A cat’s sleeping habits can easily puzzle anyone less familiar with the feline lifestyle. For the best part of the day, a cat will act like the retired elderly on a well-deserved holiday, constantly on an all-day snoozing diet. If your cat’s always-off mode makes you feel like the world’s most boring housemate, you’ll be happy to know this is not personal. Cats sleep a lot, naturally. If you’ve been wondering ‘how long do cats sleep?’ and ‘why do cats sleep so much?’, we unpacked some of the amazing facts surrounding their siesta habits to help you better understand your kitty’s unconventional take on sleeping schedules.
On This Page
- How Long Do Cats Sleep?
- How long do cats sleep?
- Why do cats sleep so much?
- Do cats sleep at night?
- Why do cats sleep on you?
- What is a catnap?
- Is your cat sleeping too much?
- My cat sleeps constantly – how much is too much and when should I worry?
- What is the normal amount of sleep for a cat?
- Is my cat really asleep?
- Cat Napping: Why Your Cat Likes to Sleep
How Long Do Cats Sleep?
A pet expert, Tracie Hotchner writes following in her “the cat bible”: “even though cats have been domesticated for generations and their food comes out of a can, their internal clocks are still set for nocturnal activity,” yet cats are not nocturnal. Many animal experts say that the cats are truly crepuscular rather than nocturnal, i. E. They are the most active around dusk and dawn. Nocturnal is a term used for an animal which sleeps all day and gets active only at night time while crepuscular is a zoological term used for animals or insects that are active in twilight (dusk and dawn). During these two times of the day, small prey animals have difficulty locating predators as their vision is less effective.
How long do cats sleep?
Cats sleep long hours in order to recharge for their next hunting spree. Although your domesticated cat’s existence couldn’t be more different from the wild felines’ such as lions, the genetic programming is pretty much the same. Just like its big cat cousins, your fluffball instinctively conserves energy in case they have to chase down their next meal, which they do despite all the nice dinners they get at home, served in a timely fashion every day. Never mind the premium cat food the loving owner puts in front of them day in and day out, their innate instincts can easily take over despite the countless comforts of home life.
Why do cats sleep so much?
Does your cat sleep all day? does he keep you up half the night? if so, it’s natural to wonder are house cats nocturnal? in this article we’ll find out! we all know that cats enjoy their beauty sleep, especially during the daytime hours. Who hasn’t found their cat curled in a ball on a windowsill, blissfully asleep under the warmth of the sun if you’re like many cat owners, then all of that snoozing during the day means that your beloved feline friend scratches at your bedroom door.
Cats have evolved to sleep for long periods throughout the day. Wild cats need to sleep in order to conserve their energy to hunt, chase and kill their next meal. Although our house cats may not need to hunt, the instinct to sleep and prepare for the hunt carries on.
Although domestic cats typically sleep anywhere from 16 to 20 hours per day, their nighttime sleep is generally not continuous. This means that they may spend alternating periods of time sleeping and be active overnight. However, this nighttime schedule isn’t set in stone for all house cats. For example, cats will often come to bed with their fur parent around 10:30 pm and will stay in the same spot on the bed until roughly 4 or 5 am.
Curled up, stretched out or standing up, cats have no problem dozing off whenever they feel like it. We, humans, have taken notice and used it as an inspiration for our quick naps during the day. The term ‘catnap’ was coined to refer to a short sleep similar to the ones cat have.
Cats have the physiology of a predator, meaning that they’re hardwired to give chase and hunt — mainly 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. Even cats at play will display the feline primal instincts of creeping about in the shadows and, without a whisper of warning, pouncing on their target prey.
Do cats sleep at night?
Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to encourage house cats to sleep more at night.
Feeding your cat when he begs for food will just encourage him to wake you for food at night. Instead, feed your cat his dinner (make it a good-sized serving) right before you go to bed. If he’s anything like my cat, he will eat a few bites here and there before coming back to finish it at some point in the early morning. However, if he’s like other cats that eat their dinner all at once, then a full belly may encourage him to sleep.
No doubt about it, cats love to sleep. Our Memphis emergency vets are often asked by concerned cat owners if they should be worried that their cat sleeps so much. When does a cat nap indicate that there may actually be a health emergency?.
Why do cats sleep on you?
Just like people, cats will sleep better at night if they’re tired from exercise and play during the day. If you are away during the day, be sure to leave toys and other forms of entertainment (the open curtain or blinds applies here) for your cat to amuse himself with. When you can play with your cat for a good half hour in the evening before you give him his dinner. The exercise combined with the chow should have your cat thinking about a nap in no time!.
What is a catnap?
If sleeping was an Olympic sport, your cat would probably bring home the gold medal. They’re just absolutely expert sleepers. Whether it's during the day or in the middle of the night, kitties are always willing to take a catnap.
Due to their wild ancestry, house cats may display nocturnal behaviours. Meaning they sleep during the day and become active at night. They may also display crepuscular behaviours, where they are primarily active at dawn and dusk. You can, however, take measures to make a nocturnal kitty more sleepy at night. Some examples of ways to make a cat sleep at night include feeding the cat a large meal just before your bedtime. Making sure they get plenty.
Don’t be fooled into thinking cats sleep a solid 15-20 hours though. There is a reason why quick naps are called “catnaps. ” a catnap snooze for cats usually lasts about fifteen minutes to a half-hour and makes up a large chunk of their sleep pattern. Humans also have the catnap phenomena in common with cats. According to NASA, the ideal catnap for humans should be between 10 and 20 minutes. For us bi-peds, the catnap can increase our alertness, lower stress, and improve our memory.
If we want to understand why our cats sleep on us, it’s helpful to take a look at how feline sleep patterns differ from our own. Cats replenish their energy with several naps throughout the day as opposed to one long block of sleep like humans. But these “catnaps” usually remain in light sleep mode, seldom dipping into a deep sleep. Why is this the case? it boils down to a cat’s role as a natural hunter.
You will also notice your cat dozing off longer than usual when the weather doesn’t allow for proper outdoor exploration. When it’s cold or raining, your cat will likely try to add even more hours to their already impressive sleeping record.
Is your cat sleeping too much?
Cats love a good stretch, all that sleeping means that a stretch helps to wake them up. The same is true for kneading, it helps warm up their joints and keep them feeling limber and loose. If your cat has been sleeping for a while, you may see them knead when they wake up and this could be why.
My cat sleeps constantly – how much is too much and when should I worry?
If you have a cat at home or are thinking of adopting one, you will be amazed when you find out that your cat sleeps all day long. Not to worry! this is normal for cats as they are known for their inherent ability to sleep anywhere from 12 to 15 hours a day. It’s a known fact that cats sleep almost twice the amount as we humans do. Of course, each cat is different in their sleeping patterns and it really depends on their size, temperament, and age. Regardless, cats will sleep almost 2/3 of their entire lives!.
Contributor: Michelle blake if your cat is sleeping all day and not eating or generally just seems like he's not feeling well, there's a good chance he may be sick. Knowing the subtle signs of illness will help you get your cat the attention he needs. By being aware of your cat's regular activities and his general healthy physical appearance, it will be easier to notice little changes and identify when he's sick.
It’s evident that feline sleeps a lot. That’s why they are also a very preferred and common pet – they don’t require the same amount of attention as dogs. You don’t have to worry about taking them out on walks as they are unable to use up their energy. Cats are lazy, to put it in simpler terms. While they truly need the conservation of energy and the generation of excessive such, the truth is that domestic cats are unlikely ever to hunt. They sleep out of boredom, but you shouldn’t be overly worried about it. It is natural and normal for your feline friend to sleep throughout the entire day – that’s how they are hardwired.
If there’s one thing most cats are good at, it’s getting some shut-eye. The average cat sleeps for around 15 hours a day, but very young or old cats may snooze for considerably longer. Many owners find that their old cat sleeps all day long, and this is nothing to worry about if the cat is generally in good health for their age. However, in some cases, the reverse is true: after years of relatively peaceful nights, owners are woken up by their senior cat yowling at night.
There isn't a set amount of sleep to indicate a health problem or health emergency, instead, it's about knowing your cat's normal sleep patterns and recognizing when that pattern changes significantly. If your cat begins to sleep a lot more or a lot less than is usual for him/her there may be a health issue, it's time to visit your vet. Cats who begin to sleep more than usual could be ill or experiencing pain. On the other hand, if your cat begins sleeping less than usual they may be suffering from hyperthyroidism or other conditions.
What is the normal amount of sleep for a cat?
One thing that you are certain to notice when you become a cat owner is the amount of time that your cat will spend asleep! tortoiseshell cats and kittens can be full of energy, playing and interacting with their owners as well as getting out and about in the garden and the neighbourhood – but they will also spend a huge amount of time curled up in their favourite bed fast asleep for hours.
Is my cat really asleep?
Although some cats sleep up to 20 hours during a 24-hour day, the average cat sleeps 16 hours each day. Even though cats spend so much time asleep, changes in their sleeping patterns may be a sign of a medical problem. A sick cat may seem overly tired or weak, doesn't show interest in anything, and often also exhibits other behavioural changes or a lack of interest in food and water.
It's normal for cats to hide during the day when they're looking to enjoy an uninterrupted nap. Cats will also hide as part of playtime and expressing natural hunting behaviours. If your cat suddenly begins hiding more than he or she usually would, this could be a sign that your cat is sick. This happens often within elderly cats who will hide as a result of the pain and stress they are feeling from a serious medical condition. If your cat suddenly beings hiding when he has never before, or drastically increases the amount of previous hiding behaviour, it's time to have a medical checkup with your veterinarian to make sure your cat is healthy.
You’ve probably woken up more than once to your cat curled up fast asleep on your chest. If you’re wondering why does my cat sleep on me when they have a perfectly comfy bed of their own, here are a few possible reasons: they trust you they want to keep warm they think you’re a comfortable spot they feel the safest when you’re around they love you all these reasons combined make you the perfect company for letting their defences down to get a good, refreshing rest.
You might have noticed your cat is fast asleep during the day and wide awake at dawn and dusk. This sleeping schedule has helped your cat’s wilder relatives to be such efficient hunters. Their prey, usually small mammals and birds are less likely to take notice of dangers during twilight hours and thus become easy targets for the hungry feline. The same hunting instincts are responsible for your cat’s playful disposition just as you get ready for bed. Their crepuscular nature means they’ll be running up and down your room exactly when you’re least likely to appreciate it: early mornings and late evenings.
Cat Napping: Why Your Cat Likes to Sleep
Cats do sleep deeply but not always. Much like people, cats are often just snoozing. Light sleeping makes up about 3/4 of your cat's sleep time, with just 1/4 of their sleep time being devoted to deep sleep. When cats are snoozing lightly they get the rest they require but they're still alert. When your cat is snoozing or napping you may notice that their eyes remain slightly open or that their ears still twitch and rotate towards noises.
This form of napping for your feline also serves a similar purpose, in particular when it comes to hunting. If you look closely at the way your cat is sleeping during one of these naps, you’ll see that they’ve positioned their body so that they can spring up in the event some prey is close by.
Rolled up, spread out, or with fuzzy tails all across their face, no one can deny the fact that cats are adept sleepers. If “animal napping” were an Olympic game, there's no doubt that a cat would rise triumphant and return home with a gold medal. Cats manifest plenty of odd behaviours, for instance, sneaking into small spots around the house and hanging out all by themselves in cardboard boxes, all of which are driven by their innate instincts, i. E. The requisite need for comfort and safety. Sleeping is an intrinsic activity, but it also happens to be into this category because of your kitty’s willingness to take a cat-nap at odd hours. Whether it's during the day or in the middle of the night, these fluff balls are always amenable to take a cat-nap.
However, some domesticated cats are nice enough to adjust their sleeping routines to match the waking hours of their owner. After all, they do need a cooperating human around to give them their share of food, water and playtime.
So why does your boisterous ‘tortie’ transform herself from a rampaging ball of fur to a slumbering zombie for up to 15 or 16 hours per day? one of the main reasons is that cats don’t have any natural predators, so she knows that she can afford to curl up under the radiator for an afternoon nap without any fear of coming under attack (unless you have young children!). Secondly, she is conserving her energy for when she is going to be on the attack herself – you will notice her stalking bugs, insects and all sorts out in the garden, or toy mice, balls and other objects in the house. All of this stalking takes up lots of energy which she builds up by sleep, conserving it for when it is needed.
The weather can have a big impact on your tortie’s sleeping patterns – you will notice during these first few days of spring that she will love to get out and about if it is a nice, warm and sunny day. However, as soon as the rain and clouds come back (which happens a lot here in the UK!), she will most likely return to her favourite sleeping spot. You will notice that your tortie’s sleeping patterns vary between deep sleep when she is out for the count, and much lighter sleep when she can wake at the slightest noise and be instantly on the alert. And cats really do ‘cat nap’, rather than extended 8 or 9 hours of sleep like humans enjoy.