Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?
# It’s in the genes
Cats on an average need 15 to 20 hours sleep, and adult cats can sleep for even 20 hours a day. The cat’s nutritional requirements, bodily processes, and evolution play a big role in deciding how many hours they sleep in a day. Cats in the wild need to stalk, chase, and catch prey to eat and this burns a lot of energy. Sleeping for hours together helps our feline friends to conserve energy between each meal. They make up this lost energy by taking regular naps throughout the day. Domestic cats don’t need to hunt like the ones in the wild, but they still retain these instincts to sleep for longer intervals. The last chunk of cat nap happens during the day and few hours at night. Cats hunt at dawn or dusk even in the wild.
# Cats don’t have a sound sleep all the time
Just like humans, cats either have a sound sleep or they might be just snoozing. Cats snooze or cat nap for a large chunk of the day. This is enough to replenish all the lost energy for your cat. They are very alert as soon as they wake up from slumber. You can identify if a cat is in light sleep when their ears move towards any noise. You will also notice that their eyes are not closed completely. Cats have a tendency to doze off even when they are sitting upright. This light sleep enables the cat to react instantly be it to protect itself or to hunt. The deep sleep cycle lasts for a shorter duration of 15-20 minutes.
# Cats have deep sleep and they also dream
Of the 20 hours they sleep, just one fourth of the time is spent on deep sleep. Older cats spend forty percent of their total time in deep sleep. For their bodies to energize and stay healthy it is necessary they sleep deep. This is the only time when they dream and the most visible signs of dreams are twitching paws and whiskers, as if they are hunting down a prey in deep sleep.
# Cats do Snore
Cats snore when their airways are blocked due to an extra skin from the soft palate. Snoring occurs when your cat is relaxed. Short nose cat breeds tend to snore more like the Himalayan, Persian, and the exotic shorthair.
# Wet and Cold Weather
Cats hate rains and just like humans avoid getting wet. Weather plays a very important factor in your cat’s behavior along with age, health and temperament. Cats love to sleep for a longer duration when the weather outside is freezing or wet. These weather conditions will make him crawl and yawn more, just like us humans.
# Time of the day
Cats are not nocturnal except Sand cats. They are very active during the dawn and dusk hours. Cats don’t venture out during late nights because that is the time when predators venture out in the open. Kittens tend to be active during this time compared to the older cats. Cats are adjustable animals, which is why they change their sleeping times to suit their owners. Even the feeding schedules are adjusted to suit their sleeping time.
Generally cats are highly active when they are awake. They immediately indulge in physical activities like fetch and seek whenever they see an opportunity after a nap. But, if you find your feline friend sleeping for unusually longer durations or is lazy or lethargic, then it is advisable to take him to a veterinarian for a checkup to rule out any ailments. Hypothyroidism and anemia can adversely affect their health and make them lethargic.
A healthy cat will be more active as compared to an overweight feline. Their energy levels will depend on their weight and size. Any weight gain will have an impact on the level of activity leading to more weight gain. Vets will advice on a correct and ideal diet for your feline friend to help decrease his weight and increase his activity.
When your cat is alone for a longer duration it can feel bored and sleep for hours together. An active cat sleeps less compared to a bored one. To keep your pet cat active you can introduce another cat or get some cat toys for them to stay active and feel less bored. A good toy like a battery operated mouse will wake up his predatory skills and make him feel less bored.
Kittens sleep more than adults. Age plays a very important role in deciding how many hours your cat sleeps. The first few weeks after birth, the kittens sleep most of the time. When they reach adulthood they sleep more as compared to their younger days. Certain ailments like arthritis will make your cat less mobile, which can lead to more sleeping hours.Now that we know why do cats sleep so much, as a cat owner it is necessary to monitor their sleeping patterns carefully. These little feline friends need to recharge their tired batteries after an exhaustive hunting session and this is only possible if they sleep for 15 -20 hours a day. They can’t be active all the time, but if you notice any drastic change in their sleeping habits, it is best to take them to a veterinarian for a thorough check-up to rule out any ailments. How many hours do cats sleep will depend on age, health and their activity level. Considering all the above factors is necessary before you take any further step.