You enjoy cuddling with your kitten, and the thought of sleeping with it seems inviting. Kittens are sweet and soft to touch. However, most cat owners feel torn about this subject.
Perhaps you feel your cat will be lonely if left to sleep alone, but are still unsure if it is safe to put it in your bed.
Read more, to learn about the risks of doing so and where to put your little friend to sleep.
The answer to if you should let a kitten sleep with you:
Don’t let your kitten sleep with you because:
- It will disrupt your sleep.
- You can injure it.
- Cats in bed increase the risk of parasite transmission.
- Sleeping alone is good for your kitten.
Help your kitten sleep on its first night by putting it in a small and safe room, and minimize noise.
Sleeping with your kitten might seem like harmless fun. But you need to remember that kittens can be crazy and wild. Being crepuscular, your kitten is active at night, or very early in the morning.
That means your kitten is going to pounce on things and knock off plates when you are sleeping. Therefore, I suggest you should keep off sharing your bed with your little one for these reasons:
1. Disrupted sleep
A young kitten is like a baby. It has many needs and will need constant attention. Your kitten may need to use its litterbox when you are asleep.
Your furry friend is not yet potty trained and might eliminate there. It’s no fun to start cleaning up its mess in the middle of the night. Even if that doesn’t happen, your kitten will feel uneasy and meow to alert you it needs to go.
Sleeping with your kitten means your sleep will be interrupted.
2. Risk of injuring your kitten
Another reason why it is not advisable to put a kitten in your bed is that you might roll on it as you turn. Its small body makes such accidents very possible. This results in injury, or suffocation.
It could also get hurt if it jumps off the bed. A very young kitten can get caught between pillows and sheets.
Some cat owners suggest waiting until your cat is over 6 months before you can show it your bed.
Keeping your kitten on the bed could be a big issue if your spouse has a cat allergy. In such a case, it is advisable to keep the bedroom completely off-limits to your kitten.
Cat allergy can make life miserable for your spouse. Some of the symptoms are eye inflammation, stuffy nose, itchiness around the eyes, and rash in the face and neck.
4. Sleeping alone is good for your kitten
It’s good to give your kitty its own space for it to develop independence. It also makes it easier for your little one to adapt to your sleeping schedule.
If you let your kitten sleep in its room, it will less likely be a cause of disturbance, and learn that night time is sleep time. Besides, your kitten may also enjoy having its own space for it to explore.
Since cats are territorial, if you allow your kitten to spend the night in your bed for a long time, it might feel like that is its territory. When someone enters the room, it feels agitated.
Training your cat while it is still young is advisable in case you want it to adjust to its sleeping area. Otherwise, your kitten will carry that behavior into adulthood, and it will be hard to get it out of your room.
5. Cats in bed increase risk of bacteria and parasites
Before you let your kitten snuggle up beside you, learn about the possible health consequences of doing so.
As you share your bed with your little one, you are also exposing yourself to any parasite it might be harboring. If your kitten is about 4 months old and goes outside, it could come back with fleas and ticks.
Of course, you can reduce this risk by keeping your cat indoors. Talk to your kitten about other possible options for protecting your kitty from outdoor exposure.
How to Put Your Newly Adopted Kitten to Sleep
If you have just brought in your newly adopted kitten, perhaps you might be worried that it will not be comfortable sleeping alone in a new environment. It’s understandable why you feel that way.
The transition to a new home is a daunting experience for your furry friend. It has left its mother and littermates for the first time.
However, you don’t need to put it in your bed, for the reasons outlined above. You can still create a haven for your little one by following these simple guidelines:
1. Keep it in a small room
As you keep your kitten in a small space, you give it time to adjust to its new surroundings. Leaving your kitten free to roam the house might not be a good idea because your kitten might:
- Get lost.
- Feel scared to explore a big territory.
- Get injured.
It would also be hard for you to potty train your kitten, or enforce bedtime in the future if it wanders throughout the house.
Keep your new furry friend in a small room to monitor its eating and sleeping habits. Check on it often, and ensure all its necessities are in the room: food bowl, water bowl, and litter tray.
After your little one has adjusted to its surroundings, you can show it other rooms of the house.
2. Keep the Room safe
As you confine your kitten to a small room, you also want to ensure the room is a safe place. Kittens can be naughty sometimes and act out of the norm. Take the following precautions:
- Keep the room free from poisonous plants.
- Don’t keep it in a room with full curtains, as your kitten can run them up with its claws.
- If the room has cupboards, ensure the doors are tightly shut.
- Fasten the windows.
- Remove all breakable objects.
3. Find a kitten pen
Alternatively, you can keep your kitten in a pen or crate. A kitten pen is a large portable metal cage with a solid floor. It has a large construction that is spacious enough to accommodate a litter tray, bed, water and food bowls.
It is a very practical item as you are helping your new cat settle in. You can either buy or hire a kitten pen, or use the large crate used to confine dogs in the back of the car.
Put the tray in a quiet room, and your kitten will feel safe inside. Keep the pen somewhere easily accessible so you can be checking in on your cat.
You can remove your kitten once in a while to let it investigate its surroundings and then put it back inside the pen.
4. No noise, please
The first few days should be a calm period for your kitten to adjust to its new surroundings. Children are usually excited to see cute kittens, but tell them that your little friend needs to be left alone.
Cats have a very sharp hearing sense. They can hear a broad range of sounds. Sometimes even the sound of our voices in high pitched tones can be stressful for your kitty. Noise makes your furry friend feel vulnerable.
Ensure your cat’s room is free from startling and loud noises such as a whistling kettle, vacuum cleaner, or neighborhood noise.
Family members may come to visit your kitten in its room, but ensure they do so individually instead of crowding the room.
5. Leave a low night on at night
Our feline friends can see much better than us in the dark. Your kitten will not have a hard time finding what it needs at night. However, you can leave a minimal light on for your kitten during its first few nights.
This is just to make sure your cat gets accustomed to your home.
6. Show it familiar objects
Putting something familiar near your kitten is a huge step towards helping your furry friend sleep better. Ask for its favorite blanket from the shelter home, and put it on your kitten’s bed.
Your little one will truly appreciate this gift. It is like making your kitten keep a piece of its old home as you welcome it to your place.
7. Keep your kitten active during the day
Keeping your cat active during the day helps it to sleep better at night, meaning fewer interruptions. A tired cat will sleep a lot.
Have play sessions with your kitty for a few minutes in the morning and evening. Kittens are entertained by a lot of things; puzzle toys with treats inside, cardboard boxes, or strings.
Alternatively, you can let your kitten just play by itself. Having play sessions right before bedtime is also a good idea.