How do I make a kitten sleep at night?
By r. nierod from Alton, NH
Animals sleep when they need to, and are not required to sleep during the night like humans. An average dog or cat sleeps about 14 hours per 24, so they can't fit that into just 8 hours.
Is the little angel keeping you awake? Perhaps a kennel out in the living room, or simply shutting your bedroom door will help.
I read that cats like to play at chasing prey type of activities, eat, groom, sleep. In that order, so to have some control of their behavior, you arrange a play time, feed them, let them groom, and then they will sleep.
All well and good, except our cats love to chase each other about one hour before we get up [4 am], after which we feed them, they groom each other, and take a nap. So much for controlling nature.
This tip is often used for puppies & might work for kittens too. Kittens seem to have more of a mind of their own! If the animal is still very young perhaps a hot water bottle (filled with hot water of course) covered with a light weight blanket (a baby receiving blanket is nice or piece of old flannel bedding or clothing). This heat reminds them of mom or their litter-mates & comforts them as they are used to sleeping huddled together. If you don't have a pet bed you can place the covered water bottle into a shallow cardboard box that has a blanket in it for the pet to lay on, or even just a blanket or comforter crumpled in a heap on the floor. The pet will find that very cozy.
Sometimes you can put a ticking clock under the covers in the pet bed, this reminds them of mom's & siblings' heart beat. Kittens / cats are nocturnal animals & tend to roam at night. While they do sleep a lot during the 24 hour days, kittens at least for that first crazy year, are more active than grown cats. Your cat might not enjoy the placement of its pet bed & might prefer a perch that is up high where it can feel secure & watch over its surroundings.
Also be sure to have plenty of safe toys (not all need to be store bought & most kittens favor household items like hair scrunchies, alum. foil balls, etc). Please be sure toys are safe so that your cat cannot ingest or swallow the item. Toys such as ribbon, string, rubber bands are a no-no unless you are right there playing with the kitten. Enjoy your crazy unpredictable little ball of fluff!
Yep, cats and dogs have their own inner clocks ;-) You can also try having peaceful music on low in the room where the kitten sleeps or, better yet, let the kitten sleep with you ;-)
Use a old-fashioned alarm clock. ( not electric) Wrap it in a piece of material and put it in the bed of your kittens bed. The ticking of the clock helps the kitten relax because it mimicks the mother cats heartbeat.
Every time I brought a new kitten into the house I kept it in a separate room at night so that there were no issues with the grown up cats. For the first two or three nights I always layed on the floor with them until they were asleep and then I could sneak away. I also played with them a lot before bed time so that they were tuckered out. After a couple of days they got used to the routine.
My kitten use to do the same thing when he was younger. I would just try to keep it up all day and usually he would sleep all night. If not I would just shut your door.
We get our kittens playing a couple of hours before we go to bed. That way they are tired enough to sleep at night. I often put on in my daughters room and one in mine so they can't play together and put the toys away.
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