Why Do Cats SLEEP So Much? (Is It NORMAL?)

If you’re wondering, why do cats sleep so much, you’re certainly not alone. A lot of pet owners ask the same question.

You find them napping any time of the day.The truth is, cats fall asleep often because of overexertion.

It is in their nature to hunt and chase prey (mostly mice). And, even if they don't move a lot in their current environment, sleeping is deeply ingrained in their genes.

So let's discuss your cat's sleeping pattern in detail to put your mind at ease.

Why Do Cats Sleep so much? (The Perks of Being a Cat)

Cats are independent creatures, and they have a unique personality. They are not afraid to convey their wishes to their owners, and it seems, their owners are all too willing to fulfill them.

Non-cat lovers may not understand this at all, but you and I both know how challenging and fulfilling it is to have a cat at home.

In any case, cats have been stereotyped as lazy animals. Notwithstanding the way that cats move as if they are always on the prowl, silently padding along with a lithe gait, alert and ready to pounce.

But cats always seem to be lying down, or sleeping, right? The truth is that there is no real difference between how a domestic cat behaves and the way big cats (lions, leopard, mountain lions, cheetah, lynx, and others) behave in the wild.

Your pet cat still retains their wild instincts that have been wired into their body and in their psyche.

Everything about a cat is about hunting, even if the domesticated cat no longer needs to hunt for food. Your pet is still a wild animal at heart.

cat sleeping on the stairs

So What Does That Have to Do with My Cat’s Frequent Sleeping?

Like all members of the feline family, cats have developed their bodies to be the best hunters they can be.

This is debatable, of course, because the way dogs hunt is totally different from cats, and they are also efficient hunters.

However, cats are designed to be stealthy, moving slowly and quietly crawling to their prey until they are close enough to outrun it.

This requires a sudden explosion of energy that they can only sustain in short bursts.

After the hunt, whether they are successful or not, they have to rest a while and recover. And this is why they sleep.

Cats also expend a lot of nervous energy in their everyday life. While awake and about, they have a curious wary gait as if they were walking into a trap.

If surprised, cats adopt a posture which makes them look bigger than their size.

This nervous energy is another offshoot of living in the wild. It is possible that your pet does not really feel safe even inside your home.

This is very true for cats living in urban or suburban areas. There are now a lot of stray cats living in or near human habitation.

According to a recent study, cats account for more than a million bird and mammal deaths in the United States.

Indoor-outdoor pet cats have a reason to be always wary when they can hear feral cats nearby.

And so their nervous energy translates to the way they sleep as well. During light sleep, or while napping, your pet may open her eye every so often, or when there is any disturbance.

It is estimated that truly deep sleep in cats occurs for 10 to 15 minute during the cat sleep cycle. The ear twitching is a sign of light sleep or napping.

Notice that not only do their ears twitch, but they also point towards the direction of the sound.

cat sleeping together

Cat Sleep in Abnormal Hours

It may seem funny how a cat sleeps. Basically, cat sleeping positions depend on the weather and temperature.

If the weather is cool, they tend to curl up on their side to stay warm. When the weather is warm, they may be lying on their back with their legs spread out.

Of course, they also move around a lot while sleeping. Still wild at heart, cats sleep in a seeming erratic cycle.

They sleep all day; then they make a lot of noise while they bounce off walls before the sun goes up.

Strictly speaking, cats are not nocturnal animals. They are considered as crepuscular predators.

They hunt during at dawn and just before dusk. This is the time when the day is not too warm, and when the eye is not too well adjusted.

Dusk and dawn are when cats are most active. It would seem that for them, it’s not how long cats sleep, but how many times they get a shuteye.

When they are not in hunting mode, they are in resting or sleeping mode. That’s just how it is.

sleepy cat

How Many Hours Do Cats Sleep?

​As predators, they don't need to be eating for long hours in a day. As efficient hunters, eating leaves them vulnerable to their enemies. So they eat fast and then retreat to safety. After a high-speed chase, a big cat's body rests.

So they end up sleeping from 12 to 16 hours a day – not successively but in short periods.

And take note, if you notice her ear moving, this only shows that she remains alert and watching out for potential danger. Even in sleep, they’re dreaming of catching prey.

cat on a cat bed

My Cat’s Disturbing My Sleep

​The problem some cat owners face is that because their pet sleeps at all hours of the day, they may also be awake at night and making lots of noise thus disturbing your sleep.

Fortunately, there are ways to solve this problem. It is possible to make cats become silent or even to sleep during their normal hunting hours.

Exercising your cat by keeping them busy during the day can help you achieve this. Let her play with nice toys to keep her pre-occupied during the day.

That way she can sleep longer at night and not bother you. You can also try to feed your cat more frequently but in smaller portions.

Ration out her food throughout the day. This would help to make her less sleepy because her tummy is not full.

Cats sleep because they are natural predators and they need to conserve their energy to prepare for the next hunt. If you own a cat, you know this to be true.

* Cats sleep anywhere from 12 to 16 hours a day

* Their sleeping positions depend on the weather.

* They “cat nap” for about 10 to 15 minutes.

* Cats sleep during the day and night.

* They could be sleeping more than usual if they are over fed.

* Frequent sleeping is not really a sign of illness or any other problem in cats.

So you really shouldn’t worry if your cat sleeps a lot. However, if sleeping all day means she’s up all night and it’s keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep, then follow the tips we’ve provided earlier.

Is your cat sleeping all the time? Do share your own experiences by leaving a comment below.

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