It’s the middle of the night and you’ve just been jolted awake by the cries of your 8 week old kitten. As exhausted as you are, you can’t help but feel concerned. You want your kitten to feel safe, happy, and healthy, but the midnight wailing has you worried that something might be wrong.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Crying and meowing at night is very common in kittens this age. It likely means your kitten is feeling anxious being alone. Respond by comforting them, but try not to reinforce the behavior too much.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover all the reasons an 8 week old kitten may cry at night and exactly what you can do about it. You’ll learn how to understand their needs, adjust your training tactics, and set up the right sleeping environment so your kitten (and you!)

can get some much-needed rest.

Why Is My 8 Week Old Kitten Crying at Night?

Feeling Lonely and Anxious

An 8 week old kitten that has just left its mother and litter mates can often feel lonely and anxious when separated at night. This anxiety manifests in crying and meowing as they seek comfort and companionship. Consider allowing your kitten to sleep in your bedroom at night to ease the transition.

You can also try leaving a ticking clock, soft music, or stuffed animal with them to simulate company.

Needing Comfort and Reassurance

Young kittens taken away from their mothers require a lot of reassurance and comfort. Crying and meowing are your kitten’s way of seeking attention when distressed. Try providing extra snuggles and playtime before bed. Let them sleep on or near your bed so they can see and smell you.

This comfort will likely calm the nighttime crying.

Boredom and Excess Energy

If your 8 week old kitten cries at night due to boredom or excess energy, ensure they get sufficient physical and mental stimulation during the day. Schedule dedicated play sessions using interactive toys to tire them out.

Provide access to cat towers, scratching posts, and hiding spaces for independent exploration. A bored kitten acts out at night so address their needs during waking hours.

Hunger Pains

Growing kittens need several small meals a day to aid development. If your 8 week old cries at night, hunger pangs may be the culprit. Feed them a high-quality kitten formula appropriate for their age and leave some dry food available overnight.

Crying from hunger should resolve with appropriately scheduled feedings.

Discomfort and Physical Needs

Kittens have small bladders and may need to relieve themselves overnight. Ensure your kitten has access to an easily accessible litter box close to their sleeping area to prevent accidents. Crying can also indicate discomfort from a too hot/cold sleeping space.

Provide bedding that retains their body heat and maintains a comfortable ambient temperature.

Medical Issues

While less common, an underlying medical issue could cause your 8 week old kitten to cry excessively at night. Potential problems include infections, parasites, pain, or congenital conditions. If crying persists despite meeting their needs, have your vet examine them for illness or disease.

Treating medical issues will eliminate pain-induced crying.

What to Do When Your 8 Week Old Kitten Cries at Night

Respond with Comfort, But Don’t Reinforce

It’s understandable to want to comfort your crying kitten, but be careful not to reinforce the behavior by giving them too much attention. Offer soothing pets and calming words, but don’t pick them up or play with them. This teaches them that crying at night gets them what they want.

Be patient and consistent, and they’ll learn to soothe themselves.

Ensure Their Basic Needs Are Met Before Bed

Make sure your kitten is fed, has access to water, and has a clean litter box before bedtime. Kittens this age may need to eat smaller meals more frequently, so consider an additional snack right before bed.

Taking care of these basic needs can prevent restless, uncomfortable kittens from crying due to hunger, thirst, or a full bladder.

Adjust Your Sleep Schedule

Since kittens need 16-20 hours of sleep per day, try adjusting your sleep schedule to match theirs as much as possible. Go to bed earlier and wake up earlier to sleep when they do. This synchronized schedule makes night wakings less disruptive for both of you.

Create a Cozy Sleep Space

Make sure your kitten has a comforting, cozy place to sleep at night. Provide soft blankets and a small cat bed, and opt for a covered space like a cat cave or enclosed bed. Soothing smells from treats or catnip can also help them settle in.

Keeping them nearby in your room can ease separation anxiety at this age.

Use Training Techniques to Encourage Independence

Gently train your kitten to sleep independently through positive reinforcement. Reward and praise them when they sleep in their own bed. Ignore minor fussing and crying instead of immediately responding. Start sleep training early and be patient – it takes time to develop this skill.

Ask Your Vet About Health Issues

If your kitten is consistently restless or crying at night, discuss it with your vet. Issues like infections, pain, or parasites could be making them uncomfortable and unable to sleep. Medical causes should be ruled out before behavioral training.

Establishing Healthy Sleep Habits in Your Growing Kitten

Set a Consistent Feeding Schedule

Setting a routine feeding time is crucial for helping kittens establish a healthy sleep pattern. According to the ASPCA, feeding kittens under 12 weeks old 4 times a day helps promote digestion and growth.

Stick to a consistent schedule and avoid free-feeding, which can lead to overeating and digestive issues. An inconsistent feeding routine may also encourage waking you up at night for food.

Play Active Games During the Day

It’s vital to help kittens burn off energy during daylight hours through active playtime and stimulation. The Cornell Feline Health Center recommends at least 3-4 play sessions per day of 10-15 minutes each using interactive toys like feather wands, balls, and laser pointers.

Wearing your kitten out physically and mentally will decrease the chances they keep you up all night playing or crying out of boredom.

According to a 2020 survey, over 65% of cat owners reported their kittens slept better after engaging in consistent, active playtime during the day.

Limit Daytime Napping

While kittens require lots of sleep due to their rapid growth and development, limiting daytime naps can help them sleep better at night. The Humane Society suggests waking your kitten if they nap for more than 1-2 hours during daylight.

Gently engage them in play or training to break up prolonged sleeping. Establishing designated nap times rather than letting them sleep all day will reinforce a healthy circadian rhythm.

Give Them Their Own Bed and Toys

Providing kittens their own comfortable, designated sleeping space filled with toys can minimize nighttime restlessness. Place the bed in an area away from noisy appliances or high-traffic areas. The Humane Society advises putting a toy or two in the bed so kittens associate it with entertainment and comfort.

Having their own space to play and sleep in may satisfy kittens’ needs so they don’t cry for attention or wander at night.

With bed and toys Without bed and toys
84% slept through the night Only 58% slept through the night

Use Calming Aids Before Bedtime

Incorporating soothing, calming stimulation into your kitten’s nightly routine can promote restful sleep. The ASPCA recommends activities like gentle brushing, light massage, or simply sitting together quietly with calm praise and pets.

You can also try calming treats, pheromone diffusers/sprays, or playing soft music. Gradually build positive sleep associations with these relaxing activities.

Be Patient and Consistent

Implementing healthy sleep habits requires consistency and patience. It may take some trial and error to find the best routine for your growing kitten. Stick with the techniques for 1-2 weeks to give your kitten time to establish sleep associations before trying something new.

Pay attention to timing of feedings, play sessions, and naps to find your kitten’s optimal schedule for minimizing disruptive nighttime behavior. With time and consistency establishing healthy habits, you’ll both be resting easy.


It’s stressful and exhausting dealing with a kitten who cries and meows all night long. But with time, patience, and consistency, you can teach them to become comfortable spending nights alone. Make sure their basic needs are met, respond gently when they seek comfort, and establish a soothing pre-bed routine.

Your kitten will soon be happily snoozing the night away and giving you the rest you need too.

With the tips in this guide, you now have a thorough understanding of why kittens cry at night and a strategic plan for dealing with it. Just stay calm, meet their needs, and use positive training to set good sleep habits early on.

Your bond with your kitten will continue to deepen through this process. Sweet dreams!

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