Domestic cats are the smallest in the Cat Family, but they are also the most amazing creatures in the Cat Family. They are domesticated and familiar with humans. They know that humans are friends. Just like dogs, they have also been living with humans for a very long time. Cats are the second most popular pet in the United States of America. So, the chances of you keeping a cat as a pet are very high. And if you own a cat then you must have wondered “Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?”.
Why Do Cat’s Sleep So Much?
Cats are strange creatures that always seem to be doing something perplexing to most humans. If you ever have owned a cat you probably have noticed that they sleep a lot, and if they're not sleeping they are bothering you at an inconvenient time. You may even wonder how these animals even survive in the wild due to their apparent lazy nature of slacking off all day. This, however, is actually an incredibly strategic move for most cats to do; especially in the wild. Sleeping can help a cat better catch food, store energy, or even heal broken bones. Cats tend to sleep between about 16 to 20 hours a day with very few hours in between being awake and active. Kittens, on the other hand, can sleep almost all day long. Saving energy also may be due to the fact that a cat is a very eager hunter who doesn’t give up prey easily. This does, however, make cats one of the sleepiest animals in the world. They are also always awake at strange times compared to most animals who generally prowl in the day. What causes all of these strange behaviors though?
It is perfectly normal if your cat is sleeping quite a bit. For we humans, a normal cat sleep may seem like a ridiculous thing, but see it from a cat’s perspective. The sleep of a cat depends on many things from his predatory instincts to his health.
1. It’s Their Nature
It is natural in cats to sleep that much and it is because they are natural predators. They might not be hunting at your home, but this comes naturally to them. Cats need plenty of energy to hunt and to maintain that energy level, they need to sleep a lot. Even if they don’t hunt anymore, their natural instinct tells them to sleep. If you have noticed that most of the cats sleep in the daytime but not much in the night, it is also because of their natural predator instinct. These all came from their ancestors.
The first thing we need to look at to understand the weird sleeping phenomenon of cats is their natural schedules in the wild. While cats are considered a predatory animal, you often find them to still be pretty low on the food chain. For example, a fox or a dog is often higher than a cat and have been known to prey on them when they can’t find other food sources. Kittens have even been known to be plucked off the ground by hawks or other birds of prey because of their small size. This means that cats aren’t exactly at a very high mark on the food chain, even with their speed and climbing abilities.
Cats generally come out at twilight hours or at night when bigger predators are less common. This also may be the hour when you notice that animals like rabbits are also generally active. These small mammals are a great source of prey for a wild feline and with a cat’s heightened night senses, they can make for an easy snack. Another advantage of later hours is a reduced amount of competition for food. Cats also are credited for being foragers and can find leftover scraps or raid garbage easier with the cover of night.
Energy conservation in the wild is a huge factor on how successful an animal can be when fighting for survival. Anything can happen in the wild, including food shortages or bad storms that would make venturing out a danger to the cat. This is when sleep can become a crucial survival tactic for the animal. A cat, or any critter for that matter, can conserve more energy by putting their body into rest mode during inclement times. This allows the body to relax and process at a reduced speed storing the energy up until the point where food can become easily obtainable again. This is also one of the reasons you may find rainy days to be lazy.
Sleeping also has the added bonus of targeting a certain area for the body to work on. If a cat has gotten injured recently, the body can focus more on patching a wound rather than all the other things a cat can be doing. Sleep is the best way for a cat to quickly get back on their feet after a fight. You may have noticed that your cats will endlessly run through your house for what seems like hours or will persistently attack your feet at a set time every night. This is due to the saved energy an indoor cat accumulates that isn’t normally exerted since we provide their food.
1.3 Ready to go
While you may think you can sneak up on your cat during their nap time, you are generally wrong. While cats can be heavy sleepers, they have much more developed senses than most humans do. This means that their hearing, as well as their sense of smell is heightened above our levels. When a cat is asleep and you say a word or make noise around them, pay special attention to their ears. With each sound, you will see movement similar to that of a satellite dish. While the cat may not open their eyes or wake up, their body is always in tune with their surroundings in case of danger popping up.
You may also notice that your cat has a few different sleeping positions. The position your cat is sleeping in can tell you a lot about his nap plans. If your cat is sprawled out on your floor upside down, more than likely he is completely comfortable and prepared for a long nap. Whenever a cat shows it’s stomach while resting it is a sign of trust to the environment and relaxation. If you find your cat sleeping on their stomach and in a sort of crouched position, then it’s a good chance it’s just a light nap. This position generally means that the cat is ready to go at any moment. You can test this by throwing a favorite toy and watching the response time it takes for the pet to become alert.
If you have an indoor cat that is particularly wary of people, you may find they have trouble sleeping due to these features. Sometimes you may even find them sleeping in weird places that are generally high up. This is to instinctively avoid predators by keeping the advantage of being on a high ground and with a quick escape route. Wildcats always pick out spots to sleep where they can easily gauge their surroundings and have either height over an opponent or coverage from any unwelcome visitors. They also tend to keep the same sleeping spots unless it becomes disturbed by another creature. This may be why one week you find your pet sleeping on your bed and then all the sudden they switch to a pile of clothes in the next room.
2. They Sleep Out of Boredom
Your cat is a house cat now, who loves to roam around you and eat whatever you give him. But you shouldn’t forget that your cat was a born predator, he has the blood of predators, and his ancestors were predators but not anymore. As he doesn't lead much of an active life as he supposed to lead, he feels bored in a home and starts to sleep. Sleep is his way out from boredom. A normal cat’s instinct will tell him to run and chase and climb, but living indoors is harder sometimes and now cat’s have modified themselves to sleep around 12-15 hours a day.
3. Age Matters
Age matters in sleep; we know that it matters in humans, but cats are no different when it comes to the relation of age and sleep. Newborn kittens sleep almost the whole day, since they need to sleep more than anything. Kittens which are under one year of age sleep more than 16 hours a day, if they have nothing to do. Adults come in at the average amount of sleep and they can sleep more or less depending upon the activities they are doing throughout the day. Senior cats sleep more than adults, and it is because of many reasons which can be some illness or conditions like arthritis. These factors make a cat sleep more when they are old.
4. Medical Condition
Cats sleep much more than humans, but sometimes it can get more than usual and that is the time to pay attention. Sometimes it may be tiring day for your cat, but if you see this pattern then you must visit a vet. Your cat might be ill. Many times an illness keeps a cat sleeping more than usual. You may see your cat running and playing with his favorite toy but it might be some condition that is troubling him. Illness like Anemia and Hypothyroidism are common in cats and it might make your cat sleep more than usual. If you see an unusual pattern from your cat’s sleep, then it is a time of concern and you should visit a vet.
If you wonder why does your cat sleep so much, ask yourself what she/he looks like? Being overweight is a thing that happens also in cats, even they are not spared from this. As the notorious predator has now become a house cat, it is hard for them to keep up with their healthy weight. Since your cat doesn’t hunt anymore and you feed him with amazing food, your cat can gain some weight and with extra pounds come with extra sleep. This is not just a human problem, obesity has hit even animals. You should keep track of his food and give your cat some traditional cat food; not processed all the time.
Climate can play a big factor in your cat’s sleep. The amount of sleep depends upon the cat’s breed, age, temperament and health, but in some climates your cat can get lazy and can sleep more often than necessary. A rainy day will make your cat sleep like a little baby all day long. If your cat is from a warmer place then in winters you might see her sleeping and yawning a lot. It is contagious and you might also find yourself in bed. So climate might also be the answer to your question of why do cats sleep so much?
Is It Possible to Change Your Indoor Cat’s Sleeping Pattern?
It is the biggest question of every cat owner. Well, you first need to understand that cats are nocturnal. They sleep during the daytime and get active at night, as it was their ancestors’ hunting time. Though it’s completely normal to your cat, it’s abnormal for us humans. The good thing is, we can train our cats to change their sleeping pattern.
Don’t Hurt Them, Instead Act Like You’re Ignorant
Since cats are active at night, they will assume that we are also night owls. So, ignore their nighttime activities. Don’t yell at them or hit/throw anything at them, as this might weaken the bond; but just simply ignore them. If they are bringing a toy to play with you then just set it aside. It will make cat realize that it is not playing time.
Increase His Daytime Activity
Just Before The Bed Time Feed Your Cat The Largest Meal Of The Day
The largest meal will make your cat sleepy, as it makes all of us. Don’t feed your cat the largest meal in the evening, feed him when you are about to sleep. It will help your cat to shift his sleep cycle according to yours.
Spend More Time With Him
It’s not possible to spend all 24 hours, but make sure that you are there, especially in the daytime. Your cat loves you and when you are around they will love to play with you; this is the reason they get so active in the evening/night. If you will play with them at noon, it will make them change their sleeping habits according to yours.
What To Do If Your Cats Sleep More Than Usual ?
If you think that your cat is sleeping more than usual, then there can be many reasons for that. Fewer activities in your cat’s life may lead to boredom which will make your cat sleep more than usual. If you are worried about your cat’s extra sleeping, then you should try these ways.
Involve Him/Her With Engaging Activities
More sleeping may be caused due to less activity, so you should play with your cat as much as you can. This will make your cat active and he won’t be needing sleep to kill his boredom. It’s not about just playing with you; give him some toys which are for cats. Your cat might enjoy them. And if your cat is active, then he will sleep normally and this might change his night sleeping pattern.
Make an Appointment With aVetMake an Appointment With aVetMake an Appointment With aVet
If you think that your cat might be ill, keep him under surveillance and if you find anything which is alarming, then you should visit a vet to check out your cat. Cats can be deceiving and you might not notice but they can be ill a little bit. They will play with you but they might still need a vet. If your cat is sleeping more than its normal sleeping hours then you must take him to the vet for a checkup.
Interesting Facts About Cat Sleep
1. Cats Sleep a lot
Believe it or not but cats sleep 2/3 of their lives. They got a relaxed life. They don’t have to go on a job, they got no work. They are lazy and this is how they spend their day.
2. Sleep is Genetic
The habit of sleeping 12-16 hours in cats has come from their ancestors. Cats are natural hunters and it takes a lot of energy for hunting, hence to gain energy cats sleep. House cats don’t hunt anymore except for a few rats, but their sleeping habit is still there. It is a way to conserve energy.
3. Theymight be looking asleep but they aren’t always
Cats are not always in deep sleep, as they might be sleeping 12-16 hours but many times they are in snoozing state. They are getting all rest with this and they can be active in one moment. Sometimes they sleep with one eye open and this way they can get ready within seconds.
4. Cat’s special talent
Cats can snooze even when they are sitting in an upright position.
5. Cat’s and Dreams
Cats do get a deep sleep and at this time they will also dream. You can see your cat sleeping tight when he has got his tail on his eyes. A deep sleep is very essential for staying healthy.
6. Cat’s Snore, sometimes a lot
Cats also snore, just like people do. Snoring normally happens when there is an obstruction in the airway. It is not common in all cats, but in a few breeds it is common.
If you are a cat owner, you might have observed some weird reasons for your cats sleeping pattern. Because cats are ridiculous animals. Not all will behave the same. So, if you have anything to share on this topic, why do cats sleep so much, please leave your comments below.