How long do cats sleep? No matter the hours, it’s always a pleasure being around them. Cats are the most favorite pets, ranking second to dogs. They are cute, adorable, curious, cuddly, playful, and lovely companions. No wonder many prefer them as their pets.
Having said all this, one thing that arouses curiosity about cats is their sleeping habits. People with a cat as their pet would have noticed that they sleep for fifteen to twenty hours a day. Have you ever thought about why cats sleep so much? How much sleep is required exactly?
Unlike humans, who stay awake during the day and sleep at night, a cat’s sleeping habits are way different. They may seem weird compared to your sleep pattern, but it is normal for a cat.
Hence it is best to understand a cat’s sleeping patterns, especially when you have them as your pet. So that timely attention can be given to them when required.
Now the million-dollar question – Why do cats sleep so much?
1. How long do Cats Sleep?: Sleep Patterns of Cats
Are you aware that not all cats sleep similarly? Can you guess the reason? Here’s why. Depending on the cat’s age, they can be classified as kittens, adult cats, and senior cats. And based on these ages and other factors, a cat’s sleep pattern varies. That is why not all of them sleep for the same duration.
Then, how long do cats sleep? This can be known by delving deeper into each stage of a cat.
When a cat is four or five weeks old, we call them a kitten. During this time, newborn cats require longer sleep than adult cats. They sleep over twenty hours a day. This is due to a growth hormone released during this sleep which helps the cats grow and develop. They are also active at night.
Kittens have a deep sleep than adult cats. During their fourth or fifth week, their sleeping habits change. Their sleeping time reduces, and they begin to sleep similarly to an adult cat.
It is because they grow, and so does their curiosity. They start exploring their environment and will love to start playing. And their hearing and vision will already be well developed in this stage.
1.2. Adult Cat
When do we call the cat an adult? A cat becomes an adult after their fifth week. These cats sleep in alternate phases, i.e., light and deep sleep. Seventy percent of their sleep is light.
After a cat sleeps for thirty minutes of light sleep, they enter REM – the deep phase of sleep.
Chronic kidney disease and hyperthyroidism are a few health concerns to look out for as they grow older.
1.3. Senior Cat
Cats after the age of twelve fall under this category. When they reach this phase, you can notice the cat sleeping as far as twenty hours per day.
The cat’s physical activity reduces, and its body gets tired more easily. This leads to an increase in their sleeping hours.
If you are the first-time owner of many cats of different ages, you may wonder why my cat is not interested in activities similar to the younger cats. This is because there will be a change in their physical and even mental state.
Senior cats tend to become less lively and will have trouble moving around. When they turn fourteen, fifteen, or twenty years old, cats face health concerns such as joint weakness, leg weakness, and arthritis. Their sleep time also increases.
Sometimes, you may notice them sleeping in the fresh litter box you just changed. It is due to their movement limitations.
Hence, you must take care of your cat in its senior phase. If you also find any other symptoms that sound an alarm, it’s time that you take your cat to a vet.
While discussing cat sleep, we came across the term REM. There is also something known as NREM.
REM & NREM stands for rapid and non-rapid eye movement. During REM, there will be eye movement in cats behind their shut-eye.
This REM sleep will help the cat regulate their emotions, and some recovery processes take place.
In NREM, a cat wakes up immediately, and you can find them sleeping lightly.
4. Deep Sleep
A cat spends approximately 25% of its time sleeping very deeply. When they grow old, they end up sleeping deeply, which is as much as 40% of their time.
5. How long do Cats Sleep?: Cat Nap
These are short periods or quick naps. They half lie down with their ears elevated during a cat nap. This is due to their primal instincts. You can find your cat easily opening its eyes when it hears a small noise or someone walking into the room. When your cat dozes, which will be about fifteen minutes to half hour, it will still be able to bounce back to action.
Now that we know how long cats sleep in their various stages, have you ever heard of your cat dreaming? Is it true?
6. Do Cats Dream in Their Sleep?
Yes, they do. Even cats have semiconscious dreams similar to humans. During this time, you can notice their eyes moving rapidly in their sleep, their paws and ears twitching, and they may even change their sleeping posture. If you have a house cat, do notice these without fail.
7. Crepuscular Nature of Cats
Crepuscular implies that they experience a peak in their activity twice – One is in the early morning, and the other is in the evening.
This crepuscular nature allows the cat to remain awake at daybreak to find prey, such as birds, and at twilight hours to find its prey, such as nocturnal rodents.
8. Wild Cats
Wild cats are natural predators, and they sleep after hunting their prey. This is because of the high energy and calories spent in the process.
However, they don’t spend their day inside like an indoor cats. They have to constantly look out for danger and also need to find their next meal.
9. What if My Indoor Cat Sleeps Too Much?
Numerous reasons may cause a change in your cat’s behavior of sleeping. Change of place, the introduction of new persons in your family, and excess activity may take a toll on your house cats, resulting in them sleeping longer than usual.
However, if your usually active cat spends long periods of the day sleeping than their routine, sleeps little, has more trouble eating, and consumes less food than usual, it’s time to check its health conditions.
10. What Makes Them Sleep Less?
Cats adapt well. For instance, if you expose them to excess light, they will sleep less than the other cats. Since a cat likes to play, try providing them with a catnip toy to keep them active, and all these activities might make them sleep a little less.
Finally, these small mammals are cute pets, and it is adorable to play with them and find them fast asleep.