I've had my newest cat just a couple months. This is a female spay DSH tortie, shelter rescue, estimated age 1.5 years.
I have small tables at each head corner of my bed, holding various things on shelves at different levels, including a telephone, my alarm clock, tissues, a mini first-aid kit, books I am reading before bed, and each has a small lamp on the top. These lamps are just over a foot tall, and maybe 8 or 9 inches diameter on the shades (about 35-40cm tall, 20-25cm dia).
As she has become more comfortable in her new home and with me as her human, she has taken on a new hobby. The cat has been rubbing against the shades of these lamps while I am sleeping, and frequently rubbing hard enough to tip it over onto the floor. Fortunately in this age of plastic LED bulbs, there is really no harm done, though the shades might be getting lightly wrinkled. The biggest problem here is the sudden jolting awake this causes for me. Unfortunately, this means I am not really able to issue a proper corrective action.
I have noticed this happens mostly in the hour before wake-up time- 0545 for me, but it has happened as early as 0200. I wonder if it might be a deliberate attempt to get me up for breakfast, although it doesn't work, I just put the lamp back and go back to sleep.
I considered spraying the lamps with a citrus oil, as I have used this successfully in other places. But I find that I do not like that smell either, and these lamps are very near my nose while sleeping. I also considered trying some sort of adhesive on the bottom of the lamp, but I am not sure what kind would work well, yet still allow adjusting or shifting the lamp when desired.
Has anyone had a similar situation, and any other suggestions of things to try?
Updates/ Response to some suggestions:
- Screws. This would be an absolute desperate last resort in my mind. These lamps and tables have value as aesthetic as well as practical objects, and I can't justify ruining that.
- Kick the cat out. Cat has her own bed in the bedroom, and prefers to sleep there. I have rarely rolled over to find her against my leg or around my feet. Far more often if I wake up at night, she is in her own bed. As mentioned, this cat is still relatively new to me, so this may change as we become better friends, and if so, I will enjoy it. I also prefer the air flow with the door open- it gets stuffy when closed.
- Inverted spike-y mats. Although others swear it works, in my experience, this is a myth. My prior cat genuinely enjoyed lying on the stuff. Current cat totally ignores it. Plus, the tables are small enough and close enough to the bed to keep the lamps in scent-rubbing reach even with rear paws on the bed, and fore paws just on the edge of the table.
- Command brand picture hanging strips. This was an excellent suggestion and I had some left over from, what else, hanging pictures. I put two pieces on the base of each lamp yesterday evening, and this morning at 0509 I hear "rip - clunk - crash." Careful examination in the morning revealed the flaw- the strips have thickness, raising the lamp up by a few millimeters. Plus, these strips have a lot of "play" in them side-to-side. So when pushed in the direction opposite the axis of how I placed the strips, actually produced a levering effect making it easier to tip over. I am going to add a third strip perpendicular to the other two and try again. Fingers crossed.
- Replace the lamps with head-board mounted kinds. I will do some shopping and see what I can come up with. My headboard is of the upholstered style, and rather thick. There are some boards along the back side I might be able to get a screw into if I pull the bed out. I'm not confident I can find anything, but I will look.
- Why? Is the cat just scent marking, or is she trying to wake me up either for breakfast or simple attention? So far, she has only done this at night, or at least, I have never observed her rubbing the lamps except at night. And so far, only once in the middle of the night, and far more often in the hour before scheduled alarm clock time. I really can't say for sure. Deliberate wake-up attempt is of course a valid hypothesis, but I doubt we could ever prove it. I think it best to begin by assuming (for now) it is simple marking behavior, and the tipping is accidental.