How To Train a Kitten to Sleep at Night
Written by FELIWAY, published on 16 September 2020
Is your adorable new kitten being a night stalker? Do they doze on and off during the day and then jump on your bed during the night wanting to play while all you want to do is sleep? It might be cute at first, but the novelty will soon wear off!Cats are prowlers and their natural instinct is to be alert and go searching at night while it’s dark, and then sleep during the day in a corner, away from the hustle and bustle of daily human life.
However, just like human babies, kittens do need to be able to nap during the day but when they wake up, they will be full of energy - you just need to try and adjust their body clock to human timing, and train them to be calm and sleep at night.
KEEP KITTY OCCUPIED!
Kittens love to explore, hide and scratch, and providing the right resources for them will help to keep them occupied during the day. Kittens are at their most active when they wake up, and once they’ve had a good stretch and scratch on their post, you will see them thinking “I feel like a good chase” and they will start to jump on furniture, run around and generally cause (nice!) havoc around your home.
Kittens can get bored so giving them different toys to play with each day will also help to keep them occupied and tire them out.
TOYS TO TIRE YOUR KITTEN
Make sure you have lots of interactive toys for your kitty to play with so that they can use up all of the energy they have just built up during their snooze.
Puzzle games where they have to open a container to get to a treat, are great for entertaining kittens. Chasing a ping pong ball around the floor, or trying to catch a toy mouse on the end of a piece of string, is a popular game for kiddies to play with kittens.
Also give them plenty of perches to jump up on and a scratching post where they can stretch and scratch. These are great for exercising kittens and also stops them from scratching your furniture!
If your kitty loves noisy toys, that’s great, but remember to move them out of kitty’s way before you go to bed - just in case they feel like having another frolic in the middle of the night - you don’t want to be woken up by the sound of kitties musical jingles!
GET INTO A ROUTINE!
Keep to your daily routine. No matter what your daily routine, try to make sure you include some regular kitty-time into every day. Feed your pet at the same time each day, change their litter tray at regular times, and make sure you set aside plenty of kitty playtime, particularly before bedtime. This will help them adapt to your daily routine and know what to expect.
Put aside more energetic playtime to just before you go to bed so that you tire kitty out - but always bring playtime to an end by playing with a more gentle toy that will gradually help them to relax. This will help them get used to sleeping when you do.
BEDTIME ON A FULL TUMMY!
Giving your kitten a meal before you go to bed may help, but make sure this is from their daily allowance - don’t be tempted to give them a little extra just to make them sleep - this will soon lead to an overweight kitty!
Cats will naturally doze after a meal, so a high protein meal before they retire for the night could help them to sleep longer.
GIVE KITTENS THEIR OWN SPACE
It’s very tempting to let your kitten sleep in your bedroom, or on your bed but it might be best for everyone if their cosy bed is in a comfortable area outside your bedroom or in a different room altogether. Make sure they have soft, quiet toys closeby so if they feel the urge to play, they can do it quietly. You should also put them to bed at the same time you go to bed. Make this into a routine every evening, and your kitty will soon adapt.
However, remember to close your bedroom door so they won’t leap on top of you in the middle of the night!
KEEP KITTY OUT OF YOUR BEDROOM!
It might take a little while for your pet to get used to sleeping alone, and they may cry or scratch to get into your room. Try to ignore it and don’t be tempted to give them any attention like feeding them or playing, as this will start a habit they will want to continue!
If you think your kitten is waking because they’re hungry, consider getting an automatic feeder; cats have a shorter sleep cycle than humans and may want breakfast before you wake up, so an automatic feeder will stop your pussycat scratching at your bedroom door because they are hungry.
Still Not Sleeping at Night?
Always keep an eye out for signs of any injuries or medical issues which may be disturbing your kitten’s sleep. If you have any concerns, take them to a vet to be checked over. Once the vet has given the all clear, persevere with your training routine - you will soon come to an acceptable situation for both of you.
You may want to consider using a FELIWAY Optimum Diffuser which will help provide a calming environment for your kitty and help with training your kitten to sleep.
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