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I recently moved to be closer to my sister and her family. My mom had recently passed away and the family needed a change. During this time my sister had fleas in her household. She had a cat, dog and bird. She flea dipped the pets (well not the bird) and they came to stay at my house. During this time, the 15 year old cat, adopted my dad as her cat owner. He was perfect for her needs as she sits around a lot and snuggles and he's available being retired and a chair potato type of personality. Dad and my sister decided that I appeared lonely so I was talked into adopting another cat. Totally different personality. She is two years old and prefers to play, follow, sit on perches not people and just generally be up high. The two cats seem to tolerate each other but are not cuddling or anything like that. They sleep together on the same pieces of furniture or take turns on ones they can't share and have chosen to not even sleep with us but instead with each other on spare beds, chairs and in windows.

All is well until morning feeding. I originally fed the cats 7 am and 7 pm. Cleo, the older cat, when she came to live with us alone, loved it. She would just come in my room around 6 am and wait for me to wake up to get fed. Sometimes she would meow at 6:30 but that wasn't too bad anyway. She has dry food offered all the time in my dad's bedroom so I never got the excitement with wet food. Well Annabelle (the younger cat) at first wouldn't eat near Cleo. We fed them in separate rooms. Gradually the two cats moved closer to each other by their choice not mine and now eat side by side. Cleo, the 15 year old cat, loves her food. She will eat her own food then finish off Annabelle's. I've always allowed this to happen as long as Annabelle was done. I saw no harm in Cleo licking the bowl. I'm not sure how Annabelle feels. If the food wasn't finished for some odd reason, I'd put it up high on my dresser for Annabelle to choose to eat later (her dry food is up on my dresser since Cleo doesn't go up high and Annabelle prefers everything up high.). Cleo is on special UTI food and Annabelle is on normal cat food so that is why their dry food is separate.

This is all fine but the problem is morning meal times. The cats will fight before food and they have gradually created an environment that morning meals are now at 4 am instead of 7. They fight until I get up to feed them. No blood occurs or fur removed or anything but instead Cleo comes into my room and stares at me and Annabelle fights with her until I finally just give in and get up and feed them. I can't sleep with two cats fighting. I have looked and it's mostly pawing at each other's faces, sometimes rolling around on the floor but never anything more than that. During the rest of the day they are fine.

My question is, since I do not have a door on my room keeping Cleo out so Annabelle doesn't fight with her, does anyone have any ideas of how to make the morning meal be at 6 or 7 so I can actually sleep at night instead of getting up and feeding them? I care for my grandma full time so sleep is so rare and it's so upsetting to have grandma finally fall asleep at 3 only to be woken up by a hissing cat (the older cat) 20 minutes later.

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I would recommend trying to ignore them as best they can. As annoying as it is, if they get what they want, and this is how they get it, they will continue. Gradually this will push back their feeding times again. However, breaking up their fights is ok if you see it is necessary. Don't deny them food until 7 AM on the first day, slowly push it back until they realize it's only coming when you want it too. Cats are routine animals, so gradual and gentle changes are best.

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  • I have started to ignore them although it's not real easy when they are fighting right next to your bed. I think I just got so tired I fall asleep not noticing it. I have the food time at 5 so far. It's so going on the moving as they are seriously resisting the change. I have noticed a change in their behavior since I put a comfortable blanket (the older cat sleeps on it while in the bay window a lot. I got a new blanket for there that she has already taken to) at the bottom of my bed which I think helped the younger to realize the older cat has her own spot in my room. – littlemisskitty Mar 3 '17 at 2:31
  • If you give them dry food, you could try feeding them with one of those automatic food dispensers. If they learn you no longer have a connection to when food is dispensed, they might be less annoying in the morning. – Kai Jun 23 '17 at 14:08

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