In the Exploding Kittens game, the rules say

You won't ever run out of cards in the Draw Pile, so there is never any need for a reshuffle.

In every game I've played all the cards end up on the discard pile fairly quickly and there is nothing left in the draw pile, so we have to reuse them.

Is this meant to happen? Are we doing something wrong?

  • 6
    Yup. Put the defused kittens back into the deck every time they're defused. You eventually may end up with only kittens left in the draw pile, but then everybody dies except one player because you started with enough kittens for everyone except one player. Also note that defuses cannot be 'noped',
    – Lo-Tan
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 3:02
  • 1
    @Lo-Tan Whoops, we'd been playing where you can nope defuses. TIL.
    – Seiyria
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 15:23
  • 4
    I ran in here to try to answer the question, but you're all over it. You guys are awesome :) Back I go to shipping cards... Elan
    – user13880
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 18:28
  • @Seiyria We definitely had that occur on our first few games, so that's why I mentioned it. Figured maybe we weren't the only ones :) Glad to help!
    – Lo-Tan
    Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 18:56
  • @Lo-Tan I actually feel like it adds an extra level to the game, so I probably won't say anything. It's mean, but that's how we roll I guess!
    – Seiyria
    Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 19:35

2 Answers 2


You are missing a critical step. Every time an Exploding Kitten is drawn it needs to go back into the deck if it is defused.

From the rules:


If you drew an Exploding Kitten, you can play this card instead of dying. Place your Defuse card in the Discard Pile.

Then take the Exploding Kitten, and without reordering or viewing the other cards, secretly put it back in the Draw Pile anywhere you’d like.

As long as you do that, and you had the correct number of exploding kittens in your starting deck (1 less than the number of players) the deck will never run out.

  • Hmm we were putting them back in and yet somehow ran out of cards. Yes the deck should eventually just be kittens... so it must end no matter how many defuses... Ok thanks, I'll have to play again!
    – jcoder
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 13:18

You are likely misunderstanding a rule or two. However without more information I can only guess what that rule might be.

You start the game with N-1 exploding kitten cards in the deck (where N is the number of players).

Exploding kitten cards never get put in your hand. When you draw one if have a defuse you get to put back in the deck. If not you blow up and are out of the game.

There should be no way for you to go through the whole deck without all but one person exploding.

  • I guess we must have been putting the exploded kittens in the wrong pile or something. Thanks! We'll try again :)
    – jcoder
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 13:18
  • We played a game that ended with the last card being a kitten. The Commented Dec 10, 2023 at 5:32

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