All things considered, house cats have an excellent existence. As a result, they don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, receive attention whenever they want it, and sleep – a lot. Is this too much? If you’re worried that your cat will spend the day dozing off, you may relax. The fact that you’re experiencing this is quite normal, and serves as a helpful reminder to all of us to get more rest.
Cats like to nap throughout the day while their owners are at work, whether it’s in a favorite sunny area or even on their laps.
But do cats really need as much sleep as we think they do? Is it possible for cats to get too much sleep?
Talking to specialists in the field, Inverse sheds light on the mysteries of cat sleeping habits, including how to keep your feline friend from disrupting your sleep at night. Your cat’s napping prowess can even teach you a thing or two.
Katherine Pankratz, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist, tells Inverse that “maybe cats are trying to inform us that people need more sleep.”
How Much Sleep Do Cats Need Every Day?
In most cases, specialists estimate that a cat sleeps between 12 and 15 hours each day, yet it could sleep for up to 20 hours at a time.
But appearances can be deceiving. As Pankratz points out, your cat may not have been sleeping for the duration of that time.
Cat behavior specialist Molly DeVoss tells Inverse: “Unlike us, [cats] acquire that sleep in the form of small ‘cat naps,’ throughout the day; they normally don’t sleep in big chunks of time.” DeVoss leads the organization Cat Behavior Solutions.
Adult people are advised to sleep 7 to 8 hours a night, but the amount of time a cat may sleep varies widely based on its age and environment. According to a research conducted in 1981, farm cats sleep about 40% of the time they spend awake. In the course of the day, they spent 22% of their time in bed. Seventy-one per cent of the time, caged cats in a shelter were awake or readily disturbed, according to a research conducted in 2007.
7 Reasons Your Cat May Be Sleeping All Day
On the couch, the kitchen counter, the bed, behind the curtain, your computer, your printer, and your head……… What unites all of these locations? There’s just one way to find out: if you’re a cat parent, your cat has lain there. Cats use these and a slew of other spots to relax.
When was the last time you asked yourself if you should be sleeping so much? Cats sleep or snooze for 15–20 hours a day. As a result, it’s safe to assume that your cat’s sleeping habits aren’t alarming. How to identify if your cat has a regular sleeping schedule and seven possible causes for your cat’s sleepiness.
1. Your Cat May Be Nocturnal
It’s possible that your cat sleeps a lot during the day because he’s awake at night hunting imagined mice. Historically, cats were either crepuscular or nocturnal (active in the morning and the evening). Most domesticated cats follow a similar pattern to ours, spending most of their waking hours sleeping and hanging out with us throughout the daytime. It’s possible, however, that your cat is simply adhering to his nocturnal instincts and sleeping off his daytime stress.
2. Your Cat Might Be Conserving Energy
Cats are predators (and also prey). Like many predators, they conserve energy by resting or sleeping, saving up for the bursts of time when they will do the most hunting. This sleep/hunt cycle isn’t a cause for concern.
3. Maybe He Isn’t Sleeping When You Think He Is
Cats prey on other cats (and also prey). Like many predators, they store their energy by sleeping or resting so they can use it more efficiently during periods of high activity. There’s no reason to be alarmed about this sleep/hunt cycle.
4. Your Cat Might Be Bored
Animals tend to sleep more when they have nothing to do. There are several ways to keep your cat from being bored. Creating a catio or climbing shelves for your cat, for example, could be a good idea. To keep your cat occupied if you don’t have the ability to build, enrichment toys are a more convenient option. Three different sorts of toys should be given to your kitten or adult cat every day. Observe the toys he likes to play with and then buy them in different styles or colors. You may prevent your child from becoming bored by finding out what type of toy he likes and then acquiring it.
5. Your Cat Might Be Stressed
When cats are terrified or worried, they utilize coping mechanisms such as hiding and being less active. Your cat may be severely stressed if he avoids the rest of the family or only interacts with one member of the family, hides during storms, or becomes concerned when you are away. He may use sleeping more as a way to cope. Stress can have a negative impact on a cat’s health. Veterinarian behaviorists are board-certified specialists in their field. Learn more about cat stress and how to alleviate it in the book Decoding Your Cat.
6. Your Cat Might be Sick or Uncomfortable
When a cat is unwell or in pain, it tends to stay hidden and be less active. Some time spent beneath the bed or on your cat tree could indicate that your feline friend is experiencing discomfort.
Overweight cats may have difficulty moving about and may spend much of their time resting because it is unpleasant to do so. Having an overweight cat can lead to several health issues, including joint pain and chronic endocrine problems that necessitate lifelong therapy. Make an appointment with your primary care veterinarian to have your cat’s overall health examined if you can’t easily feel his ribs.
7. Maybe You Need to Sleep More and Your Cat’s Sleep Patterns are Normal
Cats and their owners benefit from a good night’s sleep. The immune system and overall health are greatly aided by a good night’s sleep. Cats, in contrast to humans, appear to understand the need of rest and make the effort to get adequate amounts of it. There is a possibility that your cat is not sleeping enough, but that you are.
Your cat is perfectly normal if he sleeps and rests for up to 20 hours a day. Just go with it if he’s happy, healthy, and feeling good. Why not take a nap while you’re at it?
Are Cats Nocturnal?
Many people are perplexed by their cat’s seemingly nocturnal activities when they awaken to the sight of his or her glowing yellow eyes staring up at them from the darkness.
Cats aren’t nocturnal in the traditional sense, but unlike humans, their energy levels fluctuate throughout the course of a 24-hour period.
When it comes to cat behavior, Stelow explains, “cats are actually crepuscular.” This means that they are most active around dusk and dawn.
According to Pankratz and Delgado, domestic cats’ wild ancestors developed this crepuscular activity to better pursue prey.
Predators, on the other hand, have a tendency to be more active during the day and at night, when cats are less active. House cats may develop the ability to nap during the day as a result of this inherited characteristic.
“They will perk up when you wake up and when you go home from work,” Delgado notes that house cats often mimic their owners’ activity patterns. This is supported by a wide range of research.
Their sleep patterns can be influenced by a variety of factors, including the temperature and time of day.
According to Pankratz, many domesticated cats may replicate the family activity, making them sleep more at night and be more active during the day.
Pankratz, on the other hand, says that if your cat is a night owl, it may also sleep throughout the day.
What If Your Cat Sleeps All Day Long?
Now you know not to be alarmed if your cat appears to be sleeping for significant periods of time during the working day. In such case, what do you do when your cat seems to be napping all day? As far as I can tell, that’s still the norm
As Delgado points out, “I would not suggest it is natural for all cats to sleep all day.
Other specialists have the same opinion. If a cat suddenly changes its sleep patterns or is unable to engage in a joyful activity, such as playfulness, feeding, or caressing, “oversleeping may be an indication of a medical concern,” says Stelow.
There may be something wrong with your cat if they sleep 16 hours a day or more, says DeVoss.
A cat napping more than usual could be a symptom of something else going on in terms of health, according to Pankratz. It’s possible that sleeping more is an indication of stress, according to Pankratz. Cats will typically hide or become less active when they are scared or stressed out.
When placed in a high-stress situation, cats may even appear to sleep. “The cat looks to be at rest, but emotionally remains tense and fakes sleep as a strategy to block out the harsh surroundings,” Pankratz says.
Raised ears, strained muscles and limbs, and a tail tucked tightly beneath the cat’s body are all indications that he or she is trying to sleep.
To determine if your pet is suffering from anxiety, Pankratz recommends consulting an animal behaviorist who is certified by the American Board of Veterinary Behaviorists The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists maintains a directory of accredited veterinary behaviorists, whose names can be found on the organization’s website.
It is also possible that your cat is ill or in discomfort.
In order to defend themselves, “a cat may hide more or be less active — rest more,” Pankratz explains.
Be on the lookout for any unexpected changes in your cat’s behavior or sleep patterns, which could indicate a problem. Your veterinarian can help you figure out if your cat’s sleeping habits are indicative of more serious health issues.
How Can I Keep My Cat From Waking Me Up At Night?
When it comes to preventing nighttime zoomies, both Pankratz and Delgado agree that a cat’s daily “enrichment,” or “activity,” is essential.
‘Yes, it’s probable they’ll wake you up nighttime if they sleep all day,’ Delgado adds.”
The most common reasons a cat actively wakes people up is to be fed or caressed; unintentionally, cats may wake people when they play with each other or simply prowl the bedroom,” Stelow explains in his book.
It’s possible that your cat will wake you up at night because it’s hungry. It’s recommended by both DeVoss and Stelow that you play with and feed your cat just before you go to bed.
The “eat/groom/sleep” cycle might be triggered by a vigorous prey play session shortly before the last meal, according to DeVoss.
Pankratz gives the following five suggestions to cat owners in an effort to help them sleep better at night:
- Give your cat everything it needs to be happy. Cats need to be able to express their predatory instincts in a safe environment through playfulness. Veterinary-approved cat toys and food puzzles are examples of this.
- Adapt your cat’s routine to his or hers. In order to sleep well at night, cats who are bored may require more stimulating activities during the day. Alternatively, you can teach your cat new tricks or engage in 5- to 15-minute play sessions throughout the day. To keep your cat from getting bored, try giving him a different toy every night.
- Close the door to your bedroom if you like. If you can’t get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis, you may need to try this. If you don’t want your cat to scratch at your door, keep them busy with educational toys and puzzles in another room.
- Automated feeders are the way to go. If your pet is waking you up for meals before your alarm goes off, this is an excellent solution for you. It’s also possible to feed your cat throughout the day using a food puzzle, which is more in keeping with how cats eat normally. It’s possible to program some meal timer bowls to go off at night as well.
- Avoid the urge to resort to a kind of discipline. Any form of reprimand your pet receives will make him afraid, which will sour your bond with him. It’s better to keep your cat happy and get some sleep at the same time by following the guidelines listed above.
Remember that you’re living with an animal in your house. You should constantly treat them with respect and make sure you’re meeting their expectations. You and your loved ones will both be happier for it.
What do you think?