Why Do Cats Need So Much Sleep?
Did you know that cats sleep up to 16 hours per day? And older cats and kittens rest even more — as much as 20 hours a day. So, cats spend about 2/3 of their lifetime napping.
Such cats’ sleeping patterns can be explained through the fact that they are nocturnal animals, active at daybreak and nightfall. Although many cats are often awake very early in the morning, they spend most of their night time sleeping.
In the wild, cats have to hunt in order to eat. They stalk, chase, and kill small animals, rodents or birds in the morning and before the sunset in the evening. During the hunting cats burn a lot of energy. Sleeping helps conserve energy between meals.
Snoozing, deep sleeping and even dreaming and snoring
By indoor cats sleeping patterns are mostly influenced by their owners’ schedule. If humans are away, cats may take this time to sleep. About three quarters of their sleeping time is snoozing. In this state cats get enough rest, but they’re still alert and can wake up to check their surroundings at any moment. In light sleep cats rotate their ears toward noises and their eyes are a little bit open.
The remaining quarter of cats’ sleeping hours is spent in deep sleep. Cats in deep sleep usually have their eyes tightly closed, sometimes they might even put their tail or paws over their face. Deep sleep helps cats repair themselves, allows their body to grow, regenerate and stay healthy.
If you see cats twitching their paws and whiskers, moving their eyes as if they are running, there’s a good chance they are dreaming.
Snoring occurs when the free flow of air is obstructed by extra skin from the soft palate. This is most likely to happen by short-nosed breeds such as the Persian, or Exotic Short hair, when your cat is relaxed.
Where do cats like to sleep?
Cats usually like to sleep in a soft, warm, comfortable and safe place, such as plush or felt pet beds and mats where they will feel fit. However, if it is hot, they prefer sleeping on the floor or another cool surface all stretched out. By cold weather, cats usually look for a warm spot near a heat source.
How to manage cats’ sleeping patterns
If your cat tends to stay up at night, you should keep them up more during the day by spending quality playtime or providing your cat interactive toys.
Does your cat wake you up at 5a.m. in the morning? This is their reaction to the sun because they read time according to sunlight. If you want to sleep more in the morning, you can cover all the windows with blinds. Another tip is not to feed your cat right away after they woke you up. Otherwise, you will reinforce their behavior and they will learn that by waking you up early in the morning, they will be provided with food.
A sign of trouble
Every cat has a sleep schedule that they usually stick to. If you have discovered that your cat is sleeping a lot more or a lot less than usual, it may be a problem. Excessive sleep could be a sign of illness or pain, while frequent wakefulness can indicate a problem such as hyperthyroidism. Contact your veterinarian.