I would like tips on getting my cat settled into a routine of not sleeping in the bedroom, given that we have just moved house.
We have a 9 year old neutered female rescue cat who we adopted just over 5 years ago. She's very affectionate, including with regular visitors, and likes nothing more than to sleep in a lap and have her belly scratched.
When we first adopted her we lived in a flat and would shut her out of our bedroom at night, however when she developed kidney issues she got quite distressed so we let her sleep in our bedroom. She disturbed our sleep a little, but less than she would if we shut her out, and she seemed happier, so we never managed to get her sleeping outside the bedroom again.
A couple of weeks ago we moved into a house which has much more space, and many more comfortable cat-sleeping spots, such as the eves of the loft where it can get quite warm, and where she had taken to spending a lot of time in the day.
I have recently started to suffer with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, and so have been finding the disturbance to my sleep especially difficult. With this in mind we decided to use the process of settling her into to me house to bar her from access to the bedroom at night, as it seems less cruel given how much more room she now has and given by health problems, but this seems to have resulted in an amount of separation anxiety.
Eventually I'd like to move the food, water and litter into a split between the kitchen and dining rooms which would mean she would have a reasonable bit of space shut in those two, potentially with a cat-flap or open window for outdoor access, but we're having some work done and we don't want to let her out for a while until she's truly settled so she doesn't run away.
What we've done so far
For the first few days we gave her access only to the lounge, where her food, water fountain and litter tray are, as well as a sofa on which we have put blankets and cushions from our old flat. Next we opened the lounge door but closed all the others except the spare bedroom which acts as a home-office where we spend a lot of time in the day, but this also gave her access to the loft where she seeks quite happy, then a few days later we gave her access to the rest of the downstairs, followed by the bathroom, where we've put a water bowl for her. Until about a week we shut her in the lounge at night so we could keep an eye on her in new places and watch out for any stress reactions, but she would cry for attention in the mornings and we were worried about her being under-stimulated, so have given her night-time access to the rest of the house save for the bedroom.
For a few nights this was ok, and she'd maybe cry at the door for a minute or two when we went to bed, and then as soon as she heard one of us up in the morning, but now she has become somewhat relentless, and it's affecting our sleep again. The other day she darted into our bedroom in the morning as one of us went to the toilet, and so now we've been giving her access in the day, but I'm not sure what's best for getting her settled into a routine that works for everyone.