If you have ever had a cat as a pet, you would be aware that they love their sleep. In fact, cats spend two-thirds of their life sleeping. But, why do cats sleep so much? Read more to find out more about cats and their sleeping patterns.
How many hours a day do cats sleep?
Cats need around 15 hours of sleep a day. They prefer to sleep during the day and are active during dawn and dusk. Since they are natural born hunters, they need to conserve their energy to hunt. So, cats take many short naps during the day. That’s where the term cat nap comes from.
There is not much difference between the sleeping patterns of kittens, an adult cat or one that is ageing. Kittens sleep just two or three hours more than an adult cat.
- Suggested Read – Why do dogs sleep so much?
Are cats nocturnal?
While cats sleep a lot during the day, this does not mean that they are nocturnal. Cats are actually crepuscular, which means they are active during dawn and dusk. It is not uncommon to find your kitten in a playful mood in the middle of the night but fast asleep when you are all set to begin your day.
Why do cats sleep so much?
Cats are natural predators. They prefer to chase and hunt preferably during the twilight hours when their prey is most active. Your pet may be domesticated, but it still retains its wild streak.
Since running, pouncing, climbing and stalking takes a lot of their energy, they prefer to conserve their energy when they are not hunting.
Cats don’t always sleep soundly
Of all the time that cats sleep, more than half of it is in the snooze or light sleep mode. So even though they can get the rest they need, the cats are always ready to spring into action if the need arises.
You can tell that the cat is not sound asleep because its ears will twitch at the slightest sound and it might open its eyes a bit. When cats are in the deep sleep mode, they experience quick movement in their brain.
This phase lasts about five minutes, and then cats go into deep sleep.
Rainy weather affects them
Felines are affected by the bad weather just like us. So, if it’s a rainy or a cold day, you may find your cat sleeping a lot more.
Age and illness
The number of hours a cat sleeps also depends on its age. Young kittens tend to sleep more than the adult cats. Older cats (more than seven years old) also tend to sleep more. Older cats can develop arthritis, and this can affect its mobility.
So you may find your older feline pet sleeping a lot more.
Pet cats can quickly become bored during the day, especially if you leave them on their own inside the house. A bored cat can sleep a lot more. So, provide your pet with plenty of exciting toys so that it remains active.
If your cat puts on too much weight, it won’t be able to move around too much and will sleep much more. This restricted activity will lead to further weight gain. Consult your vet to help your feline pet lose weight.
Do cats dream?
Like humans, cats too follow different sleep phases like REM and non-REM sleep. Cats dream during the REM phase of their sleep. So, if you notice your cat’s paw moving or its whiskers twitching, there is a good chance that your pet is dreaming.
As these felines age, they make more movements when they are dreaming. Sometimes their dreams may also startle them and wake them up.
Do cats snore?
Yes, cats do snore but snoring in cats is not as common as that in dogs. Though most cases of snoring are pretty normal, in some cases it may be indicative of medical trouble. Upper respiratory infections, chronic nasal inflammation or rhinitis can cause your cats to snore.
Certain species of cats that have flat noses like Persian cats are more prone to snoring. The elongated soft palate of Brachycephalic cats can block the entrance of the windpipe and cause snoring.
Why do cats yawn?
Cats yawn to expel excess carbon dioxide. When a cat feels sleepy, it yawns to take in more oxygen, and this helps her brain to stay awake. Sometimes cats yawn just because they are bored.
We all often wonder at our pet cat’s ability to sleep so much. But when we think about it, they sleep just the correct amount to maintain their energy levels. Perhaps we need to learn from them and take cat naps to sustain our energy levels. After all, it is a known fact that a large percentage of human beings is sleep deprived.