What can I do about my cat waking me up?

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra

I’m worried about my cat Gizzy, she seems to be gaining weight and the problem is that if she doesn’t have food in her dish at all times she will knock over everything in my apartment to get my attention. I’ve tried and tried training her! She has no fear, and knows that being bad gets my attention. She has this lump in-between her two back legs, it hangs, it’s like two lumps in the same spot… should I be worried? She seems to be eating fine and hasn’t been vomiting. But she doesn’t just eat her food! I’m always taking things out of her mouth that aren’t food… She also is obsessed with me tying a string around her tail so she can twirl around in circles and will wake me up with the string in my bed to put it on her, I don’t I hide it and it always makes her very upset when I don’t give it to her… Like I give it to her about 5-10 times a day and she always wants it more! When I took it away for a while or when I remove it she gets very naughty and starts tossing things off my desk. She is a very sweet cat! She loves hugs and kisses and is around me constantly when I am home… She is more like a child or a dog then a cat… she just has an obsessive personality… can you help me with any of this?


Rachel Anderson


Hi – thanks for your email. Gizzy sounds like a real character. I think I’d really like her!

You emailed about several issues – first is waking you up for food or play as well as the lump between her back legs. The lumps you describe may be fat pads. I’d recommend that you have your veterinarian look at them to be sure. Many cats will create accumulations of fat in the lower abdomen area between the rear legs. The “lumps” are generally symmetrical and feel fatty – with the skin hanging down.

As far as the wake-you-up behavior – she has you trained. An article that might be helpful to you is Thwarting the Alarm Clock Cat. Basically she does have you trained. Her bowl is empty – she cries and you feed her. This can be difficult to break but possible. Essentially, you need to begin rewarding her good behavior (feeding and playing with her when she is quiet and being good” and ignore her when she is being “bad”. Check out the above link – I think it will help you. You can also do clicker training – that may also work. Check out these tow articles – I think they might help!

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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