Many pet owners worry that their cat sleeps too much.
The truth is, cats sleep twice as much as we do, so it just seems like they sleep all the time. Relax, sleeping for hours and hours is a normal part of your cat’s daily routine.
Does My Cat Sleep Too Much?
Your kitty’s favorite pastime is not plotting his next attack on the bird. Cats sleep. A lot! They love to nap constantly and are exceptionally good at it. They practice napping and have pretty much reached perfection in this chosen activity.
Often, their prey escapes the grasp of their claws and teeth. Sleeping conserves energy so that the cat can chase down their dinner whenever dinner makes itself available.
Sure, I understand that a house cat doesn’t hunt for meals — he gets them delivered in a pretty bowl from a can or a bag. However, the natural need to doze off and save energy will always be there.
How much are cats supposed to sleep? Around 16 hours seems to be the average, but young kittens and senior cats can snooze even longer, around 18 hours every day.
Myth: Cats Are Nocturnal
Many people believe their kittens are nocturnal and are awake and active all through the night. This myth is not true. Cats are actually crepuscular creatures. This means they are most active at sunrise and sundown — the easiest times for cats to find and catch their meals.
This dominates the sleep patterns of all cats, feral and domesticated alike. Genetic behavior doesn’t change.
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Give Your Cat Something Interesting to Do
If there’s nothing terribly exciting happening in your house, then who can blame your cat for dozing off? If you want to see your pet on her feet more often, work to enrich the environment through the use of interactive toys and grooming activities.
Increased activity can positively affect your cat’s muscles and heart. Another benefit is less weight gain versus a more sedentary lifestyle. You might also want to install a window perch. Cats love gazing out at the goings-on outside.
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And now, a ridiculously cute diversion. Little kitty would rather not be awake:
Potential Signs of Trouble
If your kitty is sleeping far more than usual, this might be a sign that of illness.
Just remember that young kittens will certainly snooze more than the average adult. Growth hormones are released when the baby sleeps that are essential to proper growth.
Senior cats also fall asleep more than most others. Just as in humans, older pets need more bedtime than younger ones. It is merely a result of the aging process. Again, note unusual sleep patterns and see your veterinarian if things just don’t feel right.
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Symptoms of Anemia in a Cat
If your pet is not a kitten and not old, she should maintain her regular hours of naptime.
If the amount of hours she sleeps has increased, check her gums. If the gums are pale, it is a sign of anemia. Anemia can kill your pet, so please get her to the vet promptly.
You’ve heard the expression “Let sleeping dogs lie.” I believe it’s equally important to “Let sleeping kitties lie.” They love to nap, and it’s perfectly natural. So, to sum this up: If there are no signs of illness, distress or extreme disinterest in play, I doubt you should worry a whole lot about whether your cat sleeps too much.
Tell me your thoughts in the comments section below. You might also be interested in knowing how cat sleep time (16-18 hours, or about 70 percent of the day) compares with dog sleep time. If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love Pets Adviser’s popular email newsletter. It’s free to sign up, and you’ll also be among the first to get alerts about major cat food recalls: Learn more here.
- Jon Rappaport, DVM: Worried about kitten sleeping too much
- Helping Kitty: Sleep is a really interesting behavior. Zzzzz. (No, really it is!)