Have You Ever Wondered Why Cats Sleep So Much?
24 August, 2016
cat sleeping

Anyone who has owned a cat is amazed at how much our cats sleep!  In fact, cats sleep about twice as much as we do!  Though their sleep hours vary depending on their age, size and temperament, the average cats sleep about 13 -16 hours per day or about two-thirds of their lives. The only other animals that sleep more than cats are bats and opossums!

Why do cats need so much sleep?

Cats’ sleeping patterns are a mystery to all of us.  Cats are crepuscular animals which means they are most active during dawn and dusk. Many cat owners assume that their cats are active at night because they are often awaken very early in the morning. The truth is that cats actually spend most of their night time sleeping too!

Cats sleep a lot to conserve energy

Cats have the physiology of a predator, meaning that they’re hardwired to chase and hunt at night. Large cats such as lions have a similar pattern of sleeping during the day and hunting at night. Although they have been domesticated for the most part, housecats still retain that wild streak. Whether your kitty is hunting for outdoor prey or tackling a catnip toy, all that sleep he gets is to reserve energy for running, pouncing, climbing and stalking.

Cats sleep in short cycles and not all hours consecutively!

Cats don’t sleep 16 hours a day consecutively (thankfully!)  Cats take intervals to nap (hence the word ‘catnap’) and are very alert about their environment.  They will wake up to check their surroundings to make sure everything is OK.  And, then back to napping!

Kittens require more sleep than adult cats. Since kittens are developing and growing, they are tired and still figuring out how to adjust to their new world. When a kitten grows into a young cat, he or she will start conforming to the adult cat sleeping patterns.

During deep sleep, cats experience rapid (or quick) brain movement. Deep sleep tends to last about five minutes, after which the cat goes back to dozing. This dozing-deep sleep pattern goes on until the cat wakes up.  During the REM sleep, we think cats do actually dream.

Cats, like humans, have a regular sleep schedule

Every cat has a sleep schedule that they’d like to stick with and are creatures of habit. If you have discovered a change in your cat’s sleeping habits such as sleeping excessively more or less, it may indicate a problem that needs to be checked out by a veterinarian.

Cats sleeping pattern are usually influenced by their owners

Most of our cats are primarily indoor cats.   As a cat adjusts to his or her home, the feline’s sleeping pattern is usually influenced by their cat owners. If their parents are away most of the day, cats may take this time to sleep and replenish.  Or cats sleep out of boredom because they don’t have anyone or other animals to interact with while you are away.  It always helps to leave some interactive toys that for cat to play with when you are gone all day.

Cats love to sleep anywhere and everywhere

Even if you buy the most comfy bed possible for your cat, don’t be surprised if you find them curled up and sleeping by the window or even on a shopping bag.  Sometimes they just plop down, find a new comfortable spot and sleep the day away!

If you wonder if cats know what time it is, you might like this article: Do Cats Have a Concept of Time?

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