Does your kitten’s incessant meowing keep you up all night?
Do you hear the screech of her paws against your bedroom door and rue that bringing home a kitten isn’t the utopia you always imagined it to be?
Well, dear reader, if you find yourself in any of these predicaments, stick around because we have just what you need :
An arsenal of tried and tested methods guaranteed to help your kitten sleep at night so that you can enjoy some peacefully quiet nights of sleep.
Why Do Kittens Not Sleep At Night?
Cats are crepuscular creatures, meaning that they are predisposed to stay active at dusk and dawn.
The circadian cycle of kittens finds its roots in their ancestral heritage. Their ancestors were African predators who slept for most of the day and hunted at night. Therefore, your kitten’s sleep cycle still echoes this pattern.
Here are some other causes of nocturnal behavior in cats:
If your cat is alone during the day while you’re preoccupied with work, then it will spend the day relaxing or napping. Thus, your cat will likely be more active in the evening.
Boredom and idleness in the daylight hours result in your cat feeling more energetic and playful at night.
It is embedded in kittens’ instinctual nature to hunt at night, and thus, your furball may wake up at night to satisfy this craving to feed.
4. Health Conditions
Ailments like Hyperthyroidism, anxiety, dementia, etc. can cause a kitten to stay up patrolling through the night hours.
How Long Do Kittens Sleep?
A newborn kitten sleeps for the majority of the day i.e they require 20-22 hours of shuteye.
As kittens grow, they start sleeping less and less but still doze for around 16-18 hours at six months of maturity.
Sleeping is crucial for kittens at this stage as it supplements the development of their brain and central nervous system. It also tones their muscles and strengthens the immune system.
Must Read: Where Should My Kitten Sleep At Night?
How Can I Get My Kitten To Sleep Throughout The Night?
Adjusting your kitten’s sleeping schedule can be a tedious and time-consuming process, so prepare to be patient.
Let us now explore the different steps through which you can encourage your kitten to sleep longer at night :
1. Provide stimulation during the day
It’s perfectly conventional for kittens to sleep and nap during the day.
However, you must allow your kitten the opportunity to physically exert itself when it wakes up.
Provide toys, scratching posts, and climbing courses so that your kitten remains entertained and stimulated.
Therefore, make sure your kitten gets plenty of hours for playtime during the day.
2. Evening playtime
It’s a good idea to wear out your kitten just before she goes to sleep. This will help her doze soundly the entire night.
You can play in variations like fetching games, laser light play, or cat teasers. Provide a mix of chasing, stalking, and pouncing activities. Puzzle games are also an ideal way to keep your kitten entertained.
3. Feeding Schedule
Cats usually feel sleepy after eating. You can, therefore, change the amount of food you feed your kitten during the daytime to influence her sleeping schedule. Prepare a high-protein meal for your feline friend and feed it to her just before bedtime.
4. Prepare for bed
Perform all your routine bedtime activities while your kitten is watching. Over time, this will become a signal for your kitten that nighttime is approaching.
Turn off the lights and tuck your kitten in her bed. You can play feline-friendly music or tunes to help make your kitten relaxed.
Repeat this routine every day. Cats like sleeping up high so consider setting up your kitten’s bed in a high, elevated place.
5. Set a separate room
Even though snuggling with your furry friend might be your favorite part of the day, it is still advised to keep kittens in a separate room for the night, at least until they have matured or grown.
6. Make it comfortable
Ensure that your kitten’s bed is warm and cozy. Cover it with soft blankets and towels. Provide a food bowl, water bowl, and litter box. Also keep your kitten’s toys within reach so that she can occupy herself, in case sleep is elusive.
7. Be Firm
In the first few days of sleeping alone, your kitten will likely crib and emphatically not approve of the new sleeping arrangement. If this happens, it is pivotal that you don’t cave in and establish boundaries unyieldingly.
In case your kitten pesters you, don’t pay it any attention, otherwise, it will start repeating the same behavior.
Ignoring your kitten will be challenging and difficult initially, but with time, your kitten will adjust and respond to the new sleep schedule.
If your kitten still doesn’t sleep timely, you can consider taking her to your vet who may suggest natural remedies like ‘Acupuncture’ or ‘Flower Essesnces’ or even prescribe medication.
Must Read: Should I Let My Kitten Sleep With Me?
How Do I Create The Perfect Kitten Bed?
The perfect bed for your kitten is one that meets all of her necessities like safety, food, and water, along with comfort and entertainment.
Cats are idiosyncratic beings and can be particular about their preferences. If your furball doesn’t like her kitten den, she will certainly clue you in.
So here are some ways to make the perfect bed for your kitten that she will love:
1. High Sides
Cats prefer elevated surfaces, so pick a bed with high sides to simulate a safe den.
2. Make It Cozy
Be sure to cloak it with plenty of soft, fuzzy blankets and duvets to make your kitten’s bed a warm and secure cocoon. You can even add hot water bottles under the covers if you think she might feel cold during the night.
3. Provide the Necessities
Place a food bowl and water bowl close to your kitten’s bed so she can munch on the treats if she feels hungry.
Kittens have tiny bladders, so keep a litter box close as well. Some cats don’t prefer to keep the litter boxes near their food bowl so try to split the difference.
4. Make It Fun
Your kitten also needs to entertain herself if boredom strikes, so ensure to place her cat toys within reach.
5. Scratching Post
Including a scratching post is sure to give you brownie points as a cat parent. Cats utilize scratching posts as soon as they wake up.
If you’re feeling creative, you can also try fashioning a DIY kitten bed.
Interesting Read: Confining A Cat To A Room At Night? Is It An Offence?
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I crate my kitten at night?
No, you shouldn’t crate or confine your kitten at night. At times cat owners crate their kittens to help with litter box training, injury recovery, or to keep them from hurting themselves. However, if you have already kitten-proofed the room, then you don’t have to confine your kitten at night.
Why does my cat suddenly switch sleeping places?
Cats switch places to seek comfort and security. They also do this to keep their body temperature in check and adjust their bodies. It’s quite general for kittens to frequently change their sleeping places in search of more warmth or protection.
Kittens are champion sleepers, catnapping for up to 16-20 hours a day. Unfortunately for us, most of that shuteye takes place during the daylight and does not align with our own sleeping schedule.
Thus, cat owners have to often resort to some ingenious methods to induce their kittens to sleep at night. The most obvious one is to simply wear out your kitten before bedtime so that she can sleep soundly throughout the night.
Your kitten’s comfort is a priority so make sure that you choose the ideal bed for her that stimulates a warm, snug haven.
Interesting Read: Should My Kitten Sleep In A Crate?