Potty training… every fresh cat parent goes through it and nearly everybody comes out the other side, but not all of them unscathed.
Countless nights with little to no sleep can really take a toll on you and it’s a suffering that could’ve been easily reduced.
At first, waking your kitten up at night might seem to contradict your training plan which includes avoiding any whining or playing at nighttime.
Besides, if your kitten is sleeping, it’d disrupt their sleep cycle if you wake them up, right?
Well, it’s not that easy.
I made that mistake by letting my British Shorthair kitten sleep soundly at night and it probably prolonged the potty training process.
Let’s check out what exactly works best almost all the time.
Should I Wake My Kitten Up To Pee At Night
Yes, you should wake your kitten up to pee at night, even if he’s sleeping since this will heavily influence your potty training.
Waking your sleeping kitten up might seem like a hassle but it’s definitely worth it to avoid potty accidents.
Teaching your kitten not to soil his sleeping space is paramount since this will also affect your ability to use the crate as a safe space during the day.
Even if you ditch the crate during the day, you definitely don’t want your cat making a habit out of soiling his sleeping space.
Most kittens will naturally do everything in their power to avoid peeing on their sleeping spot but some have a stronger mind than others when it comes to this.
In any case, waking your kitten up to go pee at night might make it harder to get him back to sleep but it’ll be worth it.
Just keep in mind to never make a fuss of potty breaks and calmly bring your kitten outside, wait until he does his business, and bring him back while keeping everything dark and silent.
My Maine Coon actually went berserk if you didn’t keep the lights out, don’t speak to her except for praise, and carry her back inside immediately.
Other than waking up your kitten for a couple of minutes, there’s nothing serious that can happen if you wake your kitten up to pee.
Just make sure not to disrupt their sleep cycle unnecessarily often if they’re otherwise making good progress with potty training.
How Often Should I Wake My Kitten To Pee At Night?
Generally, you should plan for 2-3 potty breaks during the first few weeks with a kitten, no matter if he’s sleeping or not. You can adjust based on whether or not your kitten actually goes during the night.
Even if your kitten doesn’t need to pee or only goes potty reluctantly, stick to your schedule for a couple of days.
Not only can you make sure that your kitten's potty needs don’t change, but you also eliminate the possibility of being thrown back when it comes to your kitten's housebreaking.
Of course, every individual is different and you should try to steer into your kitten's natural cycle and adjust the potty breaks based on that.
Maybe your kitten needs 4 potty breaks at night or maybe 1-2 per night are just fine.
How many potty breaks you need may also depend on how tired your kitten is, how much and when they drank, as well as what the breeder did with them before in regards to potty training.
How Long Can Kitten Sleep At Night Without Peeing?
Kittens can usually sleep for 2-3 hours at a time, once they hit 3-4 months they can easily sleep 4-6 hours at night. Make sure to plan for potty breaks before going to bed and right away in the morning too.
How long kittens can sleep at night without peeing also depends on the breed, water intake, last potty break, and quality of sleep, among many factors.
Generally speaking, large breeds can go longer without potty breaks, while small breeds can’t hold it in as long.
To avoid potty accidents at night, it’s best to bring your kitten out to pee right before bed and restrict water intake before bedtime.
However, if your kitten hasn’t been drinking well, scratch the last tip and just plan for one more potty trip as your kitten should never go to bed dehydrated.
Can An 8 Week Old Kitten Sleep Through The Night?
No, an 8-week-old kitten usually doesn’t sleep through the night but it can happen, especially on the very first day when your kitten is extremely exhausted.
Some lucky cat parents bring home a kitten that somewhat consistently sleeps through the night without a potty break but that’s really rare.
The first few nights with an 8-week-old kitten are also easier if the breeder also did some kind of potty training before.
That being said, consider yourself lucky if your kitten only needs 1-2 potty breaks after a couple of days.
How Often Do 8 Week Old Kitten Pee At Night?
If your kitten is just 8 weeks old, it’s likely you’ll need to include 2-3 or sometimes even 4 potty breaks for the first night.
As mentioned above, it’s best to find a good balance between letting your kitten sleep and bringing them out to avoid potty accidents at night.
Through their physical development and your training, the kitten will be able to hold it longer and longer until he can sleep through the whole night.
Should I Carry My Kitten Out To Pee?
Yes, it’s always good to carry your kitten out to pee, especially during the night so you can bring them back to sleep as quickly as possible and avoid accidents on the way.
Some people prefer to walk their kitten outside for a potty break but at night, I’ve found it best to carry them.
Carrying your kitten out to pee doesn’t wake them up, creates no excitement, and a big plus is the fact that kittens don’t pee when on your arm (well, at least most don’t do that).
Walking your kitten outside on a leash might wake them up fully as well entice them to play chase with you, bite the leash, sniff stuff on the way, and so on.
Trust me, I know carrying your cat can get exhausting pretty quickly for large breeds (speaking as a Maine Coon owner) but it’s definitely worth it.
If your kitten has to climb a lot of stairs, you should avoid that in the first weeks or even months anyway.
How Long Should You Wait For Kitten To Pee at Night?
While you want to wait as long as it takes for your kitten to go potty during the day, your kitten truly may not need to go at night, but you should wait at least 10-15 minutes nonetheless.
If you’ve waited a certain time, your kitten didn’t go and you went back inside and he had a potty accident, that’s when you know you need to wait longer the next time.
You can easily try out how much time is reasonable by trial and error.
When your kitten truly doesn’t go and has no accidents, you’re golden. If you wait 15 minutes and he peed, you need to stay longer next time.
That’s why waiting 10-15 minutes is only a rule of thumb.
You may want to give your kitten 5 minutes to let them know that’s their peeing window, or you may want to wait 30 minutes if your kitten is notorious for “I don’t have to go, I’ll pee right away once I’m inside”.
Whether you’re waking your kitten up to pee at night, let him sleep, carry him, plan for 2 potty breaks or 4 is all up to you.
While some choices may seem comfortable now, they can actually increase the length of your potty training but in the end, consistency and calmness are the keys to housebreaking your kitten.
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