Cats sleep a lot. I mean, a LOT. To be fair, a lot of animals do, but cats are definitely some of the most notorious ones when it comes to spending their time snoozing.
To get down to brass tacks, cats spend around 12-16 hours asleep per day. They can actually spend up to 20 hours a day sleeping in some cases! This is because cats are crepuscular, which means that they’re most active during dawn and dusk—the same time humans tend to be asleep. So these nocturnal creatures are just doing their best to accommodate us!
Even though we’re usually fast asleep while our fur babies are at their most energetic, they’re still able to sneak in a few naps while we’re awake as well. It’s especially common for them to doze off on the couch during the middle of the day if we’re working from home or trying to get some work done around the house.
Cats spend a lot of time sleeping. In fact, they sleep an average of 16 hours a day, and unlike humans, they can sleep in any position. But why do cats need so much sleep? Well, it turns out that cats are hard-wired to hunt small prey. In order to be ready for the next mouse-chase opportunity, cats can fall asleep almost instantly and wake up just as quickly.
This ability to go from deep sleep to full alertness is called polyphasic sleep. Polyphasic sleep means that the cat’s brain cycles through two types of sleeping states: REM sleep and non-REM sleep (also called NREM or slow wave sleep). So, when you see your cat running around like crazy or staring at you with wide eyes in the middle of the night, she might actually be dreaming about catching that mouse!
How Many Hours a Day Do Cats Sleep?
More than half of cats sleep between 12 and 18 hours a day, and nearly 40% of cats sleep more than 18 hours per day. As they grow older, a majority of cats sleep for more hours each day than they did in their younger years.
How Long Do Cats Sleep?
Cats have a polyphasic sleep pattern, which means they sleep multiple times each day rather than in one, long period, like humans generally sleep. These cat naps average 78 minutes in length. However, cats commonly sleep for periods of time ranging from 50 to 113 minutes.
When You Be Concerned About Your Cat’s Sleep?
There are a number of natural reasons your cat’s sleep habits may change. For example, if your cat has had a lot of activity for an extended period of time, they may require more sleep than usual. A change of environment, such as a move or addition of a new family member, may impact your cat’s sleep habits. As your cat ages, they also require more sleep.
However, unusual sleep or excessive wakefulness patterns may indicate an underlying health condition. If they are experiencing illness, you may observe other changes in your pet, such as a change in bathroom habits, signs of disorientation, or unusual weight gain or loss.
Excessive Sleep and Lethargy
Kidney Disease: Cats with kidney disease tend to eat less food, drink more water, sleep more, and be more vocal at night.
Deafness: Deaf cats sleep more, possibly because their sleep is not as easily disturbed by sound. Other symptoms include increased vocalizations during the day and at night, reduced appetite, and weight loss.
Hypothyroidism: This thyroid hormone deficiency can appear in juvenile and adult cats14. Symptoms include lethargy, hair loss, and decreased appetite.
Restlessness and Decreased Sleep
Lack of Stimulation: If your cat is overly active, especially at night, they may not be stimulated enough during the day. It may help to play with them regularly. Some people also choose to allow them outside to exercise.
Hyperthyroidism: Cats with hyperthyroidism have high thyroid hormone levels15. Your cat may become excessively excitable. They may also have an increased appetite even though they are losing weight.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV): FIV affects both domestic and wild cats by impairing their immune systems16. This disease greatly disturbs sleep patterns, causing cats to have difficulty falling asleep17 and sleep less overall.
Cats are well known for sleeping a lot. They can spend up to 16 hours a day sleeping, and this is perfectly normal. In fact, if your cat is sleeping less than 12 hours a day, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue.
There are many reasons why cats need so much sleep. First, they are nocturnal creatures, meaning they are awake at night. In nature, they use this time to hunt and eat. If you have an indoor cat who sleeps all day while you’re away and then wakes up in the evening when you get home, this could be because they have nothing to do during the day except sleep and then wake up at night when you return home.