Updated by Amy Granger on Jun 4, 2021
Cats are always portrayed as lazy animals that sleep all the time. Yet, there is no clear explanation about why do cats sleep so much. Here we will explain all you need to know about a cat's sleeping needs. We will also share what your cat's sleeping places and positions could mean, and learn how to get to notice when your cat's health is at risk.
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The regular sleep patterns will change as it gets older. As for a kitten, it is normal to sleep most hours of the day with brief periods of activity after each meal.
As your kitten grows up and becomes a "teenager" you will notice their energy increased faster. They will develop their sleeping patterns at this age, so you will see them playing around the house all the time with a chaotic sleep mode.
In adulthood, your cat will get into a regular sleep pattern. It is normal for your cat to be more active during dusk and dawn since they are crepuscular animals. The average sleep time is 15 hours a day, some cats even sleep 20 hours a day.
At senior age, your cat will be lethargic and sleep more. It will sleep as much as a kitten but without energetic outbursts. Senior cats prefer to sleep for most of the day and like to have a rest instead of doing physical activities, such as playing or hunting.
You might be wondering - why do my cats sleep so much all day? You may think that your cat is too lazy since it gets its eyes shut for all these hours. However, most of the reasons behind all these sleeping hours are valid and based on their evolution. Here we will break down the main reasons:
Remember that your cat is a carnivore hunter. It needs to recharge its energies to prepare for the next hunting spree.
Cat is a part of the feline family and it has been evolved. However, its wild function stays in the same manner. We might think that our fluffy pets won't hurt a single fly, but their whole body is designed to hunt. Their excellent eyesight even allows them to see fine details in the night, as well as their outstanding hearing, sharp fangs, and quick reflexes.
Yes, your cat doesn't need to go out hunting to survive. But even with all the delicious meals you offer to your kitty, it won't change its instincts and will still get ready to chase its next prey.
If you compare the sleeping pattern of a pet cat and a wild cat, you will notice a big difference. A wild cat will sleep around 8 to 12 hours per day compared to a 15-hour sleep time to a pet cat. The sleeping gap is the time that a wild cat needs to use to find its food.
Even with all these naps, your cat does not get to sleep deeply in all these hours. Studies show that only 25% of the sleeping time of a cat is in a truly deep and profound state, which is approximately only 5 minutes.
The rest of the time is light snooze and naps. During these naps, your cat can still save energy, but it is always alert and aware of its surroundings. Their ears are turning to every sound as well as their eyes being partially open to get ready to run from any threat.
The weather has a great impact on your kitten's sleeping patterns. It may surprise you, however, it's the result of years of evolution. Bad weather makes any hunt to be more difficult, which would mean cats should spend more energy than usual to get a meal. It is an instinctive behavior even if your pet is well-fed.
Even it is an indoor cat, the snowy or rainy days will also get them sleepier. This is a feline response to the bad weather since it will limit the exploration and hunting that they can do. Therefore, sleeping will help them keep their energy until it turns to better weather.
Your cat will most likely sleep through all the daytime. Yet, if you notice that your pet is sleeping a lot more than usual, you should keep an eye for the next three reasons:
Your cat will get more sluggish if it is sick. You need to be familiarized with your cat's normal behavior. If you notice your cat is lacking energy and appetite, you'd better consult your vet. In this case, lack of sleep is also a worrying symptom that needs to be aware of.
Normally, cats will not get bored by sleeping, they sometimes nap because they enjoy it. But it is common for indoor cats to get bored due to the lack of activities and stimulus that they can find in the house. They will sleep as a mechanism against boredom. To prevent this circumstance, make sure to offer them enough toys.
Likewise, your cat will be less active as it gets older. In this case, you can visit your vet to make sure there are no other health complications that could be changing your pet's sleeping pattern. Also, you should still offer toys to your cat to avoid them sleep too much.
While they sleep, a cat will suffer a slight decrease in its body temperature. That is why they like to search warm places for their long naps. Your cat will get warm from you by sleeping next to you. In addition, a cat feels vulnerable while they sleep, so they trust you can guard them while they sleep.
Not at all. In fact, one of the answers to why do cats sleep too much is that they enjoy snoozing off to conserve their energy. But keep in mind that a sick kitten and a bored kitten will sleep an abnormal time of additional hours.
Your cat's sleeping pose can tell you a lot of how comfortable they feel. Usually, they will curl up or hide inside a tight space to keep the warmth, protect themselves, and feel safe. If your cat sleeps with their belly upside or sideways, it means they feel at ease and they trust you much.
Learning about cat's normal sleeping patterns, we hope you now understand your cats better. It can also help you identify when something is wrong with your kitten from their too much sleeping time depending on different ages.
Remember that proper sleeping time is crucial for your cat's health. Not only laziness drives them to nap all through the day, but some health problems will also come out if they are having abnormal sleeping time. Therefore, you should take an eye on your cat's sleeping state.