Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?

Ever wonder why your cat sleeps so much? There are actually a number of reasons that cats do this. 

It is perfectly normal behavior, but it can also be a sign of illness. It is important that you are able to tell the difference.

How Much do Cats Sleep on Average?

It is fairly normal for a cat to sleep for up to 15 hours each day. Some cats even sleep as much as 20 hours every day on average. There are certain breeds that tend to sleep more than others. Breeds that are more energetic and active tend to sleep more than ones that are more sedentary.

Kittens need a lot of sleep—at least 15 hours each day. When they get a bit older, they might not sleep quite as much.

1. Cat Naps

While cats definitely go into a deep sleep like other animals, they also take short “cat naps”. This is also due to their natural instincts. When your cat doses off for short periods of time, they can still respond to potential threats quickly. This is how these animals have survived in the wild before being domesticated by people.

When your cat is taking a nap, it is really only half asleep. This is why their eyes look partially open. This is their third eyelid, which often shows during light sleep. You might also notice their ears and/or nose twitching during this time.

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2. Deep Sleep

When a cat is in deep sleep or REM sleep, they are fully asleep. This comprises a majority of a cat’s sleep time, and it is very important to their overall health. Most cats sleep deeply for about five minutes at a time, waking up only slightly in between.

Unlike humans, cats do not sleep for solid chunks of time. It is normal for them to wake up frequently for a brief amount of time. Deep sleep is when dreaming occurs, which cats likely experience. 

When your cat is dreaming, you might notice their legs or entire body twitching. Don’t worry, it’s not a seizure. They are probably just dreaming about chasing a ball of yarn or something equally as enticing.

Reasons that Cats Sleep so much

As we mentioned above, there are multiple reasons why a cat’s sleep as much as they do.

cat is sleeping on a window e1584262438960

1. It’s Their Natural Instinct

The fact is that cats are naturally programmed to sleep for most of the day so they have enough energy to go hunting at night. While this particular instinct doesn’t benefit a lot of modern cats, it has served them well throughout the years. 

A cat that is not well-rested is less likely to be an effective hunter and catch its prey. These animals need to conserve as much energy as possible because of how active they tend to be while they are awake. Even cats that don’t go out hunting run and jump around a lot, which takes a lot of physical and mental energy.

2. Boredom

It’s also possible that your cat is sleeping a lot because it is boring. Cats that feel neglected can begin sleeping more than normal. This is something that even a lot of humans tend to do.

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3. Your Cat is Getting Older

Cats naturally start sleeping more as they get older. Senior cats need to sleep longer to get more energy.

4. Rainy Weather

Even the weather can affect cats just like with humans. These animals sometimes sleep more when it is raining outside. This is especially common with outdoor cats. They’d rather stay inside and sleep than get wet outside. Some cats might sleep more in the winter than in the warmer months of the year.

When to See Your Veterinarian

If your cat is sleeping significantly more than 15 hours per day, you might want to take them to the vet. It is especially important that you do this if they are exhibiting any signs of illness. Some of the other things you want to look for include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargic behavior while they are awake.

There are many potential causes of excess sleeping in cats, so you’ll need to rely on your vet to provide a diagnosis. They will likely want to perform a variety of tests on your feline friend, including a blood panel.

Sleeping too much can be a sign of diabetes or some other serious condition that poses a real threat to your cat’s health.

Any significant change in your cat’s sleep habits is cause for concern. While it might not be a symptom of a serious underlying condition, you’ll still want to get them looked at by a vet. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Your vet will be able to tell you if there is actually something wrong with your kitty.

sleepy kitten

When Do Cats Sleep?

A cat typically sleeps during the morning and daytime hours. These animals are hardwired for nocturnal hunting, so it only makes sense. This means that your cat will often be asleep when you are waking up and getting ready to face the day. You can, however, expect it to greet you when getting home from a hard day at work.

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Conclusion

  • Most cats spend around 15 hours a day sleeping.
  • Kittens need a lot of sleep, as their bodies are still developing.
  • Senior cats often sleep more than the average juvenile or younger adult cat.
  • If your cat is sleeping more or less than usual, it could be a sign of illness.
  • If you notice any other signs of illness in your cat, you should take them to the vet to be looked at immediately.
  • Unlike humans, cats only spend about five minutes at a time in deep sleep, stirring briefly in between.
  • Cats need a lot of sleep to conserve energy for their nocturnal activities.
  • Historically speaking, these animals are nocturnal hunters. Their ample sleep helped them to catch their prey.
  • A cat will typically sleep in the daytime and become active at night.
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