It might be hard to imagine wanting to spend an entire night away from your sweet kitten, but at some point in almost every pet owner’s life, a time comes when you need a night away. If you find yourself needing to be gone for a night, you are likely wondering if you need a pet sitter or if you can leave your kitten alone. Today, we’ll be going through everything you are going to want to consider.
So, can you leave a kitten alone overnight? It is not recommended to leave a kitten less than six months old home alone overnight. If you have a kitten under six months old, it is going to be best for both of you if you have a friend or family member check on your kitten during any nights you are gone. After about six months of age, your kitten should be able to be left alone overnight as long as you do some light preparation ahead of time.
Let’s look together at when it is safe to leave your cat alone overnight and how to do so safely and appropriately.
At What Age Can You Leave A Kitten Overnight?
Most kittens can handle being left alone overnight from time to time, around six months old. This is the same age where it is usually safe to leave your kitten alone for an entire workday. Kittens learn and thrive with human interaction, so it is best if someone can be home with your kitten most nights or for an extended time during the day.
Young kittens can get into a lot of mischief and will need some human interaction and care at least every 4-6 hours.
As a kitten ages, you can begin to lengthen this time by one-hour increments until the kitten is old enough to be alone for an 8 hour period of time.
If you need to be gone longer than one night, it is a good idea to plan for a friend, family member, or pet-sitter to stop by and check on your kitten.
Where Should You Leave A Kitten Overnight?
If you are leaving your kitten overnight, it is best to leave your kitten in a secure room or single level of your home. Ideally, your kitten will be confined to one room that they can explore and play in safely while you are gone. Many people will use a bathroom, laundry room, or mudroom to house their kittens while they are gone.
Kittens need some room to move around when you are gone.
Unlike dogs that may be happy to rest in a defined space in little other than a dog bed, a kitten will want to explore and is not trained to wait until they are outside to potty.
Wherever you leave, your kitten needs to be big enough for them to move and get in and out of a litter box with ease.
That is why a secure room works best for cats and kittens when we are away.
The room where you leave your kitten does not need to be large.
It needs to be able to give your kitten a quiet space to relax, perhaps a toy or scratching post, and a place to use the restroom.
A door that shuts securely is helpful for making sure your kitten doesn’t escape to places it shouldn’t be.
It might seem fun to let your kitten roam your entire house, but we don’t recommend this while you are away overnight.
By keeping your kitten in one room, you are encouraging it to use the litter box and keeping it from causing mayhem as it plays on every surface in your home.
You are also promoting the safety of your kitten by not allowing them access to dangerous spaces in your home while you are gone.
Even though our family cat is now several years old, if we know we will be gone for an extended period of time, we close her into one upstairs bedroom with all the things she needs instead of letting her roam the house and potentially get hurt.
Occasionally we need to bring in barn kittens for special care or feedings.
These kittens are happy to stay in our spare bathroom, where they can sleep and play without interacting with the other pets in our home on their own.
What Should You Provide For Your Kitten Overnight?
If you are going to be away overnight, your kitten will need food, water, and access to a litter box. In addition to these items, it is good to consider giving your kitten some toys, a bed, or even a cat tree or special place to scratch and flex their claws.
Having these items available to your cat in their ‘home alone’ space even when you are home will help build a sense of routine and comfort for the times you need to be away overnight.
Fresh, Clean Water
All animals need access to clean water to stay healthy and happy.
The same is true for your kitten.
If you are going to be away overnight, you should plan to fill your kitten’s water bowl with fresh water right before you leave.
This helps to make sure your kitten has great drinking water during the night.
If your kitten eats meals at set times and one of those times is when you will be gone, you will want to go ahead and provide that food for them before you leave for the evening.
Your cat may eat at a different time than normal, but you can rest easy knowing they won’t be going hungry.
Besides, kittens cannot go without food for too long.
Clean Litter Box
Kittens generally can’t be trained to hold their bladders like dogs or even people.
This means that even if they don’t have a litter box available – if they need to go, they are going to!
By providing your kitten with a clean and easy-to-access litter box, you are lowering the chances of coming home to a mess to clean up.
When you confine your kitten to a room for an overnight alone, try using the same litter box you do when you are home with them.
This lowers the chances your kitten will be confused about where it should go when nature calls.
Toys & Other Accessories
Outside of the essential needs of food, water, and a litter box spot, it’s a good idea to think of some special things your kitten would like to have while you are gone.
Does your kitten have a favorite toy?
Do they have a cat tree, hideaway, or other special pillow where they like to sleep?
Does your kitten have claws, and if so, do they have an approved item to scratch them on?
All of these things will help make your kitten’s alone time more enjoyable.
For our family, we found that leaving the area where our cat is confined on nights alone set up for them at all times helps our cat to feel safe and comfortable in that space when we leave.
From the time she was young, she knew a certain room was where she could relax and find food and water.
Then, when she reached an age where we were gone overnight, she didn’t feel stressed by being alone because she was already comfortable with the space we left her in.
How To Ensure Your Kitten Is Safe Overnight
There are a few things you can do to keep your kitten safe overnight, such as making sure they do not have access to poisonous house plants or cleaners, electrical cords are put away, toilet lids are closed, and that your kitten cannot access stairs or other tight spaces where they might get stuck while exploring.
Keep Poisonous Plants Out of Reach
We love house plants for the greenery and life they bring to a room.
Still, many house plants and flowers are poisonous to cats and kittens.
A small kitten may not need to eat very much of a poisonous material to become very ill.
If you are leaving your cat overnight, make sure they do not have access to poisonous plants or cleaning supplies.
Kittens are so curious and explore with their mouth and sense of taste.
A bored kitten without supervision is more likely to munch on things they would usually ignore.
By keeping plants and chemicals out of the room where your kitten spends the night, you are not only saving on potential vet bills; you could also be saving your kitten’s life.
Secure Electrical and Window Blind Cords
Have you ever caught your kitten playing with the cord to a fan or tangled up in string?
Kittens love to hit and jump on cords that dangle and sway.
It might be cute and silly when you are home, but when you are gone, a kitten tangled in an electrical cord (or other hanging cord) could find themselves stuck or strangled.
Just like kittens might decide to taste your houseplant when you are gone, they might also want to see exactly what your electrical cords taste like.
Chewing on electrical cords can, of course, lead to quite the shock for your kitten.
To prevent your kitten from the dangers of cords, it is best to keep them tucked securely away when you are gone.
This might mean putting them in a hard-to-reach space, looping the chords to window blinds high out of reach, or taping down electrical cords, so they don’t swing and tempt your kitten to play with them.
If possible, unplug any electrical cords your kitten is around.
Close The Toilet Lid
This might seem like a funny piece of advice, but many people leave their kittens alone in the bathroom when they have to leave.
Overall, a bathroom is a great room for a kitten to be in when you are gone.
However, young kittens are at a higher risk of drowning than adult cats.
By closing your toilet lid, you are taking an extra step of safety to prevent your kitten from going for an unwanted and potentially harmful swim during the night.
Block Access To Stairs Or Tight Crawl Spaces
There is a chance that you may not be able to confine your kitten to one room while you are gone.
If this is the case, you will want to at least make sure your kitten doesn’t have access to stairs, extremely high places like second-floor loft ledges, or tight crawl spaces where they could get lost or stuck.
Most kittens by six months old will be able to handle stairs just fine.
However, for peace of mind and to protect your kitten from a fall or injury, it’s best not to let them run on the stairs while you are gone.
Kittens love tiny spaces, and more than one has needed to be rescued after exploring a space that wasn’t quite as big as they first assumed.
A night away from a kitten is possible and necessary for most owners at some point.
Remember to have someone check in at least once every 4-6 hours on a young kitten home alone.
By providing your older kitten (6 months of age or above) with a secure room, essential needs and taking a few cautionary steps, you will both have the experience of some positive alone time for a night.
Do you have other questions related to your kitten’s sleep and time alone? My following guides may be of interest:
- Should I Leave A Light On For My Kitten At Night?
- Where Should My Kitten Sleep At Night? [The Right Approach]
- Can Kittens Sleep Outside? [The Approach To Take]
- Why Is My Kitten Sleeping So Much? [How You Should Respond]
- How Long Can You Leave A Kitten Alone? [And How To Do So]
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.