How to Tire Out a Kitten

Sleepy time for her. Smiley time for you.
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A rambunctious kitten offers a fun show as she tumbles and plays during the day, but at night this energy becomes less adorable and more annoying. Tiring out your kitten before bedtime helps encourage more appropriate sleep-wake cycles, and gives you a quieter, more peaceful night.

Feed Her

Like most youngsters, kittens spend a fair amount of their time sleeping. These catnaps usually happen after a meal, so you can use this to your advantage at night. Dr. Tony Buffington, a veterinarian at the Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center and an all-around pet expert, suggests altering your kitten's feeding schedule so she eats shortly before bedtime. A full belly helps make her sleepy, and a quiet house encourages a calmer, more sedate kitten if she wakes up later.

Play With Her

Exercise and physical exertion makes you tired, and the same holds true for your little furball. Wear your kitten out by playing with her throughout the day, switching up her toys so she doesn't get bored with the same things. Offer her a variety of things to get her moving, from toy mice to fishing-pole-style toys, and the crème de le crème, the laser pointer. These types of toys also play on her natural urges to pounce, stalk and chase. Pair a good play session with a good meal and your little kitten should drop like a rock at bedtime.

Challenge Her

Mental stimulation is just as important as physical, and your kitten could turn destructive to keep herself entertained if she doesn't feel properly challenged. certified cat behavior consultant Marilyn Krieger recommends offering your bored kitty some puzzle toys to get her brain juices flowing, such as those that require her to turn them a certain way or work them around to get a treat out. Interesting views can help her mental focus too, such as a bird feeder outside the window or a well-secured fish tank. She'll tire herself out watching these would-be prey animals dart about quickly and go about their business.

Give Her a Friend

If one rambunctious kitten is your problem, adding a second may seem like an unlikely solution. But offering your kitty a companion gives her a friend to keep her occupied, entertained and moving all day. The two friends will wrestle, play and chase each other while you're out, meaning no one simply sleeps all day out of boredom. Add a good play session before bed to make sure they're both out of energy. You should have two kitties snoring contentedly before long.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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