A question many ask themselves, not just cat owners is just “how much does a cat sleep?”. It is interesting to know, because they sleep incredibly much, even though they are outdoors most of the day. They are seven sleepers, it’s in their DNA.
If sleep was an Olympic sport, your cat would probably take home the gold medal. They are simply experts at sleeping. Whether it is during the day or in the middle of the night, cats are always willing to take a nap. Although you may assume that there is nothing special about your cat sleeping, there are a lot of interesting facts about cats and their naps that you should be aware of, in case you start to worry that your cat’s behavior is abnormal.
Just like humans, cats vary in how much sleep they need. In each case, it depends on age, health, mood and more. If you are curious about how much cats actually sleep, as well as how much sleep they really need, read on!
How much does a cat sleep?
The most common question regarding cats is probably “how much does a cat sleep?”. Cats sleep an average of 15 hours a day. However, they can sleep as much as 20 hours in a 24-hour period.
In general, cats sleep most during the day, as they are most active at dawn and sunset. If you’ve been wondering why, the answer lies in their physiology.
Because cats are natural predators, their brains and bodies are made to hunt mostly at night, as their excellent eyesight can help them catch prey while remaining undetected.
Although our cats are domesticated, they still exhibit many behaviors found in feral cats such as lions and tigers. Because it takes a lot of energy to chase a prey, the cats sleep as much as possible so that they have the energy needed to throw themselves over their prey, even if it’s just a toy or a rubber ball.
How much sleep do cats really need?
Cats usually sleep so much of the day for a good reason. As mentioned above, they are biologically programmed to do so.
If your cat sleeps 15 hours a day, you can safely assume that it needs 15 hours a day. It is a simple answer to the question “how much does a cat sleep?”.
If you’re worried that she’s suddenly sleeping more than usual, or that she’s lethargic when she’s actually awake, it’s a different matter. If something like this worries you, you should definitely not wait to talk to your veterinarian.
However, cats undergo cycles in terms of how much they sleep.
Like kittens, they probably sleep most of the day. When they are in their teens, they can suddenly get bizarre sleeping habits that make them jump around the house during all hours of the day (and night).
As an adult, you can expect a fairly regular schedule (which you can help make a habit) of between 12 and 20 hours depending on the day and cat.
Seniors may have more difficulty moving and may begin to slow down, so you can expect their sleep needs to end up at the higher end of this scale.
Is the cat always in deep sleep?
If you think your cat is always fast asleep, think again. After all, there is a reason why they call it a “cat nap”.
According to researchers, only about 25% of a cat’s sleep is actually deep sleep, while the other 75% of the time is light resting.
Even though they still get a lot of rest, they are still alert enough to wake up quickly. Again, this is because of their instincts.
To determine if your cat is just resting, check if their eyes are open just a little, and also look at their ears. If their ears twitch and rotate towards sound, your cat can wake up to life at any time.
Do cats dream and snore?
If you happen to be in bed with your partner and you are woken up by snoring, you should not necessarily blame the other person in bed. Chances are high that your cat may be the culprit.
In the case of cats, snoring occurs when their airways are obstructed by skin near the soft palate.
But do not worry, because it is generally not something serious.
Although all cats are prone to snoring from time to time, it is most common in breeds with short noses, including Persian and Himalayan cats.
Along with snoring, cats can also dream at the same time. Like humans, cats can have good or bad dreams. If you notice that your cat’s whiskers are twitching or that its paws are moving as if it were walking, it is more than likely that it is in the middle of a dream.
What makes a cat sleep less?
Because cats are highly adaptable creatures, they are experts at adjusting their schedules to cope with less sleep. For example, if a cat is exposed to larger amounts of natural or artificial light, it will sleep less than other cats. Cats that are kept active by their owners through play and other stimuli can sleep a little less overall.
If you decide to give your cat less food than before, be prepared that it will be awake more often. If you do, however, you will also make more of their sleep bad, so think carefully before you cut back on their food.
What happens if my cat’s sleeping habits change?
If you begin to notice sudden changes in your cat’s sleeping habits, it may be a good idea to have your veterinarian examine it. For example, if it starts sleeping much more or much less than before, it could be a sign that it is in pain, has gastrointestinal problems or is even depressed.
If, on the other hand, your cat starts to settle in fresh cat litter after you have just changed in the litter box, do not worry about it. For reasons unknown to researchers, cats only seem to like the feeling of fresh cat litter under their feet.
Although some people may think that cats are a bit lazy because of their sleeping habits, those who know them best realize that they are anything but lazy – they are just experts at taking it easy and relaxing. Next time you feel stressed and unable to focus, take a tip from your cat and relax with your own nap!