If sleeping was a sport in the Olympics, your cat would definitely win the gold medal. They are expert sleepers, whether it’s during the day or in the middle of the night, cats love to take a nap.
However, while you may think there’s nothing special about your cat sleeping, there are a lot of interesting facts about cats and their naps that you should know about, just in case you start to worry that your cat’s behavior is abnormal.
Just like humans, cats vary in the amount of sleep they need. In each situation, it depends on age, health, mood, and more.
If you’re curious about how much cats actually sleep and how much sleep they really need, let’s take a look.
How much do cats sleep?
Cats typically sleep between 14 to 18 hours per day, but can sleep up to 20 hours within a 24-hour period. However, cats sleep for different lengths of time each day, depending on their age, health, activity level, and more.
Cats sleep the majority of their time during the day because they are most active at nighttime. This is because cats are natural predators and their brains and bodies are made to have them hunting mostly at nighttime when their excellent night vision can help them catch prey while staying undetected.
Domesticated cats still display many behaviors found in wild cats such as lions and tigers. Since hunting prey takes lots of energy, cats need to sleep as much as possible so they will have the energy needed to pounce on their prey or toys.
The average adult cat sleeps between 14 to 18 hours per day, but this varies based on their age, health, activity level, and more. If your cat sleeps more than this range, it is not necessarily a problem, but if they sleep for too little time or have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, it could be a sign of a health issue such as stress or anemia.
How much sleep do cats really need?
Cats typically sleep so much of the day for a good reason. As mentioned above, they’re biologically programmed to do so.
If your cat is sleeping 15 hours per day, then you can pretty safely assume that she needs 15 hours per day. However, cats do go through cycles in the amount they sleep, and they may sleep more or less than this on different days.
If you’re worried because your cat is suddenly sleeping more than usual, or because she’s lethargic when she’s actually awake, that’s another thing. If something like this is bothering you, definitely don’t delay talking to your vet.
Cats do go through cycles in the amount they sleep, though. As kittens, they’ll probably sleep a LOT of the day. When they’re in their “adolescent” years, they may suddenly develop bizarre sleeping habits that have them bouncing about the house at all hours of the day (and night).
As an adult, you’d expect a fairly regular schedule (which you can help set up as a habit), of anywhere between 12 and 20 hours depending on the day and the cat. Seniors may have more trouble moving and may start to slow down, so you would expect to see their sleep needs fall on the higher end of that scale.
Not necessarily. Cats do spend a lot of their time sleeping, but they are not always in deep sleep. In fact, cats spend about 25% of their sleep in deep sleep and the remaining 75% in lighter stages of sleep or in a state of alertness.
During deep sleep, cats are unconscious and their body is repaired and restored. However, during lighter stages of sleep or alertness, cats are still lightly sleeping and can be easily awakened.
If you want to know whether your cat is sleeping deeply or lightly, you can observe their behavior and body language. If their eyes are closed and their body is relaxed, they are probably in deep sleep. However, if their eyes are open slightly and their ears are twitching or rotating towards noises, they could be lightly sleeping or in a state of alertness.
If you find that your cat is suddenly sleeping more than usual or is lethargic when awake, it could be a sign of illness or stress and you should consult with your veterinarian promptly.
Yes, cats do dream and snore.
Snoring in cats occurs when the airway is obstructed by the soft palate or other structures. This can happen more often in cats with shortened nasal passages, such as Persians and Himalayans.
Cats are also prone to snoring during their REM (rapid eye movement) sleep stage, which is the same stage of sleep where humans dream. If you notice your cat’s whiskers twitching or their paws moving while they are sleeping, it’s likely they are dreaming.
Some cats may snore while they are sleeping, but this is not always a sign of a problem. However, if you notice that your cat’s snoring is causing them to breathe heavily or if it seems to be affecting their ability to sleep, it’s worthwhile to consult with your veterinarian.
Cats need less sleep than humans do, but they still need some sleep to maintain good health. However, there are some factors that can make cats sleep less:
Age: Kittens need more sleep than adult cats. A kitten will typically sleep for 16 to 20 hours a day. Adult cats need about 12 to 14 hours of sleep a day, but they may still have a few lazy moments throughout the day.
Activity Level: If your cat is very active or has a high energy level, they may need less sleep than other cats. They may also be more prone to snoring and snoozing during the day.
Environment: If your cat is exposed to a lot of natural or artificial light, they may sleep less than other cats. This is because light tells your cat it’s time to be awake and active.
Age-Related Changes: As your cat gets older, their sleep requirements may change. Older cats may need less sleep, but they may still nap more during the day.
If you notice your cat’s sleeping habits have suddenly changed for the worse, it’s worthwhile to consult with your veterinarian. It could be a sign of a health issue that needs to be addressed.