My cats were always allowed in the bedroom. Lately, the youngest one, who is the least affectionate and the most adventurous and most-likely to get into trouble, has been waking us up every night. He will leap into the air to grab onto the curtains, he will jump onto the bedside table and knock off pill bottles or jewelry, he will scratch at the closet and meow and jump on things. He doesn't come up onto the bed at all or touch us, but he definitely seems to be trying to get our attention. We have two other cats and they just sleep throughout the night and never wake us up.

I have tried spraying him with a water bottle, but that only stops him for ten minutes or so, or he goes and does something outside of my range. We've been locking all of the cats out so that we can sleep but we would like to let them in.


He's bored.

The first goal should be to make some place (not your bedroom) a much more entertaining place to be than your bedroom is. Set up some toys in your living room or some other place like a puzzle feeder, automatic wand toys, or other toys that he likes. In the morning these toys should be put away to keep his interest level in them up.

Then, make your bedroom as uninteresting as possible. Put the pill bottles and jewelry away, don't respond when he steps on you, etc.

Last, take advantage of the cat's hunt, feed, groom, sleep cycle. Use an interactive toy for awhile right before bed, then give him some food. He should settle down pretty quickly after that (it works amazingly well on our youngest).

Pam Johnson Bennett outlines this plan in more detail on her site.

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  • what does groom mean in context with cats? i am not-native and cannot understand from this word definition. – n611x007 Jan 26 '14 at 13:23
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    @naxa groom means to lick itself, cleaning its fur (if it's still not clear, let me know) – Zaralynda Jan 26 '14 at 22:11

This probably sounds really mean, but there is demonstrated evidence that cold temperatures tend to encourage animals to curl up and sleep. So, I would recommend turning down the air temperature in your room and the cat will probably look for a warm place to snuggle instead of running around all night. I've done this many times with my own 2 cats and it definitely has worked.

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    could you link to some internet resource showing the demonstrated evidence? – n611x007 Jan 26 '14 at 13:24

You do not mention the size of your living accommodations - but if they are large enough you could contain the playful cat in another room that has litter and toys. That way your door is still open to the others. That is assuming, of course, that you have an available litter pan for the other two.

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The way I solved this with a friend's cat -- who I was hosting because they couldn't deal with him while other things were also going on -- was to close him out of the bedroom for about a week, wearing earplugs when necessary. After he stopped demanding entry, I started letting him in -- but if he made trouble he immediately got put out of the room for multiple days and we restarted from scratch. It only took a couple of iterations for him to figure out that misbehaving wasn't getting him what he wanted.

Train the cat. Don't let the cat train you; don't let him make it a game. If he wants attention, give him attention only when he behaves, not when he misbehaves.

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