Kittens can be a handful! It’s no surprise – they sleep all day and chew on your nose all night. A lot of first-time kitten owners are startled by how hard it is to get any sleep at all around their new guest, and most of them end up wondering: Can my kitten sleep in the bathroom?
It’s not an automatic “no” – your kitten could very well sleep in the bathroom if the bathroom is safe, comfortable and set up properly. It’s certainly not a matter of leaving it as it is – but with minimal effort, you could turn the bathroom into a wonderful kitten bedroom.
Read on to find out whether your bathroom is the right place for a kitten, and how you can turn it into the perfect night-time space!
Can my kitten sleep alone?
Cat owners often ask themselves whether it’s a good idea to have their kittens sleep alone at all, let alone in the bathroom. Many people think that cats, being social animals, need to be in contact with their humans at all times.
In some cases, that can actually turn out fine – some cats do sleep on their owners’ beds from day one and are happy with that arrangement. But that doesn’t hold true for the great majority.
There are three main reasons why your kitten should sleep alone:
1. It’s good for your kitten.
Developing independence is an essential part of early kitten socialization. Velcro cats – cats which never leave your side – can be very hard to deal with, and one early way of preventing this problem is by teaching your kitten to happily and comfortably sleep alone.
Plus, it’s better to get her used to hanging out in a cat carrier now, rather than
2. It’s good for you.
Sleep deprivation is a serious thing, as are cat’s nocturnal habits. You’re not going to do yourself or your kitten any favors by being tired and grumpy when it could easily be avoided.
3. It’s good for your bed.
There could be plenty of reasons to keep your kitten out of your bed, not least of all because of allergies or sensitivity to cat hair. You might not even normally show any symptoms of an allergic reaction, but sleeping surrounded by cat fluff can be a whole different story.
On top of that, chances are that your kitten will need to use the litter box at least once during the night, and you don’t want her to decide to just use your mattress instead.
Is the bathroom a safe place for a kitten?
While there are many places your kitten could spend the night, the bathroom could potentially be one of the best choices. There are several attributes that all bathrooms have in common which happen to go really well with young kittens.
First of all, unlike most other rooms, all of the furniture in the bathroom is securely nailed down. Kittens can become very active at night, jumping on whatever strikes their fancy. This can be a potential hazard when you factor in wobbly bookshelves and unstable dressers.
Bathroom floors are tiled, which will make it a lot easier to clean any accidents that can occur while a kitten is still being litter-trained. Potty accidents should always be cleaned thoroughly, with a special enzyme cleaner.
It’s a lot harder to get the odor completely out of carpeting! The tiles will also help with the general cleanliness and odor of the space. Kittens are fussy about smells, and they won’t sleep, eat, drink, or even go potty anywhere that isn’t immaculately clean and odor-free.
It’s very likely that you will already have set up your kitten’s litter box and drinking fountain (yes, water fountains are great – we explain why in this article) in the bathroom, which is where most owners chose to place these items.
In that case, great! Your kitten will already be used to heading there for some needs, and you just have to add to and improve that system.
Unless you have an outdoor cat, make sure that the bathroom is secure and that you don’t have a little escape artist on your hands. For outdoor cats, consider setting up a space for them in a room that has an external door with a cat-flap.
What do I need to place in the bathroom for my kitten to be comfortable?
There are several items that your kitten should have access to overnight.
1. A place to sleep.
Obviously, you want your kitten to be able to sleep comfortably. Since the bathroom can be one of the colder rooms in the house, you might want to consider s strategically placed pet carrier with a fluffy pillow or blanket inside it.
The pet carrier will keep her warmer and protect her from drafts. Even a very simple, basic model like the Amazon Basics pet carrier here will do just fine.
2. Food and drink.
Her bowl of food and water fountain may already normally be in the bathroom, which is great. That means that she’s already used to satisfying those needs there. Just be very careful that they are far enough away from her bed, and very far away from her litter box.
Also, you should not place the food bowl next to the water bowl or water fountain.
3. Litter facilities.
Her litter box is also something that you could easily keep in the bathroom at all times. You have to make sure that it’s set up in a very isolated area, and far away from both her sleeping zone and her feeding zone.
Cats will not be happy if there’s any cross-contamination and need a very clean and odor-free space in order to be comfortable. Use a non-tracking litter, and keep a mat like this great one from Gorilla Grip under the litter box in order to catch any debris.
It’s very likely that your kitten will be active at least part of the night, so it’s a great idea to make sure she has something to do. A couple of cat-safe toys which she can play with on her own, as well as fun areas to climb and explore, are great ideas.
If you can fit it in, a climbing tree or scratching post would for sure make your kitten very happy.
If you’re the helicopter type of cat parent, there’s no reason why you can’t set up a little webcam in the bathroom and check on your kitten whenever you get worried or she’s making too much noise.
The goal is to train her to be happy by herself, so opening the door every time she complains is not ideal. A camera may not be necessary, but it can give you that extra bit of security if you’re a first-time pet owner or just like keeping an eye on your kittens.
The Furbo is highly recommended. Even though it is mostly used for dogs, it can also be used for cats. Have a look at the Furbo here for more information.
Is it OK to let my kitten sleep alone?
Not only is it OK, but letting your kitten sleep alone can be mutually beneficial for both of you. She will learn to be more independent, and you will get a good night of sleep.
Should I leave a light on for my kitten at night?
Cats are nocturnal animals and see much better than we do in the dark. Leaving a light on for her in the room where she will be spending the night won’t hurt her, but it really isn’t necessary.