How to Get a Kitten to Sleep at Night

How to Get a Kitten to Sleep at Night

Even though cats are known to enjoy their sleep and alone time, they can be quite active awake, especially when they are young or still growing. Unsurprisingly, your cat’s sleeplessness can affect yours as well. So, what can you do about a sleepless cat? How do you get a kitten to sleep at night? We’ll discuss all of these questions in this article. Share any questions or tips you may have in the comment section below.

Why Your Kitten Does Not Sleep at Night

While growing/young cats are naturally active, and this is completely normal behavior, there are other reasons your cat may stay up/keep you up at night.

Enjoys your company

Your cat may stay up at night so that it can play or be around you. Also, young felines need to be fed regularly, and your cat depends on you for its meals. This could cause it to wake or stay up even after you’ve gone to sleep and wake you up later.

Naturally inclined to do so

The Wildcat from which cats today originate is highly nocturnal. This means that despite domestication, our felines still retain this trait. Most will wake multiple times during the night simply because they can. While it may not be the most convenient trait, they sometimes cannot help being this way.

Medical issues

Cats will sometimes stay up and wander because of an underlying health condition. The sleeplessness may sometimes be accompanied by meowing or crying, and when this happens, it is likely because the condition may be causing some discomfort.

If you suspect that an underlying health condition might be causing your cat’s meowing and sleeplessness, you should have a vet look at it for proper diagnosis and treatment.

They miss their mom/previous home

While it doesn’t always happen, you can expect your new kitten to cry for the first few days and nights after you bring it home. This is normal as the kittens have only just been separated from their mother and the rest of the litter, hence the loneliness. You can help them feel safe and comfortable by setting up a cozy sleeping area with old beddings or cotton clothes and, if possible, a hot water bottle placed inside the beddings for additional comfort.

Uncomfortable sleeping area

Is your cat’s new sleeping area comfortable enough for it to remain there at night? Is it warm enough? Or; is it too warm? Is it in a “high traffic area”? All of these factors can determine how much or well your cat sleeps at night.

How to Get a Kitten to Sleep at Night: Things to Do

Want to get your cat to sleep at night? The following suggestions may help get even the most active cats to sleep or remain calm so you can sleep.

Interactive, high-energy activities during the day

In the evenings, have your cat involved in interactive play sessions with either just you or with the other pets in the home. Mimicking games are great for these play sessions. You can find toys that mimic mice and bird movements and have your cat go after them.

Using softballs or any other soft toys, you can play catch with your kitten, especially if it likes to “fetch.” Do this for as long as possible/until your cat appears tired from the game. You will notice that it sleeps more prolonged and deeper than before at night.

Provide a large crate

While you can easily set up a sleeping area for your feline with just a small comfortable bed, a pen or a large crate can help to control its movement at night. Also, provide this crate or pen with a comfy blanket and bed. Place water, food, and litter box nearby so your kitten does not have to wander too far for these essentials.

Feed the cat just before bedtime

Cats will sleep better and longer on a full stomach. So, just before bedtime, feed it enough food and water. If this doesn’t work and your cat still wakes you up in the night for its meals, you can get a timed pet feeder to dispense your cat’s meals at specific points during the night (twice at night is recommended). With time, your cat will learn to wait by the food dispenser and not wander around or bother you whenever it feels hungry.  

We must mention here that the night meal dispenser has to be small if possible. You don’t want your cat to gain weight excessively from overeating, considering that it will likely go straight to bed after the meal.

Get a second cat

Does your cat socialize easily with other pets or cats? You may want to consider getting a second cat for companionship. Now, instead of them coming over when they need to be around you, they spend time with each other and leave you to sleep at night. But keep in mind that playing cats can sometimes be noisy to the point of waking you up from sleep!

Shut the cat out

Sounds harsh, but if your cat is playful to the point of not only disturbing your sleep but also causing injuries to you unintentionally when you sleep, then it may be best to shut it out.

Cats can sometimes claw at your eyelids when they notice it moving at night only out of curiosity. Provide your cat with all it needs outside your bedroom and shut the door to keep it out. But ensure that you keep possessions like potted plants that it could easily destroy out of reach.

How to Get a Cat to Sleep at Night: Conclusion

Cats enjoy their play and resting time with their humans, irrespective of their ages. However, this may not always be convenient for the owner, particularly when they need to rest. Hence, the need for methods that help keep the cat asleep or away at night.

Try some of the suggestions we discussed above and let us know how they worked for you. Finally, remember that sleeplessness in cats can be caused by any of the issues earlier discussed. If you think that an underlying health condition may cause your cat’s sleeplessness, do not waste more time; consult a vet for diagnosis and treatment.

About the Author

Kirsten Heggarty
Website | + posts

Kirsten created The Pet Handbook with the aim of sharing her knowledge about pets, pet food, healthy habits, and more. All of her advice is based on years of her own experience with her pets, and feedback that she has received from grateful readers about her tips. If you want to know more please read the About Me page.