Kittens are precious furry babies that need delicate care and attention. Aside from ensuring that they are well-fed and their basic needs are met, they must have ample sleep since they are still developing. The younger your kitten is, the more sleep she needs for optimal growth and health.
Kitten sleep schedule and sleeping patterns
Just like babies, kittens sleep a lot and may sleep for almost 22 hours per day. As they grow older, they will sleep less but may still spend at least 16 to 20 hours each day in slumberland. Sufficient sleep is important for the kitten’s brain and central nervous system development. Sleep is also vital for the development of her bones and muscles and to keep her immune system in top shape.
Here are the normal sleeping patterns for newborn to three-month-old kittens:
1. From newborn to two-weeks old
The sleep cycle of kittens upon birth is light and they experience rapid eye movement or REM sleep. They may sleep for up to 22 hours a day which is about 90% of their existence. They may make small sounds and they snuggle close to their mother and littermates for warmth since they cannot regulate their body temperature.
2. Three-weeks old to two-months-old
During this time your kitten will start to sleep less as she develops her senses and becomes more active. The sleep cycle at this time consists of deep-phase and REM sleep. When your kitten is in deep-phase sleep her body is relaxed and she is breathing slowly. Starting at three weeks old, your kitten may start to sleep alone and does not need to huddle close to her siblings and mother.
Kittens during this age will also start exploring and become very energetic.
3. Two-months old and older kittens
Once your kitten reaches two months of age she may sleep an average of 18 hours each day like adult cats. During this time, your kitten’s sleep cycle is divided into sound sleep which lasts from 20 to 25 minutes and REM sleep which may only last for five minutes. In her waking hours, your kitten is at her most active, playing and exploring her environment so make sure to provide age-appropriate toys for her.
Why is my kitten active at night?
Kittens are usually asleep during the day and active during the night. This is because kittens and cats are crepuscular animals which means they are active at dawn and dusk. Also, their ancestors in the wild hunt during night time and sleep during the day, thus, the sleeping pattern of cats is deeply ingrained in their instincts.
Why is my kitten suddenly sleeping more than usual?
Oversleeping in kittens is not considered a warning sign. However, you should be alarmed if she is constantly oversleeping and she is sluggish when she is awake as this may be signs of anemia. This health condition is dangerous for kittens and may mean that they do not have enough red blood cells. One of the visible signs of anemia among kittens is pale gums and if this is the case, bring her to the vet for proper treatment.
Ways to adjust your kitten’s sleeping schedule
Here are some ways on how you can adjust your kitten’s sleeping schedule so she may sleep well during the night:
1. Engage your kitten through playtime to burn off energy.
Are you always awakened at night by your kitten|? She may be pestering you since she wants to play after being asleep for most of the day. Engage her with playtime, provided that she is at least seven or eight weeks old. At this age, your kitten already has good control of her motor skills.
Playtime helps burn off her energy and she will be less likely to wake during nighttime. This means more restful sleep for you. Do not overdo it though as your kitten may still need to sleep during daytime.
Some recommended toys for your kitten include the following:
2. Make sure to establish a bedtime routine.
Establishing a bedtime routine is vital so your kitten will learn to settle during night time. Feed her with nutritious and yummy cat food for dinners like Blue Buffalo Kitten Dry Cat Food and Royal Canine Kitten Canned Cat Food that fills your kitten’s belly and helps her ease to slumber time. Provide a calming environment and make sure her sleeping quarters are in a quiet area at home. Make sure your kitten is comfortable in her bed so she may be able to sleep well.
3. Be sure to address any health concerns of your kitten.
Health concerns such as injuries, eye conditions and flea infestations can be discomforting and painful for your kitten and she may not be able to sleep peacefully. Make sure to address these concerns and bring her to the vet at once so she can be treated promptly.
4 You may want to consider using a timed feeder for your kitten.
Your kitten may also be awake at night because she is hungry. You may want to consider placing an automatic pet feeder so your kitten can still have food even though you are still asleep.
While you are in the process of adjusting your kitten’s sleeping schedule, always be patient since kittens tend to wake more at night compared to adult cats. Eventually, your kitten will learn to fit in with your sleeping schedule.
Having kittens at home requires extra care and attention because they are fragile and still undergoing development. Your kitten may sleep up to 22 hours in a day but should sleep less as she grows older. This may become a predicament since it may mean she is mostly awake at night. However, you can always adjust her sleeping schedule by scheduling playtime, feeding her hearty meals and establishing a bedtime routine for her.
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