If you’ve recently brought a brand new kitten into your home, you may notice that she is sleeping almost all the time. That’s no cause for worry, though! While full-grown cats enjoy their fair share of naps, kittens need even more sleep. In fact, kittens should be sleeping 20 hours a day or more.
A general rule for kittens is that the younger the kitten is, the more sleep they need. A newborn kitten needs to sleep around 90 percent of the time, which is about 22 hours of sleep. So don’t be concerned if your brand new kitten isn’t running around and exploring at all times. In reality, sleep is the very best thing for her little body.
In reality, sleep is the very best thing for her little body.
The reason this is true is that a kitten is still in the process of development even after birth. While your kitten is asleep, her brain, central nervous system, muscles and bones are all developing, growing and strengthening. While your kitten may seem lazily asleep, beneath the surface she’s working hard! Sleep also helps strengthen a kitten’s nervous system, so without enough sleep your kitten might be more vulnerable to getting sick or developing an infection.
Once your kitten gets a little older, the amount of time each day spend sleeping will decrease, but even at around six months your kitten will likely be sleeping anywhere from 16 to 20 hours a day.
There’s no reason to be worried if your new kitten is sleeping up almost all the time. However, if you notice that your kitten seems to lack energy when awake, this might be something to talk with a vet about. Your kitten should be full of spunk when not sleeping, so low energy might be a sign of certain issues. For example, anemia is a medical condition some kittens experience, a blood disorder where the body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells. A sign that a kitten is anemic is that her gums will be pale. If you observe your kitten showing a lack of energy when awake combined with pale gums, you should consult a veterinarian at once.
As for the flip side of the coin, it’s possible (though rare) for a kitten to not get enough sleep. This would be caused by certain rare sleep disorders. If you observe your kitten getting little sleep or see a drastic change in her sleep patterns, it’s probably a good idea to seek the advice of a veterinarian. That being said, don’t worry too much about this: Not all kittens are alike, and some kittens may simply naturally need less sleep than others.
If you’re concerned about your kitten’s sleep habits, there are a few things you can do to make the sleeping experience as comfortable as possible.
All in all, don’t be too worried about the amount your kitten is sleeping unless she seems unhealthy in some other way. Most likely, your kitten knows what she needs to grow into the full grown cat you’ll love and cherish for years to come!