First time posting here, and Furry is my first pet ever.
Furry joined us when he was 1-month old. Last month we decided that he was being too annoying at night so we set up an environment for him in the bathroom, with water, clean litter box, some toys, and sometimes some leftover cat food. We lock the bathroom door before we go to sleep.
So far during midnight, he consistently makes different kinds of sounds at irregular intervals, each time lasting 5 to 15 minutes (in the first week it could last an hour). These sounds include meowing, scratching wall, hitting and knocking stuff down when he messes around, and sometimes some really really pitiful moan and cry... Despite all the temptation, we have been following the strict rule, as suggested everywhere, to ignore him entirely, except when some of us need to use the bathroom midnight.
Based on my researches on Google, since there is no other outstanding issue such as hunger, thirst, and medical ailments (as far as I am aware of), plus the observation that once we open up the bathroom in the morning it starts purring and shows affection instead of meowing and crying, I presume that all the noises are due to loneliness. But I swear I play a lot with him everyday - like 30 minutes, and it is not just me playing with him! I admit that during these days of COVID-19, when each of us arrives home, despite his eager to show us affection we would not interact with him until we fully clean ourselves and take a bath. However, I feel like we are showing pretty much attention to him already.
The usually suggested play time of 20-30 minutes now sounds to me only applicable to older cats. Furry's current behaviors make me feel that his clock cannot be further trained to stay quiet all night. One really inconvenient thing about it is that he is very sensitive to very soft sound at night. It means that when I get off my bed to, say, take a sip of water or use the toilet, he is likely awaken at the same time and will then start his crying cycle (my flat is a pretty small one), which feels like he has not learnt the lesson that "all requests midnight will be neglected" even after spending a month in the bathroom at night. It makes me stressful sometimes when I want to make a sound (sometimes he can even react to my action on my bed!).
I can foresee some totally sensible answers that each cat behaves differently and it is impossible to declare a play time threshold. So apart from that, how else can I further tune his clock and make him stay quiet at night? Most search results gave me an impression that it shouldn't take longer than a month for a cat to change its habit. Now one month has passed. If there is no further insight for us, we (of course) will let Furry's life takes its course (and will not abandon him) but then our sleeps are doomed...
Apart from these, we are having good time :)