How Much do Kittens Sleep? Tips to Help Your Kitten Sleep Well

If you have a kitten at home you will know that kittens sleep A LOT. Kittens are pro nappers, claiming any spot in the house and hour of the day for a nap. For the first time cat owner, you may be surprised or even concerned for your kitty, but rest assured, it is completely normal for kittens to sleep a lot. So how much do kittens sleep? Let’s take a look at kittens sleeping needs and some tips to help your kitty sleep better at home.

How Much Sleep do Kittens Need?

We can all agree that there is nothing more adorable than the sight of a sleeping kitten. Kittens can sleep up to 22 hours in a day, and can keep this up for a few months. How much sleep your kitten needs will change as they grow and develop – the younger your kitten, the more sleep they need. A kitten will sleep most of the day and typically have a few bursts of energy between meals. Once adults, cats will average anywhere from 12 to 20 hours of sleep a day.

Why do Kittens Need so Much Sleep?

Kittens grow fast in their first few months and when awake, can be found exploring and playing with high levels of energy. To recover and recharge from all their activity, kittens need a enough sleep. For kittens, sleep is necessary for development of their brain, central nervous system and growing bodies. Sleep also helps keep your kitten’s immune system strong.

Cats big and small, domestic or wild, need plenty of sleep. Your kitten’s sleeping habits are similar to that of ancestral cats, predatory hunting mammals with excellent sight, hearing and smell. Cats have evolved, but their sleeping habits remain. So if you find your kitten sleeping a lot, fret not!

Kitten Sleeping Patterns and Habits

Kitten sleeping patterns can vary as they age but are most predictable. In their first few weeks, kittens will sleep up to 22 hours a day, preferring a warm spot (close to their mother or littermates). After a few weeks, kittens start to sleep on their own as they develop the ability to regulate their body temperature. Despite these differences seen with age, there are common sleeping patterns among kittens. Cat naps and late night escapades are daily occurrences. Most of us don’t enjoy waking up to unusual sounds in the middle of the night, but as a cat owner it’s something you get used to.

Cat Naps

Three fourths of your kitten’s sleeping schedule is what we all call a cat nap or REM sleep. This is light sleep where most of the dreaming happens. Here, your kitten is basically snoozing while remaining alert to noises around them, but still getting the amount of rest they need. Only a fourth of their sleeping time is devoted to deep sleep, the rest of the time they are simply dozing off. This often happens in intervals. Your kitten will often sleep deeply for five minutes at a time before going back to a light sleep.

Why Are Kittens More Active at Night?

Cats are crepuscular, which means that they are the most active between dusk and dawn, and prefer to rest during the day. This is an instinctive habit as well, inherited from ancestral cats and related to their hunting tendencies. That being said, cats are highly sociable creatures. It is not uncommon for kittens to adapt to our sleeping schedule given enough time. Kittens will also adjust their sleeping schedule to their feeding patterns, which is why indoor cats tend to sleep more than outdoor cats.

How to Get Your Kitten to Sleep at Night

Like humans, the more active your kitten is during the day, the more tired they will be at night. Make it a point to keep your kitten busy through the day. Play with them often – The more energy they spend, the better.

Another great method is to adjust your kitten’s feeding patterns. Kittens tend to sleep right after a heavy meal. Feeding your kitty before you go to bed is an easy way to guarantee at least a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.

A combination of the two previous tips works wonders as well. If you can schedule activities or playing sessions with your cat in the evening, then you may be rewarded with a sleepy kitten when night time rolls around.

Tips to Help Your Kitten Sleep Well

It is very important for kittens to have a place to sleep where they feel comfortable and safe. Keeping their sleeping habits in mind, here are some tips to help your kitten get the best sleep:

  1. First things first, give your kitten a comfortable sleeping place of their own. With a designated (and preferred) place for themselves, they will naturally gravitate there when looking for a place to rest. A bed of their own allows for uninterrupted sleep for them and for you. When it comes to selecting a bed for your kitten, bare in mind the following:
    • Cats like warm places. Consider a self-warming cat bed, placed by a window in the sun, and away from any drafts.
    • Cats prefer to be higher up. Consider placing their bed on a couch or bench that provides some height.
    • Cats sleep a lot, spending much of the day in their favourite sleeping spot. Give your cat a quality bed that they not only love, but one that will hold up well over time.
    • Regular cleans will be required. Expect your cat to sleep, lounge, and groom themselves within their beds. Over time, cat hair will accumulate. A handheld vacuum and a machine washable cat bed will be your friend when it comes to regular cleans.
    • Cats like to nestle into comfortable spaces and when sleeping often roll into themselves. A round cat bed makes it easy for them to do just that.

    We highly recommend the Chara Cat Nest from Noots Pets. This luxurious cat bed ticks all the boxes if you are looking for a quality bed for your cat. Made from luxurious, ultra-soft faux fur, this modern cat bed will be a naturally safe sleeping space for your feline friend. The Chara Cat Nest is generously cushioned to keep its structure, making it easy for your cat to nestle into bed and keep warm. Featuring self-warming properties and a machine washable design, this cat bed is like no other, and promises to add elegance to any room.

    Noots Pets Modern Cat Products
    Chara Cat Nest, from Noots Pets
  2. Schedule mealtime just before bedtime. Felines tend to sleep after a heavy meal. Feeding your kitten before bed is best for getting your kitty to sleep and for avoiding those hungry meows in the middle of the night.
  3. Schedule playtime or physical activities during times your kitten is most active (first thing in the morning usually) and in the hours before bed. The more energy expended during the day, the more tired your kitten will be at night.
  4. Don’t give in to the nightly meows. If your kitten is begging for your attention in the night, unless there is a health related concern, your kitten should get used to being ignored. Over time, your kitten will understand that they should not disturb you in the night. This will not only help you to get uninterrupted sleep, but can help your kitten to develop a habit of sleeping more at night.

Now you know everything you need to know about kittens when it comes to sleep. We’ve answered the question on how much kittens sleep, and hope that our list of tips is helpful in giving your kitten (and you) many nights of good sleep.

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