What do kittens do at night?


If you are about to get a kitten, there are many things you’ll want to know such as what it will eat, which toys are best, what litter to buy, and how it might behave.

Kittens are quite a responsibility, and while you’re up and about you’ll generally be administering to their needs which involves feeding them, providing amusement and cleaning the litter box.

What happens when you go to bed? What do kittens do at night?

At night, kittens do the same things they do during the day. They definitely don’t sleep for 8 hours. As you lay in bed, you’ll hear all sorts of kitten antics. This is perfectly normal but eventually, your kitten will settle into your night-time routine.

What kittens actually do at night

Kittens might sleep on your bed at night

Once they are settled into your home, you will find that kittens do the same things at night as they do during the day. The fact that you are in bed doesn’t curb their behavior in any way.

As they mature, kittens might settle into your routine and sleep most of the time that you do but this can vary from one cat to another.

Kitten night time activities

A great way to find out what a kitten does all night is to install motion sensor cameras in strategic positions to capture their antics.

These are the kitten night time behaviors you might capture on film:

Hunting

Like all cats, kittens love to hunt. In your house, hopefully, they won’t have real mice and birds to prey on but they will stalk and pounce on small toys.

At night, if kittens “capture” something, they are quite likely to carry it into your bedroom to show you and receive due praise for their skillful catch.

Spiders come out at night and kittens will spend ages hunting them. As spiders tend to frequent corners of shelves and window frames, you may hear crashes and bangs as your kitten knocks ornaments flying whilst in hot pursuit of an 8 legged creature.

Playing

Many things are playthings to kittens. At night, you might hear the tap tap tap of a blind cord banging the wall or a door creaking as the belt of a dressing gown hanging from it is attacked.

Basically, a kitten will investigate various things around the house, to see what happens when they are batted or chewed. All sorts of noises result when they do this.

Sleeping

When you sleep, your kitten might too. At first, the amount and time will vary throughout the night and when it’s not asleep you might hear a kitten moving around in search of mischief.

Exploring

There are many areas of your house to be conquered and at night a kitten can do this without you interfering.

Expect to hear rustling under beds, behind televisions, and sofas. Kittens might mountaineer up shelves and clamber to the tops of kitchen cupboards.

A kitten sitting on a bookshelf

The cat zoomies

Usually, when you are deep asleep, your kitten will choose to tear about the house, taking corners at full-speed and sounding like a galloping horse. This activity is affectionately called the zoomies amongst cat owners.

On many occasions, this appears to happen straight after they have pooped and it is thought it is an instinctive habit to get away from the smell which might attract a predator.

In our house, the smell certainly attracts us to the litter box to empty its contents as soon as humanly possible before we are overcome by the fumes!

Jumping on their owners

Though they might not settle on your bed for the night, kittens do like to pay you a visit whilst you sleep.

To ensure you are still alive, they will bite your toes or attack any hands that venture from beneath the bedclothes to pet them.

Looking out of windows

Like adult cats, kittens love to gaze out of windows. When they do this at night, you’ll notice their tiny silhouettes on window ledges.

They may be watching out for movements outside, such as other cats, mice, or bats. They could be desperate to be outside hunting. You might hear them pawing at the glass if something lands on the other side.

Kittens can squeeze out of the tiniest spaces, so make sure your windows are not left even slightly open – especially those above ground level.

Where should a new kitten sleep at night?

What you do with your kitten when you go to bed will depend to an extent on how many cats and kittens you have in your home.

When you have one kitten

When you have one kitten and it’s the only cat in your house, it might fret if you shut it in a safe area alone.

Ideally, set it up a cozy bed, food, water, and litter box in your bedroom and close the door to ensure it is safe and secure.

Introduce your kitten to this area as soon as you get it home so it will not be a surprise when you go up to bed.

Two kittens sharing a cat bed

When you have two kittens

If you have two kittens and prefer not to have them in your bedroom, choose a safer room elsewhere for them to spend the night.

A kitten-proof room or a playpen is ideal. Make sure they have access to a litter box, food, and water as well as a warm and comfortable area to sleep.

Kittens and other cats

If your other cats are accepting of your kittens straightaway and the kittens are confident around them, allow them to share the designated kitten sleeping area.

This will ensure the kittens feel safe ans secure for their first few nights at your home.

Where to allow kittens after the first few nights

If you are confident that your home is fully kitten-proofed, you can give your kittens more freedom after the first few nights.

Then you will be truly wondering what kittens do at night while you sleep!

Should kittens be put in a cage at night?

A kitten should only be placed in a crate at night if you are in fear for its safety.

This might be because you can’t keep it in your room and you have another pet you can’t trust around it unsupervised, or your house has unsafe areas you can’t isolate it from.

On the whole, a well-socialized kitten should not need to be put in a crate at night. Occasionally, if a kitten is eliminating outside of its litter box at night, confining it in a crate with its litter box can encourage it to pee and poop where it should.

A cat in the dark with LED lights

Do kittens need night lights?

It’s easy to imagine kittens dislike the absence of light but as it happens, they can see a lot better than we can in the dark.

The reason why some people are afraid of the dark is the fact that they can’t see anything. A kitten’s eyes have more photoreceptor cells in the retina which enable them to see more in the dark than we can.

As kittens can see more in the dark, they have no fear of it. Therefore, there is no need to leave lights on to prevent them from feeling frightened at night.

What to do if a kitten cries at night

Occasionally, your kitten might cry at night. Sometimes it is just calling you to feed it or clean its litter box. It may be bored and want your attention. Or something may have spooked it.

You will get used to the noises your kitten makes at night. If cries are loud and unusual, do check that your kitten hasn’t managed to injure itself.

What do kittens do at night? Conclusion

There are no end to the things kittens will get up to at night. They swill always manage to surprise you. There may be many sleepless nights for you until they are settled.

You may experience more problems if kittens are too young when they leave their mother. Ideally, they should stay with her until they are at least 12 weeks old. Try not to accept a kitten any younger than this.

By the time a kitten is 5 to 6 months of age, it should settle into a good routine in your home but you can be sure it will not stick to this all the time. There will always be surprise behavior – even when your kitten becomes an adult.

Jane Pettitt

Hi. I'm Jane Pettitt and I co-own petsKB with my husband, Matt. I've always been crazy about animals and have shared my whole life with cats, We currently live with 4 gorgeous Maine Coons and have 25 years of experience with this breed. There's not much we can't tell you about them. We've also owned dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, fish, mice, and tortoises. All of our articles draw on the extensive pet knowledge base we've built up throughout our lives as pet lovers.

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