How Often Do Kittens Nap

A kitten is a juvenile cat. Newborn kittens typically sleep 24 hours a day, growing while they nurse and sleep. As a kitten matures, the amount of sleep required diminishes to an average of 16 hours a day. The cycle revs up again in the senior years.

After being born, kittens display primary helplessness and are completely dependent on their mother for survival. They do not normally open their eyes until after seven to ten days. After about two weeks, kittens quickly develop and begin to explore the world outside the nest. After a further three to four weeks, they begin to eat solid food and grow baby teeth. Domestic kittens are highly social animals and usually enjoy human companionship.

Kittens need their sleep when they are young, even more so than adult cats, but in between catnaps they exhibit energetic bursts of activity. No matter how cute a kitten looks it should never be woken for affection or playtime. If the kitten seems receptive, play with it but don’t persevere if it seems disinterested or anxious; there’s a lot to take in at the start. At this age, the kitten needs plenty of rest so always allow the kitten to sleep uninterrupted. If you have a kitten cage you can simply put it away for a while so it can rest in peace. 

Kitten Nap Pattern

New born kitten’s daily routine is made up of sleeping 90 percent of the time  which is almost 22 hours! The first week, your little kitty can sleep more than 20 hours a day: around 90% of her time! Her nap is light, agitated with small fast contractions of her face muscles and ears, and she may make small sounds. She is experiencing “rapid nap” (sometimes referred to as paradoxical sleep or REM sleep, for rapid eye movement).You may also notice that your newborn nap with her siblings, close to her mother. Not yet able to regulate her own body temperature, she nap this way instinctively to keep warm and to feel protected. Note that your kitten may double in size within the first week of her life and such intense growing requires a lot of nap. Among other things, sleep allows your little friend to rest and it reinforces memorization and learning.

At three weeks of age, your kitten will begin to sleep alone, with longer states of deep sound sleep. She will tend to sleep on her side or stomach. As she grows, she will become increasingly bold and start to discover her surroundings. Your little feline engages with her environment through jumping, climbing, pouncing, and scratching (watch out for your curtains and furniture!). These instinctive behaviours are very stimulating for your kitten and require a lot of energy, which needs to be restocked during nap. At this stage, the sleep cycle could be then split into a phase of sound sleep (20-25 minutes) followed by a phase of REM-paradoxal-dreaming (5 minutes). She now sleeps alone, often in warm, sunny, comfortable places, high off the ground.While the number of hours kittens nap may seem excessive to new kitten owners, oversleeping in kittens is usually not cause to worry. If you notice your sleepy kitten seems to be low on energy when he is awake or if the amount he nap increases, this can indicate a medical problem, such as anemia.

Between six and 12 weeks of age, a kitten is very active and social. It won’t nap quite as much as it did as a newborn, but it will still spend more than half the day napping. A kitten will start playing with its littermates, explore its surroundings, and snoozing in young kittens tones and strengthens the muscles and bones that give this species its athleticism and grace. nap even keeps your kitten’s immune system in tip-top shape. Without enough nap . your kitten will become irritable and even at risk for infections and illness.

 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. 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,

Reasons Kittens Nap So Much

1. Hunts

One of the reasons your cat nap a lot during the day might be because he’s up at night hunting imaginary mice. Ancient cats were nocturnal or crepuscular (active in the morning and the evening). Most domesticated cats have schedules like ours, sleeping for most of the night and hanging with us during the day. But your cat might be keeping to his ancient roots, acting as a predator at night, and sleeping it off during the day.Cats are predators (and also prey). Like many predators, they conserve energy by resting or sleeping, saving up for the bursts of time when they will do the most hunting. This sleep/hunt cycle isn’t a cause for concern.

While many cats are active at night (especially kittens), their species is actually classified as crepuscular, meaning they “come alive” at dawn and dusk. This is explained by the fact that other natural predators are usually hunting in the deep night or daytime hours. Even if you own a strictly indoor cat, you’ll still see primal instincts from time to time. Cats in the wild spend an exorbitant amount of energy hunting and must rest after a chase. So, one of the basic reasons that explains why cats sleep so much is due to instinctual feline behaviour. However, a kitten’s behaviour is highly adaptable, and many animals will adjust sleeping patterns in order to spend time with their favourite people. They’ll also adjust naptimes to feeding schedules.

2. Energy Conservation

Felines have also adapted to exist in hot climates, and this ability to thrive in certain locations means they’ve figured out how to keep themselves cool. Cats sleep to conserve energy. Sure, other fur-covered mammals coast by on 8 hours of sleep (or less) per cycle, but cats may sleep to help regulate body temperature, as well as for pleasure.

3. Relax Mode

Like the phenomenon of cats in boxes, cat owners can easily make the jump that cats sleep because it just feels good. On a cold, rainy day, you might find that your kitten naps even longer and deeper. Rapid brain movement occurs in 5-minute increments and is bookended by lighter dozing patterns.

Otherwise, kittens sleep in 15-30 minutes stretches, adjusting the body so they can spring into action if  and/or when necessary.

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