One of the many stereotypes for cats is that they love sleeping, and it is completely true! They are at their happiest when they are simply asleep on your couch. Regardless of whether it is during the day or at the darkest hours of the night, cats will find a way to fall asleep.
Even if you think your cat’s love for sleep in nothing special, there are a lot of interesting facts concerning felines and their frequent naps that you should know about, just in case you begin to worry that this cat behavior is something abnormal.
Similar to us humans, cats differ in the amount of sleep that they need. In each and every circumstance the depending factors will be age, health, mood, etc. etc.
So, if your cat’s sleeping patterns and the amount of sleep they need have piqued your curiosity, allow us to explain all of it in this article.
How much sleep do cats need ?
Most cats sleep around 15 hours a day, on average, but they can sleep up to 20 hours withing one 24 – hour period. Amusing, right?
Cats are actually nocturnal creatures; this means that they do most of their sleeping during the day and are the most active during night time. The reason behind this actually is because of their physiology. Cats are predators by nature, so both their brains and bodies are made to hunt specifically at night, especially with their excellent eyesight, they can catch their prey while staying virtually undetected.
Although they are domesticated, cats will still display their instinctual behaviors akin to wild cats, such as tiger and lions. Because hunting prey uses a lot of their energy, cats will sleep as much as they can during the day so that they have the required energy to pounce on their prey, even though today that may be only a rubber ball or toy.
The question still remains: How much sleep do they actually need?
We already established that cats need a lot of sleep simply because of their biological dispositions. So, if your cat sleeps for 15 hours a day, then it is safe to assume that it genuinely needs 15 hours of sleep per day.
It’s a complete other thing to worry about unusual sleeping patterns, sleeping more than it usually does, or because it’s lethargic when it’s awake. If such a thing is causing you worry, don’t waste any time and take it to the vet.
Keep in mind that cats go through cycles in the amount they sleep.
When they are kittens, you will most likely find them sleeping through a lot of the day. As adolescents they may even develop some pretty weird sleeping habits that will have them running around the house at all hours of the day.
However, as an adult, they will probably have a regular sleeping schedule, which you can actually set up as a habit, of anywhere between 12 to 20 hours of sleep, all depending on the cat and the day.
Older or senior cats may exhibit problems moving around and may start to slow down, so expect to see their sleeping needs to fall higher on that scale.
Are cats always in a deep sleep ?
As an owner, if you expect that your cat is always deeply asleep, you’d be wrong. There is a reason they’re called catnaps, after all.
Only about 25 percent of a cat’s sleep is actually deep sleep, while the remaining 75 percent is just a light snooze, according to many researchers.
Even though they are getting a good amount of rest, they remain alert enough so they can wake up quickly. This also comes from their primal instincts.
If you want to tell the difference between a deep sleep and a light snooze, observe the state of their eyes, if they’re slightly open, and their ears if they are twitching and rotating towards any noises. This indicates that they are ready to wake up at any moment.
Can cats dream and snore ?
It may come as a surprise to some, but the answer is yes to both! Cats are able to snore as well as dream. So, don’t be alarmed when you’re awakened by the sound of your feline friend snoring away.
Generally speaking, there is nothing to worry about if your cat snores sometimes. It usually happens when their airway gets obstructed from skin near the soft palate, so it is not inherently serious.
Even though all cats are able to snore sometimes, it mostly happens to breeds that have short noses, such as Himalayan and Persian cats.
Dreaming is also a common occurrence when a cat sleeps. Like us humans, cats can have good dreams and bad dreams. Some tell – tale signs that your cat is currently dreaming is when their whiskers twitch or they move their paws as if they are walking while asleep.
What can make a cat sleep less than usual ?
Cats are adaptable creatures by nature, which means that they can adjust their schedules to get by on less sleep with ease. Take for example if a cat is exposed to high amounts of artificial or natural light, it will sleep less than other cats. Cats that are kept active by their owners, whether it be through play or other stimulation, may sleep less as well.
If you decide to give your cat less food than you had given them before, expect it to be awake way more often than usual. Think it through before doing this though, as it also makes their sleep fragmented, which really isn’t a good thing.
What to do if your cat’s sleeping habits change ?
If you have observed some sudden changes in your cat’s sleeping pattern, then it is always a good idea to take a trip to the vet. Take for example, they start sleeping much more or much less than before, it could indicate that they are in pain, are depressed or they have gastrointestinal issues.
But, if your cat wants to lie down in freshly changed cat litter in the litter box, you shouldn’t worry too much about it. The reasons behind this are pretty unknown to researchers alike, these cats seem to just like the feel of fresh litter on their feet.
Some may think of cats as lazy just because of their sleeping patterns, but those of us that know the reasons behind this realize that they are far from it, cats simply like to chill out once in a while.