How Much Do Cats Sleep?
Our favorite feline species will win the award as the best sleeper in the animal kingdom – paws down. It shouldn’t come as a surprise because cats do love to sleep. If you own one, then you probably notice them sleeping around most of the time. But how much do cats sleep? And why?
On average, cats sleep 15-20 hours a day, depending on their age and environment. In some cases, they could extend up to 24 hours per day. It’s no wonder they top the list of the best sleepers. Crazy, right?
How Much Sleep Do Cats Really Need?
Like humans, the cat’s optimum hours of sleep highly depend on their age and daily activities.
Newborns and kittens require long hours of slumber, approximately 20 or more hours a day. As your feline companions mature, they may shift to 12 to 15 hours of sleep per day. Obviously, the older cats are less energetic and will sleep more than younger cats.
Are Cats Always in Deep Sleep?
Nope! Sleep researchers have studied various animals to explore the nature of their sleep, and one of their favorite subjects was cats.
They learned that cats only spend 25% of their total sleep in a deep sleep. During this phase, their brain waves are short and rapid. It could last for only 5 minutes, and then they alternate to slow-wave sleep phase in which they become more sensitive to their surroundings hence, easier to wake.
Do Cats Dream and Snore?
If you happen to see your cats stretching their paws, making cute facial expressions, or twisting their tails and whiskers while in slumber, then there’s a huge possibility that they’re dreaming.
Cats enter dreamland during the rapid-wave phase (deep sleep) phase of their sleep. It won’t take long, but surely they will have their fair share of fun.
Cats are no exception to snoring, and it’s not something to be worried about. Like many mammals, the feline species has a group of soft tissues behind their throat that makes noises when it vibrates. That noise is what we perceive as snores.
What Makes Cats Sleep Less?
Cats are not immune to certain distractions that could limit their sleeping hours. You can notice them sleeping less if you expose them to bright lights or when you play with them. The more active you encourage them to become, the fewer hours they will sleep.
However, in some unfortunate cases, sleeping less can be a subtle sign that your cat is in pain. So be attentive. Give your vet a call if you feel that it’s no simple matter.
What if My Cat’s Sleeping Habits Change?
Your cat’s sleeping habits are not a permanent thing. They will change over time due to some factors like age, activity, and surroundings.
Younger cats will sleep as much as they can. As they age, their sleeping hours will gradually decrease as they would engage in more physical activities. However, when they reach their senior years, they will revert to lying around and sleeping the whole time.
However, you must pay close attention to your cat’s sleeping habits because it can tell you when there’s something wrong with your cat’s health. Chronic illnesses, pain, and mental health tend to disrupt the natural sleeping habits of your feline companions.
Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?
The answer is biology. Cats are born from a family of hunters, as seen from their relatives – lions, tigers, and other wild cats. They have a rich history of being crepuscular hunters, meaning they prefer hunting during dusk and dawn.
Hunting demands energy, which explains why they sleep most of the time. They recuperate as much as they can to perform well during hunting.
Although domesticated cats no longer hunt for food, they tend to adopt this nature due to genetic influences. Amazing!
Cats are more likely to be asleep during the day than at night. As mentioned earlier, they are crepuscular animals, so they are more energetic during the night up to the early morning.
Domestication allowed cats to adapt to human sleeping patterns. So, don’t fret because you can train your feline pets to sleep at the same time as you.
Cool Down Mode
Cats sleep more in warmer climates. You might find them under shade, sleeping to cool off. This is their clever way of conserving energy and water.
Stay in Bed
It seems that cats also love cuddle weather! You can expect them to be extra sleepy during rainy and cold weather. While sometimes they would engage in physical activities like playing, they might prefer lying on their cat beds to nap.
This nature is deeply rooted in their hunting. They sleep to compensate for the energy they spent stalking, running, and pouncing on their prey.
What is the Normal Amount of Sleep for a Cat?
The healthy amount of sleep for cats highly depends on their age.
- Kittens – Young cats, especially newborns, require more hours of sleep. In most cases, kittens sleep 24 hours a day, even during nursing. Their sleep is essential for healthy development.
- Adolescents – Cats around this age tend to be more physically active, so they tend to sleep less. According to vets, adolescent cats should sleep around 12-15 hours per day.
- Older – Senior-aged cats are slower and more methodical, so they might sleep more often. The typical amount of sleep they require is about 20 hours (or longer) per day.
Is My Cat Really Asleep?
Do you ever wonder if your cats are asleep when their eyes are slightly open? The answer is yes!
Cats popularized the term “catnaps” because they love napping and snoozing. Did you know that 75% of their total sleep is made up of short naps? During these snoozes, they are actually more sensitive to environmental stimuli. You might have already noticed their half-opened eyes and perked-up ears ready to react to the slightest noise or movement.
When Should I Be Concerned?
The only time of concern is when you notice drastic and erratic changes in your cat’s sleeping patterns. Sleeping much less or more than usual can be an indication of more serious medical conditions.
Do Cats Sleep at Night?
Although cats are naturally more active during the night, they learned how to adapt to your timeline. Many feline companions today are sleeping throughout the night so that they can wake up at the same time as you.
Why Do Cats Sleep On You?
There is one big reason cats love to sleep on you, on your chest, on your tummy, or anywhere close to you. It is because they love you and that they feel safe around you!
Cats are a true blessing. They make any home brighter and happier. As much as we want to play with them the whole day, they still need their sleep. Next time you can snuggle and cuddle with your feline friend if you spot them yawning and napping!