The Experiment

The setup: We have one cat, and one dog of our own. There are also two other dogs in the house. Smitty’s dog, who lives with us, thinks our cat is a play toy. Because of this, our cat spends all of her time in our room. Our room always has a baby gate in the doorway so the cat is free to roam but the dogs don’t go in. At night, there’s another baby gate in the hallway so our dog is locked in our wing of the house.

The problem: Because our cat is alone in our room all the time, when we go in there to sleep, she thinks it’s play time. She consistently wakes me up at 6am for food and playtime.

The proposed solution: Give the cat a friend. The cat and our dog have always gotten along. Maybe if we let them play together at night without the influence of the other dogs, the cat wouldn’t wake me up so blasted early.

Phase 1: Two nights ago, we left our bedroom door open after we went to sleep so that the cat could interact with our dog through the baby gate at our door. She let me sleep in until 8. Bingo, we’re making progress. This seems to have improved things already.

Phase 2: Last night we took down the baby gate in our doorway, letting our dog into our bedroom. Our rule has always been that our room is the cat’s territory and our dog would never be allowed on the bed. LOL. Dog – 1 Us – 0. So the dog ended up squeezing between my husband and I in a bed that my husband and I alone barely fit in. The cat was unhappy and refused to sleep at the foot of the bed where she normally sleeps. Obviously we’ve taken it too far, and I sleep horribly knowing she’s upset. But she doesn’t wake me up until 11. Progress?

However…after my husband leaves the bed at 5:30, which I sleep through as usual, the DOG wakes me up at 6am puking up cat turds on my husband’s side of the bed. Apparently he abandoned her and she didn’t like it. Thank god he pulled the blankets up after he got out of bed. Dog – 2 Us – 0

The Conclusion: I will be happy sleeping until 9am by letting the cat and dog play through the baby gate in the doorway. And I hate doing laundry.