My girlfriend's cat will not let me get a full night of sleep. I already have to work around our party-to-the-night neighbors and the get-up-early-with-high-heels neighbors; so this is really annoying.
Basically the cat will always start meowing when she comes from the litter box, and she does not use the litter box silently. She always scratches her paws on the sides, I presume for cleaning them. This takes a couple of minutes, and unfortunately our condo does not damp noises at all. This happens several times during the night.
Usually our bedroom door is open, she will come in and start meowing. This wakes us up, my girlfriend will tap on the bed or her chest. Sometimes the cat will just jump on her chest and cuddle and be quiet. Most times, however, the cat will just respond with more meowing, I guess she wants to play. We don't want to play, but seems to be an alien concept for her.
When the door is closed, she will scratch on the door. This again is loud enough to wake at least me up. We have tried opening the door a crack and then spray the cat. That does not seem to be a sufficient deterrent to let us sleep. Also when either of us goes to the bathroom at night, the cat will sneak into the bedroom. Curiously the cat will then quietly lay on my girlfriend's chest and purr otherwise quietly. After a while the cat leaves silently again.
Right now it seems that the cat is training us. I am already indifferent to all the hair and cat litter in bed, I am almost used to open up doors for the self proclaimed princess. However, I would like to get a full night of sleep again.
Other questions seem to address similar points, but either I do not have enough patience or they are not compatible with this cat.
The answers there say that the cat is bored (which I would assume applies here as well) and one should try to make other rooms entertaining. It seems that my girlfriend's cat does not like playing with stuff much, it likes to cuddle with everyone, literally everyone. When there are guests, the cat will try to get on everyone's lap. So her toys seem to be all humans around. And they are now in the bedroom.
When we have guests sleeping in our condo, the cat usually stays with them in the living room. So making a different room interesting does work, but it needs other people.
Expelling the cat from the bedroom has only lead to scratching on the door. The spray bottle has not removed that behavior, so I am woken up either way.
First answer says to never open the door. So not use the spray bottle but ignore the cat? That might work. The diabolical thing is that once I am woken up I usually need to go to the bathroom in order to have a chance of getting to sleep again. So then eventually I need to open the door. Should I get a camping toilet for the bedroom‽
The second answer says that one just cannot close the door. In consequence, this also means that one just cannot have a full night of sleep, a bed free of cat litter or any of those things.
There it is suggested to play with the cat. I had done this the yesterday, actually. This cat seems to only respond to cuddling and light play. When there is hard light, she will try to catch the shadow of her tail. I played with a laser pointer (which is eye safe as determined by a fellow physicist and an eye doctor) and got her to the point of exhaustion where she was panting. But apparently that does not do a significant difference.
Suggestion is to react in a way that the cat does not want. We certainly do not do that now. But what can I do when only I wake up and my girlfriend does not? I could wake her up and tell her to do something with the cat. But cuddling tightly is just exactly what the cat wants. And getting sprayed with water does not seem a big deterrent.
Giving the cat away to my girlfriend's parents is what we did when we went on vacation. In their larger house, the cat usually is quiet and does not nag us to play at night. They have their own cat, a rather old male who is not very active due to back pain. They do not seem to get along too well, but sufficiently to only occasionally hiss at each other. When the cat is back in our condo, it is the old behavior. Giving the cat away to them for the whole time would fix my sleep problem, but my girlfriend would be unhappy about that.
Another person writes that they feed their cat manually (we just have a bowl with food for self-service). The cat wakes them up to get food. Sounds like exactly the wrong direction for me.
It seems that it will take quite some time until I can have a full night of sleep again. So what do I do with this renitent cat which has already gained so much ground in the war over authority?