Although their reputation as night-prowling hunters suggests that cats are nocturnal, they are actually crepuscular. This means they are most active at dawn and dusk. Although we may see our feline companions sleeping in the sun during the day, they are still likely to be up at night and greeting us when we wake up in the morning.
Cats need a lot of sleep, with the average cat getting around 16 hours of shut-eye every day. They tend to sleep lighter than humans and dogs and are able to wake up quickly if they sense danger or hear something that interests them. When a cat is very tired, it will often fall into a deep sleep from which it can be difficult to wake it up.
The average cat sleeps anywhere from 12 to 16 hours each day, with a few cats sleeping even more. This is because cats are crepuscular, meaning they’re most active in the morning and at night, so their sleep schedules naturally follow that pattern.
There are also a variety of factors that can cause your cat to sleep more or less than normal, including her age and personality. Kittens and older cats tend to require more sleep than adult cats, while cats who live in homes with multiple cats may need less time to nap since they have someone around to play with during waking hours.
Duration Cats Sleep For?
Usually, cats sleep for around 12 to 16 hours a day. Yep, that’s out of 24 hours. Some will sleep for a few hours longer – up to an impressive 18 hours – especially young kittens, who are learning their sleep routine, and cats that are getting a bit older.
Often, your beloved kitty will break their sleep up into cat naps (hence the term) throughout the day and night – which is actually called polyphasic sleep. Humans, meanwhile, are monophasic sleepers, meaning we’ll typically head to bed and sleep through the night for a number of hours – before (mostly) staying awake during the day.
Cat naps can last up to 113 minutes (nearly two hours), but they can also be as short as 50 minutes, according to the Sleep Foundation. You may also notice your beloved feline friend wakes up for a burst of energy around dawn and later at dusk – this behaviour classes them as crepuscular.
What Is A Cat Sleep Cycle?
Like humans, cats experience both Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and Non-REM (NREM) sleep.
A quick refresher: the REM sleep phase is the phase in which a human would dream; NREM is deep sleep. Both sleep phases are important because they allow for certain bodily functions that only occur during rest. According to Pet Place, during NREM sleep, your cat’s body repairs itself, building muscles and bones, while strengthening the immune system.
Much of your cat’s sleep will likely be lighter than heavier. You may notice that your cat rests with his eyes shut, yet his ears will move when something makes a sound. This light sleep is due to the fact that cats instinctually stay alert, even when they’re resting, to remain aware of threats.
While most domestic cats face minimal threats, if any, this instinct is, well, instinct. There is no off switch. In order to survive while also getting sufficient rest, cats have mastered the art of light sleep, or ‘cat naps,’ as they are fittingly described.
As an owner, you might be wondering how much sleep a cat should get. While there is no set number of hours they should be asleep, there are some guidelines that can help you determine if your cat is getting enough sleep.
The average amount of time cats spend sleeping each day is between 13 to 14 hours. This may seem like a lot when compared to humans who only sleep around 7–8 hours per night. However, cats are crepuscular animals which means they are most active at sunrise and sunset. Their natural instincts cause them to sleep during the day while they wait for the best time to hunt at night.