First Night with Your New Kitten

by Curious Cat People March 17, 2023 5 min read

First Night with Your New Kitten

First Night with Your New Kitten

Welcoming a new kitten home can be nerve-racking for both the owners and the kitten. For us, the cat parents, it’s mainly excitement with some nervous energy. It’s normal to feel a little nervous knowing that your life is about to change. It’s going to be a whole lot more fun! However, for the little kitten, this can be a traumatic transition, leaving her mother and siblings, and moving to a strange, new house. She may cry for the first couple of nights. A kitten’s first night home can be challenging but there are things that you can do to help her settle in quickly. Eventually, she’ll adjust to her new home and be sleeping peacefully through the night.

First Night with Your New Kitten

Prepare a safe room for your new kitten

Before your new kitten arrives, you should already have set up a safe room – a separate room where she can start to explore her new home a little at a time. As the name suggests, the safe room should not have items that are dangerous to your new kitten. Make sure to remove all hazardous items from the room and set up a feeding station and a cat litter tray within the safe room. Kittens love a soft and warm place, so prepare a soft cat bed filled with lots of blankets.  

The safe room is important because it allows your new cat to explore her new location at her own pace. There are a lot of new sights, sounds, and smells for her to get used to. Introducing your new cat to your home all at once is overwhelming. Creating a safe room will allow her to settle into her new home with as little stress as possible.

When you bring your kitten into the house for the first time, place her carrier in the safe room. Shut the door to the room to secure the area. Leave the carrier door open and let her wander within the room. Depending on your new kitty’s confidence levels, she may choose to hide or walk right up to you for a cuddle. As she slowly familiarises herself with her surrounding, over the next couple of days, you can allow her to venture out of the room.  

First Night with Your New Kitten

Give your kitten space

It is always an exciting time to welcome a new pet to the family. Naturally, your family and friends will want to cuddle and spend time with your new kitten. It can be very scary and overwhelming to be surrounded by so many strange people! It’s best to limit the number of visitors for the first 24 hours. On this first day, instead of having the whole family crowding into the safe room, allow each family member some one-on-one time with your kitten. Over the next couple of days, as little kitty settles in, you can start to introduce friends, neighbours, and other pets. Pay close attention to your kitten’s reactions. If she seems a little timid and is not comfortable with having too many visitors, you might want to take things at a slower pace.  

How to get your kitten to sleep at night

A scared, lonely kitten is going to cry at night. To get her to settle in quickly and sleep soundly at night, make her feel as comfortable as possible during the day. Do not disregard the importance of the safe room and try not to spook her during the day. Give her space to explore and familiarise herself.  

First Night with Your New Kitten

Other things that you can do to help her sleep through the night include:

Adequate play and exercise

A happy, exhausted kitten is more likely to sleep through the night. Plan for several play sessions throughout the day and schedule one that is close to her nap time. That way, she can exhaust all the pent-up energy before going to bed. The type of toys that suit your new cat will depend greatly on her temperament and habits. With a new kitten, you may need to try a few different types of toys to find the one she likes most. Most cat toys seek to engage their instincts: chasing, pouncing, scratching, and climbing.

Here are the different types of cat toys to consider.

  • Balls: Some cats love chasing after balls and batting them. Try a regular ball or one with a wiggle tail attached to it like this KONG Purrsuit Whirlwind Cat Toy. The long, wiggly tail will encourage your kitten to play.
  • Wands or fishing pole: Wands or fishing pool teaser toys encourage your kitten to leap, pounce, and stalk. Leaping and pouncing will use up all her nervous energy and help her sleep at night.
  • Interactive feeding toys: Food puzzle toys stimulate your cat’s mind and mental exercise is just as tiring as physical exercise. The brain uses a lot of energy! Interactive toys like this Kong Wobbler Treat Dispensing Cat Toy is an excellent tool to keep kitty occupied with self-play when you are not around to spend time with her.
  • Climbing toys: Cats love to climb. Cat trees and perches give your cat something to climb and perch on. Often, cats will perch and nap at high places.
  • Cardboard boxes: Cats love cardboard boxes. They love having enclosed places to hide and observe the world. Cats often hide in boxes and observe their environment (practicing their natural stalking skills). They feel safe and protected in an enclosed space. They are also drawn to the texture of cardboard and often use the cardboard as a scratching pad.  

First Night with Your New Kitten

Introduce familiar objects

Having something that smells familiar can be a huge step toward getting a kitten to sleep at night. Ask the shelter for an old toy or blanket that your kitten used to sleep on. Place them in her new bed. This helps to create a sense of familiarity as she’s adjusting to her new life.

Feed closer to bedtime

Sometimes, feeding the kitten closer to her nap time can help her to sleep better - let digestion do its work. However, be mindful of the calorie count and do not overfeed. Feed according to her age.

We hope you find these suggestions to be helpful. It’s almost inevitable that your kitten will cry for the first couple of nights. Being removed from her mum and littermates is scary and she’s bound to feel a little bit lonely. Be patient with her. The best thing you can do is to keep her feeling as safe and comfortable as possible. During the day, spend time socialising and playing with her. Take the time to build a happy, safe environment for her. Soon enough, she’ll become well-adjusted to her new environment and sleep soundly through the night.  








Katherine Khoo
Katherine is a Pet Nutrition Specialist and GDP’s Pet Wellness Advisor. She is committed to helping pet owners make informed dietary and lifestyle choices in nurturing healthy pets. Katherine is also a practicing Nutritional Therapist (human nutrition) and has been helping hundreds of clients to heal naturally with nutrients.

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