How to tire out a kitten

Maybe your kitten is 5 or 6 months old and you were expecting some energy, but you didn’t expect THIS MUCH energy, you need to know how to tire out a kitten fast!

And that’s what we are going to help you with today, giving you tips that work both when you have time to play and when you need to leave your kitten alone.

All of them explore efficient ways that will aid you in your adventure to seek a little bit of peace and calm while rising a loveable but hyper kitten!


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How To Tire Out A Kitten – 8 Secrets For Tired Cat Owners

  1. Tips to tire out a kitten before bed
  2. Play hard -Play vigorously
  3. Divide and conquer -Play Throughout the Day
  4. Better together – Play Interactive games (with or without cat toys!)
  5. Avoid boredom – Mental Stimulation is a must for cats!
  6. Underrated Way To Tire Out A Cat!– Walk Your Cat
  7. Use the best cat toys to tire them out
  8. Kitty-Bonus: Catify your apartment/house

Related content:

How To Tire Out A Kitten Before Bed

Cat calico sleeping
My cute baby Maya sleeping <3

To tire out your kitten before bed and ensure a peaceful night, follow these key steps. These methods are designed to balance play, comfort, and routine for the ideal pre-sleep routine for your kitten’s perfect pre-sleep routine.

Sleeping routine plan for a peaceful night:

  • Engage in Interactive Play: Opt for intensive play sessions using toys like wands or laser pointers for 15-20 minutes to activate your kitten’s hunting instincts.
  • Transition to Calming Activities: After playtime, switch to gentle petting or calm interactions to help your kitten wind down.
  • Offer a Post-Play Meal: Serve a small portion of easily digestible food such as wet kitten food, boiled chicken, or a small amount of cooked fish, which can aid in calming and settling your kitten.
  • Create a Comforting Sleep Area: Establish a cozy and secure sleeping environment using items with your scent, like a worn t-shirt.
  • Incorporate Catification: Enhance your home with window perches, climbing structures, and hidden treats for ongoing stimulation and exercise.
  • Maintain a Routine: Follow this pattern of play, enrichment, and relaxation consistently to establish a restful nighttime routine.

Practical play session plan for a sleepy kitten

I get it. Being woken up by a meowing kitten at 3 AM is tough. Cute or not, sleep is important.

So, I’ve put together a practical play session plan, combining the best tips from cat owners, to help our kittens sleep through the night. 

Including both autonomous and interactive play options, laid out in easy-to-follow tables, followed by tips for creating a perfect environment for your kitten to settle down peacefully.

Autonomous Play

Play IdeaWhy It Might WorkTime EstimateSuitable ForAdditional Tips
Interactive Ball TrackEncourages chasing and swatting instinctsAutonomous throughout the dayCurious, active cats
Choose tracks with non-removable balls for safety
Bouncy Soft Balls Unpredictable bouncing stimulates playAutonomous, periodicallyActive kittens, kittens who like to biteEnsure safety, Choose a size appropriate for the kitten
Treat PuzzlesProvides mental stimulation 10-30 mins (varies)Intelligent, food-motivated kittensAdjust puzzle difficulty as kitten learns
Motion-Activated ToysEncourages hunting/ chasing instinct Autonomous, periodicallyAll kittensBattery safety; no small detachable parts
Cardboard Box FortEncourages hiding and explorationAutonomous throughout the dayCurious exploratory kittensEnsure stability and remove any dangerous materials

Interactive Play

Play IdeaWhy It Might WorkTime EstimateSuitable ForAdditional Tips
The simplest but most effective- The Cat Dancer ToyEngages natural hunting and playing instincts.10-20 minsAll kittens, especially those attracted to flying and fluttering movements.Encourage interactive play by moving the toy in unpredictable patterns.
Mimics prey encourages pouncingStimulates hunting instincts10-15 minsEnergetic, curious kittensConclude with a treat to complete hunting cycle
Wand Toy Under BlanketMimics prey encourages pouncing10-20 minsPlayful, agile kittensUse thick blankets, change hiding spots
Running and Chasing GamesPhysical exercise and fun10-15 minsEnergetic, active kittensEnsure a safe environment with no obstacles

How to Help Your Kitten Sleep Through the Night: Simple Strategies for Exhausted Owners

cat sleeping a calico

Here are additional tips to help you effectively use play strategies for relaxing your kitten and ensuring a peaceful night’s rest:

Avoid Overstimulation

If you want to tire your kitten and ensure it gets calmer, it’s essential to avoid overstimulation. You can spot signs of overstimulation in your kitten by observing the following indicators:

  • Vocalization: They may meow excessively or make other vocalizations, such as growling or hissing.
  • Pouncing or biting: Overstimulated kittens might start playfully pouncing on people or biting.

Tail twitching: A twitching or flicking tail can be a sign of irritation or overstimulation.

Dilated pupils: Their pupils may become dilated, indicating heightened arousal or stress.

  • Hiding: Some kittens may seek a hiding spot to escape the overstimulation.
  • Swatting or scratching: In extreme cases, overstimulated kittens may swat or scratch when touched or approached.

Post-Play Meal

Offer a light, nutritious meal after playtime to promote a calm, sleepy state. For a post-play meal for your kitten, you can consider options such as the vet-approved Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements Calming Care which has a track record of helping soothe cats with anxiety or help them sleep.

Note: Please speak with your veterinarian before giving your kitten these calming supplements.

Cozy Sleep Area

Create a sleeping space with items carrying the owner’s scent, such as a worn t-shirt, to provide comfort and security.

Here are a few recommended types of products and strategies commonly used to calm kittens that you can try, however, please check beforehand if your kitten has any allergies to scents or ingredients used in these products:

Calming Sprays

These sprays contain calming pheromones or natural substances that can be sprayed in your kitten’s environment or on bedding to create a peaceful atmosphere. 

The FELIWAY Classic Cat calming pheromone is one of the most recognizable brands for calming cats.

Catnip Toys and Treats

Catnip can have a soothing and playful effect on kittens. Offering toys or treats infused with catnip can help calm and entertain them at the same time. You could try with the popular TEMPTATIONS Catnip flavor treats or the loved catnip kicker toy

Ensure that your kitten does not have any allergies to catnip and introduce these items in moderation to observe their effect. 

Comforting Bedding

Cozy, soft beds or bedding products designed for pets can provide a secure and comfortable space for kittens, helping them to relax. One of the most cozy brands is the Western Home WH calming bed

Additional Tip

Soft Music: soothing sounds or music specifically designed for pets can be very effective in calming kittens. EXTREMELY Soothing Cat Therapy Music – Relax Your Cat!  on YouTube by Relax My Cat, which uses binaural technology and is tailored to the feline ear, is a great example​

Bonus: Transform Your Home into a Cat Paradise – Catification Tips for Better Kitten Sleep

Remember, when creating a conducive environment for a kitten’s sleep, it’s about balancing play, comfort, and routine. Regular play sessions help burn off energy, and a comforting sleep area helps them feel secure. 

Implementing catification with things like window perches, climbing structures, and hidden treats can provide ongoing stimulation and physical exercise throughout the day, reducing restlessness at night. 

Five catification ideas include:

  • Window perches for relaxing view-watching
  • Various scratching posts and surfaces
  • Interactive feeders and toys for solo play
  • Safe climbing structures or shelves
  • A dedicated play area with various textures and hiding spots.

1. Play Hard – Play Vigorously

Wait a minute…does this mean I have to let my cat destroy everything, bite and scratch me hard? No, that’s not what we mean!

What we mean is that you should play intense games that involve high physical or mental activity, such as:

  • Tag or hide and seek
  • Fetch
  • Playing with a feather wand
  • Teach your cat a trick
  • Playing with puzzle feeders

Those kinds of games are not only fun for your cat but demand a decent amount of energy and are a great opportunity to bond with your kitten – a win-win situation! BUT…how much time should each session be? Let’s see:

2. Divide And Conquer – Play Throughout The Day With Your Kitty

This is one of the best cat play tips and secrets on how to tire out a kitten for new owners:

Divide your playtime into 4-6 sessions throughout the day of 20-30 minutes each instead of only 1 or 2 sessions a day.

Why is this important?

Kittens are little balls of fur with TONS of energy, as they grow older they start to calm down (around 1 year and 1 year and a half), but, when they are little they get zoomies quite often and the best way to get rid of this pent up energy is to allow them to exercise and play as often as possible.

This is why a lot of cat owners and cat blogs recommend having two cats instead of one as this is one of the top strategies to let your kitten socialize and get rid of their excess energy while playing with their playmate. However, if you can’t afford a second kitty, don’t worry! Just follow these article’s tips which will help you to finally calm down your kitty.

Pro tip: socializing is very important for your kitty, if your cat still wants to stay with you after playtime (and if you work from home) you can let your kitty roam your room or put them in a comfortable cat crate with toys, food, and a bed so he can spend time with you while you work.

3. Play Interactive Games (With Or Without Cat Toys!)

Playing interactive games such as chasing or tag will not only help your kitty burn out energy but it is also a great opportunity to bond with your kitty!

And we know, some of you may be wondering “Do cats know how do you play tag?”, and the answer is yes! They absolutely can understand how to play tag, hide-and-seek.

Of course, each cat has a personality, which means some of them may love to play tag with you while others may prefer to do it with other kitties or won’t like it at all.

And playing tag is just one example of a cat game that doesn’t require playing with toys.

For example, you check out this video from the cat owner and Youtuber Jess CATicles, where she explains how you can safely play with your kitten (without using your hands) with easy to find home items like card boxes

In the end, remember you don’t need to spend money on cat toys if you don’t want to! There are tons of home items you can use to creatively play with your kitty.

Tip: You can lure your cat to chase you using a wand cat toy, you can buy one for cheap or make one yourself! If you want to make one, check out this amazing article by Petfinder: DIY Cat Toys | How to Make a Feather Wand | Petfinder

How to play tag/chase with your cat- Playing Tips

  • Remember to always check out their body behavior, if the tail is down it probably means you should slow down and pause for a moment as your kitten may be scared.
  • Set boundaries and stop playing if your cat gets too riled up and starts biting or aggressively scratching you.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your cat gets anxious or aggressive, you can repeat the game some hours later to check if they are more relaxed and willing to play gently

4. Avoid Boredom – Mental Stimulation Is A Must For Cats!

Cats are very smart creatures, stimulating their brain will not only boost their happiness and health but also avoid boredom AND destructive behavior. But, how to stimulate your cat’s curiosity?

One of the most common ways to make your cat do brain exercise is through letting your kitty solve food puzzles, stimulate their hunting instincts with games like treasure hunt games, or if you have the time to, teach your cat a trick!

If this picked your interest we recommend you check out these amazing articles where you will learn how to tire out a kitten with mental excercise:

5. Walking Your Cat ( Underrated Way To Tire Out A Cat!)

Walking your cat is not the first exercise cat owners think.

Moreover, some people ask themselves “is walking your cat weird?” – “is it socially acceptable to walk your cat?” and “do cats like being taken for walks?”

And, yes it is true some people will think you are a weirdo, and not every kitty will enjoy taking walks, some of them will hate using a leash!

However, if your indoor kitty is curious about going out, this may be the best exercise to do.

Walking your cat actually has tons of benefits for your kitty like:

  • Burns energy
  • Makes your cat relaxed
  • A bonding experience between you and your kitty
  • Helps your kitty feel less bored
  • Helps your kitty socialize with other people or friendly pets

If you’re looking how to tire your kitten and this seems like a good fit for you, I recommend you check out these videos that will guide you on leash training and things to consider when walking a cat.

Care-tip: If you decide to walk your indoor kitty, make sure it has all the vaccinations your vet recommends in order to prevent unwanted fleas, worms, or that it gets other infections.

6. Best Cat Toys To Tire Them Out

The best toys to tire out a kitten usually are the simplest toys, cats prefer simplicity over fancy things!

Here are some of the top cat toys that will wear out your kitten and If you want to bond with your kitten we recommend buying the Cat Dancer or Cat Dancer Toy | Hepper, these are safe and interactive, excellent for bonding with your kitten while simultaneously tiring him out!

On the other hand, if you need some alone time and get your kitten to play by itself we recommend the Mechanical Cat Toy | Hepper, is a great toy to exercise and relieve anxiety, an ideal cat toy for the full-time worker that needs to leave their kitten alone at home.

If you want to look at our full list of best cat toys to keep your cat busy check our article: 9 Best Cat Toys To Tire Them Out (Self-Play Options Too!)

ToyPrice Range
Cat Dancer$
Cat Dancer Toy | Hepper$$
Mechanical Cat Toy | Hepper$$

BONUS: Catify Your Home/Apartment

Last but not least, it is crucial to learn how to catify your apartment or house if you want to know how to tire out a kitten. Why? Because by doing so you’re making sure your kitten doesn’t get bored and destructive, instead, they will feel relaxed and happy.

There are lots of tips to catify your apartment but you can summarize them in 3 main points:

  1. Check your home is a safe environment for your kitty
  2. Stimulating your cat’s mental activity
  3. Providing spaces just for your kitty

Check your home is a safe environment for your kitty

How to tire out a kitten

Although this does not relate entirely to how to tire out a kitten, this is the first step you should do when catifying your home, after all, you don’t want your kitten to get poisoned with your plants or bite a wire and get electrocuted!

If you want to learn more about household items that are dangerous to cats, check out these valuable articles that will help you learn more about toxic things to cats:

Stimulating your cat’s mental activity

Stimulating your cat’s mental activity can be done with interactive games, but what if you don’t have time to play with your kitten because of work?

Whatever the reason may be we can’t always be there to play 🙁 that’s why cat toys are a great way to keep your kitty happy and calm while you are away.

Some of the best toys for cats are those that incentive their hunting instinct and cognitive decisions, such as puzzle toys or fish tank toys.

On the other hand, catnip toys could calm their mood, however, truth be told, when it comes to cats it is hard to predict!

Just make sure to analyze the personality of your kittens, as they may love to chase, hide, hunt, or just jump through walls, based on what you see you can start guessing which toys may be the best fit for them.

Providing spaces just for your kitty

Last but not least providing a space just for your kitty will help them calm down, relax and play in a safe area.

These spaces can be indoor or outdoors the important thing is that your cat identifies those plays are just for their joy and can quickly relax.

If you want to learn more about how to catifiy your apartment for different budgets I recommend you to check out this article How To Catify Your Apartment With Space Saving Furniture [13+ Options For All Budgets]

And for the outdoors in this video, we found a great guide on how to build a catio for your cat from start to finish from Youtuber Kitten Lady!

Remember to share this article if you liked it!

How To Tire Out A Kitten FAQ’s

How To Tire Out A Kitten Fast?

1. Do interactive play with a cat wand or chasing games
2. Walk your kitty 15 minutes a day
3. Provide plenty of cat toys and give them out in rotation to prevent boredom
4. Get a second kitten, this will help your cat have a playmate and tire faster
5. Create a lot of vertical space for your kitty
6. Use catnip toys
7. Get or build a cat treadmill for your cat to exercise

How Long Does it Take to Tire Out a Kitten?

Tiring out a kitten will take around 20 minutes to 30 minutes per session. To keep your kitten exercised and get rid of excess energy remember to provide plenty of cat toys and vertical space to keep her entertained throughout the day.

At What Age Do Kittens Calm Down?

Kittens will begin to calm down around 1-2 years old, as they age their hyperactive behavior begins to cease.

However, this will vary based on the cat’s personality, daily activities, and if it has been neutered or not.

Make Your Cat The Happiest Cat In The World

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