Adult cats sleep an average of 18 hours a day and kittens even more! If you have just welcomed a new kitten into your home, or if you are taking care of newborns, you are probably wondering how much they should sleep. If you are concerned that your kitten is sleeping well, keep in mind that she has to feel protected, warm and comfortable in a quiet place. Sleep, along with proper nutrition, is essential for the development of your kitten’s brain, nervous system, muscles and bones. The rhythm and quantity of her sleep will depend on her age but also personality and life style; the more active she is, the more she should sleep.

As your kitten grows older, she will gradually sleep less as she becomes more active; all her senses are developing. Her sleep has a new deep phase (slow sleep or non-REM sleep) where she is totally relaxed and breathing slowly. This alternates with “light” REM sleep in a cycle called “sleep bout”. Your kitten is becoming a typical cat “polyphasic sleeper” as her sleeping time goes into multiple bouts between waking phases1.

There are a few factors influencing how long a cat sleeps, age being one of the most important ones. Kittens will sleep most of the day, but as soon as they turn into “teenagers” you’ll notice a change in their sleeping patterns as they become more and more active. Senior cats tend to slow down their activity levels and turn in earlier, snooze more often and for longer periods of time than an adult cat. You will also notice your cat dozing off longer than usual when the weather doesn’t allow for proper outdoor exploration. When it’s cold or raining, your cat will likely try to add even more hours to their already impressive sleeping record.

How Many Hours A Day Does A Kitten Sleep?

A new born kitten’s daily routine is made up of sleeping 90 percent of the time — that is almost 22 hours! As kittens mature beyond the new born stage, they will sleep less; but even at six months of age they still manage to spend about 16 to 20 hours a day dozing.

Do Kittens Sleep Through The Night?

When it comes to your expectations about your new kitten sleeping through the night, it is best to be realistic. While sometimes kittens do sleep through the night, sometimes they also do not. It is also common for a young kitten to wake up throughout the night, so do not panic if your kitten appears to be experiencing that. 

Kittens do enjoy sleeping, and they are known for doing a lot of it. In fact, you can expect your kitten to sleep upwards of half the day. However, the reality is that kittens do not always clock in those hours while their human owners are also asleep. Generally speaking, cats tend to be at their most active during dawn and dusk hours. Your new cat also has to get acclimated to their new environment.

How Often Do They Sleep?

Babies tend to sleep a lot, whether it’s a human baby who sleeps 14 to 18 hours a day,1 a newborn puppy that sleeps 22 hours a day, or a newborn kitten that sleeps almost all the time.2 Growing is serious business and requires a lot of sleep, regardless of what kind of baby you are!

Over the first few weeks and months of life, a kitten’s sleeping time gradually decreases and her active time increases. By the time she reaches seven weeks of age, she will be happily playing and exploring and sleeping less often.3 Once she reaches adulthood, she may only sleep 16 hours a day (still twice the amount of sleep the average adult human needs), which leaves many more hours for playtime and interaction.

Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?

Cats sleep long hours in order to recharge for their next hunting spree. Although your domesticated cat’s existence couldn’t be more different to the wild felines’ such as lions, the genetic programming is pretty much the same. Just like its big cat cousins, your fluffball instinctively conserves energy in case they have to chase down their next meal, which they do despite all the nice dinners they get at home, served in a timely fashion every day. Never mind the premium cat food the loving owner puts in front of them day in and day out, their innate instincts can easily take over despite the countless comforts of home life.

How Much Sleep Is Normal For Kittens?

Similar to human babies, kittens have a reputation for sleeping a tremendous amount. The amount of sleep that is “normal” for a kitten will depend on how old they are. When kittens are very young, they tend to sleep a bit more than they do when they are a few months older.

It’s common for a kitten to spend somewhere between 16 to 20 hours sleeping. Therefore, if you find your kitten is spending a lot of time snoozing, don’t be alarmed. If you feel it is abnormal or their behavior recently altered, it would be smart to reach out to your vet to get confirmation everything is okay. This will help provide you with peace of mind. 

Should I Let My Kitten Sleep In My Bed?

While snuggling with your kitten can be plenty of fun, it is not a wise idea to permit a small kitten to sleep on your bed. Unfortunately, it is possible that you could unintentionally injure your kitten if you allow them to sleep on your bed with you. You could accidentally roll over in the middle of the night and harm them, or even worse.

Why Is My Kitten So Active At Night?

You may notice that your kitten curls up for a nap just as your household is waking up and getting busy. This is because cats are crepuscular mammals with a tendency to be most active at dawn and at dusk. In the wild, felines hunt during those times and sleep during the day. Your little feline is still biologically programmed to do this. However, cats are also quite adaptable, especially if you are close to your feline friend. If she is waking you up at dawn, you can teach her not to do this by providing more activity during the day. You can make her daily environment more interactive by providing her with stimulating games. If she is more active in the day, she could sleep more at night! You might also try playing with her just before bedtime. If she is an early riser, you could always provide her with a puzzle feeder which is a toy filled with food to keep her busy till you have had your coffee!

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