Do Kittens Need A Light On At Night? [Are They Afraid of The Dark?]

Should you leave the light on at night for your kitten? This is a common question many new pet owners ask themselves. They often wonder if a kitten will get scared at night or if they can even see. 

You do not have to leave on light for your kitten at night. However, 

consider using a night light or keeping your kitten in a room where the outside lights shine inside. At least Until kittens are familiar with their surroundings, leaving them in the dark is not a good idea. 

While kittens do have much better night vision than humans, they still can’t see in complete darkness, making it hard for them to get around safely. 

In this article, we will discuss whether or not you should keep a light on in your kitten’s sleeping space. As well as what could happen if you don’t.

Do Kittens Need a Light On At Night?

Kittens do not require bright light to be left on at night. While many new pet parents may be concerned their babies are scared of the dark. The truth is, for the most part, kittens can see much better at night than humans can. 

If you leave the curtains pulled back or the room door open, your kittens will have plenty of illumination in the room to see their surroundings. To better understand this, you need to know why cats can see in the dark. 

Why Can Cats See In The Dark?

Both cats and kittens are nocturnal animals, meaning they can see better in the dark than humans. Because they hunt at dusk, dawn, and sometimes night, their eyes are sensitive in low light levels, making it easy for them to see.

Cat’s eyes also have a reflective layer called the tapetum lucidum that helps them see in the dark. This is what makes their eyes look green or yellow in bright light.

Are Kittens Afraid of The Dark?

This is tricky; kittens are not necessarily afraid of the dark. However, if the room is left pitch black and they cannot see anything, they may be scared of possible dangers lurking around the corner.

They can also become nervous or afraid of the sudden silence in the house. (We will discuss this further down in the article.)

Should I Leave a Light on For My Kitten At Night?

While your kitten should be just fine without having a light on in the room, it would be beneficial to provide some type of nightlight, at least for the first few days or weeks. 

Keeping a tiny light in the space your kitten will be sleeping will minimize the accidents they have, giving them time to become familiar with the space and where to find their litter box and food and water dishes.

Once your kitten acclimates to its surroundings, it will no longer need the assistance of an added light source.

Why You Shouldn’t Leave A Light on For Your Kitten

Although many people believe their kittens will require lights for comfort, providing them relief and security in the dark–this is simply not true. 

Like most mammals, kitten’s sleep schedules are dependent on the sun. They wake in the morning and sleep at night. This schedule is aided by melatonin. This chemical in the brain is released at night, as the sun disappears. 

Just like their ancestors and the rest of their feline family, kittens require this process to keep them from disrupting the natural sleep cycles and disrupting yours. 

Adding a bright light source to the room will counteract the melatonin and keep your little kitten going crazy and wanting to play and investigate all night long. 

Can I Leave My Kitten Alone at Night?

Never leave a kitten alone at night until they are around four to six months of age. 

Everyone knows how spunky kittens are during the day, and although they should be fast asleep at night, this isn’t always the case, and kittens can get themselves into some serious trouble if they are left alone for too long.

No kitten should be left alone for more than four to six hours at a time, this being due to their need to interact, explore, and exercise.

It doesn’t take a kitten very long to get antsy and bored and can find themselves in some serious trouble if they are not under supervision. 

Phycological Reasons Not to Leave Your Kitten Alone in Total Darkness

As we have already discussed, you should never leave a new kitten alone in the dark because they need the ability to see their litterbox, dishes, and any suspicious activities they may deem dangerous. 

All of this can lead to severe phycological issues and change your cat’s behavior and their relationship with you. 

Because domesticated kittens are social creatures, they depend on the noise of day-to-day life and the interaction with humans and other pets. So if your kitten is placed in a dark space, where everything is silent, they might assume they have been abandoned.

This fear will result in anxiety, depression, and behavioral issues in a cat who might believe you are leaving them after the sun goes down.

How to Get Your Kitten to Sleep at Night

Some people worry that leaving even the smallest light on is going to keep their kittens up all night. The best answer to this concern is to tire your baby out before it is time to go to bed. 

Tired kittens sleep very well, so giving them plenty of playtime and interaction close to bedtime will keep your kitten sleeping comfortably for hours.

Grab a few toys and provide your cat with a rigorous play session. This will provide a good amount of healthy exercise and tire them out for the night.

The Do’s and Don’t for Night Time Routines

We provided you with a lot of information in this article and wanted to give a quick recap on the dos and don’ts when it comes to adding light to your cat’s bedroom.


  • Provide a small amount of lighting.
  • Keep your kitten close until at least four month old.
  • Exercise your kitten right before bedtime.
  • Make it easy to locate litterboxes and bowls.


  • Keep your kitten in complete darkness.
  • Leave your kitten alone at night until at least four months of age.
  • Provide too much lighting.
  • Keep dangerous items exposed in their space (cords, glass items to knock over etc.)

Final Word

Becoming a new fur parent can be a little overwhelming when you want to make your kitten as comfortable as possible but are not quite sure how. 

For your sake and your kitten’s safety, keep them close at all times with a room that has a faint amount of light.

Related Articles