Most people will admit that they wish they had the life of their pet. There is no need to go to work or pay bills, just the freedom to stay at homeand relax. Cat owners will notice that their domestic felines live the life of luxury. They hardly overexert themselves, with most house cats spending their time eating, playing with their toys or sleeping. The one that takes up most time is the last one and there are a number of reasons why.
- 1. Overview of Cats Sleep
- 2. Why Cats Sleep so much?
- 3. Some Other Frequently Asked Questions
- 4. Conclusion
1. Overview of Cats Sleep
· What do cats sleep so much?
Do you always spy your furry friend curled up on their favorite spot on the couch? It may come as no surprise to you that cats can sleep an average of fifteen hours a day.Some will even close their eyes for up to twenty hours! It seems like a lot of hours to be dozing, but it turns out that evolution plays a part. This is why they are known as the top sleepers in the animal kingdom.
Housecats still have quite a bit in common with those that are in the wild. Lions, tigers and jaguars are some of the top predators in the world. To survive they must rely on catching their prey, which isn’t always easy. Depending on how fast their prey can run, the larger cats will have to do a lot of chasing. A huge burst of energy is released in their body to help them catch the prey. The larger cats needed to find ways of storing it, so they could eat and survive.
Over time the big cats evolved to sleep or rest for most of their day when they aren’t on the hunt. By storing up their energy and saving their strength, they were able to successfully feed and live to see another day. While house cats don’t need to hunt for their food, they are still wired to act in the same way. It is why they sleep for most of the day.
· When do they sleep?
Ever noticed how there are certain times during the day that your cat seems to be more active, and then there are times when they want to be left alone? Most cats will spend the daylight hours curled up asleep in either your bed or somewhere equally as comfy.It allows them to get some sleep and wait until you come home to feed them their dinner. It isn’t likely that they will be sleeping at the same time as you, as most active hours being between dusk and dawn.
However, it has been known that cats will often adapt or change their sleeping patterns to match their owners. They can sometime do the same with their feeding schedules. Cats that are sociable will want to spend time with their owners, which might mean sacrificing sleep during the day.Kittens and older cats will need more sleep in general than an average-aged cat.
2. Why Cats Sleep so much?
Not only is it in your cats’ genetics to sleep a lot, there are also other reasons why they tend to sleep a lot during the days and come alive at night time.
· They need to conserve energy
As mentioned above, cats have the physiology of a predator. This means that they are hardwired to want to hunt down their food source. This is why they will sometimes bring your mice or other small animals from outside. The larger cats in the animal kingdom would hunt at night, with their exceptional eyesight giving them the advantage over their prey. They adapted to stay undercover until the very last second before attacking. This is a trait that housecats still have when they pounce on you from seemingly out of nowhere.
Cats sleep a lot during the day, so they can conserve their energy. This allows them to run around, climb up frames or stalk their prey when they least expect it. It is the reason why their spurts of energy for play time are short but very intense, and often why they settle down afterwards for a nap.
· Most cats are crepuscular
It can often be a shock for new owners of a kitten or cat to realize that their pet comes alive at night when you think they’re supposed to be asleep. As cats are most active between dusk and dawn, it means they are crepuscular more than nocturnal. They will spend the hours that you’re asleep playing with their toys, scratching their claws and getting up to all sorts of trouble. It can be even worse if they have a friend to accompany them. This is the reason why you will find your cat snoozing during the daylight hours.
· Cats like to doze
While it may seem that your cat is always in a deep sleep, it isn’t the truth. Most cats will alternate between dozing in a light sleep or in a very deep sleep. When your cat is dozing it will last between fifteen minutes and half an hour.It is normally easy to spot when this is happening as they will show certain signs. They will often position their body so that they can jump into action if the need calls for it.This could be because they are spooked or hear their owner open a pack of their favorite treats. Think of it as keeping one eye open while sleeping.
· Weather affects them
Just like everyone, the weather can affect cats in different ways. How much will depend on their breed, age or temperament, their behavior can vary. Certain types of weather such as rain or the cold will prompt your cat to stay indoors where it is nice and warm. This is the perfect time for them to sleep while the heating is on or sitting on your lap. The same goes for if it is sunny and there’s a spot of sunlight on the window sill. You will often find them fast asleep in the warmth.
3. Some Other Frequently Asked Questions
· Do Cats Have Sleep Stages? Is a Cat Always in a Deep Sleep?
With cats spending 75% of their life sleep, it is common for them to alternate between light and deep sleep. Rapid eye movement (REM) stage makes up 60% of their sleeping time, which is said to be when they dream.However, it only lasts for about fifteen or twenty minutes at a time. The other 40% of the time their sleep is in non-REM, which is also known as a deep sleep phase.
When a cat’s in a deep sleep their body is beginning to repair itself, as well as the immune systems. It is one of the reasons why kittens will be in non-REM sleep more than older cats.It helps their bones and muscles continue to develop as they grow. Cats will only go into a deep sleep when they are somewhere they feel safe, allowing them to drop the defenses that are up when dozing during the day.
· Do Cats Dream and Snore?
REM is the dreaming stage and for humans 20% of their time sleeping is spent in this phase.It causes them to remember their dreams vividly when they wake up. Cats also experience dreams and it is easy to spot when this is happening. There will be physical signs of the dreams such as moving whiskers, twitching tail or ears and their breathing will change. Sometimes their breath will be quicker, and they can even have a different facial expression.
The act of snoring occurs when the passages in the nose, back of mouth or throat vibrate when breathing. This produces a sound when relaxed called snoring. There are certain breeds of cats such as Persians that are more prone to snoring.They also have audible breathing when sleeping due to the shorter noses. However, sometimes snoring can be associated with a cat that is overweight or obese, so it is always best to keep an eye on this.Any cat with an upper respiratory infection or congestion will begin snoring.
· How to Help Your Cat Sleep Better
It is extremely important that cats get enough sleep, of both REM and non-REM. When a cat is sleep-deprived it can lower their immune system, which can affect their health, and alter their behavior. A cat that doesn’t get enough sleep is prone to becoming agitated.They will often lash out at their owners or other cats because of the stress sleep deprivation can cause. Ways that you can help your cat sleep better at night include:
- Playing with them more throughout the day and the early evening to make them more tired. Toys that cats are often fond of are ones that can mimic the movement of mice or birds. Especially ones that are feathery and dangle from a piece of string.
- Feeding them their main meal just before your bedtime will encourage them to sleep when you are. But make sure you reduce the meal sizes during the day, so they don’t gain weight.
- Give them somewhere comfortable to sleep. Most cats will sleep anywhereas long as it is somewhere they think is safe. A lot of owners like to keep their cats in a separate room to sleep in, so they aren’t disturbed. You can give your beloved cat a bed, a cat tree or simply the cardboard boxes so that they have comfortable rest and sleep periods.
· When the cat’s sleep is not normal? What if My Cat’s Sleeping Habits Change?
The average amount of time for a cat to be sleeping in the day is 16 hours. However, there are some cats that will sleep up to 20 hours and it is normal in those cases. You may notice changes in their behavior such as sleeping more and still seeming to be overly tired and weak. This could be a sign that they have a medical problem, especially if they aren’t showing an interest in what they normally like. A cat that is sick will also eat/drink less, so be sure to keep an eye on that too.
For Kittens, make sure that they aren’t lethargic or uninterested in their surroundings as this may be a sign that they are sick. While kittens sleep more than a grown cat, they should still be playful and full of energy when awake. A senior cat will need a check up at the vets if they are sleeping less than they used to.This could be because they are showing signs of hyperthyroidism.
Every cat needs a lot of sleep. Whether they are a young kitten or a senior feline, they need their rest. How interactive they are with you and their activity level will depend on the sleep they get.Don’t worry about them sneaking off during the day to relax. They’re only doing it so they can have more fun when play time comes around!