Kittens are tiny, adorable, and love to play with other cats and their owners! However, that entertaining and endearing behavior can become frustrating when it reaches midnight.
The energy levels that little kittens have are unmatched, which can be a problem when you want to get to sleep, but they just want to play.
If your new little addition to the family is getting in the way of your much-needed shut-eye, then you need to spend your day tiring them out.
There are a number of ways you can do this, and this article is going to give you a few tips on tricks on how to do this properly!
Play Frequently Throughout The Day
Instead of only playing with your kitten once or twice a day, if your schedule allows, try and divide these play times into more frequent sessions for less time.
Try playing with them around 4 to 6 times a day for around 20 minutes each time.
Kittens have a lot of pent-up energy, and the best way to get rid of it is to allow them to exercise as much as possible - this means playtime!
Socializing is very important for your kitten, so if you’re fortunate enough to work from home, allow them to be in the same room as you with enough toys, so they can entertain themselves but still be near you.
Play Intense Games
You really need to make these play sessions count in order to tire out your kitty. This means you need to play games that involve a lot of exercise and energy.
This tires them out, but also bonds you together! You can try games such as hide and seek, fetch, using a feather wand, or teaching them tricks.
Give Them Mental Stimulation
Cats are highly intelligent, and your kitten will display this too. Therefore, they need a good amount of mental stimulation in order to avoid them becoming bored and displaying destructive behavior.
A good way to do this is to have them solve a food puzzle. You can purchase certain food bowls that have patterns and crevices within them.
The food will fall within these crevices, and your kitty must work hard in order to retrieve it.
There are puzzle food bowls for all levels of mental stimulation, so be sure you are purchasing one that is specifically for kittens, as you wouldn’t want to give them something that is too challenging for them.
You can also purchase other kinds of games that adhere to their hunting instincts, such as treasure hunt games.
Take Them For A Walk
Walking your cat is not the first thing cat owners think of, but allowing your kitten to explore the outdoors (once the vet deems them fit to do so), is a great way to satisfy their curiosity and get the exercise they need.
If you feel uneasy about the idea of your cat exploring on their own, then you can get them a cat leash and take them for a walk around the neighborhood.
It is important to note that some cats will not like this and will hate using a leash, but others will welcome it.
Begin to slowly introduce their harness to them and lay some treats around it, so they can have a positive association with it.
Then, you can put them in their harness, but let them wander around the house for a few days with it on, so they can get used to the feel of it on them.
When you feel they are ready to brave the outdoors, start slowly by allowing them to wander around your front door. If your home has an outdoor porch, this is even better!
Allowing your kitten to go outside with a leash will allow them to explore and burn off some of that energy while taking you with them!
Consider Giving Them A Buddy
If your budget allows it, then you could consider getting a second kitten. This is especially useful if you work long hours.
The two kittens will play, wrestle, chase each other, and most importantly, tire each other out! You’ll soon find them both cuddling together for a good sleep in no time.
You also won’t need to feel guilty about leaving your kitten home alone, as this new buddy will keep her/him company.
However, this does not mean that you no longer need to make the effort to play with them.
While they have each other, they will both need mental stimulation, and above all, attention from you in order for you all to bond.
You should be feeding your kitten small meals throughout the day at regular intervals, around 6 times a day.
Like humans, once they eat, they can become sleepy, so if you find that your kitten has a lot of pent-up energy at night, you should consider delaying their last feed until just before you go to bed.
This means they’ll be finishing their dinner just as you’re getting into bed, so they’ll likely want to sleep straight after this! They may also follow you into bed, so you’ll find yourself with a new little cuddle buddy!
To conclude, kittens are tiny little balls of energy, and while this behavior is very cute, it can interfere with your sleep.
However, there’s no need to feel frustrated, as all your little newcomer needs is some good energy burning throughout the day.
As we’ve discussed, kittens need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, which they can get from several different games and enough play time from their owners.
You could also consider getting them a leash and harness, and letting them explore the outdoors with you by their side.
Lastly, if you work long hours and spend a lot of time away from home, you could consider bringing home another kitten as a buddy.
Your two cats will play together and fall asleep together, providing each other with enough energy-burning activity to last a lifetime!
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.