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Housebreaking Your Humans


Humans are notoriously difficult to get up in the mornings. They seem to need an extraordinary amount of sleep and this is inconvenient for most cats. So various strategies are needed to force them out of bed and into the kitchen. This is probably one of the most difficult things to train a human to do so it will need a well planned campaign. Once you have trained them to get up, most other things will follow fairly easily.

Start Small

Start small and build up to a climax over a period of time. Remember, whatever you do they will eventually become accustomed to it and be able to sleep through it. If you slowly increase the pressure they will never be comfortable and will always find it in their own best interests to get up and feed you.

Don't Over Do It

If you turn up the pressure too quickly, it will back fire and you could find yourself out in the cold! Remember to keep the level of aggravation just at the point where they can't sleep comfortably. This needs a very fine judgment and you will certainly get it wrong a few times. Practice makes perfect and a few nights in the rain are worth it for a well trained human.

The Racetrack

The racetrack is a good game for torment. Chase each other over the bed, under the bed and on the bed, making as much noise as possible. Anything that moves under the covers is fair game, especially any genitalia. This only works for a short time as they get used to the noise and to being trampled on. Chi occasionally adds a touch of finesse to this one when he performs a Wall of Death around the bedroom walls.


Dive-bombing from the top of the wardrobe is the next stage. Aim to land on the sleeping human in question aiming especially for the bladder, which is always full early in the morning. This is always guaranteed to have spectacular results, although not always the ones you had in mind. Make the most of this one because they will soon be rearranging the bedroom furniture.


Howling at the top of your voice from a position one inch in front of his nose. Some humans can surprisingly ignore this. However, experience shows that this type of human will respond if you curl up on his pillow and purr into his ear.

Break Something

Break something in another part of the house. Make sure it makes a good noise, crockery or glassware falling off shelves is a good one, or knock the mirror off the wall, alternatively, go for the ornaments. Always make sure you have a fast escape route and an inaccessible hiding place. An injured expression of innocence helps too.

Sass's technique is to vomit on them.


Urinating on them is another method. This was accidentally discovered by Solomon when he first discovered girls. He got so excited he jumped onto the bed and sprayed. Unfortunately she was just waking up at the time and received the results straight in the face. You can imagine the scene that followed. It did not include breakfast but the vet played a major role!

Hitting them in the face with your paw. It works for me.

Steal the Quilt

Kicking them out of bed or stealing the quilt. If you live in a multi cat household as we do, you all spread out on the bed gradually moving the sleeping victim to the edge where they fall out. The alternative option is to claw the quilt over to one side and curl up on it en masse leaving the victim exposed to the night air.

Remember, this is a finely judged game. You want to be fed, not shut out at night and you certainly don't want them calling the local cats home!

Be Pitiful

At some point in the proceedings they will attempt to shut the bedroom door. This is easily dealt with by howling all night in a chorus of pitiful voices, furiously scratching up the carpets and ruining the wallpaper. Always be dreadfully hurt. You could even try going off your food if you have an alternative supply (the lady next door for example).

Feed Yourself

Jake's method is to go hunting and bring his kill home to eat, on, or under the bed. This is a good one and has proved very effective. After all, if they are not going to feed you, then you will be forced to feed yourself won't you? A trail of entrails over the bedroom carpet helps enormously.

Using these examples or your own methods, apply the violent or noisy approach for a few days then give them a break of a couple of days to relax in. This lulls them into a false sense of security so when you start again the effect is more pronounced. Start with something gentle. If they don't respond step up the pressure. Eventually, even the most stubborn human will realize that when you politely request breakfast at 5:30 by sitting on his chest and patting his face, it is better by far to get up, feed you and go back to sleep, than to face the inevitable. Soon they will be able to respond in their sleep without apparently ever waking up.

Small but Perfectly Formed

Here's another suggestion for waking humans from Gizmo, a cat who lives with Piers Cawley.

  • Try clawing their eyelids open, it works for me.
  • Failing that insert one of your lower canines into a human's nostril, you shouldn't have to actually bite, they usually wake up pretty sharpish before it becomes necessary.

Thanks Gizmo. We will certainly give these a try.


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