cat waking up too early

OK...this may sound silly but...we got a 7 year old cat in September.  He has this annoying habit of meowing or "scratching" (he's declawed) at something in our bedroom very very early in the mornings (4am) and waking us up.  He has dry food in his bowl and plenty of water but, of course, wants the soft food that he gets twice a day.  My husband is ready to toss him out for good so I need some help on how to break him of this habit.  He is a sweetheart otherwise and my baby!  :-)  We have been putting him outside (fenced in yard and he likes to go out) when he does this and let him in when WE are ready to feed him but any ideas would be appreciated so he doesn't continue this annoying habit!  Thanks.

MJ

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