We all know it: cats love sleeping. Sometimes they love it so much that concerned cat owners wonder if they should be concerned that their cat sleeps so much. Here, our Cumming vets discuss how much is too much sleeping for cats and when you should worry.
Why do cats sleep so much?
Cats have naturally adapted to sleep for extended periods during the day. This behavior helps them conserve energy for activities such as hunting, chasing, and capturing their prey.
While our domesticated cats may not rely on hunting for survival, the instinct to sleep and prepare for potential hunting situations persists.
How many hours does a cat sleep?
The number of hours that your cat needs to sleep and the typical sleeping pattern for your cat will change as they get older:
- Kittens will likely sleep most of the day, with a few brief bursts of energy between meals.
- Adolescent cats may have erratic sleep patterns combined with periods of intense playfulness.
- Adult cats tend to have more set sleeping schedules that average out at about 12 - 20 hours of sleep each day.
- Senior cats will tend to have less energy and reduced mobility which means they will sleep more than younger cats.
Once your cat reaches adulthood, you'll notice that he or she develops a recognizable sleeping and waking pattern. For example, you might notice that your cat gets up just before you do in the morning, spends an hour or two eating and socializing with you, and then goes back to sleep while you go about your business.
Is my cat really asleep?
Cats often take naps and can experience both light and deep sleep, similar to humans. About three-quarters of their sleep time is spent in light sleep, while only a quarter is dedicated to deep sleep.
During light sleep, cats are able to rest and relax while remaining attentive. You might observe that your cat's eyes are partially open or that their ears twitch and move in response to sounds while they are dozing or taking a nap.
When should I be concerned?
It's not about knowing your cat's normal sleep patterns and recognizing when that pattern changes significantly; rather, it's about knowing your cat's normal sleep patterns and recognizing when that pattern changes significantly.
If your cat begins to sleep a lot more or a lot less than is usual for him/her there may be a health issue, it's time to visit your vet.
Cats who begin to sleep more than usual could be ill or experience pain. On the other hand, if your cat begins sleeping less than usual it may be suffering from hyperthyroidism or other conditions.