Whether it’s on the windowsill, in your lap, or on top of their favorite shelf, cats will find a way to take a catnap just about anywhere. But why do cats sleep so much? While they have bouts of playfulness, cats require a lot of sleep.
In fact, cats sleep more than their human companions. But even so, they tend to be more active during the hours of dusk and dawn. If you’ve found yourself asking Why does my cat sleep so much? then you have come to the right place for answers!
Together, we’ll explore why your cat is sleeping so frequently and help to give you some peace of mind as we answer other important questions like, Is my cat sick or just tired? Once you understand your feline's sleep patterns, you can begin to understand why cats need so much sleep. Their predictable behavior and sleep patterns can then help you determine if there are any cat health issues that you need to address in your excessively sleepy feline.
What is the normal amount of sleep for cats?
On average, cats sleep 15 hours per day, but some felines require up to 20 hours of sleep daily. The exact amount of sleep that cats need will vary greatly depending on their stage in life. Kittens and older cats will require a lot more sleep than other cats.
You can expect a kitten to sleep for the majority of the day. They will have quick bouts of energy between meals and then settle in to begin napping the day away.
Adolescent cats have the most erratic sleep patterns of all cats. They will have periods of intense playfulness combined with irregular sleep cycles. Seems fitting for teens, right?
Adult cats have the most regular sleep schedule. They hover around 15 hours of sleep per day.
When your cat becomes a senior, the aging process comes with reduced mobility and less energy. At this stage in life, they will sleep more frequently than they did as a kitten.
If your cat is sleeping more than expected and you find yourself wondering, Should I worry if my cat sleeps a lot? then it might be time to work with your veterinarian. Your vet should be able to answer the question: Is my cat sick or just tired?
Top reasons why cats sleep a lot
Why do cats sleep so much? It’s in their genes. They can find a comfortable place to nap just about anywhere. A cardboard box. A cat pyramid. Even on cabinets or in a cubby. They find places where they feel comfortable and secure.
But don’t assume that your cat is lazy because they sleep a lot. You’ll probably see your indoor cat lounging the day away, but their body is at work while they sleep. Below, you’ll find the top reasons why your cat sleeps a lot.
Energy conservation is one of the biggest reasons that cats nap for extended periods of time. Catnaps help cats recharge their batteries and prepare for their next burst of energy, like when they go to town on their favorite scratching post.
Whether you are the pet parent of an indoor cat or you have a cat that prefers to roam in the wild, you’ll notice that all types of cats exhibit their primal hunting instincts. These instincts require cats to have energy to hunt for prey while avoiding predators.
This instinct doesn’t go away even if a cat stays strictly indoors. A cat’s primal urges take over throughout the day. Their instincts come with a lot of stress and require a lot of energy, which means cats need to sleep more often to accommodate these impulses.
It’s no surprise that humans aren’t the only ones impacted by grey skies or rainy weather. Just like us, your cat's sleeping patterns can vary depending on the weather. On a cold, rainy day, you might find your cat yawning more frequently and finding places to take an extra snooze or two.
Are cats nocturnal or crepuscular? Felines are crepuscular, meaning they are at their most active state during the twilight hours of dusk and dawn. Cats are biologically crepuscular because twilight hours are when they would naturally hunt for prey.
Cats prey on birds and rodents, which are active during twilight hours. During the dark nighttime hours and bright daytime periods, cats tend to lay low and rest.
But this doesn’t always ring true at all stages of life. Kittens tend to spend some hours of the night awake, feisty, and active. But that does not make them nocturnal—they’re just more energetic in general!
Cat health issues
While sleeping a lot is not an inherent indication of cat health issues, cats do tend to sleep more and be less active when they are sick or in pain. This also includes if your cat is overweight. Movement may require more energy, as a sick cat’s joints might be sore or in pain.
When should I be concerned about my cat sleeping too much?
Familiarizing yourself with your cat's normal sleep patterns is just one of many ways that you can ensure that your cat is healthy and happy. Sleeping helps cats recharge and cats require sleep in large quantities in order to uphold their overall health. But at what point should you start to worry if your cat is sleeping too much?
If you see signs of excessive sleeping, start looking for other behaviors that might also be different for your feline. Are they eating less or drinking more frequently? Have they had trouble urinating or exhibited any issues with their bowels? Are they suddenly more aggressive? Is anything else out of the ordinary?
If your cat is experiencing any of these symptoms in addition to excessive sleep, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian to have your cat's overall health assessed. Your vet will determine the underlying cause of your cat’s need for more sleep or any other behaviors that seem odd.
Is it naptime?
So, why do cats sleep so much? Depending on your cat’s life stage, their sleep schedules and activity levels will vary—including frequent napping! Now that you know the reasons why your cat might be sleeping so much, you can have some peace of mind knowing that it is normal for them to sleep more often than you. But of course, on those cold, rainy days, you might want to join them for an extra midday nap.
To improve your cat's sleeping schedule, make sure your feline family has multiple places to lay their head. Litter-Robot is not only the leader in self-cleaning litter boxes. We also focus on the overall health and well-being of cats. That is why furniture like the memory foam pet bed or cat orb can give your cat places to find comfort and security during their downtime.
Cats sleep 15 hours per day on average. Kittens and senior cats can even sleep up to 20 hours daily. Because the majority of their awake hours are around twilight, it may seem like your cat is sleeping the day away—but that is completely normal behavior, as it aligns with their biology.
Cats need sleep to restore their body and their immunity levels. You should avoid waking your cat up while they are sleeping so that they can heal their bodies naturally. Kittens in particular need the extra sleep because it helps them build their muscles and bones.
Scientists have declared that dreaming is likely universal during sleep. So yes, your cat can dream and have nightmares just like we do.
Cover photo by imaad whd on Unsplash