of since they were abandoned by a family who moved months back…Anyway, very recently, I’ve been noticing that many plastic bags and old water bottles have been piling up in my yard. I didnt know what to think, other than believing this was the work of the neighborhood kids…I kept throwing them away but kept getting more. Until one day, I noticed little Pipperwicky bringing over a plastic baggies and running back over the fence and bringing over an old plastic 16 oz water bottle… Ah!!! NOW I KNOW WHO THE CULPRIT IS!!! LOL…Why is she doing this? Is she displaying the hunt, capture and kill instinct?

  5. jc   July 9, 2012 at 7:56 pm  

    Yeah, one of our cats is a talker and wants a lot of attention, sometimes at odd hours. She’s a dear friend though, so when she jumps up on our bed at night and maus in my face, I just hold out my hand and it makes her happy to rub her face on that. She talks loud, she can’t help herself, but after a minute she will flop beside my pillow and purr and go to sleep. I really don’t have to do anything except be there, and guess what, that’s all I’m doing when she wakes me up anyway. Once she knows everyone is where they belong, she snuggles in and goes back to sleep. And so do I. :~)

  6. Rusty''s Mom   July 9, 2012 at 10:22 pm  

    Rusty is my alarmcat. He wakes me up every morning at 6:25am, exactly 5 minutes before my alarm goes off. I love this! I pretty much trained him to do this by feeding him as soon as I get out of bed.
    The only drawbacks are that he does it on the weekend (cats don’t get weekends) and his usual method is to jump from the ground and land all 15 pounds on top of me. Then he rubs my face with his very cold nose. Personally, I’ll put up with the early call on weekends for the assurance that I’m not going to be late for work.
    The only problem is when I’m out of town, he tries to get my CCK (co-cat keeper) to get up and feed him. Since Rusty isn’t allowed in his room, Rusty goes out on the deck and meows under his window until he gets up! Love the show – am learning stuff I didn’t know.

  7. Bill & Connie   July 10, 2012 at 5:51 pm  

    Thanks Jackson we love you’re Show here in Chicago, I tried to contact you before About My one cat, she is adorable but has this annoying habit, that no matter where in the house I am no matter how much we play ,The Second I sit down she is there and Licking My Hand and Arm,If i move My Arm then she either moves to where my arm is or waits till I let it drop and the Licking starts again , My wife Is Mystified about this as am I , for some reason She just has this grooming thing with Me, is ther a non invasive way for me to discourage this?

  8. Sherrill   July 10, 2012 at 6:49 pm  

    I guess I hit your website just in time tonight becasue my maine coon has been waking me up every morning for the past five years between 3-4 to be fed. The breeder I purchased him from was feeding them at that time because she was traveling from Maryland to Washington every day for work and my cat was on that schedule for the first 13 weeks he was born. I have tried it all, from the coins in the bottle, to ignoring, to closing the doors, to the crate, If I let go and don’t pay him no mind he will have everyone up. I am so, so tired. Five years of not getting five hrs of sleep is really taking its toll on my body and my health. I have even stayed up till 12 midnight playing with him and fed him at the same time and still he comes to me. I will try this one more time because I didn’t do the ignoring for two weeks, this time I will and I will also let you know what happens.
    Thank you

    1. Rochelle Campbell   March 30, 2016 at 10:42 am  

      Can you tell me what happened here?

  9. Ashley Stearns   July 14, 2012 at 5:45 am  

    Hi, Jackson. Thank you so much for this video! My husband and I recently inherited a 14 year-old kitty, who happened to have threadworms, and we were feeding her every two hours until we successfully treated her with FourGone all-natural dewormer (what a great remedy). She has some anxiety issues, owing to the fact her previous owner declawed her when she was 4, for which we will visit Spirit Essences for a remedy. My question to you is: in your video on how to make your cats not wake you up, you said their advanced age could have something to do with their propensity to do this – but you didn’t tell us why/how. We thought, after Princess Michiko (of Moili’ili) was successfully dewormed, that she was waking us up at 4:30 a.m. because she was still on Honolulu time, and hadn’t adjusted to East Coast mainland time, and we have done everything wrong (until now). If she doesn’t improve after your two-week regimen, is there a geriatric issue we should consider? Her “senior profile” lab work was fairly normal – some slightly elevated LF and gallbladder values, for which we treated her with detox herbal remedy and a change in food (Wellness for wet; Orijen Six Fishes for dry, for the chelation and the fact it has no animal fat, or menadione sodium bisulfite synth. vitamin K, which I swear is the reason so many kitties who are fed Purina have kidney disease; Michi’s gained almost 2 pounds in the 6 weeks we’ve had her). Thank you so much for everything. I can’t wait to finish reading Cat Daddy to find out about the cat ambassador who gave you to us.

  10. Rebecca   July 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm  

    It’s working!

    I have two cats, a purebred Aby and a shelter tabby. The Aby was developing terrible separation anxiety (they do that) so we brought in a kitten as a companion. We figured it would work as the Aby made friends with a neighbors’ cat. When those neighbors moved away, he even got depressed! Anyway, our plan to keep our Aby happy worked only too well and they take out their excess energy on each other. So many nights, my husband and I have been woken up by a pair of cats playing on top of us while we’re sleeping. Throwing them out of the room wasn’t so much a solution as a coping mechanism. But then I ran across this video and implemented the advice and the effects were almost immediate. We haven’t had to ignore anything (which is fortunate as my husband couldn’t ignore the cats if you paid him to); the little monsters just let us sleep.

  11. ES   July 19, 2012 at 8:52 am  

    I’m trying really, really hard to follow this, but one of my cats (Hamburglar…appropriately named) is making it really hard! I can take him pushing everything off my dresser and ripping into papers, but he also likes to poke me in the face with his paw and lick me. It’s the licking that I really can’t take. It feels gross. I’m not sure if I should just let him lick me for two weeks or what. I tried it once and was completely grossed out.

  12. Ashley Stearns   July 19, 2012 at 11:00 am  

    @ES: spray yourself (and your sheets, if you want to discourage your cat from ever jumping on your bed) with an all-natural scent that repells cats, such as lavender, or lemon verbena (NOT lemon, or lime citrus). You can get distillates of these natural oils at Whole Foods, or other natural food stores to rub on your arms, or dilute with water and use in a spray bottle. Lavender has been shown to aid relaxation, and in the old days our progenitors used it to freshen clothes and linens because laundry was such a time-consuming – and not often undertaken – chore. Some types of mint work, too. Check the poisonous plant list at ASPCA before deciding which scent you wish to use (works on furniture to deter scratching, too): http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/poison-control/Plants?page=15

    Good luck.

    1. Beverly Nelson   March 6, 2014 at 11:57 am  

      I’m not so sure lavender will repel a cat. I have lavender shrubs all along the front of my house and they are popular resting places for neighbor cats. One even likes to play leap-kitty over the shrubs.

    2. Bianca   September 8, 2015 at 3:40 am  

      I would have to agree with Beverly; I use lavender oil in Alfie’s room because I like to think it helps her stay relatively calm (I’m convinced the feliway isn’t doing anything at this point) and it helps with the smell. She has super concentrated smelling urine, but the lavender seems to kind of help that along with super deep cleans every week and the usual scoop the poop daily.

  13. Caroline   August 5, 2012 at 7:43 am  

    Great advice! I try to ignore my cat every time he wakes me but he keeps coming back and hitting me. I don’t know what to do! Also, my cat will NOT drink from his water bowl. I watch this show regularly and have not seen this issue. My cat will not drink from his bowl and when I get home from work he wants me to run the faucet for him,. When I don’t he just cries. A lot of time in the middle of the night he wants the water turned on, to be fed, or play. I will try this and hope I don’t get beaten up too badly 🙁

    1. Andrea   August 22, 2012 at 10:44 pm  

      You may want to try a recirculating drinking fountain for cats to replicate the running water effect that your cat desires.

    2. Janea   April 7, 2013 at 4:40 am  

      My cat likes to drink out of the faucet as well. He sometimes drinks out of his bowl, but he will jump up on the counter in the bathroom and meow until we turn the water on. OMG. Our cat is soooo loud. He meows all night long. Its not just a meow either. Its that loud wake up meow.

      1. Janea   April 7, 2013 at 4:45 am  

        I also forgot to mention that sometimes Fill will stop meowing if we lock him in the bedroom with us at night. His potty box and food are in the room, so its not like he has to go for hours at a time without those things. He is an indoor cat who is declawed. He sits at the door and meows. I am not sure if he is trying to tell us he wants out, or talking to other cats. We live on the second floor so sometimes when we are in the living room, we will open the balcony door and let him on the balcony/patio. Sometimes that helps his meowing as well.

    3. Gayle   December 1, 2015 at 6:33 am  

      I bought a quiet, recirculating “waterfall” (with pool too) for a cat who didn’t seem to be drinking from a bowl….and unfortunately I don’t think it’s helped either! I add 2 or more tablespoons of water to his wet food 2x daily as he is prone to UTI and needs fluid. I’d like to know the estimated daily water intake for a 13 lb. cat.

    4. Carly   April 1, 2016 at 4:30 pm  

      Cats rarely will drink water that is next to their food as they think it’s contaminated. So try putting the water off to the side away from the food.

  14. Ashley Stearns   August 6, 2012 at 3:39 am  

    I tried playing a YouTube video of a cat purring on my iPhone when it was hooked up to my MacBook speakers, and that put her right to sleep but haven’t done this in the morning since sleeping isn’t natural for her then. The answer is self-entertaining toys, toys, toys. About the most useful thing we’ve discovered so far. Also, google ceramic water fountain and buy one so your cat has all the fresh running water s/he needs and doesn’t wake you for it. If you have space where you live, get some high-quality cat treats (we use natural venison jerky bits) and put them in used tissue boxes and some of those little balls with the holes in them just before you go to bed for some rewarding enrichment play. Your cat’s natural circadian rhythm is to be hunting at night/early morning, and with a little creativity, you can satisfy this need and still sleep. Look at the picture of the guy sleeping with one alert kitty on his back and one under his arm. This is pretty much what you will have to do for the next several weeks – be like a stone. We did not do the two weeks properly, I am sorry to say, and now we have an alarm cat, which is why I’m posting at 6:15 a.m. Every time our kitty started her jumping routine at 5:30, we’ve eventually unintentionally positively reinforced her behavior by picking her up and bringing her to bed with us. I love that she is comfortable enough with us that she stays, purring, for a few minutes, and her meowing has decreased substantially to a few grumblings, but I’d love to be able to sleep until 7:00 again, which is when she gets fed. Don’t do what we did. BE STRONG. Be prepared to kick it up a notch or 10, if your cat is one of the highly vocal/energetic cats like the oriental breeds and the Rexes. I knew a Cornish that could open the latches on windows and window screens who often did, to his owner’s astonishment, at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning to roam our city neighborhood. Turns out, he had a whole crew of convenience store clerks, gasoline and bakery delivery drivers and assorted other night owls he was going to visit. A VERY sociable kitty.

  15. Alexia   August 12, 2012 at 10:02 am  

    I do the ritual to play hard and then feed and also ignore the behavior.

    Our kitty just loves to come into our room and attack my feet under the covers
    and walk all over us while we sleep. He especially gets most
    excited at 4am.

    Then my husband cannot sleep so he puts our kitty
    outside of the bedroom and closes the door and our kitty meows all night
    at the door until we get up in the morning at 6am.

    I would love for him to just be calm and quiet between 10pm and 6am.

    He is about a 1 year old kitty that was a stray and he just
    begs all the time to go outside when he is awake. He is so
    very sweet and loving. He just wants us all the time to play with him if
    he is not outside. He just meows until morning when he can
    go out and play

    How do we keep him inside, keep him safe and also get
    our sleep at night?


  16. Ashley Stearns   August 13, 2012 at 5:53 am  

    @Alexia: if I read your comment correctly, what you are asking is, ‘How do we make our 1 year old [Tom?] kitten be with us, his playmates, and be quiet?’ I admit it, that is a tall order – one that we have not yet managed to fulfill ourselves. (If we’re always playing with our indoor kitty, and we try to provide an enriched environment for her, with lots of problems to solve, why are we upset when she tries to solve the I-have-to-get-my-human-playmates-up-at-4:30-a.m. problem?) First, the licking/jumping on bed: read my above comment on natural cat repellents. If you want him to someday sleep on the bed with you and don’t mind him on the bed, only use them on your bodies, where he licks. Next, going outside: do you really want this? Outside is dangerous for kitties. They live 2/3 less longer than indoor kitties and can pick up bizarre diseases outside (such as various parasites many vets won’t treat). You can catify your living space with shelves and interactive toys, such as ‘Thing-in-a-Bag’ and ‘Mouse Tent’, and the little balls you can fill with treats for him to work at extracting them so he can play without your help whenever he wants. These toys especially mimic the stalk and hunt activity in which he engages at 4:30 a.m. as an outdoor kitty. Also, if he is not fixed, you will notice a much calmer kitty once he is. If you are sure you want him to be an outdoor kitty, this is only the responsible thing to do; we don’t need any more stray kitties in the world. The shelters are already full of them. Finally, after you’ve done all these things, be prepared for the contest of wills that’s going to happen in which you’ve already been designated the loser. DO NOT CLOSE your kitty out of your bedroom! You are only encouraging him to meow at the door when you do. I know it’s hard; as I said, we’ve only had moderate success, getting our girl to let us sleep from 4:30, when she used to wake us up, until 6:00, which is our current compromise. Just can’t seem to get that last hour in (we were so perturbed a week ago, we started playing “The Most Annoying Cornish Rex” YouTube video on our iPhones whenever she rousted us at dawn. It scared the bejeezus out of her). Good luck!

    1. Alexia   August 13, 2012 at 9:54 am  

      Our 1 year 2 month old male kitty is now fixed. We fixed him about 3 months ago.

      He arrived at our doorstep meowing about 1 year ago and we fed him and he stayed
      with us ever since. He loves out outdoor tropical garden!!! Since we
      got him fixed, he seems to just stick around our garden, though he could
      wander off under the fences if he wanted to. I would love to have enough
      money to enclose our entire garden so he cannot get away at all.

      He loves to go out from 6am to about 8:30am when he comes in for his breakfast.
      Then he goes out again until about 11am and then he sleeps inside from
      1pm until about 5pm. We feed him again about 7pm. We play with him at night
      and we go to bed about 10pm and he begins coming into our room meowing
      and jumping on the bed. Then my husband gets frustrated and puts him
      out of our room and closes the door. Then he meows and after a while quiets
      down and then begins meowing again at about 4:30.

      He eats good organic kitty food and also we put “Flea Free” in his
      food as a supplement.

      I am torn between letting him out as I know the dangers and keeping
      him “locked” inside without a garden to explore. He seems
      very happy with his routine. The only parts that worry me are him
      going out and him not allowing us to sleep and we don’t want
      him on our bed.

      We do not want him to sleep on the bed with us. We want him to NOT
      jump on the bed anymore. He has his own bed in the living room.
      However he would rather sleep on our furniture.

      He is very sweet and well connected with US, his people.
      He is afraid of strangers.

      He is such a sweety kitty……….

      I am concerned because if he does not allow my husband
      to sleep at night, my husband has given him a 2 weeks notice.
      So I only have 2 weeks to get him to be calm at night.

      Also, with such a routine, what would we ever do if we want
      to go away for a holiday? He will be so bored and lonely without
      us and his routine.

    2. KittyMom   September 24, 2012 at 4:17 pm  

      Where can I find all the toys recommended? I need toys to keep my
      little one year old kitty entertained at 4:30am rather than waking us up

      ‘Thing-in-a-Bag’ and ‘Mouse Tent’, and the little balls you can fill with treats and
      other interactive toys that can occupy him while we sleep

      By the way, how do you apply the lavender oil to furniture to keep him from jumping on it?
      He likes to jump on the nightstand walk across the headboard over and over again
      while we sleep. I noticed the lavender oil works very well.

    3. 3 kittens   August 21, 2013 at 4:11 am  

      Thank you for the tip on the Most Annoying Cornish Rex video. My cat bounded from the bedroom the moment I played this, and tried to climb near the computer to see where the offensive sound was coming from. I’m going to try this tonight.
      Also, I put some essential oils on her itchy earlobes. That seemed to calm her as well.
      Was at my wits end last night, hope this helps a little.

  17. Ashley Stearns   August 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm  

    @Alexia: a two weeks’ notice – for a kitty that’s bonded to you and afraid of other people. I don’t understand. Did you read my commenmts to ES about natural oil/scents that will keep him off your bed? What are you waiting for? Do that, and (1) get the toys I also suggested, especially the ones that dispense treats; (2) get a catio (see the section of this website, certification); (3) give YOURSELVES two weeks to do as Jackson advised in the video (and if you fail, and start locking him out of your bedroom again, you’ll have to start over again). These 4 simple things should retrain your kitty – if you do them diligently. Good luck.

  18. Joan Peralta   August 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm  

    NEED HELP!! I have 7 cats. Most of them are rescue cats. One especially, Sweetie, was taken in right before she had her kittens. I trapped from living outside. She’s a very pretty cat. Problem…not friendly. She does not like to be held, pet and will not come out from under my bed and it’s been almost a year. One of my boys taunts her so she will not even try anymore. I am beside myself. I don’t want her outside again. She’s spade and has been to vet for shots. The vet told me not to let her outside as she is prone to cancer. I live in Arizona. She’s most ly white with tabby patches on head and unique striped tail. My husband wants her out and I can’t find anyone who is not afraid to handle this kind of a cat to take her in. She’s only four and deserves to be loved. I think she will be better as an only cat but I don’t know where to start. Can anyone help me????? I also have two boys that taunt, chase and swipe at one my 8 year old girls. I’ve tried water, calming spray, clapping and time outs. What am I doing wrong???? Thank you for your time and advice.

  19. Ashley Stearns   August 26, 2012 at 9:02 am  

    @Joan Peralta: Hi, Joan – wow! That is quite a clowder! You must have a lot of room. Just from watching MCFH for a few months, I feel as though I can confidently say this kitty has no self-esteem, probably, because s/he has no territory that is ever its own, except, occasionally, under the bed. First thing to do is – and immediately – is build shelves, shelves, shelves everywhere. On the walls, on the window sills, in kitty condos, bring in more/higher ones and put them in proximity to one another and out of the way of heavy traffic areas so all kitties have access to them. Kitties time-share territory, and it sounds as though the one being targeted isn’t giving up its prime territory, which is pissing off the bully cat. Next, play therapy for the timid kitty. See the instructions on this website to help your kitty get the most out of regular, consistently timed play sessions with you with toys that allow him/her to hunt (patrol), stalk, catch, and kill ‘prey’ (we use a lucite wand with a pretty substantial rope, at the end of which is a squeaky mouse toy with feathers, which we bought at Petco). Don’t forget to end the session with treats for kitty since, in the wild, a successful hunt would end in a meal, a bath, and sleep (we use all-natural venison jerky treats). Finally, as difficult as it’s going to be, you’re going to have to reintroduce your kitty to his clowder companion bully, which involves keeping them apart and then feeding them on separate sides of a door for a few days, after which you begin to gradually open the door so that the kitties can first smell, then see each other. Only do this when you start to see a noticeable relaxed posture in the scaredy cat (comes out from under the bed with tail erect and a gentle curve at the tip, or sloped downward with a gentle curve at the tip at the time you’ve designated for play therapy, for example; first posture means, ‘I want some affection;’ second means, ‘I’m cool and relaxed.’ Finally, a lot of behavioral problems start and end in the litter box, which is the biggest territory they must share. Ergo, you have to have enough of them to keep everyone happy, and they have to be CLEAN. Experts recommend 1 box each per cat, PLUS one extra, if multiple cats share. So, for example, if you have 2 indoor cats (and all cats should be indoor cats), you should have 3 litter boxes. If this is too much work for you with 7 cats, you would be doing your kitties a favor by re-homing some of them, beginning with the precious one you’ve written for help with today – AFTER you have solved his/her self-esteem issue. Good luck!

  20. Rebecca   October 30, 2012 at 12:51 pm  

    Jackson, I have been trying this with my new kitten (5mos.). She never seems to get tired. She chases a laser light around and around, non stop. My arm is more likely to start hurting before she gets tired. Any suggestions?

    1. MariaOC   April 7, 2016 at 8:08 am  

      We got my cat when she was 7 weeks old and loves her laser pointer and da bird but it didn’t seem to be getting enough energy out so what my husband and I ended up doing was playing with her on the stair. He would sit at the top and I would sit at the bottom and entice her with a ball… she would run up and down the stair until she couldn’t move, then I would feed her. Problem solved!!! Now we have a adopted a year and a half old male and for the last three weeks he was great, no problems at all. Last night, starting at 2AM, he started meowing and clawing at the door. I hope it was a one off night because we are exhausted! We did the same thing I do with my cats which is play and eat…. the only difference was I what I fed him. I walked into his room at 4:45AM and all he wanted to do is play. Could food change his sleeping pattern or energy level? Maybe a stomach ache?

  21. Molly   November 23, 2012 at 5:27 am  

    Thank you so much for this video! My cat was waking me up every 20-30 minutes from 2am on even though I played with him before I went to bed. It’s been three days since I started following your advice. The first two nights took some willpower as he was up to his old tricks – meowing and knocking everything off the top of my bureau. He tried a new trick too- scratching at the covers over me for several minutes. However, careful ignoring ended these behaviors sooner than I expected. Last night he didn’t wake me up once! It really was as simple as play, feed, ignore. Thank you for the first night of uninterrupted sleep I’ve had in awhile, and for the many more to come.

  22. Robyn   December 16, 2012 at 3:29 am  

    My Cat Marmite, he is 1 year n 4months old. He amuses me to no end with how he finds more ways to wake me up lol…..Clawing furniture, shredding paper(fortunately scrap paper), having high energy bursts of running about,bunny hopping on and off the bed near my head(although he is reluctant to do that often as he has been suprised by me giving him a light smack- equivalent force to clapping).He will paw things on my bed side table onto the floor – mobile phone, mug, glass, tubs and as soon as i wake and go to grab the item he runs off only to return.
    Now i tend to lock im out of my bedroom- to which most nights he chooses to sleep in the living room. At around 6-7.30am he will start on the door by scratching and maybe increase to what sounds like he is ramming the door…… I cant help but laugh as when i open the bedroom door he is sitting there perfectly as though he hadnt done any of the noise.
    Most days i will wake up, go to the loo check his food, which if there is still some left i will leave. If its about 7.30am i will open the window so he can get out.Generally he will go out( as he prefers to toilet outside) and will return about an hour later.
    If im laying in on a weekend, he will come back, i close the window, then he will wander around a bit and most times curl up and purr next to or on me..
    This to me is something that is tolerable, as ideally if he learnt to use the cat ramp i made for him, he would be able to go in and out during the day, as i think he wants to go out more often, but although he will exit using the ramp, he will not return home via the ramp.
    One weird behavior i dont quite understand is while if im sitting down somewhere, sometimes my cat will come to my left side, sit down facing my left shoulder and then meow. When i look at him i ask him whats up to which he will either look up to the ceiling or to the wall behind me briefly and then look directly at me. He may meow again or get up and wander off somewhere.

  23. Susanne Scott   January 18, 2013 at 4:48 am  

    Unfortunately, the ignoring didn’t work. My cat sharpens his claws at the foot of the bed. He is shredding my mattress. The last two mornings I have put him in the bathroom. But what I am worried about is he will start pulling the carpet out from underneath the door. He already started pulling it out under the bedroom door when we tried shutting the bedroom door to keep him out at night.

    Help! I am nearing the end of my rope with my precious fur baby.

  24. Ashley Stearns   January 18, 2013 at 6:33 pm  

    @Suzanne Scott: don’t pull your hair out. Or get new furniture. Or do anything else more drastic. Just get some herb oil tinctures at Whole Foods and spray them, diluted with filtered water, wherever he’s scratching. Try peppermint, lavender, or lemon verbena (which is not a citrus; YOU SHOULD NEVER USE CITRUS WITH YOUR KITTY, or garlic). And stick with the ignoring. It will work, if your kitty is in good health (if he’s crying for food all the time and/or his fur is falling out, he may have worms. Again, treat him with a natural wormer like Natural Pet’s FourGone (or FourGuard – I forget which it is; you can Google it)).

    1. Susanne Scott   January 20, 2013 at 1:51 pm  

      Ty so much. I will certainly try this. I really hope this works. I will let you know.

  25. Ashley Stearns   January 18, 2013 at 6:34 pm  

    @ Suzanne Scott (2/2): Ours does get us up early still – but she’s bilious because she has choleangiohepatitis, a common co-factor in CRF, and has to eat a small, warm meal every 2-1/2 to 3 hours. But she goes 5-1/2 to 6 hours now at night without waking us. Ignoring does work – it just takes time.

    1. Susanne Scott   January 21, 2013 at 4:57 am  

      Herman doesn’t have any medical issues. And when we do get up he plays and doesn’t even really eat. If my husband stays in bed and I get up, then he is okay for awhile but will eventually will go back in the room to get my husband up. It’s like he just wants us up. He is a happy kitty when both of us are up.

  26. Ashley Stearns   January 23, 2013 at 2:57 pm  

    @ Susanne Scott:
    “It’s like he just wants us up. He is a happy kitty when both of us are up.”
    There ya go – that’s what you’re ‘negotiating.’ Once you find an herbal scent that deters his scratching (and you MUST check the ASPCA Toxic Plant list link above to make sure whatever you choose isn’t harmful to Mr. Munster), you STILL have to (1) wear him out before you go to bed, and (2) provide a self-entertaining stimulus, such as Thing-in-a-Bag, or the mouse-in-a-tent thing, to condition him to being on his own.
    Good luck.

    1. Susanne Scott   January 23, 2013 at 7:57 pm  

      I totally agree with what you’re saying .. But the problem with wearing him out before bed is he gets bored with his toys. Where we I find the cat in a bag toy? And I am also going to try and find a ball or something that holds treats. I would think that would hold his attention for hours as long as he can’t get the treats out. This morning he started his claw popping at 3. It makes for a long day. I will look this weekend for some herbal scents this weekend. I think I was told anything but citrus .. But lemon was okay. Thanks for the tips.

  27. Ashley Stearns   January 24, 2013 at 1:24 pm  

    @ Susanne Scott: lemon is a citrus. Lemon verbena is a grass. Again, whatever you choose to use as a scent deterrent you should check the ASPCA toxic plant list (link above). If you had done so, you would have seen that LEMON is on it. You can find the Undercover Mouse Electronic Cat Toy and the SmartCat 3833 Peek-a-Prize Pet Toy Box on amazon.com, each for less than $30 (stay away from the laser toys as they can damage your cat’s eyes).

    I really don’t know what more I can say, or do, for you, Susanne. But my hourly rate is $275.00, if you need any more of my help.

  28. Jody   February 25, 2013 at 10:34 am  

    Well…I need your number so I can call you at 4 in the morning! LOL We have totally ignored Bug for two weeks now during the night. No positive or negative attention. Complete ignoring. I play with him at night. I try to keep him up while I am in the evening but he sleeps right through it or gives me dirty looks. He still is waking me up anywhere from 1 AM to 4:30 AM when I have to get up anyway. He meows first, then cries, then jumps on the bed and meows, then sniffs me (that part is kind of funny), meows some more. Oy Vey! Two nights he didn’t wake me up, but then he went right back to his antics and will cry for hours. He is 7 yrs old and I’ve only had him for about 2 1/2-3 yrs. He’s an indoor/outdoor cat.

    1. Susanne Scott   February 27, 2013 at 2:54 pm  

      I can relate because our cat, Herman, never stopped popping the bed. He would go good for a couple of nights and then start back. So he Goswick to his own room at night. We had no alternative. I have to sleep. Herman really doesn’t mind it. He is happy to come out in the morning at 5:30 am and he gets lots of loving and he is still a super happy kitty.

  29. Ashley Stearns   February 27, 2013 at 2:01 pm  

    @Jody: if you’ve lived with Bug for 2-1/2 to 3 years and are only now starting to train him, expect this process to take longer than 2 weeks. If this is a relatively new behavior for Bug, I’d consider taking him to the vet’s. Is he famished and crying for food? Out girl does that because she has choleangiohepatitis. Eating every 2-1/2 to 4 hours gets the bile juices flowing, which makes her more comfortable – but the promotes bile juice buildup again, for which we diligently treat her with milkthistle and dandelion tea. She can go 6-7 hours at night without bothering us. Your kitty is the equivalent of a 45 year-old human, don’t forget, so age-related maladies can be keeping up though it doesn’t sound as though that’s his problem. If he’s just bored, spray your sleeping area with diluted lavender oil and give him some self-entertaining toys, such as those he must extract treats from, to play with, Try several types, such as the ball in the circular track. Good luck.

  30. Kari Krolik   March 13, 2013 at 9:11 am  

    Our cat keeps us up every night from 2-6 meowing, batting doors, pulling shades, walking on us, etc. We have tried: (i) playing with him hard, long and late at night; (ii) feeding him late; (iii) keeping him up during the day (we have a dog who he plays with too); and (iv) ignoring his behavior. We put him in his own bedroom and he spends two hours banging the door (by using his paw to rock it back and forth and trying to open it via the door knowb) and moewing. We never play or feed him at night. Any other suggestions on what to do? I have not slept through the night in 3.5 years.

    1. Sherrill   March 14, 2013 at 7:06 am  

      Hello: I have an almost 6 yr old Maine Coon, I am telling you one of the smartest cats around. I have been doing the am morning thing for as long as the cat is old, almost 6 yrs without getting 5 hrs sleep. I am at my witts end, my eyes have dark circles under them and I really look bad and everyone says, you look so tired, find a home for him and I cannot do that. I love my cat, I have tried everything everyone had suggested and nothing does the trick. Then when we turn the clocks back and forward it is even worse.I must take everything off my end tables, kitchen table and put it on the floor because he will most certainly knock it over. I thought of getting him a kitten to keep him busy but I am quite sure then he would teach the kitten to do the same thing so that won ‘t happen either. Still looking for help !

  31. Sequoia Littrell   June 26, 2013 at 1:11 pm  

    Hello Jackson!

    I just watched a video titled “How to Make Your Cats Let You Sleep” because my cat wakes me up every morning. I have tried [almost] everything you said and it seems as though nothing is working. Let me give you the back story… My male dsh cat, Brijet, is a rescue cat. I have had him since he was a month old and he just turned 15! I recently moved into a new apartment (last December) and this behavior did not start until this past March. So, he has been waking me up every morning for about 4 months now.

    This is what happens…and please bear with me on the length of this email. I want to give you as much information as possible so you get the whole picture.

    He will wake me up, any time from 5:45am – 7:30am. He will lick me aggressively, bite very hard (not just a playful bite) and he will paw at me, essentially “punching” me with his cat hands. For the past three weeks or so, I have resorted to using a squirt bottle to shoot him with a mist of water to stop this behavior. This has not worked. He does sleep on my bed, he always has, but now he is sleeping up on my pillow. One morning, I woke up and look at him…he caught my eye and decided that since I was now awake at 6am that he would start his routine of waking me up. All of this is because he wants food. My husband and I have a very strict feeding routine for Brijet. We feed him wet food at 7:30am, 12:00pm, and 6:00pm. We also leave about 1/4 cup of chow in his dish for the day so that he can get hard and soft food. Every time we go into the kitchen, he is meowing meowing meowing and even resorts to biting. He just wants some food! I took him to the vet last week for a checkup and everything is good! He is a healthy cat weighing in at 11.6 lbs.

    Now, all of that being said, I recently traveled to my mother’s house (an 11 hr car ride) to visit where Brijet and I used to live. He was a completely different cat there. He did not beg for food at all and he did not try to wake me up in the morning. He even slept on my pillow the whole time and still, no begging.

    My husband and I try to get Brijet to play with toys (mouse, string, catnip ball, stick with a squeaky mouse on the end) but he won’t play with anything for more than 2 minutes. He is 15 years old, so he’s not a kitten any more. He also has zero interest in lasers because he knows it’s just a light and not something he can grab. Brijet is a very intelligent cat.

    SO after all of this is said…I have no idea what to do for my kitty! He just started the weird behavior and I don’t know how to make it stop. He is the only animal in our apartment so he gets all of our attention. If you have any suggestions, please please let me know! I cannot keep waking up due to sharp kitty fangs jabbing me in my back!

    Thank you!

    Sequoia Littrell

  32. Ruth Lucas   July 1, 2013 at 6:54 pm  

    our young cat wakes us up at 4:45 every morning and we r both exhausted what to do.?

    1. Debbie   July 5, 2013 at 6:56 am  

      Help! Our 9 year old newly adopted cat paws our walls, doors, and cabinets with nails out so it is quite noisy. This is done anywhere from 1 am to 5 am every night. We have no idea why she does this nor how to fix the problem. The suggestion to exhaust her before going to bed will not work because she does not play. We do not know her history so are at a loss as to why this pawing occurs. We have not had a full nights sleep since she arrived. We have also sprayed the walls, etc. with no scratch spray but that doesn’t help either.

  33. Kari D.   July 22, 2013 at 10:57 am  

    I started doing this last night. I have a 3 year old Kitty and I have spoiled her so much, I am such a bad mama.

    Her normal feeding time is 7:00 p.m. and then of course, she wakes me up between 4-5 a.m. to feed her. I oblige cause I want her to stop bugging me, then once I feed her, she’s back on the bed and falls asleep again.

    Last night was hard because she knows her feeding time is 7:00 p.m., she tried to get our attention with everything she had so we could feed her. Broke my heart a bit. I played with her at 8:45 p.m. pretty hard then fed her at 9:00 p.m.

    This morning she starting going again, her favorite thing to do is poke me in the eyes and ears. If I turn over with a pillow, she’ll find the hole I breath through and start digging until she can get to my face. She then ends up scratching the matress and trying to play with the lamp on my nightstand. She doesn’t bother the boyfriend, he will not obey her commands. I did get up, she ran in the ktichen eagerly waiting for her food, I decided that it was best to feed her at 7:30 a.m. so I went about my morning and ignored her. It was sad, I knew she wanted to be fed but I knew I had to stick with my plan.

    This was night #1. For those of you who have done the 2 weeks how did you do it? And were you successful? I know its only been 1 night, but I was hoping since she was tired out and fed late, she wouldn’t be up so early. But she started up again. I know she is going to have to get her clock adjusted and it’s going to take time, I’m just thinking it’s going to be an agonizing 2 weeks.

  34. Lise   July 30, 2013 at 5:15 pm  

    I have a 9 year old cat that causes trouble, knocking things off the night stand, scratching the furniture, and meowing anywhere between 3 and 6am. She lays down with me and then starts the behavior again every 30 minutes. We are about to try the strategy described in the video, however, I have one concern. Usually when she wakes me up, I end up going to the bathroom, which reinforces her behavior. I’m not sure how I will be able to completely ignore her behavior when I alsways have to get up to pee at night. Any suggestions?

    1. Kari D.   August 1, 2013 at 9:52 am  

      @ Lise. I literally laughed when I read your question, because I experienced the SAME exact thing! I didn’t consider that when I started doing what Jackson said. I normally get up as well, so the first morning when she woke me up, I almost got up to go use the bathroom, but I reminded myself I had to ignore her completely and yes getting up would probably reinforce her behavior. So I had to ignore it and I did…I eventually fell back asleep just in time to get up again lol. My suggestion is, your gonna have to adjust your bathroom habit along with training your kitty, it seems hard but I was able to ignore what I needed to do as well in order to get the results I wanted. I try not to drink anything at all before bed, at least within the hour, that way I don’t have to go like I used to at 4 a.m. It’s been 8 days since I started this and I saw a difference on day 5. She only poked me once and now she doesn’t do it anymore. She definately upped the ante on day 3 and 4, I thought she was going to rip the bed in half. But now I say she’s pretty much stopped. I am going to keep doing this though to keep her in check and complete the 2 weeks.

  35. Kari D.   August 15, 2013 at 10:52 am  

    Okay there was a relapse. It’s been 3 weeks and 4 nights since I began this process. I’ve been doing everything suggested and I plan to follow it forever. This morning, she started up again. This time worse than I’ve ever seen and it continued for 2 hours! I’m not sure what happened…the only thing I can really think of are the weekends. I like to sleep in later than normal which also means she gets fed later then normal, which means I most likely have to invest in an automatic feeder. Also, I think that in the mornings, the first thing I do is feed her, above anything else. I’m thinking this has reinforced her behavior in some way because she knows the second I’m out of bed, she gets fed. So I’m thinking, probably go about my morning and feed her before I leave for work, I’ll have to keep that going. Goodness, I was beginning to feel so good, I was getting my sleep FINALLY! And then nope, this happens. I will keep pushing through this, this has to stop! I just wanted to update my progress as I know that some people might find this useful in case you have a similar situation.

  36. Melinda   September 29, 2013 at 12:03 pm  

    Hi, we have 2 rescue cats (brothers) that are 1.5 years old. One of them (Yoshi) has very high stimulation needs (both are neutered) he requires practically constant entertainment throughout the day and wakes us up between 3am and 5am every morning. I am a 24/7 shift worker on a rotating roster so unfortunately there is no real stable sleep pattern that he can get used to, some weeks the alarm goes off at 4:45 others it is 6am, or I am not at home during the night at all and it is just my husband. Yoshi will play with his brother and with us, but no matter how hard we try to tire him out during the day he will not sleep all the way through the night, this has been going on for 14 months, I keep hoping he will grow out of it, but so far it is not looking likely. He is adorable but I do believe he has a few mental issues, he thinks he is always hungry, if given the opportunity (when his brother doesn’t eat straight away) he will eat so much he will throw up (he doesn’t have worms). He will eat anything he can find or climb to get to i.e. in the pantry he has broken into muesli bars, desiccated coconut, loaves of bread, fruit snacks, chewing gum, jerky, anything he can get a hold of, unfortunately he eats the plastic wrap too in the process of getting the food out. Currently they are fed morning and early evening about 12 hours apart, if anything I feed them too much and they could afford to eat a little less, they are only about 1kilogram over weight. We have had cats all my life, I have never had a problem training cats, and am great with other peoples cats, even the ones that don’t like people will be drawn to me but Yoshi is different. I have tried herbal essences, and they do calm him down but not enough to last the whole night, he still wakes us up at 3am, I have tried Feliway to help relax the environment but no success there either. When he does sleep, he will often literally pass out, he can be very difficult to wake up, he is limp and often does not respond, he goes into such a deep sleep that when he wakes up he is rearing to go. We have tried and tried to ignore him at 3am, but he will chew on electrical items, lamps, phone chargers etc. in order to get attention, in summer he will treat the fan as a scratching pole and try and knock it over, even though there is a big cat scratching pole in the bedroom. He will knock everything off the night stand and chew on anything that makes noise in effort to get his brother up to play with him or us up to entertain him. So far the only thing that partially works is one of us will hold him down in bed and cuddle him so the other one can go back to sleep and this goes in cycles for an hour or so until we fall back asleep and he escapes and starts making noise again or it is time to get up anyway. He does not respond to any discipline, he doesn’t care if he gets wet, he doesn’t care if you yell at him or smack him, he just jumps straight back up and does the same thing again, it is all for attention. Even at night when he is knocking things over all he really wants is our attention, if I let him playfully bite my hand he can do that for about 20 minutes quite happily. Socially he is quite friendly but mostly because he is so inquisitive and has to be in everything, including the dishwasher, microwave, washing machine, anything he can get into he will. If you are watching tv he will often huff because he is bored, the problem is he wants to be entertained all of the time day and night, most parents don’t give their kids the amount of attention he gets. When we run around the house playing chasey he will keep running even though he starts panting very hard after about 10 mins, he doesn’t know when to stop, my heart and fitness is a greater than his, so I have to stop when he starts getting too worked up for his own good. I am at a loss with what to do, unfortunately we are not in a position to hire someone to keep him entertained while we are at work, and even then, there is usually one of us at home for the most part. He often gets so excited he doesn’t understand he is badly hurting his brother when they are playing, it is not malicious he just does not understand and we have had vet bills because he has injured his brother quite badly. His brother has normal cat personality traits, doesn’t like other people very much, hates kids, seems to be more scared of men than women, but overall he has what I consider to be a normal amount of attention and play needs. If we keep Yoshi out of the bedroom at night he turns his attention to something else, anything he can find to destroy in whatever room he is in, we have to leave a window open so even in an empty room he will still claw at the fly wire and anything else in there will be damaged/destroyed, he can ope cupboards etc. Yoshi is just a normal moggy breed of cat that looks like any other black cat. Any help and suggestions that anyone can offer would be very much appreciated.

    1. Sunni   January 22, 2014 at 6:35 am  

      HI, I had a issue similar and fixed it with a Electronic Programmable Cat feeder, it cost me about 60. dollars Set it for the time needed and then even if my schedule is messed up their feeding times will not be.

  37. Michael Sprague   October 23, 2013 at 3:02 pm  

    OK, I will pitch my wife on this, though I don’t have a suspicion it will work. For a variety of reasons I expect our mileage may vary in a big way.

    Still, how would I call you on Day 15? I see no number :p

    1. WildKat   January 22, 2014 at 12:24 am  



  38. Candace   October 30, 2013 at 1:50 am  

    My cat Toby is a bad kitty I go to bed at 3am and when I put him in his basket in the restroom he meows and if I Dont answer him he screams so early in the morning please tell me what I should do

  39. Karen   December 2, 2013 at 12:27 pm  

    My cat only seems to do this when I’m having trouble breathing. I’ve had a cold the last few nights, and I know that I’m snoring and not breathing well, in fact probably even holding my breath. She keeps waking me up by putting a paw on my face. I also wake her up when she’s having a really bad dream or sounds very congested (she has bad allergies). Our fur babies know when we need them, I think.

  40. Arch   December 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm  

    thank you for the advice, Jackson! I enjoy watching your show, and became a little guy’s human about a week ago. He meows and yowls often each night while I’m trying to sleep…he’ll start in within a couple of hours after I’ve fallen asleep, and go through spurts of meowing/yowling about once an hour throughout the night. I’ve been ignoring it as much as possible, not even reacting to his calls, which is the same advice you have given here. I’m glad I have a timeframe of when to expect this behavior to normalize. I had him neutered today, and I also bought a Feliway diffuser yesterday. I’m hoping these combined efforts will help us enrich our relationship and become best buds =^.^=

    1. J Miller   January 22, 2014 at 6:14 am  

      I have tried this with no luck for a solid month, on three occasions. I wonder if it is because my kitty is blind and does not get enough stimulation during the day. He has toys (many, many toys). I even come home at lunch time for play. Unfortunately, I have not had a good nights sleep at home in two years :/

  41. Denise   January 21, 2014 at 10:13 pm  

    I go through this with my 19 year old diabetic. This is really useful for me because I am the one that gets up and feeds her at 6am.
    I work a 3-11 shift. I also work freelancing jobs from home when I get in from my day of work. Because my Smudgie is a diabetic she needs to eat several small meals a day. She has been eating at that 6am time, again when I get up and a small amount is left before I leave for the day. She then eats when I get in and sometimes a small amount before we go to sleep. Regardless of what time we go to sleep, she wakes me up when the sun hits the windows. I suffer circadian rhythm disorder so I can understand why she might. She lives on my schedule, which is totally out of whack so I can’t really blame her for also being out of whack.
    At 19 years old, she doesn’t really have a desire to play. She only wants to cuddle and be stroked all night long. She lays under the covers and has her ears rubbed. Yes, I fall asleep doing this every single night. Maybe we both need that 😉
    In any case, I am going to try ignoring her in my face at 6am and see how that goes. Thanks for the advice.

    Denise from NY

  42. Joan   January 21, 2014 at 11:18 pm  

    You would not believe one of my first cats! For my first two cats, I adopted a brother and sister. The sister was the first to eat solid food when the kittens were being weened. Everyone loved her for being so bright, learning to eat first, and watched her eat everyday, up until the time I adopted her. When I brought her home, she expected me to watch her eat, all meals, and made me get up a whole hour early every day so I could watch her eat. When I tried to go back to sleep, she woke me up. If I went back to sleep again, she’d make me sit on the floor and watch her eat. She even made her brother watch for about the first 15 minutes, then allowed him to start eating. That was the morning. In the evening, I solved the problem by putting the bowl between my sofa and the TV so I could watch the evening news and watch her eat at the same time! She passed away several years ago, but she was my little girl, and remember those days fondly. She taught me a lot about cats, as did her brother. At least they let me sleep all night! I love your show, and have learned a lot more from your challenges with cats.

  43. WildKat   January 22, 2014 at 12:31 am  

    You’re awesome Jackson. I’ve had (still have, at times) these issues. Mostly it’s because they are (were) kittens. I have one youngin’ right now wreaking havok and the other has become as lazy as her older brother (good for me!) But she also did that stuff when she was little. Knocking stuff off the bedside table, on purpose..lol. I just love my kitties and all 3 are spoiled rotten. Their antics don’t get to me as much as it used to.

  44. Melissa   January 22, 2014 at 6:17 am  

    My 2 cats are 11 years old and I have been trying to play with them at night and they literally have ZERO interest in playing. I waste more energy than they do just trying to get them to play. Any suggestions?

  45. Sunni   January 22, 2014 at 6:31 am  

    Good Morning Jackson! Great to see your videos and you.
    I have had this issue with one cat in particular, he would throw things, crunch on plastic to make noise (no he doesn’t eat it) and meow all night from any wheres 12-6 am (food time)and yes we use to feed when we got up in the morning,… however we moved it to FEEDING AT NIGHT, then it stopped after a few days. His internal clock was saying feed me before it was time and of course we were sleeping, but by moving it too 6 pm then even if he got cranky earlier it did not bother us and we can play or distract him. We feed a mix of wet and dry food, with enough dry food that he can much bit by bit as he does for a short time.
    We now sleep and have learned from our feline masters. Oh how they teach us well.

  46. Sheila Roberson   January 22, 2014 at 7:29 am  

    WoW! Thank you Jackson!

  47. carrie a.   January 22, 2014 at 8:26 am  

    We have a bedtime ritual that starts with verbalizing for a human that it’s “kitten bedtime.” They are fed, watered, get a couple of good night pets, and then up to bed we go. This, of course, happens after I’ve played with them and they’ve played with each other, so they are very calm (having a Bengal mix, getting the energy out is so important).They all follow me upstairs, into my bedroom to tuck me in and then they settle in their favorite sleeping spots for bed (not necessarily in our bed).

    If they are active at night, it’s not nearly as noisy as daytime play. They seem to understand that their humans are sleeping, so upstairs needs to be a quiet place.

    It didn’t take a long for them to get in this groove. If anyone happens to be up late, the cats will let us know it’s past time for bed. I really enjoy the ritual because I see how much they enjoy it.

    And our cats are definitely talkers, just not after bedtime. 🙂

  48. Cathy   January 22, 2014 at 8:50 am  

    He forgot to give out his phone number so we could call just in case this technique doesn’t work! Hmmmmmm…..Lol!

  49. Lisa B   January 22, 2014 at 9:46 am  

    White noise from a loud fan or even a white noise CD helps drown out the meowing outside the door and greatly aids my efforts to ignore the behavior.

  50. Toni   January 22, 2014 at 5:35 pm  

    Great advice. I was actually keeping food in the drawer next to my bed and bowls at the foot of my bed so I wouldn’t have to go far to feed them. Getting woke up by one of my cats at 5 AM sucks. He is overweight anyway and needs to be on a strict schedule. I am going to try this. I have had to make sure every piece of paper, etc is picked up off of the floor because my cat will start scratching on everything he can find. It does need to stop. I have gotten so used to it that even when I leave out extra food I wake up anyway because it has happened so much. It is ridiculous.

  51. Talentless Hack   January 22, 2014 at 6:47 pm  

    I’ve found that making sure there’s plenty of food in the bowl before bed prevents most of this sort of behavior – sort of what Jackson is saying, although we have three kitties all of whom eat from the same bowl. Cats are taken care of before bed – cat are happy at dark-thirty in the morning.

    The other thing ours do is that they tell time by looking out the window. In the summer, the sun is already out before 5AM, so by 6 or 6:30, they think it’s well past time we’ve gotten out of bed. It doesn’t matter how much food is left in the bowl, fresh water, clean litter boxes, whatever. To them, we’ve already overslept. We have this one calico whose job is is, apparently, to enforce this, to crack the whip, to make sure the people are doing their jobs. We’re their staff, after all.

    You can only ignore this so long before you’re done sleeping anyway. Then it’s time to make the coffee.

  52. Bruce Alan Wilson   January 22, 2014 at 8:18 pm  

    It might be nice, for the benefit of those who for one reason or another can’t play or listen to videos/audios, or who (oddly enough in this illiterate and alitterate age, prefer to read) if a transcript could be posted.

  53. Tiffany   January 23, 2014 at 6:36 am  

    I’ve heard you say you don’t like self feeders/gravity feeders because feeding is a tool, etc. We used a gravity feeder for our Shanti her entire life (sadly we lost her to lymphoma about 6 months ago). She never bothered us while we slept except at the time we were supposed to wake up, she learned what time my alarm went off every day and would climb on me at that time every day and purr loudly and kneed on my stomach until I got up, best alarm clock ever. I have had lots of people say that cats do not love and only give you attention when they want food and there is my proof that isn’t true, her feeder was full she didn’t need anything from me, yet every day at 10 am she was on me waking me up for work.

  54. Connie   January 24, 2014 at 7:54 am  

    Hello Jackson,

    Thank you for this very helpful video. Our precious cat, Friendly, would wake us up at 5 am to be fed – much too early for us. On the video, you said that if we followed your suggestions, we would have results in 10 – 15 days. I am happy to report, that it only took Friendly 2 days! Of course, she is smarter than the average cat! Now she waits for us to get up and feed her, and we are a happy family!

  55. Sherry K   February 2, 2014 at 10:38 am  

    Ok Jackson.. .been 10 days now..and my Rose won’t stop bugging me at night.. crying, scratching the side of the bed climbing over us.. did all that you said… and she toned it down but she is still going – Gonna give it another week….. then gonna call you at 4am ! 🙂

    1. Sandra   January 27, 2015 at 12:57 am  

      I’m curious to know if the technique Jackson outlined in the video has worked for you over time–?

  56. Heather   February 17, 2014 at 4:22 pm  

    hey Jackson my cat shes about 3 years old and well she meows A LOT she has food water a clean kitty box toys and a cat tower but she still follows me around and meows and even when I give her attention i.e petting the minute I stop she starts meowing again over and over and kind of loud too and if shes sitting on you and you stop petting her sometimes shell softly bite you then rub up against you I don’t know maybe shes just weird lol if you see this hopefully you can help me out (:

    -heather (17)

  57. Natalie   March 14, 2014 at 12:51 pm  

    For two years we had a problem with one of our two cats waking us up in the middle of the night to eat. Some nights it was 3am, sometimes it was 4am, but it was every single night. I wanted to pull my hair out! I tried everything I could think of (giving more food, feeding her later, etc) nothing worked. I think my cat liked the act of me getting out of bed and the attention than the actual food. She never seemed that hungry.

    I am happy to report after just 7 days this worked! What a miracle!! We were very careful not to move an inch or make a peep when she came in and ran all over us and meowed. She would keep it up for 15 or so minutes then give up. Now, months later, I am happy to say we have no more late night feedings. You have to try this!

    1. Sandra   January 27, 2015 at 12:58 am  

      Has this technique continued to work as time has passed? Thank you for your reply…

  58. Laurie Villiard   March 28, 2014 at 11:45 am  

    THANK YOu! I was on the verge of insanity. Not a full night sleep for months and in less than 2 weeks my cat now lets me sleep thru the night!

  59. Meck   June 13, 2014 at 2:56 pm  

    Thank you so much, from Argentina, you are the best!! saludos y gracias por compartir tus conocimientos. thank you for sharing all this with everyone. My cat is sending loving eyes to you!!

  60. Gabrielle   September 14, 2014 at 3:29 pm  

    Our cat used to wake us up at 5.45-6.15 every morning with constant meowing/licking/playfighting/jumping on our bellies, so we did what Jackson said and it worked from the first night! Timmy will still wake us up at 7.30 once in a while at weekends but this is generally so much better! We play for 10 minutes before dinner (which we now serve at 8) and Timmy sleeps on his bed, at the foot of out own bed, every night. We never feed him straight away in the morning, so he doesn’t think we reward his coming to bed with us to wake us up, but when we leave for work, and after a little bit of play.

  61. MeganJoan   October 15, 2014 at 4:55 am  

    Thank you thank you thank you!

    One of my 6 month old kittens had been waking me up AT LEAST twice per night before I found your post.

    I took their dry food away in the early evening then at 8:30 we play for 10 minutes and then eat wet food by 9 for bed at around 10:30. On the very first night he let me sleep through.

    You are an absolute life saver! <3

  62. Ruth   December 2, 2014 at 9:02 pm  

    My cat wakes up spooked and jumps and sometimes falls of his cat tree or a chair. Just recently about 3:30 a.m. when sleeping with him cuddling him I moved my arm a little and he got freaked out/spooked and bit me very very badly that I ended up with over 103 fever and in Urgent Care where they also sent me to the ER where I was told I could have my arm amputated or die from the bite. I can’t let this happen again and I am terrified to sleep with my cat now and feel horrible for not letting him sleep with me and I also miss sleeping and cuddling with him. I can’t figure out why he gets spooked. Seems like he has a bad dream. Is there any way to get him UNSPOOKED? Trying to figure out why he gets spooked.

    Of course he gets bored easy and likes to play rough with me and does nip me which I have been in the process in training him to stop the nipping. He gets bored very easy with his toys when I play with him. I constantly have to figure out a new way of playing with him with his toys. I was told not to get another cat since he also has the feline aids. He really is a sweet and gorgeous cat. What to do?

  63. Susan   December 10, 2014 at 4:23 am  

    OMG, After working third shift for 9yrs, felt it endearing that my cats slept through the night with me. One night off a week, not bothered by them waking me as I had all Monday to rest. Oops, my one night off, this is their pattern. I need to sleep and now with changing shifts and finding that, that one night a week is my every night. I called in today. I cant sleep and they want to keep me up. I need schedule, no more free feeding. Gotta figure out feeding and activity time. I need a schedule for them while I get mine under control or I will die from lack of sleep.

  64. Angie J.   December 30, 2014 at 7:52 am  

    Hi Jackson, my main problem is with my almost 6 yr. old male. He’s been neutered since he was a kitten and I’ve had him since he was 4 wks. old. He WILL NOT let me or my fiancée sleep through the night (my fiancée gets the brunt of it). For a long time if we would get up and give him his wet food breakfast it would stop. Then it started getting progressively worse; he’ll scratch on windows, doors, cardboard, plastic, basically anything that will make enough noise and eventually jumping on us to smack us in the face (claws pulled back). If the minor annoyances don’t get us to move, he then becomes destructive (I.e. pulling up carpets, destroying speaker fronts, shredding boxes, destroying chair backs). I brought in a female kitten to give him a friend but he just ignored her. When she turned out to be pregnant and he bonded with one of the male kittens, I thought my prayers had been answered cause the nighttime wake up calls became less frequent. Now, not even 6 months later, he’s worse than ever; food, treats and play wont please him. Nothing short of someone awake 24/7 makes him content. I’m almost at my wits end and extremely surprised that my fiancée hasn’t thrown him outside yet. The ignoring wont work because of the destructive behavior (I rent my apartment and will lose my deposit plus more if I let him do it), stop scratching sprays and water/air bottles don’t phase him (he just looks at me like “good try but, no”). I’m fully against declawing as I find it inhumane (I had to have a nail amputated and I can just imagine the pain if I had to walk on it) but I don’t know what else to do to get him to stop. Any advice that you or anyone else can give me, I’d greatly appreciate. I don’t want to think that I just have an a$$hole cat. Thanks in advance for any help I receive.

  65. Kate   February 7, 2015 at 5:57 pm  

    One of my cats has been trained that when she wakes me up, I say “Go lay down and go to sleep.” And she does…it doesn’t prevent her from waking me up, but at least it’s only for a second or two.

  66. The sneaky one   February 11, 2015 at 8:15 am  

    What if I found out that my cat is part bengal, so a bit high energy, and if someone hears the meowing, both of us will get evicted?


  67. The sneaky one   February 11, 2015 at 8:17 am  

    I forgot to add that I can’t keep her outside on my balcony as it is usually -4 Farenheit where I live right now.

  68. The sneaky one   February 11, 2015 at 8:25 am  

    Last post, I promise 🙂 Is there any way to at least tune out the meowing from the neighbours? I think she just went into heat very early and will drive me out of my mind and my home!

    Thanks to anyone who has any ideas 🙂

  69. The sneaky one   February 11, 2015 at 8:31 am  

    I can’t spay her until she is six months old. She is only four months. I need at least three hours of full, running playtime to even make a dent in her energy levels

  70. Michelle Schnaidt   March 23, 2015 at 8:13 am  

    We bought the night owl stuff, did the “program” like you said. It did NOT work. Our cat is continuing to wake our entire family up at night. I’m seriously looking into getting rid of him. This is getting out of hand.

  71. Pamela & Leon Estabrooks   July 12, 2015 at 5:18 pm  

    We hAve a female cat she only sleeps 10 or 15 mins a day, during the day she’s up your butt 24/7 non stop running in front of u trying to trip u and making a squeaking noise she a basket case what can we do to help her calm down and sleep more we give her the attention and she still won’t stop

  72. Tanya Satill   July 27, 2015 at 5:02 am  

    I watch your show regularly. My almost-18-year-old cat howls at intervals throughout the night. This has only been since she had an impacted anal gland about 3 months ago. She’ll start howling at about 10 p.m. and I usually feed her at about 10 or 10.30 p.m. She sits at the end of the hall or in my bathroom, stares at the ceiling and howls. She wakes me up, anywhere between 1 and 3 times a night, and I feed her. She doesn’t howl during the day.
    Tanya, Cape Town, South Africa

  73. Bianca   September 8, 2015 at 3:49 am  

    Hey so I’ve had this adorable little menace, Alfie, for almost a year now. She came to me as a stray that “needed a home where she would be spoiled rotten” and well…. she is spoiled. And bossy. And opinionated. And adorable, so so cute (medium hair dilute calico and a bit of a chunk chunk, but in the healthy range). Anyways, when we first got her nights were atrocious. She’s like a gremlin. After we go to bed, she thinks it’s time to knock lamps off of tables, howl, jump up on doors and open them (she’s a smart little gremlin), climb in dressers and get stuck and then…. howl, just a little demon. So she got her own room she has to be physically locked in at night. If we don’t lock the door, she gets out and mayhem ensues. She has everything she could possibly want in there: litterbox, window perch, tall shelving to climb, a hiding spot with blankets, toys galore, snack puzzles… I just don’t know.

    She acts like she’s being murdered in her room at night. All night. Howling and “yelling” and I swear the neighbors can hear her. Banging on the door and clawing on the doorframe, trying to dig her way under the door (ruined carpet and door frames in a not even a year old house, like I’m not super thrilled about this), just throwing a huge hissy fit. She has the feliway diffuser in her room as well as lavender essential oils in her cozy hidey spots and on her window perch.

    Are there any suggestions as to what to do? I love my little menace to death, but also I’m tired of having to look at the damage in the morning. Others have suggested another cat, but we had a horrible stint of her inappropriately urinating (ruined a vintage couch erghh) and I don’t know if I can handle going through with that again.

  74. Nusrat Baig   November 19, 2015 at 7:19 am  

    I adopted a male cat a week back..he fine during the day but at nights he meows for no reason.I work and its very difficult if I don’t get sleep..i give him a cracker to make him quiet..he stays in light.pls suggest me how to come out of it..thanks

  75. liz santoz   November 22, 2015 at 6:03 pm  

    My cat Boots is a male and is about two years old. since we have had him he tends to stay up all night crying and yowling. i really don’t know what to do! i have tried to leave the TV so he feels like we are still in the room but that only worked for a short amount of time. i have also created a tent over a coffee table for him and our other cat, Kidd, who is 3 years old, but that didn’t last long either. i am scared that i am going to get kicked out of my apartment because my landlord initially didn’t allow pets but I convinced him that they were both calm cats. Please help!

    -New Orleans cat lady.

  76. Midwestmom76   January 1, 2016 at 6:55 am  

    CAT OWNERS! PLEASE READ Wow! So happy I found this! Starting this ritual morning . One of my cats is very persistent and trying to get my attention as I type this on my phone as there is no way she’d let me use a laptop. Cat owners will know this one!
    She started the behavior of trying to wake me early 2-5 a.m. the last year. Tries everything, walks on my head, meows, tears my blankets off, bangs on my blankets, knocks everything off my nightstand, chews on phone cords, and plastic and beats on closed doors. I yelled at her about the phone cords but hey, to her it was attention. So now I only charge while she’s eating and happy then hide the cord after. My husband does not feed her but she is smart! She knows he’ll wake up, then mommy wakes up and then food comes, viola! So this morning starts the new 10-15 day ritual. No attention at this time of the morning, rewarding nor negative. I hope she doesn’t start urinating on my pillow! BTW, she is the scout for the other two cats, lol. I never free feed but 2 of 3 are overweight so I read this amazing article on WHY they gain. Dry food is loaded with carbohydrates, grains and sometimes vegetables. Cats do not need this in their diet. They are strictly carnivores and will lose weight on canned wet food and a raw diet which will let them live healthier and happier lives. Like kittens forever! So far 3 weeks in to new diet (slowly ease them into it for health purposes ) and they all are losing weight, shedding less, (poop smells way better) are super shiny coat and playing ALOT more .Which helps right before nightime feeding! Sorry for the long post but worth the read if you made it to the end. I’ll try to update within the month to let you know if the ignoring helps (earplugs help too)

  77. Sally Joan   January 15, 2016 at 11:30 pm  

    If I ignore my kitten while trying to sleep nights, he ends up knocking everything over….lamps, books etc….he even likes to climb up in the lamp and is fascinated by the light bulbs which are off at night but he remembers they are there….we also have 911 cords where i live (a senior citizen complex) and if I ignore him, he will pull the cord and have 911 knocking down my door…..the cords have no where else to go…..there is no way to tie them higher so he can’t reach them….I really don’t know what to do. He is cutest little cat but omg, I need sleep. I am 64 and have COPD, my eyes are literally black….he looks innocent but will not settle down once I get in bed….if I lay on the sofa, he will lay with me…..even now as I type this at the table, he lies in front of me, snuggled up to me….but bedtime…..in bed….he becomes this big wild lion, walking along the window sill up to the dresser tops and jumps here and there, knocking things over which cause a loud crash…..or he goes and finds his toy mice and then brings one in his mouth, jumping in my face with it wanting to play. I am tired…. l love him but my health gets worse if I cannot sleep.

  78. Sally Joan   January 15, 2016 at 11:30 pm  

    If I ignore my kitten while trying to sleep nights, he ends up knocking everything over….lamps, books etc….he even likes to climb up in the lamp and is fascinated by the light bulbs which are off at night but he remembers they are there….we also have 911 cords where i live (a senior citizen complex) and if I ignore him, he will pull the cord and have 911 knocking down my door…..the cords have no where else to go…..there is no way to tie them higher so he can’t reach them….I really don’t know what to do. He is cutest little cat but omg, I need sleep. I am 64 and have COPD, my eyes are literally black….he looks innocent but will not settle down once I get in bed….if I lay on the sofa, he will lay with me…..even now as I type this at the table, he lies in front of me, snuggled up to me….but bedtime…..in bed….he becomes this big wild lion, walking along the window sill up to the dresser tops and jumps here and there, knocking things over which cause a loud crash…..or he goes and finds his toy mice and then brings one in his mouth, jumping in my face with it wanting to play. I am tired…. l love him but my health gets worse if I cannot sleep.

  79. Diane Beverley   January 29, 2016 at 4:37 pm  

    My cat is a great adopted 10-year-old, dsh tabby. He is wonderful and has fulfilled my lonesome life since my husband passed away.
    I had never had a pet and am learning a lot from your show. He is declawed in front and is very clean. My only problem is that from the beginning he jumped into my bed, sleeps, watches TV, etc. He follows me wherever I go and constantly jumps in my lap and sleeps or makes cute faces at me. I spoiled him in the bed thing until he started waking me up about 4 a.m., by meowing, staring at me with those big beautiful eyes, tapping on my face, walking around the bed, etc. When I don’t wake up, I am quickly woken with his long sharp teeth in my arms, pain and blood flowing. I scream at him and he takes off. This has now been going on for several months. I’ve got scars all up and down my arms. I am 72 years-old and handicapped. He succeeded and gets me up very stressed out. I’ve started feeding him and putting him in HIS room with water, wet food, dry food, and 2 litter boxes. I close the door, which doesn’t lock. He cries and keeps pushing on it until it opens. He then comes out to my living room and lays in front of me on his favorite blanket like nothing ever happened. I’m planning on my handi-man to fix that lock on the door this weekend. Is this what you would recommend about this problem to keep him from biting me??? Just keep him out of my bed altogether???

  80. modafinil with credit card   January 30, 2016 at 5:43 am  

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  81. Layla Rose   February 20, 2016 at 10:13 am  

    I swear that cats are opposite whatever you are. My recently rescued cat only recently started sleeping on the bed w/me, but sometimes he gets up a little bit before I do, which of course means breakfast time. I’m naturally a very extremely nocturnal person, so I want him to sleep late with me. At least past noon. But of course he insists on waking up about noon or just before.

    I’m going to try to play more before bed & give him a meal as well closer to bedtime (my bedtime). As I do not free feed. Although before now I was actually considering it (just watched the video on free feeding). He seems to also have issues w/food. He acts like he’s starving and is afraid that he will never eat again. He’s so aggressive and cries so much when it’s feeding time, mostly breakfast. I feed about 6 hours apart, twice a day, but I’m wondering if I should maybe feed him 3 times a day now. He’s so desperate for food and by breakfast time, it’s been longer than 12 hours since he’s eaten.

  82. elaine kassin   March 15, 2016 at 10:01 pm  

    elaineatlas@yahoo.com i have five ccats four i have for the last four years they where all out door kittens i got them at about 7 or 8 weeks old i just got another kitten in nov at 7 weeks old she was also a out door cat she was so small and wasnt eating when i took her to the vet she didnt even weight 1 lb i have had her since nov she is now over four lbs she has also starting to go into heat i will get her fixed but the last few day she has been crying at night wont let me sleep bites me when she dose come on my lap and lays down with me at this time she not in heat because i have one male cat and when she is in heat she is all over him putting her butt in hes face but he is fixed so he dosent care so i am able to rub her belly and pet her and she will clam down thats why i know the way she is acting is not because of her being in heat and i do play with my cats at night so i dont know what to do please help me. need sleep

  83. Raxie   April 29, 2016 at 6:38 am  

    My 8 month old kitten wakes us up early in the morning like clockworks. Our next door neighbor is insanely loud and the cat wakes up and things its us and bam, starts meowing for us to wake up and open our bedroom door. Drives us batty. Not sure what else to do, we put in a gate downstairs, he manages to find a way through the gates. We can’t entirely ignore him because he gets LOUD and we do have neighbors on both sides.

  84. Pearl   May 11, 2016 at 4:20 am  

    My two cats will wake us up anywhere between 1am to 4pm with constant meowing and it will not stop until we give them food.

  85. Samantha Howard-McGill   June 5, 2016 at 5:56 am  

    I am not sure if this will help anyone but we’ve had cats for many years (admittedly only one or two at a time). We have always made up sleeping basket and litter trays for them in the laundry. We shut the door to the laundry after we say goodnight to them and even though they may howl and kick the door for the first three or four nights that we have them (earplugs required!), they soon learn that we expect them to sleep during our sleeping hours (11pm – 7am). Then we don’t hear a peep out of them and they get so used to the routine most of them would actually make their way to the laundry at 11pm in readiness for sleep and are quite happy to do so for their entire lives with us. It’s like putting a toddler to bed really. Cats need routines and a secure sleeping place away from your sleeping area.


We regret that Jackson does not answer questions posted in the comments. This is due to his demanding schedule and the high volume of requests he receives. But most importantly, since he has not met your cat, it would be contrary to his approach for him to give specific personalized advice for your specific situation. That being said, general questions and issues are addressed throughout this blog, in his book Cat Daddy and of course, the show My Cat From Hell.

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