Why is my cat so affectionate in the morning? It didn’t use to be, so what changed,
and more importantly, should I worry?
Cats are not as sociable as other animals. So, when they cuddle excessively in the morning,
they either want food, attention or are simply bored. Sometimes, the excess cuddling can be a
sign of a health issue, in which case you should take your pet to the vet.
But more often than not, cats cuddle early in the morning because they are nocturnal animals.
Generally speaking, they’re awake around midnight, and as such, they will probably be awake a
A little earlier than you.
Why is my cat so affectionate in the morning?
Usually, cats are not as sociable as other pets (e.g., dogs). Yes, they will show affection by
snuggling up to you or greeting you if you’ve been gone for too long, but generally speaking,
they like to keep to themselves. In fact, it’s that very distance that makes cat owners appreciate
the moments of closeness all the more; if you can get your kitty to snuggle with you without
asking for anything, on its own accord, you’ve mastered the fine craft of owning a cat.
As I stated, cats like to keep their distance, so if my pet suddenly starts cuddling up with me in
the early morning hours, something might be off. Below, I’ve listed several reasons behind this
sudden change in behavior. So, if you’re a cat owner yourself, pay close attention to your furry
little friend in the morning, and you’ll figure out what exactly might be going on.
Potential Reasons Behind Early Morning Affection
Different Sleeping Cycles
When trying to figure out why is my cat so affectionate in the morning conundrum, you have
to keep one important detail in mind. Namely, few animals have the same sleep cycle as
In general, the average person needs 8 hours of sleep. Humans typically sleep somewhat less
than that (at around 6-7 hours) due to their busy workday schedules. Adult cats, on the other
hand, need almost twice as many hours to get that beauty sleep. On average, a typical feline
pet will need at least 12 hours of shuteye, with 16 hours being the upper limit.
But it doesn’t end there. Kittens actually need even more sleep to develop properly, somewhere
around 20 hours. In addition, any senior cat above the age of 7 will sleep a lot more than a
younger, healthy adult cat.
So, what does all of this have to do with humans? Well, cats are crepuscular animals by nature.
In other words, they sleep during the day and hunt after midnight. Therefore, it shouldn’t
surprise you if your cat suddenly starts to snuggle against your face at 5 AM.
Your Cat Is Hungry
Of course, my cat might not show affection in the morning simply because it’s acting out its
basic instincts. There are lots of other practical reasons for this type of behavior.
By far, the most common reason behind early morning cuddling, other than the sleeping cycle
difference, is that the kitty is just hungry. Maybe it didn’t get enough food the day before, or it
simply wants a snack.
Whatever the case might be, cats know exactly how to get what they
want from us. So, if it starts to cuddle next to you, it might simply be because it knows that
cuddles get results, i.e. food. Usually, seeking for food is accompanied by meowing, so don’t be
shocked if you hear a yowl or two while the puss is nuzzling its nose against yours.
Neediness or Boredom
Imagine your entire family being asleep, and you’re the only person who has been awake for at
least several hours. Yes, you would feel extremely bored and starved for human contact.
Cats might not be as sociable as dogs, but they do share one trait with other mammals.
From time to time, they do need contact with other creatures, be they humans, cats, or other animals.
And if their owner is slumbering away, of course, they’ll try to wake them up.
But it might not just be neediness that makes a cat act a certain way when the dawn comes.
Simply put, even cats can get bored sometimes, and playing with the same stuffed mouse just
doesn’t do it for them anymore. They need you to entertain them, and they’re prepared to
cuddle you into submitting to their demands.
Potential Health Issues
Excessive attention from your cat is not always a good thing. For instance, if it keeps yowling
and nuzzling against you, even if you’ve fed it the night before and played with it, then your kitty
might be trying to tell you something.
If you spot that there are too many cuddle sessions every morning, and beyond (eg. cuddling
right after lunch, in the afternoon, etc.), your cat might be suffering from some undiagnosed
health issue. Some other potential signs include excessive hairball coughing, sneezing, fatigue,
wobbly and unstable walks, pottying outside of the designated area, or constantly spilling the
Why Is My Cat so Affectionate in the Morning and How Can I Stop It?
Googling why is my cat so affectionate in the morning will provide a whole host of results.
However, there are few articles that talk in-depth about preventing such behavior. Cuddling
every morning might be fun for a few days, but it becomes incredibly tedious later on. So, if you
don’t want your cat to cuddle with you all the time, the following list of steps can help you out.
Identify the Problem
First and foremost, you need to figure out why your cat has suddenly started to cuddle. As
stated earlier, it can be anything from hunger to simple boredom, so make sure that you pay
close attention to your cat’s daily routine. In addition, take note of any other changes, such as
excessive meowing, fatigue, etc., so you can rule out health issues.
Change the Feeding Schedule
Hunger is one of the most frequent reasons behind morning cuddles. When you feed your cat
every time you get up in the morning, you’re conditioning it to associate feeding time with the act
of you waking up. All you have to do is to condition the cat not to behave that way every
morning by changing its feeding time.
The best way to do it is to give your cat food in the afternoon or evening rather than early in the
morning. Your cat might not like it, and you can experience the same cuddly behavior for at
least a week. However, soon enough, your kitty will start to associate afternoon hours with
feeding time and stop pestering you to wake up. You just need to be patient.
Discourage Morning Cuddles
More often than not, you encourage the kitty snuggling with you by simply letting it happen. After
all cuddles are nice, so why not just let the puss do it?
Luckily, you can use operant conditioning to dissuade the cat from cuddling up to you in the
early hours of the day. One such method is simply ignoring the cat. When it starts to nuzzle up
to you, just don’t react; after a few attempts, it will walk away and leave you alone. Keep doing
that until your cat outright stops waking you up.
Another popular method is the so-called Hug Monster. When the kitty comes up to you to
cuddle, give it a big, firm hug and just hold it there. Soon enough, it should start wriggling in an
attempt to leave the hug. Repeat this for several mornings in a row until the cat starts
associating morning cuddles with the Hug Monster and leaves you alone.
One last method you can use is the Alarm Method.
When the kitty starts doing its thing in the morning, simply tap on the alarm and don’t react further. Teach the cat that you don’t get up
until that alarm rings. However, it might be a good idea to use the built-in alarm app on your
smartphone. Believe it or not, cats can figure out how to use alarm clocks. They can even make
them ring earlier than they normally would.
Play With the Cat Before Bedtime
As stated, cats have a different sleeping cycle to humans. But there is a way to shift that cycle
around to benefit you. Before you go to bed, try to tire your cat out. For example, use a laser or
a toy on a string to make the cat run around the room. In addition, simply engage in some
rough-and-tumble play with the puss. When the kitty tires itself out, its sleep time will match your
Your cat will probably be up around midnight, so what can you do to keep it entertained
throughout the night? One popular option is to place food puzzles or cat toys around the house.
That way, your feline friend will have lots of stuff to do while you’re resting. In addition, it might
tire itself out and fall asleep by the time you need to wake up.
Take the Cat to the Vet
As stated earlier, excessive cuddling could be a sign of the cat suffering from an illness. Cats
don’t have too many ways of letting us know what’s wrong with them. Therefore, when they
display excessive amounts of attention towards you, it’s meant as a sign that they need help. If
you spot other warning signs, such as yowling, fatigue, or poor diet, take your cat to the vet.
Why Is My Cat so Affectionate in the Morning:
So, in the end, why is my cat so affectionate in the morning? It might be any number of things,
but there is one I left out on purpose. When you rule out everything else, from health issues to
nocturnal activities and boredom, you are left with one obvious explanation. The cat is
affectionate towards you because it loves you. And cats that show honest displays of love for
their owners can’t wait to cuddle with them.
So, if nothing I listed above answers your why is my cat so affectionate in the morning question,
you can breathe a sigh of relief and pat yourself on the back — you’re a decent pet owner and
your kitty can’t stop itself from expressing that to you.