Why Do Cats Sleep So Much


Flickr: cowbite

Cats sleep about twice as much as humans. Though their sleep hours may vary depending on their age, size and temperament, on average cats sleep about 13 – 16 hours per day. They spend about 2/3s of their lifetime snoozing. The only well known animals that sleep more than cats are bats and opposum.

Why Do Cats Need So Much Sleep?

Cats’ penchant for sleep is still a mystery. However, one thing that can help us explain cats’ sleeping patterns is to understand that most of the cats are crepuscular animals which means active during dawn and dusk (Sand cats are nocturnal). Many cat owners assume that their cats are active at night because they are often awaken very early in the morning. The truth is that cats actually spend most of their night time sleeping.

Cats’ crepuscular nature comes from their hunting habit. Cats are natural predators that hunt for small animals such as rodents, birds or even bugs. Their prey is most active when the sun comes up in the morning and right before it goes down in the evening. When cats are not hunting, they take plenty of naps.

Cats Sleeping Patterns Nowadays

Nowadays most of the cats live indoors. Their sleeping patterns are often influenced by their cat owners. If their human parents are away most of the day, cats may take this time to sleep and replenish. However, in some cases, cats sleep out of boredom because they do not have anyone or other animals to interact with.

If your cat tends to stay up at night, the best way to deal with this situation is to keep your cat up more during the day. You can do that by spending quality playtime with your cat or providing interactive toys such as the FroliCat Bolt that will get your cat to move around.

Every cat has a sleep schedule that they’d like to stick with. If you have discovered a change in your cat’s sleeping habit such as sleeping excessively more or less, it may indicate a problem that needs to be checked out by a veterinarian.

If a cat is displaying signs such as lethargy or loss of appetite, the cat may be ill. In cases where a cat is getting far less sleep than usual, it can be a hyperthyroid problem. Cats with hyperthyroid are experiencing excessive thyroid hormone which shoots up the cat’s metabolism and causes the cat to lose sleep.

The reason cats tend to wake up their owners at around 5a.m. in the morning has to do with their reaction to the sun. Cats are crepuscular animals that read time according to sunlight. If you want to sleep more in the morning, one strategy is to cover all the windows with blinds. Another tip is that after you are up by your cats’ morning meows, do not feed them right away. Because by doing so, you are reinforcing their behavior because they will learn that by waking you up early in the morning, they will be provided with a hearty breakfast.

Cats Really just Nap

Cats don’t sleep 16 hours consecutively. Often you see cats take intervals to nap. The reason of that has to do with their predator instinct. Cats are very alert about their environment and will wake up to check their surroundings to ensure everything is OK.

Kittens require more sleep than adult cats. Partly due to the fact that kittens are developing and by staying in the nest most of the time, they are less exposed to potential predators. When a kitten grows into a young cat, he will start conforming to the adult cat sleeping patterns.

Do Cats Dream During Sleep?

Cats are often seen to twitch their paws and whiskers, move their eyes as if they are running and pouncing on small critters in their dream. Cats also go through both Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and non-REM sleep where during non-REM sleep, they repair themselves and allow their body to grow.

Where do Cats Sleep?

Cats sleep in any places they feel fit. The criteria they are looking for in a perfect napping spot is usually a soft, warm, comfortable and safe place. However, if the temperature is high, they prefer sleeping all stretched out. If the weather is cold, they will curl up, cover their face with their paws or even lie nearby a heat source. That explains why my cats love leaning against my computer in winter time.

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