Why Is My Kitten Crying at Night? 7 Reasons That Might Surprise You

Bringing home a fluffy bundle of joy in the form of a new kitten is a dream come true. But those peaceful cat nap fantasies might be interrupted by heartbreaking meows from the corner at 3 AM.

While the ideal scenario would be for kittens to sleep through the night, the reality is that nocturnal crying and fussing are perfectly normal for these tiny little furballs.

So, what triggers these midnight meltdowns? Let's explore the possible reasons:

1. Missing mom and littermates

Mom cat (mother cat) and baby cat (kitten)  in one frame

As young as eight weeks when adopted, kittens can miss the comfort of having mom and siblings around. Make them feel safe by giving them a cozy blanket that smells like you.

2. Hungry belly

Two hungry American cat kittens eating

Kittens have tiny tummies that empty quickly. The ASPCA recommends free-feeding kittens so they can nibble whenever those hunger pangs hit.

3. Pain or illness

Cute persian kitten sitting on cat tower

Just like human babies, kittens cry when something is wrong. If you notice any symptoms like diarrhea or limping combined with crying, it’s vet time

Learn more about other signs of your cat's pain here.

4. Developing senses

A kitten’s hearing, sight, and smell senses are still improving. Weird nighttime sounds or shadows can freak them out until they acclimate.

If their fear persists, it could lead to other health or behavioral issues. Learn more about it here: Study Shows Scaredy Cats More Likely To Avoid The Litter Box

5. Loneliness

Cute fluffy black white kitten on green grass background

Kittens need interaction and play. Be sure to give them lots of attention, especially before bed, so they tucker out.

Figure out how to ease your kitty's anxiety here: This ‘Must Have’ Will Alleviate Your Cat’s Anxiety

6. Getting into things

Scottish little cat playing on scratching posts

Kittens love to explore, and sometimes, that means finding trouble, like getting stuck in places or making mini messes. Kitten-proof your home, just in case!

Consider getting scratching posts to distract their tiny mighty claws from your couch. Check out your options here: 12 Types Of Scratching Posts And Scratchers

7. Being too cold or hot

Beautiful tabby kitten measures temperature by thermometer

Cover the cage bottom with a blanket and give the kittens a comfy bed, like a small litterbox or cardboard box. Ensure your kitty area is at a toasty temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit so your little furball stays comfy.

Then use a towel to block drafts and keep kittens under 4 weeks warm. Kittens older than 6 weeks just need a cozy spot to snuggle.

Speaking of snuggle spots, bigger furballs need a cozy space for rest too. Check out our bed selection guide here: 10 Best Cat Beds For Large Cats

Helping Your Crying Kitten Get a Good Night’s Sleep

We understand that raising a kitten can be extremely rewarding and challenging at the same time. But know that it's completely normal for kittens to fuss and cry during the night as they adjust to their new home.

Have a little extra patience, attend to their basic needs, provide lots of comfort and affection, and try some calming remedies as needed. With time, the crying will lessen as your kitten learns to feel safe and secure.

Stay consistent with meeting their needs while reassuring them through gentle playtime and cuddles. Soon, you’ll both be getting more well-deserved and uninterrupted nighttime cuddles.

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