Do you have a kitten that runs around all hours of the night? Maybe you’re wondering how to get a kitten to sleep at night. If so, you’ve come to the right place.
In today’s article, we will talk about how many hours a kitten tends to sleep as well as how to coerce your beloved kitty into sleeping so that you can have a more restful night yourself.
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How Many Hours A Day Does A Kitten Sleep?
Most kittens sleep between 12 to 16 hours a day on average. This is a completely normal habit that is nothing to worry about. Kittens are a lot like toddlers in regards to their sleeping habits. And just like toddlers, some kittens spend more time sleeping than others. Every kitten will be slightly different.
Sometimes, a kitten will be super active, playing and running like they have endless energy. Then all of a sudden, in an instant, they will be curled up and cutely snoozing. It’s just a normal quirk that most kittens have in their DNA because their feline ancestors were known to hunt in short bursts and sleep most of the day to conserve energy.
It’s also important to note that much of the time that your kitten appears to be sleeping, they are actually catnapping. Catnapping can be described as a short light nap, which we humans may refer to as “dozing off”.
Kittens tend to sleep a lot for developmental reasons as well. While your kitten is sleeping, their brain and nervous system are becoming more and more developed. So it’s safe to say that lots of sleep is definitely a good thing for your kitten’s growth period.
How Do I Get My Kitten To Calm Down At Night?
If your kitten or cat tends to have a ton of energy at night, you are not alone. In fact, most indoor and outdoor felines seem to have optimal energy at night. The reason for this is that cats are crepuscular. What this means is that they have the most energy during dusk and dawn hours.
So you may be asking yourself, how do I get my kitten to calm down at night so I can sleep? Well, there are a few ways to do this that actually work.
In my experience, having some engaging and interactive play time with your cat is essential. You should do this throughout the day if you can, but more so about an hour before you lay down for the night.
This will help them use up all their pent up energy they may have and will most likely make it easier for them to calm down at night. And there is also the added benefit of strengthening the human-feline bond between the two of you. The more playtime you have with your cat, the better relationship you’ll have with them as well.
Another thing you can do to help your kitten get to sleep at night is to feed them its main meal at night, about an hour or two before bedtime. Like humans, cats tend to become tired after a big meal which also helps them sleep easier at night.
Have you ever eaten way too much at a Thanksgiving meal and felt tired and useless the rest of the day? This is the exact same concept I am talking about here.
If both the above methods don’t seem to work for your particular situation, there is another newer method you could try. This may come as a surprise to you, but you can also use soft music to help your cat or kitten get to sleep at night.
Studies have shown that both dogs and cats actually prefer soft classical music. In fact, more and more animal shelters are installing sound systems to help calm down all the cats and dogs in the facility.
But whatever you do, I would highly suggest not blasting loud rock or rap music. This may have the opposite effect on your cat and may make them hyperactive or even stressed out.
Should I Leave A Light On For My Kitten At Night?
In general, you will not need to leave any lights on for your kitten. If it is their first night in their new home, then yes, you may want to leave a light on for them. This is simply to help them with transitioning to their new environment and surroundings.
But for the most part, no, you do not need to leave any lights on for your kitten. You may, however, wish to keep a small light on simply for their safety if you tend to get out of bed to use the bathroom a lot and don’t want to risk accidentally stepping on your kitten. It would also help to buy them a suitable cat bed for them to sleep in.
I would not recommend having a brighter constant light on though. The reason for this is because cats are like any other animal on this planet in that they have pineal glands.
What pineal glands do is help support the production of melatonin, which naturally helps induce sleep. So if you constantly have a light on, this will interfere with melatonin production and could have a negative effect on their sleep cycles.
Can Kittens See In The Dark?
Both cats and kittens tend to be able to see way better in the dark compared to us humans. However, it’s important to note that they cannot see in absolute darkness. There must be some sliver of light coming from somewhere such as under a doorway or through a window.
When a kitten is still really young though, they tend to have poor vision, because they’re still growing and adapting to their new environment. This is especially true if they have just been born within the last 2 weeks or so.
After awhile, your kitten will start taking on the same general feline traits as adult cats do in regards to the development of their eyesight. This growth can be compared to that of a human baby’s early stages of vision.
How Do I Stop My Kitten From Crying At Night?
The first step you’ll want to take is to rule out any health issues that your cat may have. Do this first by scheduling an appointment with your veterinarian.
If your cat has a clean bill of health, then the next thing to do is to make sure that they have enough food and water for the night. They may be crying simply because they are hungry. If your cat is still considered a kitten, were they weaned from their mother properly? This can also account for excessive crying at night.
Another step to take is to make sure their litter box is completely cleaned out of excrement. Even a little bit or urine may be stressing out your kitten to the point of crying. Some cats tend to be really picky when it comes to their litter boxes.
Also, make sure you are giving your kitten lots of playtime and affection before you go to bed at night. Kittens, especially, need a ton of affection so they can feel more comfortable in their home.
Does your kitten have enough playful stimulation to keep them active and satisfied throughout the day? If you’re not sure, consider purchasing a variety of cat toys for them to play with. A bored kitten can also turn into a crying and yowling kitten.
Kittens can be rambunctious little creatures sometimes. This is especially true at night when we are trying to get adequate sleep so we’re not zombies when we have to go to work in the morning.
You don’t have to suffer with a hyperactive nighttime kitten. There are a few things you can try that do not cost a lot and work really well too. And also keep in mind that as your kitten develops into a fully grown adult cat, some of their nighttime behavior may settle down after awhile.
In my personal experience, simply playing with my cats using their favorite laser toy has been the greatest sleep remedy that I have found. My cats always seem to use up all their energy chasing that little red dot.
And because they use up all of their nighttime energy before I go to bed, I get the sleep I need almost every night.