Curious Kitties! Why Does My Cat Sleep So Much?
There’s nothing quite like a good cat nap!
You may have noticed that your fluffy feline friend isn’t so active during the day, and spends most of their time napping - but why? Despite now living a more domesticated lifestyle, our kitties get this tendency from their wildcat ancestors who would sleep lots during the day so that they had plenty of energy when it came to hunting time at dusk or dawn. Of course, our own kitties won’t need to hunt in quite the same way today, but they do still love to snooze!
How Long Does a Cat Usually Sleep For?
Cats are phenomenally talented at sleeping! The average kitty can sleep 12-20 hours a day, and tends to nap best when the house is quiet and calm. They also like to sleep in the strangest places, from that cardboard box they found in the cupboard, to the highest ledge on the bookshelf - anywhere they feel safe and secluded!
Despite being able to sleep through the whole night without stirring, cats also nap throughout the day for periods lasting between 15-45 minutes. But don’t be fooled - despite looking still and peaceful, your kitty will be wide awake and ready to react to the slightest noise, especially if that noise is food-related! If you look closely, you can tell if your cat is sleeping lightly as their ears will move and rotate towards any interesting noises.
Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?
There are lots of reasons for sleepy kitties! They sleep for a number of reasons:
To Stay Healthy!
Sleeping is as important for cats as it is for humans. Lots of sleep is important to stay healthy and allows the body to regenerate, which is an important process for all living things. Cats spend about a quarter of the time they are asleep in a deep sleep. You can often spot this in your kitty by watching to see if their body is twitching or if their eyes are tightly closed. Twitching usually indicates that they are dreaming - probably about finally catching that goldfish!
Sleep is Related to Age
Similarly to humans, your kitty’s sleep patterns will change as they age. As kittens, they will probably spend a large proportion of their time sleeping, as they need the energy to grow and develop. As juniors, they are likely to become more active and playful, so may notice them napping less. And then as they get older, their energy levels will drop again, meaning more naps.
It’s just their routine
You may find that some cats are just more nocturnal than others. Some cats have a stronger crepuscular nature than others, making them more playful early in the morning and late at night. This would also explain why your cat is up at the crack of dawn during the summer, thinking it’s playtime!
It’s a great way to relax and stay warm
Much like how us humans feel sleepy when cuddled up in front of the fireplace, in the colder months cats like to curl up to stay warm. Sleeping is a great way for cats to maintain a steady body temperature due to lack of activity - whether that be stretching out by the window in the summer, or snuggling up under the radiator in the winter.
But… they may not be well
So we’ve established that cats like to sleep… a lot! But as with anything, there is a limit to what is normal. If you have noticed that your cat is sleeping excessively more than normal, you should always contact your vet. It could be a result of something as simple as a change in the weather (if it’s raining your kitty is less likely to want to explore outside and may substitute this for sleeping), or it could also be a result of changes in the home that are making your feline friend nervous. In the face of an unsettling situation, cats often hide away or pretend to sleep in their favourite hiding place.
You may have also noticed that your cat is awake more at nighttime, or is generally sleeping less and is constantly full of energy. If this is something you have picked up on, it’s important to get your kitty checked by a vet to make sure they have no health issues such as cognitive dysfunction or hyperthyroidism.
If your vet has ruled out any medical issues but your cat is still overly active, try to incorporate playtime into your daily routine. Playing with your cat will help to keep their mind and body active, meaning they’re nice and sleepy when it comes to bedtime.
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