Your new Kitten is fluffy, energetic, and all-around adorable until you want to sleep later than the first spark of sunrise. If you find yourself at home with a new kitten and searching for sleep, you are probably wondering why your Kitten wakes so early and what to do about it.
So, why does my Kitten wake up so early? Your Kitten is likely to wake up early if it is hungry, has pent-up energy, or is a new addition to your family and hasn’t learned your daily routines yet. You are your Kitten’s main source of food, entertainment, and comfort, which means any time it has a need, it looks to you, even if you are trying to get some quality sleep!
It’s a question many cat owners have found themselves pondering.
And it’s something that most will experience in the first few days of having brought their kitten home.
With my cat, he was actually pretty bad for this.
But once I discovered why he was so lively so early, it was something we could proactively work on.
Before we knew it, this trait became a thing of the past.
So let’s delve into the reasons more closely so you can pinpoint why your Kitten rises early before turning to those strategies you can start to implement to help prevent it!
Why Is My Kitten Waking Up So Early?
Your Kitten may be waking up early for several reasons such as hunger, extra energy, or simply not having adjusted to your personal sleep routines yet.
Understanding the reasons your Kitten is waking up early can help you decide what to do about your furry early morning wakeup calls.
Let’s take a closer look at why your Kitten may be waking up so early.
Your Kitten Is Hungry
If your Kitten is waking up early in the morning, it may be feeling hungry and hoping you will fill the food dish.
A kitten can double its weight in just a few months and has a smaller stomach size than an adult cat.
This means your Kitten requires frequent small feedings to stay full and happy.
Even before your Kitten knows your daily routine, it will realize you are the one who feeds it!
If your Kitten wakes you up with meows and makes a quick dash for the food bowl as soon as you move, it is likely hungry.
Kittens are quick learners, and if you feed your cat as soon as you get up in the morning, they will take advantage of that situation with an even earlier call the next time they want a sunrise treat.
Your Kitten Has Pent Up Energy
Kittens need a lot of sleep, but they are also high-energy young cats that need to exercise and play every day.
If your Kitten is bouncing around your bedroom before your alarm clock rings, it may be looking for a playmate (in the form of you!) to help it burn some energy.
Just as most people sleep better when they have used some energy during the day, your Kitten will sleep better if it has plenty of activity during daytime hours.
Sometimes what happens is our kittens sleep and lounge while we are at work or school and then don’t feel like they need to sleep quite as long as we would like at night.
If your Kitten wakes you by jumping on your body, or as in many cases, your head, and continues to bat at toys or zoom around the room, your Kitten was most likely hoping to wake you as their favorite playmate.
Sometimes an energetic kitten can lose control of its body and crash into things in your bedroom, waking you up even if they didn’t mean to.
Your Kitten Hasn’t Learned Your Routines
While many wild cats have nocturnal habits, hunting and moving during the night, domestic house cats are great at adapting to the lives of their owners.
Kittens can learn when their owner is active when they are usually fed and to signal in on cues that it is time to rest. However, learning these things does take time.
When you first get a kitten, it will likely be used to the schedule it was on in its previous home or with its mother.
If that means waking, sleeping, eating, and playing whenever the mood strikes, then you can expect your Kitten to do the same with you for a while.
The good news here is that there are things you can do to help your Kitten adjust and encourage a better sleep schedule.
What Time Does A Kitten Usually Wake Up?
By natural design, kittens are most active at dawn and dusk or early morning and early evening. This means that if left to their own devices, most kittens will wake early to eat and play, mix napping and playing throughout the day, and have another fairly active period in the evening.
The biggest issue often comes from the fact that you and your Kitten have different ideas of what makes for an acceptable early morning.
Sometimes young kittens will enjoy waking their owners up as early as 4 am!
Thankfully kittens can safely be encouraged to enjoy waking up later in the morning for owners who don’t want to wake up with the sun.
What Time Should A Kitten Wake Up?
The best time for a kitten to wake up is at the same time you do most days of the week – within reason. If you typically wake for the day between 6:00 – 9:00 am, your Kitten can be encouraged to do the same. If you are waking much later than this while still going to bed at a normal evening time, your Kitten may be hard to encourage to stay asleep.
Kittens are very adaptable, and there is no set time that all cats need to fall asleep and wake up.
Your best option is to look at your schedule and plan that your Kitten will be able to learn to sleep without bothering you for 6-8 hours a night, but it takes time and consistency.
If you want your Kitten to sleep in until 10 am on a regular basis, then you will need to start their bedtime routine later than someone who wants them to wake at 7 am.
Expecting kittens, or adult cats, to go longer than 8 hours without waking is unrealistic for most cats.
At What Age Do Kittens Stop Waking Up So Early?
Having a young kitten at home will almost guarantee some less than perfect nights of sleep. As a result of their bodies maturing and growing, most kittens will naturally start to be heavier sleepers around 2-4 months of age and in a more steady sleep pattern by 4-6 months.
Not only does your Kitten need to adjust to a new home and routine, but its small size and quickly growing body also make staying in a deep sleep difficult.
A young kitten is likely to need more bathroom breaks and feeding times which means they wake up to have those needs met and want their owner up too.
As kittens age, they are physically able to go longer periods without needing a trip to the litter box or feeling the need for an immediate meal.
Also, as your Kitten spends more time with you, it will fall into the routine you set for it, and by four to six months, you should know what to expect during nighttime hours.
How Do I Stop My Kitten From Waking Up Early?
To stop your Kitten from waking so early, you can make sure to give them a good feeding right before bed, help them to burn energy through physical play during the day, provide comfortable sleeping options, and keep a consistent routine around bedtime and waking times.
Feeding Before Bed But Not First Thing In The Morning
When your Kitten has a full belly, it is likely to fall asleep faster, deeper, and longer.
Kittens have strong hunger cues. These cues that help them to stay alive in the wild are the ones that cause them to wake up early in the morning if their stomach is empty.
To help your Kitten stay asleep, make sure to offer a satisfying meal not long before bed.
Many owners also choose to leave out a small amount of food when they go to bed so that if their Kitten does get hungry, they can help themselves to a snack that tides them over for a few more hours of sleep.
When you wake in the morning, take a few minutes to use the restroom and get a drink before immediately filling your cat’s food bowl.
If your cat doesn’t associate your very first move with them getting breakfast, they may be less likely to wake you first thing in the morning with demands for food.
Provide Plenty Of Physical Activity
Kittens are fun to raise because of their playful and boisterous natures.
However, if your Kitten spends the day lazing around while you are at work or school, they will need to burn off some extra energy to help prepare for sleep.
About an hour before you want to go to sleep, it’s a good idea to have some fun with your Kitten.
Use a cat toy, string, or laser pointer to encourage your Kitten to run, pounce, and play. Even rolling a ball of paper across the floor will get your Kitten’s playful side to come out.
These play sessions will not only help your Kitten be ready for a night of rest, but they will also build your bond in a fun way you can both look forward to.
Provide A Comfortable Sleeping Environment
Whether your Kitten is sleeping in a crate, a designated room, or loose in your bedroom with you, a safe and comfortable spot to sleep is a great idea.
A tired kitten will plop down just about anywhere for a quick snooze, but a nice resting spot encourages longer sleep periods.
The space where your cat is expected to sleep should be warm, soft, and quiet. When a cat is warm and comfortable, it can fall into a deep sleep.
If their space is quiet and free of stimulating things such as toys or other family members, they are more likely to stay asleep until a decent hour.
Routines Are Key
As stated earlier, kittens are extremely adaptable animals, but they will only adapt if they have a routine they can rely on.
When your Kitten knows that its owner typically sleeps until a certain time and cannot be easily persuaded to make that time earlier, they will learn to accept their new wake-up hour.
The hardest part of maintaining a routine with your Kitten will usually be in those first couple of weeks.
It is very tempting when your cat wakes you to get out of bed and get them some food in the hopes they will leave you alone.
That plan might work, too, until your Kitten is trying to wake you even earlier the next morning!
If your Kitten is sleeping in a different room than you, it may meow loudly to request early morning attention.
The important part is that if you know your Kitten is safe and healthy, do not meet their demands until you are okay with waking up.
If you can provide regular meals and exercise during the day, a relaxing place to sleep, and hold fast to a set wakeup time during your first weeks with your Kitten, you will find that both of you come to an agreeable morning routine soon enough.
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?
- Can You Leave A Kitten Alone Overnight? [& If So, When & Where?]
- 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.