Finally! This surprising tip from a behaviorist will stop your cat from waking you up at night

Two cats peeking out the end of a bed
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you have a feline friend in your family, chances are you're all too familiar with the scenario of having a deliciously deep sleep interrupted by your cat pawing at your face or deciding to use your head as their own personal cushion.

Whether they're simply trying to be close to you or they're wanting you to get up and engage them in a game with the best cat toys at 3 am, most of us have had our sleep disturbed by an enthusiastic kitty who won't take no for an answer. 

Thankfully, if you're like us and adore your cat but would like to be able to sleep through until the morning without them meowing or demanding attention, behaviorist Jackson Galaxy has come to the rescue with a surprising tip to put an end to those middle of the night wake up calls once and for all. 


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In a video on TikTok, which you can view above, Galaxy says that one of the biggest complaints he gets is from pet parents who can't get their feline friend to stop waking them in the night - something that he says is easy to fix with a simple change in our own behavior.

"Right now, what's your no?," Galaxy asks in the clip. "Throwing something at them, or even worse than that, getting up and feeding them or playing with them at three o'clock in the morning and then complaining that you didn't get enough sleep."

So, if you're not to discipline or punish your cat for waking you up and you shouldn't get up and indulge their every whim, what's the best way of dealing with a determined kitty who refuses to let you get your beauty sleep?

"Your 'no' in this case would be you completely ignoring them," Galaxy advises. "Burying your head, not saying their name, not getting up, not in any way saying that this will get you something. The no, in this case, is nothing."

Whether they're making a noise in the corner or licking your face, Galaxy says it's important to not give your cat any attention if you want them to stop the behavior. As for what you should do instead, it's crucial that as well as saying no, you also offer a yes.

"A yes is everything that happens around bedtime," explains Galaxy. "This includes a yes of a meal before they go to bed, a yes of playing maybe before you go to bed. I'm telling you, this no/yes repeated over the span of say 10 days max - you will see a change in behavior.

If you try Galaxy's tip and don't see the change you're after, please don't feel disheartened. Often training takes more time, patience and consistency than we originally anticipated, so if you're not seeing the progress you'd like to within a particular time frame, we recommend speaking with a professional behaviorist who will be able to offer more tailored support and guidance. 

Have you just welcomed a new bundle of fluff into your family and are looking for some tips and tricks to help you navigate your first year together? Then be sure to check out the most common kitten behavior problems and how to fix them. 

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.