How Much Do Kitten Sleep?
When you think of kittens, one thing that you don’t tend to think about are sleepy kittens. Kittens have a well-deserved reputation of being curious, fluffy balls of energy. But after the excitement of coming home with a new little fluff ball, you may be surprised by how much your kitten actually sleeps.
Cats of all ages are known to enjoy their snoozing time, but young felines log more catnaps than grown cats. Growing kittens can snooze up to 20 hours a day or more.
How Much Sleep is Normal?
If you have recently welcomed your home to a new kitten, a good rule of thumb to remember is the younger the kitten, the more sleep they need. If you think about newborn kittens, they usually need to sleep at least 22 hours! That’s about 90 percent of the time sleeping! As kittens mature beyond the newborn stage, they will sleep less; but even at six months of age they still manage to spend about 16 to 20 hours a day dozing and dreaming away.
Some cats will sleep more one day and less another. Some of that has to do with the weather, their moods, or even how much sleep they got the night before. (It’s similar with humans. We all want to curl up in bed on a rainy day).
Why Do Kittens Need So Much Sleep?
If you are wondering why your cat is sleeping so much, good news is we have the answer. Kittens at a young age sleep while their bodies are hard at work.
Their little bodies are growing and developing while they sleep. In order for their brains and central nervous system to develop, cats MUST take these frequent catnaps.
Sleep even keeps your kitten’s immune system in tip top shape. Without enough sleep, your kitten will become irritable and even at risk for infections and illness. (Remember how doctors say sleep is so important for humans, especially babies. The same is true for cats and kittens).
How To Improve Your Kitten’s Sleep Habits
We have learned just how important sleep in for growing kittens. And adjusting to a new environment can cause them to have trouble going to their happy.
Adult cats learn to somewhat adapt to our sleeping patterns (or at least partially respect them), but kittens take some time to learn this lesson. If your kitten attempts to wake you after you’ve gone to bed (it’s not an if, it’s a when). Changes are they want to play, or eat, or maybe they are just bored and want you to pet them.
Luckily there are some tips that you can use to help kittens create healthy sleeping habits. And habits that allow you to get your beauty rest as well.
- Designate a proper sleeping place for them. It is so important that a new kitten has a place for them to sleep that they feel like is their own. Some people will let their cats sleep in their bed, which is a personal preference. What I recommend regardless of your sleeping choice, is to give them a bed of their own as well. Their bed should be a place all their own where they can sleep and feel safe. This helps your cat feel more confident sleeping, especially if you are not there with them. It is also important to make sure all adults and children are aware to not disturb a sleeping kitten.
- Make sure you try and plan your kitten’s feeding time around bedtime. If you feed your kitten too early before bedtime, then they could end up waking you up in the middle of the night due to hunger. Kittens tend to sleep better with a full belly, so you can also choose to leave a small amount of cat food accessible at night.
- Incorporate more human play and attention during the daylight house. As long as your kitten is 7 to 8 weeks old and up, take advantage of his waking hours to expend his energy. Remember to not use your hands as cat toys!
- Unless you suspect your kitten is waking you due to illness of injury, don’t get out of bed and tend to him. Kittens learn what works, and if meowing and pouncing on your feet at 2 a.m. gets him the attention they craves, they will keep doing it. It seems really hard, but it is like teaching a baby to self soothe. You have to teach them proper habits early on.
- Give it time. Kittens wake more at night than adult cats tend to do. Though it can be an exhausting time for their sleep-deprived owners, kittenhood passes quickly. Just know that your kitten will soon grow out of it and they will quickly get on your sleeping schedule. Enjoy the kittenhood time so you can enjoy every waking — and sleeping — kitten moment before they pass.