Why do Cats sleep so much? Here are 6 reasons why.

AI image of a cat sleeping on a sofa

Everyone knows animals, like humans, need sleep to remain mentally and physically fit. It’s understandable that animals also feel tired and might need a nap or two to remain healthy, but, if you’re a cat parent or an ardent lover of these cute furry creatures, then you would have wondered at some point, whether or not cats sleep too much.

We all know that cats do not joke with their nap time, and have seen several pictures, videos, and memes on the internet attesting to this fact, yet this behaviour never fails to bother cat owners, especially those who are new to being cat parents.

These ever-frequent naps tend to rob owners of some pet-owner bonding time and beg the question; Why does my cat sleep so much? How long do cats sleep? How do I know if my cat is sleeping too much? This article elucidates what you need to know about your cat’s sleeping.

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How Long Do Cats Sleep For?

While humans need about 7 hours of sleep time, cats are on average, expected to sleep for about 12-16 hours which seems like a lot of hours of lazying about. But because Cats (the cat family, Felidae to whom the domestic cats belong) are by nature, predators, this estimated nap time seems in line with their activities.

The amount of time your cat spends sleeping depends largely on how old your cat is. This is to say that cat’s sleeping schedules and timing duration rely on their life stage. Cats have 4 stages of life:

  • Kittens (from birth to 1 year). They are more likely to sleep for longer hours, about 18-20 hours, as they are still growing.
  • Adolescents (1-10 years) who have schedules of about 15 hours or less every day.
  • Seniors (10+ years). Seniors have been found to spend more time asleep because of reduced activity due to old age.

Therefore, you should note that the sleep duration and frequency of your cat will change as they get older. As your cat approaches adulthood, they’ll have developed a schedule for sleeping and waking.

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How long does it take for Cats to fall asleep?

Although Cats are known to sleep too much, the part of their sleeping patterns that annoys parents because they seem to do so easily, after every activity. We’ve had many a cat parent ask How long does it take cats to sleep? Some cat owners believe their cats use this habit as an excuse to avoid playtime or bonding.

Here’s the thing. Cats can fall asleep as soon as they feel safe and secure. This explains why you find them sleeping in the weirdest places in the weirdest locations. On your head, on your lap, upside down, in a bowl, hanging off a ledge, in their feed bowls, you name it! Cats will fall asleep wherever they feel comfortable enough to do so, whenever they feel safe!

When Do Cats Sleep?

Many cat owners attest that their feline friends are more active at night. This weird nighttime habit of cats could be frustrating as that’s when the cat owners want to sleep. These unusual nighttime habits have brought about the conclusion and myth that felines are nocturnal. While some cats are more active at night, this does not make cats nocturnal.

Cats arecrepuscular, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk. Cats being crepuscular means while they are more active at dusk and dawn, they tend to be less active during the day. As natural predators that they are, their biological make-up requires them to be awake at twilight to hunt. After hunting, they then settle in for a good long nap to regain expended energy.

Although domestic cats no longer live in the wild or have any need to hunt, this biological clock still takes its toll on them. Even simple games cat owners play with their pets have the same effect on domestic cats as a hunting activity does for wild cats.

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Why do Cats Sleep so much? 6 reasons why your cat is always sleeping.

Every cat’s primal instinct alerts them that they need to sleep. This instinct ensures they conserve their energy to be at their maximum competence when hunting for prey. So, like their undomesticated and much bigger family members (e.g. lions), your cat’s long sleeping habits are designed to support hunting.

Apart from their biological predator nature, here are 6 good reasons why your cat sleeps too much.

1. Your cat might be Bored.

It may seem surprising, but just like any other animal, cats can get bored too. Similar to humans, they tend to sleep more when they have nothing to do. If you’re away at work or busy during the day, your cat may have nothing to keep them occupied.

To reduce your cat’s boredom, there are several things you can do. Cats love to stretch, so you could get them a few structures such as catios, climbing shelves, and cat trees to keep them busy while you’re away. Additionally, you could provide your cat with toys of various colours, shapes, and sizes to keep them entertained and prevent them from falling asleep out of boredom.

2. Your cat might be Cold.

In the winter season, cats tend to sleep more as it helps them conserve energy. This is particularly true for indoor cats who like to bask in the sunlight which helps them regulate their body temperature and metabolism. By sleeping more, cats can minimize the loss of energy and body heat. However, it is important to remember that every cat reacts to seasonal changes differently.

As a cat owner, you should ensure your pet stays warm on cold days. Provide soft, thick bedding for their cot, and remember that a few minutes of snuggling with you could also keep them warm.

3. Your cat might be injured.

Cats are known for their agility and love for stretching and climbing. However, their constant mobility can sometimes lead to muscle sprains and ligament tears. If your cat has sustained an injury, it is important to let them rest more to recuperate.

Your cat might also be suffering from a wound or have an infection. A wound or an infection will work up their immune system, so sleeping is how to regain expended energy.

Ensure you take your cat to the vet as soon as you notice signs of injury. The vet should examine your pet and, prescribe medications or therapy to promote healing.

4. Your cat might be Sick.

Certain illnesses can cause lethargy in cats. These include kidney disease, heart disease, cancer, obesity, gastrointestinal issues, and poisoning. Early detection and proper treatment are vital to prevent fatal outcomes.

As a cat owner, it’s important to monitor your pet’s behaviour and schedule regular checkups with the vet to ensure their health.

5. Your cat might be Stressed.

If you’ve noticed that your cat sleeps more often than before, the problem might be that your cat is stressed. Cats are affected by stress just like humans. One of the ways they show stress or anxiety is by altering their sleeping patterns. If cats start sleeping more than usual, it could indicate that they are feeling overwhelmed or anxious about something in their environment.

Changes in feeding times or new family members entering the house are some other reasons that can cause cats to become stressed or anxious.

6. Your cat might be Napping.

Cats are known for taking frequent short breaks, which are called cat naps. They spend about 75% of their total sleep hours napping. A cat nap is typically a light sleep that lasts for around 15-30 minutes. This type of sleep is the most common during the day for cats.

When your cat takes a nap, it may seem like they are sleeping for a long time, but in reality, it is a short period of rest that is enough to provide them with the most beneficial rest they need. Even while napping, they are still alert and can quickly respond to any movement around them.

Conclusion

Although cats are biologically inclined to sleep for long periods, every cat owner needs to keep track of their cat’s sleep schedule. Being mindful of their sleeping and waking patterns can help you detect any changes or potential issues.

All pets deserve love, care, and affection and should be treated as such. Playtime and snuggles are vital for bonding with your pet, and playtime devices like toys and other cat structures help make playtime fun for both pet and owner.

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