Does your cat seem like the laziest creature on earth? Are you occasionally jealous of how much it sleeps? You’re not alone. But why do cats sleep so much?
According to scientists, healthy cats can spend two-thirds of their life sleeping. So, it’s entirely normal, and you don’t have to worry about those extra naps of your cat.
Still, compared to humans, cats sleep quite differently. Let’s find out why.
We’ll give you all the answers to the following questions:
- Do Cats Sleep a Lot?
- Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?
- The Feline Sleep Schedule
- Does the Weather Affect Your Cat’s Sleep?
- Is Your Cat Sleeping More Than Usual? When to Worry
Do Cats Sleep a Lot?
Like ours, cat sleep depends on many factors. First of all, it varies depending on a cat’s life stage. For instance, a newborn kitten spends almost the whole day napping, waking up only for its meal. But when it matures and takes its first steps, the cat’s sleep hours decrease.
Healthy adult cats sleep 12 hours a day and spend the rest of their time playing and learning about the world. Older cats sleep more because of the natural aging process.
The feline sleep behavior also depends on the breed, and it can even vary from cat to cat. The most popular cat breeds that love sleeping include the American Shorthair, Exotic, Maine Coon, Ragdoll, and Persian.
Weather can also impact cat sleeping. For example, during hot days, sleep time increases as cats compensate for increased body temperature.
A pregnant cat also sleeps a lot. Her physical activity decreases, so she needs more rest time.
Indoor cats may sleep more out of boredom, but you can help them by providing stimulating toys during the day. If you’re concerned about your cat napping too much, remember that they need more of it than humans.
Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?
You may think your cat is sleeping its life away, but that’s probably not a cause for concern. So, why do cats sleep so much? Here are three common reasons:
Cats’ genes are very similar to their ancestors. That’s why many of them are saving their predator instinct for the night — the time when their wild ancestors hunted.
Being a predator takes a lot of energy. First, you have to catch your prey, and then, you need a rest to digest it. Even if your furball is domesticated, it still has lingering traits of the wild crepuscular cats.
It’s the same when cats chase their favorite toy or catch a mouse. They use energy-intensive techniques, like stalking, pouncing, and climbing. While it looks as if your cat’s only having fun, it spends a great deal of time and energy during these activities. So that’s why it needs to recharge afterward with a well-deserved nap.
Do cats sleep at night? You may have noticed that your cat awakes at dawn and dusk and sleeps during the day. Since cats are crepuscular, they’re active mainly during twilight due to their hunting instinct.
If you want your cat to sleep when you do, spend a good 10–20 minutes playing with it a couple of times in the evening. It can help your cat get ready for sleep and create a positive bedtime association.
How often do cats sleep? While most people sleep in one period of time (ideally eight hours, but let’s face it — probably less), cats sleep intermittently throughout the day. They spend a lot of time dozing off, but they don’t fully recharge the body.
Like people, cats only experience deep sleep when they have rapid eye movement. Also, if your cat is getting older, it’s normal to sleep more than before.
Many cats sleep with their eyes half-open and their ears constantly moving. It has a hunting purpose. If you pay attention to the way your cat sleeps, you’ll notice that the body position is such that it can take action to catch its prey with ease.
Cats’ Sleep Schedule
So how much sleep do cats need? Like people, cats may need more or less sleep depending on their age, health, breed, and lifestyle. Still, age is the crucial factor here.
How Much Do Kitties Sleep?
Just like human babies, kitties need the most sleep. Newborn cats sleep more than adult cats and take mini naps during the day.
A young cat sleeps about 18–20 hours a day or almost 80% of the time. After the growth phase passes, your cat will be sleeping in more fixed hours.
How Much Do Adolescent Cats Sleep?
Adolescent cats usually have irregular sleep patterns. They enjoy brief bursts of energy between meals but sleep during most of the day. It’s a behavior that changes as they grow up.
How Long Do Adult Cats Sleep?
Adult and senior cats sleep a little less than kittens and adolescent cats. They have more regular sleeping schedules that take about 16–18 hours a day. The napping pattern may vary depending on your cat’s health condition. If you want to improve your cat’s sleep-wake cycle, you can try CBD oils for cats.
Why Do Older Cats Sleep So Much?
Just like humans, older cats sleep a lot compared to younger ones. Senior cats tend to have reduced mobility and less energy, leading to sleeping for longer hours.
Cat Sleep Routine
Unlike most busy people who don’t always listen to their bodies, cats sleep when they feel like they need it. The typical cat sleeping routine lasts more than half the day, with the rest reserved for playing or lying around. On average, most cats spend about 80% of their day sleeping or about 12–16 hours.
No matter how large or small, all cats use sleep to conserve energy. Also, cats love sleeping in high places where they can stalk their prey, and they might miss that if you live in an apartment. Plus, as soon as I see a cat sleeping, I can’t help but pet it. So, a cat tree for large cats can be a high place where your cat can nap undisturbed.
How Cat Sleep Changes in Summer and Winter
You’ll notice that cats get some extra zzzs when the weather isn’t suitable for outdoor exploration. When it’s cold, rainy, or cloudy, your cat will likely try to squeeze in even more sleep hours.
Summer is no different. Your cat knows better than to waste its energy on hot days. So it prefers sleeping during the day, when it’s warm, and being active early in the morning or evening when it’s relatively cool.
Is Your Cat Sleeping More Than Usual? When to Worry
In most cases, a cat that sleeps for 12 or more hours a day is no cause for concern. But owners should know that too much sleep may indicate health issues, and it’s better to consult your vet if you have doubts. Here are few signs that your cat sleeps more than usual:
- Changed sleep pattern
- Suddenly falling asleep, even in the middle of playing
- An increase or decrease in appetite.
- Aggressive or fearful behavior
- Unwillingness to walk, run, or jump
Some of these signs might not be scary if your cat is aging, especially if it’s always been a bit on the lazy side. But why do cats need so much sleep? It’s normal if they’re aging. If you’re looking after a senior cat, know that it needs regular checkups. But how often does a cat need vet visits? We recommend taking your adult cat for a checkup at least every six months.
By improving our understanding of cats’ sleep cycle, we learn how to take better care of our pets, meet their needs, maximize their welfare, and ensure their long-lasting health.
Healthy sleep provides a range of benefits to your pet, so you better leave it undisturbed during that time.
So why do cats sleep so much? It’s all in their nature, and you probably shouldn’t worry too much about it.