Welcoming a new kitten into your home is an incredibly exciting yet slightly scary prospect. You’ll probably have thousands of questions going through your head, like “how long do kittens sleep?”. We often think of kittens as being pure bundles of energy, but in truth they spend the majority of their time snoozing. Sleep is an incredibly important part of their daily routine as it’s essential for their development into a healthy adult cat. Therefore, ensuring they the right quantity and quality is key to a happy feline.
Why is sleep so important?
Sleep is especially important for kittens, principally due to their higher energy requirements. All that growing takes its toll, so sleep is essential to give them the time to recharge and cause their typical carnage the next day. A lack of sleep can also impact the immune system, making them more vulnerable to sickness. Considering kittens immune systems aren’t yet fully developed and some might not have had their kitten vaccinations yet, it’s especially important to prevent any extra risk.
How many hours of sleep do kittens need?
After the following statement, we can guarantee you’ll wish you were a new-born kitten. New-born kitten’s sleep for roughly 22 hours a day, yes 22 hours! As they age, this will start to decrease, but at the age of 6 months old they’ll still sleep for around 16 to 20 hours a day.
Helping your kitten sleep
If you’re lucky enough to bring a kitten into your home, you’ve got to remember that they’e in a whole new strange environment. As I’m sure you know, it’s rather tricky, if not impossible, to fall asleep when you’re scared. So, it’s essential you let them settle into their new home to ensure they get enough winks.
To ensure they feel as welcome as you want them to, make sure to create them their own little safe place. There are lots of funky pod-like cat beds around now that provide the perfect little den for your kitten to sleep in. Make sure the bed’s not too big, as being able to touch the sides will add to their sense of security and warmth. They should also be able to easily hop in and out with their teeny tiny legs. If you have other four or two-legged members of the household, ensure they’re not disturbing your kitten either. We know it’s hard to resist the cuteness, but you shouldn’t disturb them during nap time.
Signs kitten not sleeping enough
Without being able to watch them 24/7, it can be tricky to know if your kitten is getting enough sleep. Therefor you’ll want to watch out for these signs:
- Lack of interest in playtime
- Lack of reaction to stimuli, like opening a bag of tasty kitten treats or stroking them
How to help your kitten sleep at night
If you do notice any of the above signs, you might be wondering how you can encourage them to get more sleep. Unlike us, cats are crepuscular creatures. This means their body clocks are attuned to being awake early and late at night (not nocturnal as many people think). If you notice your kitten is up during the night, it might be because they’re not getting enough play time during the day. You can also time a play sesh just before it’s time for bed to encourage them to sleep through the night. Gradually they’ll get used to the routine, and you’ll forget you ever worried about them!
If your kitten's still getting up to mischief at midnight you can try utilising a crate at night to keep them from scarpering off, or try some calming kitten treats. Ours are designed specifically for little sensitive tums with added prebiotics, and calming valerian root and lemon balm for the pawfect bedtime kitten treat.
Where should my kitten sleep?
It might be tempting to let your kitten sleep in bed with you, however it’s best not too to begin with. Not only could you squish them, but you move in your sleep a far lot more than you might think, which will wake up your kitten throughout the night. And vice versa! Once you’ve allowed them in, there’s also no going back, which can make it tricky if they’re ever looked after by someone who prefers the bed to themselves.
Instead, put their snoogily bed on the floor by your bed, so they’re close by but have their own space. As we’ve already mentioned, all they really want is a warm and safe spot, so make sure their bed suits this criterion.
Having a kitten in your home is guaranteed to be one of the best parts of your life, so don't worry too much and enjoy their cuteness! The majority of kittens have no trouble sleeping, so it's more likely that you'll be losing winks over them not getting enough of them!