If you have just gotten a cat and it is your first one, you might be surprised at many of their actions. While cats are known for their playful (and rather furious) behavior, anyone who is a new pet parent would be worried to see them sleeping all day. However, it is nothing to be anxious about.
Does it make you wonder how long do cats sleep every day?
Cats are heavy sleepers, and they can spend a fairly large amount of time sleeping throughout the day. And it is totally normal for them!
Cats are seen to spend around 15 to 16 hours sleeping, while new kittens may keep their eyes shut for as much as 20 hours in a day.
But, Why do Cats Sleep Through Most of the Day?
As we discussed before, cats are playful pets, and they love to wander out of the house as well. Moving around and playing takes up all of their energy, and they take naps to re-energize. The sleep schedule of your cat depends on their activity and food intake. Some cats take naps throughout the day and night with a few hours of activity. On the other hand, some sleep more during the day and stay up at night.
Researchers associate this behavior with the innate hunter instinct of cats. As cats have been predators before people started domesticating them, they have similar characteristics. Outdoor cats prefer hunting at night as animals and birds cannot see them and become easy prey. The same behavior is depicted by some cats as well.
The Cat Sleep Cycle
Sleep in humans is attributed to the circadian rhythm that makes changes in the body to signal it for sleep or to wake up. Cats also have a circadian rhythm. However, it is not the same as humans. While humans have a diurnal circadian rhythm (sleeping at night and staying up in light), cats have a crepuscular rhythm. It means that they experience two activity peaks; at dawn and dusk.
Cats experience REM (Rapid eye movement) and NREM (Non-rapid eye movement) sleep. Usually, cats take an NREM sleep and nap after physical activity. They have been seen transitioning between NREM and REM sleep when their eyes move while closed. They move vertically and horizontally, and your cat may feel a twitch in their legs. Some researchers suggest that the twitching in cats might be related to dreaming.
Factors Affecting Cat Sleep
Besides their normal bodily need for sleeping for more than seventy-five percent of the day, other factors like breed, age, temperament, and location also affect your cat’s sleep cycle. Let’s talk about them in detail:
- Breed: Before bringing a fur baby home, it is important to understand their sleeping pattern as some breeds sleep more than others, like Persian, Ragdoll, and Maine coon. Whereas others do not nap as much.
- Age: Young kittens are seen to stay more in bed than adult cats as they tend to be more restless at night.
- Stimulation: Sometimes, cats do not have enough activity during the day and are not stimulated to sleep. Increasing their activity throughout the day can make your cat sleep instantly.
- Location: Outdoor cats are more energetic and inclined towards hunting than resting. On the other hand, indoor cats tend to be sometimes more laid back and sleep more often.
- Health: On some occasions, your cat’s sleep pattern may be disturbed because of health issues. They may show weird behaviors like sleeping in the litter box, floor, or bed.
Sudden Changes in Sleeping Habits
Observing sudden changes in your cat’s routine can be worrisome, especially when they eat well but their sleeping pattern is disturbed. If you have been trying to get a kitten and cat to sleep at night, it is excellent that your efforts are paying off. However, if the change is unasked-for, it is best to consult a vet to rule out any health issues.
Why does my cat take short naps?
Cats have a polyphasic sleep and sleep numerous times throughout the day instead of sleeping at once like humans. The naps typically range between 50 to 113 minutes, with an average of 78 minutes.
Do cats sleep longer on rainy days?
You might have often heard that cats sleep longer on rainy days, and surprisingly it is true that cats like to stay in on rainy days.
Do Cats Always Sleep Deep?
You may think that your cat is in deep sleep when lying down, but research depicts otherwise. Studies show that cats sleep deeply, only one-fourth of the total sleeping time, whereas the other three-fourths is only resting and snoozing. Their sleeping pattern allows them to wake up in a moment when they are not sleeping deeply.
What is “One eye open”?
It is usually used to refer to a cat’s sleeping pattern, especially the phase of REM sleep where the cat is alert enough to spring into action if needed. The deep sleep during a half an hour nap is around five minutes while the cat is just dozing the rest of the time. Your pet alternates between dozing and deep sleep until they wake up.
Why does my cat sleepless?
If you are worried about lack of sleep for your cat, there could be several underlying reasons that you can look for. The first reason could be the lack of stimulation that may cause your cat to feel drowsy but not sleepy. Play with them to get them stimulated and sleep when they are tired. You may also need to visit a vet to check for hyperthyroidism and FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus). FIV often disturbs fur babies’ sleep cycle, making it difficult for them to fall asleep.
The Bottom Line
Cats are seen to be heavy sleepers and tend to sleep for up to 20 hours a day. Most cats sleep a total of around 16 hours in divided naps of as less than half an hour to as much as two hours at once. Though they usually stay up at night and take naps during the day, their sleep pattern also depends on the breed, temperament, age, location, and health factors. If your cat exhibits a sudden change in its sleep pattern, it is better to consult a vet.