How many times have you felt stunned by life only to look over and see your cat sprawling out on your coffee table, enjoying the fourth hour of its third nap of the day? Cats sleep for about fifteen hours in a day, while some can extend the period to twenty-four hours.
Cats are masters of sleep, anytime, anywhere, and under any situations. People who are not communal with cats may conclude that what all cats ever do is sleep. However, if you take a moment to look into the reasons why cats nap the way they do, you will end up understanding them.
Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?
Cats can nap for up to sixteen to eighteen hours a day, but normally sleep about thirteen to fourteen hours a day.
They are naturally nocturnal
Kitty sleep increases with age
On their own, they sleep more than those with company
They may sleep for up to 75% of their day, particularly when they are young
Daytime sleep periods for kitties are light
They tend to awaken after several minutes of sleep
Their muscles are not completely relaxed
Some cats are known to snore
The following facts will help you understand cat’s long sleeping routine.
Sleeping is in their genes
Cat sleep is as much as sixteen hours a day and older fellows spend even more time resting; so, they can sleep for up to twenty hours or more a day. This is mainly due to cat’s evolution, nutritional habits, and physiology.
The same goes for the big cats in the Serengeti. They spend most of their day sleeping, grooming, and lazing around. Some people may claim that it is the hot sun, but sleeping is in their genes. The same behavior goes for cats in a zoo or under a controlled environment.
Cats need enough energy for the hunt
Unlike herbivores who feed mainly on grass and leaves, cats are predators. They are born to hunt; so, energy is a precious commodity that they cannot do without. And being an ambush predator means you need a burst of energy in order to catch your prey.
The big cats (lions, tigers, leopards, cheaters, and cougars) have the advantage of a bigger body. They have nothing to worry about except for guarding their prey once caught. Well, the same privileges do not apply for a regular cat.
The small size means a regular cat is vulnerable, and he or she can be converted into prey so easily. To counter this problem, cats need enough burst of energy for fleeing in the event of danger. Generally, sleeping preserves as much energy as possible for a cat.
Cats are not always sound asleep
A cat is a wait and see a predator, meaning that it largely depends on being able to sprint into action should a potential prey show up. Therefore, a lot of sleeping that they do is called snoozing, which is a light sleeping type.
Snoozing allows a cat to get all the sleep it needs and still be alert to danger or the presence of a potential prey. This specific type of sleeping allows a cat to awaken at a moment’s notice. So, never be fooled by those half closed eyes.
In the light sleeping phase (snoozing), you might notice your cat’s ears twitching or even rotating towards noises, and the eyes might be half open. This is a clear indication that your cat is sleeping and alert to any external stimuli.
Cats sleep deeply and dream
About a quarter part of a cat’s sleeping hours is spent at a deep sleep level. However, older cats spend roughly 30% to 40% of their sleeping time at the deep sleep phase, which is crucial for them because it helps their body to regenerate and help their bodies stay healthy.
If you see that your cat is curled up with the eyes slightly shut, then it is in a deep sleep. Your cat will also curl up with eyes half open when dreaming. You can know your tom is sleeping deeply and dreaming if you see her whiskers and paws twitching.
Did you know that some cats can snore? Non-elderly cats tend to snore when sleeping. Snoring happens when the air is extracted by the extra skin from the soft pallet. This is likely to happen when your pet is in deep sleep and very relaxed.
Normally, they sleep on their sides or curled up when this happens. Also, snoring is more prevalent in short nose breeds, such as Persians, exotic shorthairs, and Himalayans. You will hardly notice this scenario when in meatloaf position.
Your tom doesn’t have to be in any distress to snore. You may even take it to the vet, and you will get a clean bill of health. If you ask you might be told that your cat is a bit overweight and you may have to take some measures.
You should not be surprised by how much weather changes can influence cat sleep. The behavior of your cat may vary greatly, which may include a range of different features. These can include: overall health, breed, age, and temperature.
If you take all these factors into consideration, you should agree that a cold or rainy weather may encourage your kitty to embrace sleep even more. They are warm-blooded like us; so, cooler environments force them to look for warmth indoors, which causes them to sleep more.
Change in sleeping habits
Factors such as a new environment, new people, and changes in weather may make your cat change its sleeping habits. However, they may not be easy to identify, but you can still make useful observations if you are close to your pet.
Nevertheless, unusual change in sleeping habits may signify that there is a problem with your kitty or an ailment of some sort. If you do suspect that there is anything out of the ordinary going on, then it is wise to contact your vet for advice.
How Many Hours a Day is it Normal for My Cat to Sleep?
A cat may sleep most of the day, and you may never be sure about the night. Usually, cats can sleep and will sleep for fifteen to twenty hours in a single day. Nonetheless, it is imperative to understand that it is normally a light nap and not a complete deep sleep.
They are very capable of springing into action from the lethargic phase with very little reluctance. They normally have deep slumber, which only lasts minutes, but that will happen for a number of times during several periods of sleeping.
Most cats would sleep during daylight hours and become more active at nightfall. As they are predators, they follow the same pattern exhibited by their big cousins. They spend a lot of daytime dozing to preserve energy, and then use the energy for hunting at night.
You may notice that your tom shakes its legs when it is trying to sleep or falling asleep. You might probably be alarmed by this scenario, and even think that your cat is sick. Some people may even drive the pet to a vet.
Well, that’s good thinking, but the shaking or shivering is what experts call hypnic jerk or sleep start. This condition is characterized by twitching. It is an involuntary twitching, which occurs when a cat begins to fall asleep, often causing it to awaken suddenly for a moment.
More about Cats Dreaming During Sleep
According to experts, kittens in REM sleep yield almost the same electrical brain impulses human do in REM sleep. Therefore, it is possible that cats dream as well. As we mentioned earlier, they twitch, jerk, jump, and others may appear to be running in their sleep.
Some of the most noticeable features are: twitching of the ears, jaw snapping, tail twitching, and tongue flicking, and quivering of whiskers. Instead of talking and mumbling like humans, they growl, meow, and mutter during sleep.
Clearly, cats dream, but you may not really know with clarity or can you rule it out. The most bizarre question would be, “What do cats dream about?” It is mysterious really, but it happens and you have to get used to it if you have a kitty for a pet.
When deprived of REM sleep, a kitty normally catches up on it whenever possible. Upon walking up, a cat would yawn, stretch its front and back legs, and arch its back. All these things help to get the circulation going and loosen up muscles and joints.
Do you have a cat? Have you ever wondered why it is sleeping so much? If you have, then this article has provided you with the most resourceful information. We have presented you with several reasons that may contribute to your pet’s sleeping habits.
In addition, we have provided you with facts on a cat’s nap and detailed info on cats dreaming. If you never knew, then now you know – some cats can dream.