Cats have always been famous for their attitude and grace. No one can deny the fact that cats are one of the cutest species in existence on planet Earth. Having a cat in your household is like raising up an innocent, yet naughty baby. They play all around the house, break things, hide in the smallest corners and yet manage to look extremely adorable with their sweet loving meow and sparkling big eyes.
One thing every pet cat owner would agree is how mischevious their cats can be one minute and then totally knocked out sleeping the other. It is essentially the never-ending sleeping cycle of being a cat! Cats are known for sleeping anytime and anywhere. I’m sure you’ve seen the videos of how cats could fall sleep on top of people’s heads too! The reason behind their long sleep has always been a mystery to most of the pet cat owners. You have probably even asked yourself “Is My Cat Sleeping Too Much?”
How Long Do Cats Sleep For?
The average number of hours of sleep is said to be anywhere from 12 to 16 hours, but it will vary from cat to cat. Yes. Cats can, in fact, sleep all day, every day. I will often find my cats snoozing away, only to wake up when they are hungry! These little furballs… they only want food!
Having three cats myself, I can say that all three of my cats sleep a different amount each day. Little Baby, my youngest cat, is full of energy and zest! You’ll often find her running around the house and gazing outside while my other two cats snooze away. The sleep duration of cats differs individually as it does in humans.
It also depends on the type of cat it is. A pet cat who stays indoors all the time will not have the responsibility of hunting her next meal. As such, domesticated cats tend to sleep more and laze about in order to pass the time and not out of necessity. Feral cats, on the other hand, will require sleep in order to save up their strengths and for their next hunt.
But no matter the cat, sleeping a lot is simply a part of being a cat! It’s something we humans should be jealous of, as we get ready for work in order to feed our feline overlords… but fret not! There is nothing wrong with your cat! She is just doing what she does best! Sleeping! Below are some reasons to help explain the reasoning behind this.
Preparing For The Hunt
As mentioned before, a cat could sleep for approximately for 12 to 16 hours in a day. Cats are simply designed to be this way, it is written in their genes! This is because our little feline companions are hunters at heart. They have the predator gene present in them!
Let’s take a step into the world of a feral cat for a minute. Like all other animals in the wild, cats need to secure themselves a source of food each and every day. This is vital for their survival. You feel hungry, you prepare yourself a meal or maybe order some food. Cats get hungry and they have to go hunting and catch their next prey.
A cat hunts a lot of different things, ranging from small rodents to birds to even insects. Most of these critters are fast, agile, and nimble; a worthy adversary for the cat hunter. That’s why a cat always needs to be in her most optimal physical state in order to give her the best chance of successfully catching her prey.
Feral cats will essentially have to hunt fresh prey for every meal. The whole hunting process involves a lot of running and chasing that consumes a lot of energy. We also have to remember that cats are in that awkward situation where they are both hunters and the hunted. Cats will often find themselves as the target of a bigger animal and will have to keep track of their surroundings as well. A cat may find herself in a situation where it goes from a hunting expedition to a fight for her life.
Cats cannot survive on grasses or grains. You may find that a cat will sometimes enjoy chewing on grass or catnip, but cats are meat eaters at their core. That’s why it is extremely important for the cat to reserve her strengths and conserve her energy. That is why a cat is designed to sleep often. This is to help them save up energy until their next hunt. They need to catch a prey in order to fill their hungry tummy.
Cats need to be very alert and swift while hunting down their a prey and will require a high amount of energy. That is why sleep is so essential for a cat’s survival. The energy cats store up during their catnaps could essentially save them from a life or death situation.
Cats Are Crepuscular Creatures
Another thing to note is that cats have a very different sleep schedule than us humans. A typical human wakes up in the morning when there is sunlight and sleep at night when it is dark. Cats, on the other hand, are crepuscular creatures. The term crepuscular means when an animal has a tendency of being most active during the twilight hours of both dawns as well as dusk.
Cats are crepuscular as they become highly charged and energetic in the twilight hours, just before the sunrise. Out in the wild, cats will do most of their hunting and daily activities in the dark hours leading up to the daybreak.
It might be a little different when it comes to your pet cat, as her living situation is entirely different. Many indoor cats will adjust their sleeping schedule in order to reflect their humans. Your cat will do this because she knows that you are going to feed her when you wake up. They also adopt a sleeping habit that resembles their human’s so that they can spend more time with their caretakers as well.
However, you might also find that your cat will still be active during these twilight hours at times as well. There may be mornings when there are lots of birds chirping right outside my window. This might trigger my cats to wake up and become curious about the buzz outdoors. Or maybe your cat is feeling frisky one morning and will begin playing. I will often hear my two cats, Cornelius and Baby, chasing and wrestling with each other, which consequently wakes me up.
And then it begins. All cat owners know this. The moment you wake up in the morning, your cat will be all over you like a fat kid will for cake. My God, will your cat do everything in her power to get you up and get food onto her food dish. This will be the most active your cat will be all day!
Cats really are most active during the twilight hours.. for my little feral Diba, whenever it is anywhere from 5:00 AM to 7:00 AM, the moment I make the slightest movement, she will instantly teleport to my side. She will do everything to wake me up. She will lick my eyelids, paw at my face, step all over me, lay on top of me, purring into my ear, use her whiskers to poke at my face, and the list goes on and on! She is relentless! It is truly a battle of willpower and I always lose. My love of sleep versus my cat’s insatiable hunger. And trust me, Diba’s lived the first 5 or so years outside in the wild so she knows what true hunger is. And she does not like it.
Just A Little Catnap
Cats are notorious for their catnaps. When you observe a cat, you will often find them zooming around and playing to their heart’s content for short periods of time, followed by long periods of sleep. Again, this is reflective of a cat’s behavior in nature. To hunt and catch their prey, eat, sleep. Rinse, recycle, repeat.
As mentioned before, cats are the most energetic and hyperactive during the twilight hours. Cats tend to be most active and charged up at nights as compared to a day. This is usually because a cat being predator hunts mostly at night.
That is why you will often find them taking catnaps throughout the day, and then see the notorious mischevious side to them when it is time to for you to go to sleep. And not only this! When it’s time for you to wake up, your cat will badger you for her meal then proceed to sleep while you begin to get ready for your day.
I should note that during the majority of the time you see your sleeping cat, a lot of these sleep time is considered light sleeping. During light sleep, your cat is in a mode where she is resting and saving energy, yet alert to her surroundings. You may sometimes find your cat sleeping but her ears moving and continuously taking in the sounds of her surroundings.
Cats light sleep in order to conserve their energy while being in a state where they are able to pounce on their next victim or run away from a dangerous situation. A cat in the wild will be able to notice potential next meal and be ready to pounce at a moments notice. Other times, your cat will be aware of other animals or humans approaching her and act accordingly.
Other Reasons Your Cats Sleeps A Lot
This won’t come as a surprise to many of the cat parents that the change in weather affects the sleeping time of the cat directly. An increase or decrease in the temperature or a lovely rainfall can change the mood of your feline companion and her sleeping cycle too. It is observed and believed that during a rainfall, cats become more lazy and sleepy kitty and would be found sleeping or yawning most of the time. Just like us humans, the weather directly affects the mood and the sleep of the cats. So in case, your cat is sleeping way too much, just check the weather outside once.
Cats have a royal significance and are very famous for their never-ending attitude and pride. They need constant entertainment and something to stay engaged in order to not get bored. If there’s nothing for them to do, just like humans, they end up sleeping. If there isn’t any toy or a person to play with, cats get bored and thus decide to take a nap rather than finding something better to do. To keep a cat happy, it is necessary to keep them entertained. If not, they’ll sleep throughout the days and nights doing absolutely nothing. Be sure to learn more about enriching your cat’s life in my article here!
When Should You Be Concerned?
If you have a cat that has been there with you for years and as it gets older, it sleeps way too much, then it is because of its increasing age. It has been observed that the cats tend to sleep more with growing old in order to compensate for their reducing energy and the ability to recover. Older cats, therefore, become extremely lazy with time. They are hardly seen running or playing around. This is because they are smart enough to realize that the energy they have should be saved for the time of need.
On the other hand, kittens need to sleep a lot too. This is a necessity as kittens need to rest in order to properly grow and develop. You will often find your kitten prancing about and zooming from one corner of the room to another. Then minutes later, they could be found curled up in the strangest of places! Plus, a sleeping kitten is probably one of the cutest things in existence!
The behavior of your cat might be clearly depicting its health conditions and therefore you should keep an open eye to observe any unusual changes in the sleeping pattern or activeness of your cat. If all of a sudden you realize that your cat is becoming more lethargic and isn’t seen playing and scratching around anymore, there might be something actually bothering its health.
A cat can normally sleep for 12-20 hours in a day. But, in case your cat isn’t active despite the sleep and it isn’t using the saved energy to play and run around, you should actually take it to a good veterinarian. Apart from this, the weight of your cat might also determine its sleep duration. Obese or fat cats don’t move around much because of their heavyweight which ultimately leads them to add a few sleeping hours in their sleep cycle.
Mentioned above were the main reasons due to which cats sleep for long hours. These adorable balls of fur have such intense emotions and their body reacts to the various changes happening around them similar to that of humans.
But no matter the cat, you can tell that sleeping a natural part of being a cat. When you observe the cat out in the wild, a cat will stalk her prey and pounce when the time is opportune. Wildcats will need to save their strength if they are to catch and kill their next target. Sleeping will them to conserve energy.
Cats are also most active during the twilight hours, the night right before dawn, so most cats are asleep during the daylight. Cats can essentially sleep for about 12 to 16 hours each and every day! That’s why you might find your house cat to be asleep during most of the day.
Also, try to observe the position in which your cat sleeps all day. The way she is positioned could depict the body temperature they are experiencing. Cats will be all curled up when cold and widely stretched when warm. By noticing these subtle behaviors, you will be able to become a better human slave and supply them with better places to sleep! A cat sleeping in bed is a happy cat indeed. As always, I wish you and your feline companions the best! Be safe!