Getting some sleep - Kittens

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The First Night at Home With Your Kitten

The first night home with your kitten is a new experience for both of you. Your kitten has been separated from his pack (his mother and littermates) and is adapting to a different environment.

Providing a kitten domain is important. This is an area where he can retreat and feel safe. Place his bed, food, water and litter tray in this area. Make sure his litter tray is not too close to his food and water bowl, as he won’t like to toilet where he eats. For the first day or two, consider keep your kitten confined to this one room containing his domain. Let him become comfortable in this room before introducing him to the rest of the house.

Once he is relaxed, allow him to explore the house slowly and always introduce him to other family members and pets under supervision.

Before bedtime, spend some time playing with your kitten; don’t let him nap in the hours leading up to this. You want him to be tired enough to sleep well. A ticking clock or a radio can also help soothe a kitten when he sleeps.

If your kitten meows during the night, you can soothe him but don't be too sympathetic, as this will only reinforce the behavior. Initially this may be difficult but “tough love” will eventually teach your kitten that meowing at night gets him nowhere.

Remember, a new kitten is like a new baby and don’t be alarmed if you do not get much sleep the first few nights. If you're patient, your kitten will learn to settle and sleep when you want him to.