I don’t know about your cats but our cats are so lazy. It is not unusual for them to sleep for most of the day and get up for some tea and a little play about. Then it’s back to sleep again! Don’t get me wrong I love a good lay in on the weekend after a long week but they take it to the extreme.
So it got me questioning, why do cats sleep so much? Well I did a lot of research and this is what I found out.
Why do cats sleep so much?
This is all in the cats genes and evolution. Our domesticated felines are descendants of wild African cats. These wild cats would sleep and rest during the heat of the day and do all their hunting and stalking under the cover of darkness.
They did this as it allowed them to hunt in cooler temperatures and it made it harder for prey to see the coming threat. At all other times the cats would conserve their energy making them super efficient. These traits have been passed down through the generations to our domestic cats. It seems to be a habit they cannot shake!
For us cat owners the traits they have got from their ancestors can create problems. When we are ready to sleep our cats are ready to wake up! If you are finding that your cat does this and it is a problem have a read of this Blog post that I wrote. It goes into great detail about ways you can change your cats sleep habits so that you can get a good nights sleep.
The weather can effect a cats sleep pattern.
Just like most humans, cats like warm and dry weather. You may notice that when the weather is awful outside your cat can get a whole lot lazier.
It is not uncommon for cats to fall asleep whilst curled up in front of a window whilst looking out at the bad weather.
How long do cats spend asleep per day?
Obviously this can vary from cat to cat but on average a healthy cat in its prime will sleep 16 hours per day! That is a hell of a lot of sleep and is equal to 2/3 of the day.
Older and senior cats will sleep even longer than this on average. Racking up an incredible 20 hours sleep each and every day. In the remaining 4 hours of the day they will eat, clean themselves and have a play about and stretch. Then it’s back to the most important task of the day, sleeping.
Not all sleeping cats are asleep.
Yes I know this subheading does not make very much sense. However it is true, a cat that looks like it is sleeping may just be snoozing.
Snoozing makes up the vast majority of the time that a cat may look like it is asleep. It is thought that cats spend roughly 3/4 of their sleep time actually snoozing. So what is snoozing and why is it different to deep sleep?
Unlike a deep sleep which we as humans generally have cats have the ability to snooze on demand. Snoozing still recharged the cat and reenergises it. However when a cat is snoozing it is still fully alert and ready to react within a moments notice.
This ability is again passed down from their wild African ancestors. The need to be able to rest whilst always being alert to danger is very important in the wild and cats are the masters of this skill.
You can tell if your cat is actually snoozing instead of a deep sleep by watching its eyes and eyes. If it is snoozing you will see it’s ears twitch and turn in the direction of any noise. Also you will notice their eyes opening slightly for a visual check as well.
Cats can snooze in many different positions and you may even catch it doing it whilst it is still stood up.
Do cats dream when they sleep?
When cats are in a state of deep sleep instead of snoozing they do indeed dream. If you watch your cat you may catch it’s paws twitching or even it’s whiskers twitching.
This is your cat dreaming in a deep sleep, much the same way as when a dog is dreaming it looks like it’s chasing a rabbit in its sleep.
The best way to see if a cat is in a deep sleep is to look at how it is positioned and it’s pose. A cat in deep sleep will normally be in a much more relaxed state. It will more often than not be curled up in a tight loop with its tail covering its face.
When should you worry about a cats sleeping habits?
Wehave already looked at how long cats spend sleeping and why they do so. But is there a tome when you should be worried about how much or how little sleep your cat is getting?
There will be times when the amount of sleep your cat has fluctuated. Sometimes they will get more sleep and other times less. However if you notice that your cat is spending prolonged time asleep or even awake it may be worth a trip to the Vets. As sudden and prolonged changes to sleep patterns may indicate a problem with your cats health.
Cats are one of the most efficient sleepers in the animal world. They are the masters of falling asleep in any position and anywhere.
I know it can seem strange to new cat owners that their feline buddy is asleep so many hours of the day but it is perfectly natural to them.
As long as you have their tea ready for when they finally do wake up everything will be just fine!
let me know in the comments section if your cat has any funny sleeping habits.