How Often Should Cats Sleep?

Published: 4/12/2021
If you’re a first-time cat parent, you might find the amount of time your new feline family member spends dozing concerning. Why does your cat sleep all day? Is this normal? Should you bring them to the vet? How many hours a day should a cat spend catching Z’s? To answer these questions, let’s take a look at some sleep-related feline facts.
How Often Do Cats Sleep?

From attacking feet to knocking things over, our feline friends can be unpredictable at times. But one thing’s for sure—they’re notorious nappers! Cats spend two-thirds of their lives in slumber, and how often your cat sleeps will depend on how old or young they are.

You will find a kitten catching Z’s most of the day. When they’re awake, they’re probably either eating or getting the zoomies. Once they reach adolescence, their sleep pattern will likely become more erratic, with periods of hyperactivity woven in. 

Adulthood brings a more consistent sleep schedule, and an adult feline will sleep an average of 15 hours a day. Then, when they get to their golden years, they will sleep even more and for longer periods due to their reduced energy levels and mobility.

Aside from age, the weather also plays a role in how much your cat sleeps. You may notice them snoozing more when it’s cold or raining outside. 

Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?

Despite being asleep for more hours than they are awake, cats are not lazy. The reason why your furry friend sleeps so much is because it’s instinct!

In the wild, cats sleep 16-20 hours a day to conserve their energy to hunt prey, which entails a lot of chasing, and then a big burst of energy for the “finale.” If a wild cat doesn’t have enough energy to hunt, then they don’t get to eat. 

Even though your feline companion now gets their dinner served to them in a bowl, they still possess some wild behaviors that thousands of years of domestication hasn’t changed. And that includes sleeping a lot to prepare for the next hunt.

This also explains why your cat is bouncing off the walls when it’s early in the morning and late in the evening. Cats are crepuscular animals, which means they’re mostly active during twilight. However, some felines will sync their sleep schedule with that of their favorite human.

And if you’ve ever caught your cat sleeping with their eyes slightly open or sitting up, you can attribute this to instinct as well. Cats are always on alert for predators and prey even when they’re resting, meaning that most of the time, your furry pal is actually just snoozing. Only about a quarter of their sleep time is spent in deep sleep. This allows them to be fully operational and ready to go almost instantly upon waking up.

When Should You Be Concerned?

Cats are naturally expert sleepers who snooze a lot, but is there such a thing as too much shut-eye? When should you be worried?

If you notice any significant changes in your cat’s regular sleep pattern, such as sleeping a lot less or a lot more than they usually do, then it’s time to take them to the vet to rule out any health issues. Loss of sleep can be caused by hyperthyroidism, anemia, gastrointestinal problems, or depression, while sleeping more can be due to pain or an illness.

The Purrfect Sleeping Spot

With sleep being such an important part of your cat’s life, why not help them be as comfortable as pawssible so they can get a good night’s (or day’s) rest?

Here are some tips for creating the purrfect sleeping environment for your feline bestie:

  • Cats like to sleep in different spots, so have a few beds or cushions scattered around the house. 

  • Place one or two somewhere high like a shelf or the top of a closet, as cats feel safe in elevated areas. 

  • Our feline companions love to sunbathe, so put a shelf by a window too.

  • Make sure your cat’s sleeping spots are not in noisy or busy areas of the house so they won’t be disturbed when they’re snoozing.

  • Don’t place bowls and litter boxes next to beds. Your cat prefers to keep these activities separate. 

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