How Much Should My Kitten Sleep?

The answer is complex. Too little sleep can cause problems like serious depression, weight loss and lack of appetite, which are all signs that something may be wrong. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends 8-10 hours for kittens younger than 6 months; 10-12 hours for adult cats; and 14-16 hours for older cats or those with chronic conditions. However, the AVMA recently changed their recommendation to 13+/14+/15+. Cats evolved as solitary hunters in hot environments where they needed to stay alert during the day in order to hunt prey. For this reason, it has been suggested that cat’s need less sleep than dogs do – a claim disputed by many veterinarians who believe that both species have an identical amount of deep slow wave sleep during the night.[2] A study published in 2008 showed that housecats’ brains exhibit a “sleep debt” after extended periods without sufficient rest[3], which would suggest they require more time sleeping at night but there is no evidence from studies on domesticated animals such as dogs suggesting increased activity levels might result from reduced amounts of nighttime sleep.[4] In 2007 a team led by Dr Edward Marcantonio of Emory University School of Medicine examined whether pets get enough shut eye and found some troubling results: More than half slept less than ten hours per night over two weeks while nearly one third stayed up past midnight on most nights.[5][6]. They concluded: “Household pets display similar patterns [to humans]