Pet Wellness Guides > How Much Do Kittens Sleep? - Pet Insurance Review

How Much Do Kittens Sleep?

Posted: 04/19/2023 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Behavior , Cat , Pet care

Kittens. Just the word can make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. These little fluff balls are curious creatures that seem to get into everything. That’s when they’re not sleeping. Which they seem to do. A lot. But how much do kittens sleep? Or rather, how much sleep do kittens need to grow into healthy – and equally curious – adult cats?

how much do kittens sleep?

How Much Sleep Do Kittens Really Need?

Have you recently brought home a kitten and are wondering how much sleep they need? A good rule of thumb is, the younger the kitten, the more sleep they need. Very young newborn kittens may sleep 90% of the time, which can be as much as 22 hours a day!

As kittens mature beyond the newborn stage, they will begin to sleep less and less. But make no mistake, they will still sleep a lot. Even a six month old kitten will spend between 16 and 20 hours snoozing.

Why Do Kittens Sleep So Much?

All baby mammals, humans and kittens alike, spend the beginning part of their lives sleeping most of their days away. This is because their bodies are hard at work developing. All of these cat naps help your little fur baby fully develop her brain and central nervous system. Sleep also helps kittens strengthen their immune system as well as strengthen bones and muscles. Without enough sleep, kittens can become susceptible to infections and illness.

And finally, there’s a really cool evolutionary reason your new kitten is sleeping so much. It’s because her ancestors were predators on the African plains who slept much of the day and only hunted in little bursts to conserve their energy. Your new kittens’ sleeping patterns mimic this. Sleeping much of the day away is also what kept defenseless young cats safe and away from predators.

Can Kittens Sleep Too Much or Too Little?

While it may seem like your kitten is sleeping way too much, as we pointed out, it is completely normal for very young kittens to sleep between 20 and 22 hours per day. If, when your kitten awakens, she seems to have low energy or if the amount she sleeps increases even as she ages, this may indicate a medical problem such as anemia.

Anemia is a medical condition where the kitten’s body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells. This can be very dangerous to a kitten and is commonly seen in those kittens who have fleas. If you suspect your kitten may have anemia, check her gums to see if they are pale. If they are and your kitten is low energy and sleeping more than is normal, seek veterinary care immediately.

how much do kittens sleep?

Is it possible a kitten could sleep too little?

There are rare seizure and sleep disorders that can cause kittens to not get the amount of sleep they need to grow and thrive. Usually when a kitten seems like they aren’t sleeping enough it can be chalked up to all kittens being unique and some simply won’t sleep the average “normal” amount. If you feel your kitten isn’t sleeping enough or her sleep has suddenly decreased, it is always wise to bring her in to the vet to get checked out.

My Kitten Sleeps in Weird Places!

Everyone focuses on how adorable kittens are, but the other truth is, they’re also pretty weird. Kittens sleep almost anywhere. You could buy them the coziest, most expensive pet bed, and they’ll ignore that and sleep in the bathtub, up on a shelf and yes, even in the litter box!

If an adult cat suddenly begins laying in the litter box, it can indicate a serious medical emergency going on. But when a very young kitten sleeps in a litter box, it’s usually for one of two reasons:

Your kitten finds the box secure and cozy.

The second reason is your kitten does not like the kind of litter you are using. So she is eliminating outside of the box and choosing to take a nap inside of it instead. 

This problem with the litter box typically resolves over time and with patience on your part. 

Give your kitten a designated bed, preferably one with higher sides, like your litter box has. You can even place a soft blanket or pet bed inside of a cardboard box with a little hole cut out so she can get in and out of the box easily.

As for litter, try and buy a variety to see which your kitten prefers. You can also use a low litter pan instead of a regular litter box so your kitten is less likely to view it as a safe place to take a nap. As your kitten ages, you can upgrade your litter box to a regular one.

How to Help Your Kitten Sleep Through the Night

It’s not only important that your new kitten gets enough sleep to grow and thrive, it’s also important that you are able to sleep through the night as well. And believe me, a new kitten is apt to wake you up throughout the night. But there are things you can do to ensure you both get a good night’s rest.

To start, be sure to designate a quiet sleeping space in your home. This space should be off limits to other pets or small (loud) children. A quiet safe space of her very own will help her feel safe.

Second, kittens tend to sleep well with a full belly, so be sure to schedule her last meal just before bedtime. 

Once your kitten reaches the age of 7 weeks old, be sure to schedule a lot of playtime during daylight hours. When she is awake, help her to burn through some of her energy. This will help her to sleep better at night. 

Above all else, be patient with your sweet little fur ball. Kittenhood passes quickly, thank the Lord, because cats at this age tend to be a real pain. Enjoy as much of this time as you can and soon your kitten will be a full grown cat.

Protect Your Kitten’s Health with an Insurance Plan

You may think you only need to get a pet insurance plan for an older cat, but that is a myth. Kittens are far more apt to get into trouble and have accidents. And sadly, illnesses can strike at any age. Are you financially prepared to pay a vet bill in the thousands of dollars?

A pet insurance plan can reimburse you for as much as 90% of the vet bill. This can give you peace of mind knowing you can always get your fur baby the medical attention she needs.

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  1. “How Much Sleep Does a Kitten Need?”
  2.  “How Much Sleep is Normal for Kittens?”

The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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