We all know that cats require their beauty rest–there’s no denying that! While a cat can spend at least 12-16 hours of their day napping, the amount your cat will sleep purr day depends on a few factors. It should come as no surprise that adorable little kittens and sweet senior cats spend more time out of their day sleeping. But there are many interesting cat sleeping habits and facts about our feline friends that you may not have known. Let’s dive in!
No, Your Cat Is Nocturnal…Even If They’re Keeping You Up At Night!
Contrary to popular sleep deprived cat owners’ opinion, cats are not nocturnal. Your cat is a crepuscular creature–meaning that he is most active at dawn and at dusk. Remember, a tired cat who has been properly stimulated might be better at letting you sleep at night than a cat who is restless and left alone for several hours a day.
“On average, cats sleep for 15 hours a day, a trait they inherited from their wild ancestors,” says Dr. Danielle Bernal, veterinarian for Wellness Natural Pet Food. “While household cats are largely domesticated, they may still have a wild streak in them and may show primal instincts of hunting during these twilight hours.”
Many of us are required to go into the office to make money so that our cats can live their best lives, so if you have the means and think that your cat would be interested, consider getting them a cat friend!
Want to know more on your cat’s intriguing crepuscular behavior? Check out this cool nugget of cat knowledge from Reader’s Digest that explains how our cat’s sleeping habits evolved through their history as hunters in the wild:
The cats of old would hunt during the early morning and twilight hours and then sleep during the main daytime and nighttime hours when their natural predators would be on the prowl. This is part of the reason cats often like to sleep “tucked away” somewhere.
Simple humans, remember that our cats have the physiology of a predator, meaning that they’re hardwired to give chase and hunt...and guess when that’s going to happen? We’ll just leave that one as a rhetorical question.
Curious what cats do at night while you’re sleeping? Cole and Marmalade are here to show you!
Does Your Cat Seem Sleepier Than Normal? This Might Be The Reason
When we’re bored, we can flip through the TV and find something to watch. But our poor cats cannot do the same. As a way to cure his boredom, your cat may choose to sleep to pass the time. According to Jodi Ziskin, healthy pet coach and Director of Communications for Treatibles, “cats that sleep more than 15 hours a day may be doing so out of boredom.”
If you feel like your feline friend is sleeping more than they should–and purrhaps putting on weight because of it or keeping you up at night when they’re wide awake–find ways to stimulate their mind and encourage them to expend energy when the sun’s out.
“The more active the cat is, the more sleep it will need.” — Daniel Rotman, CEO of PrettyLitter.
Bottom line: exercise your cat, both mentally and physically, and thank us later!
Why Are Cats So Good At Cat Napping?
I have to admit, I’m rather envious of my cat’s instinctual ability to fall asleep at the drop of a hat. And not only this, but their ability to spring into action upon just opening their eyes. (Takes me coffee and at least a few solid minutes!)
Purrferred bedtimes for your cat are after breakfast and dinner, in case you’ve been keeping close watch. And let’s not forget about those mid-day extended cat nap sessions! But how deep are those cat nap sleeps?
According to Rotman with PrettyLitter: “Cats are known to be able to doze in a simple cat nap or to fall into a very deep sleep…but even though it may appear that cats are in a deep sleep, they are still very alert to their surroundings. They can spring into action if they hear or smell something of interest.”
And while our brains and bodies crave those much-needed REM deep sleep cycles, your feline friend is much different.
“Deep sleep tends to last about five minutes, after which the cat goes back to dozing,” says Rotman.
So really that means that your cat purrfers their sleep in spurts, not extended hours like you do (and require).
Kitten sleep fact: Have you ever wondered why it is that kittens sleep so much? This is because their body releases a growth hormone that is only produced while they’re sleeping. Rest and grow, little ones!
Want to create a special bond with your cat that will last a lifetime? Try spending time with them during sunrise and sunset. It might sound crazy, but this is the time when your cat is most alert and active…even for those exclusively indoor kitty cats. Dawn is my favorite time to spend with my cats, but that might be easy for me as I wake super early to start my day each morning. Whatever time you choose to spend with your cats, know that they appreciate it. And if you’re lucky enough to have them fall asleep on you, then you know better than to move your sleeping baby! You’ll likely soon find yourself with your own “cat sleeping habits” soon enough.