Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?
It may seem like every time you see your cat, they are sleeping. Cats will sleep at the most random times and in the most random places. Have you ever found yourself wondering if the amount of time your cat sleeps is normal? It probably is normal because cats can spend anywhere from fifteen to twenty hours a day sleeping or resting. Cats have a natural instinct to sleep, rest, and prepare to hunt…even house cats. Cats in the wild need to sleep in order to conserve their energy to hunt for their next meal.
Not all cats are the same, nor do they have the same sleep schedules. Cats adapt to their environments and surroundings to create their routines. A cat’s sleep schedule should only be a cause for concern if it suddenly changes or if they are displaying signs that something else is wrong.
Reasons Cats Sleep so Much Include:
Cats Sleep to Recharge
As humans, we recharge when we sleep. Cats and other animals are the same way. Getting proper sleep is important for a cat’s immune system and overall health. Your cats sleep patterns may be helping them stay healthy and live an enriching life.
Cats Sleep When They Are Sick
If you haven’t seen your cat moving around much lately, it may be because he or she is not feeling well. Cats tend to hide and are less active when they are sick or unwell. It can be hard to determine if your cat is sleeping because they are sick since cats can sleep for up to twenty hours a day; however, if you keep an eye on your cat’s normal behaviors and sleep patterns, you will be able to tell when something is wrong.
If your cat is overweight or obese, you will most likely find them sleeping or resting more frequently. Cats that are overweight may have a difficult time getting around because it is painful when they move or walk. If your cat is overweight, your veterinarian can give you advice on a good diet or feeding regimen.
Just because your cat is sleeping a lot doesn’t necessarily mean they are sick. That’s why it is important to be aware of your cat’s normal behaviors.
Cats Sleep When They Are Stressed
A cat’s biggest coping tool when they are stressed or scared is to hide and be less active. Your cat may get anxious during storms or when you are away from the house for long periods of time. To cope with the stress, your cat may just resort to sleeping. Some situations are unavoidable, but there are ways you can ease your cat’s stress. Try to stick to a routine with your cat and make sure they have their own space where they can sleep or play.
If you create a peaceful home environment for your cat, this can also help ease their stress and anxiety. Stress can cause cats to have negative health consequences.
Cats Sleep When They Are Bored
When there is nothing for your cat to do, he or she may sleep more. Although cats still need their sleep, there are ways you can enrich your cat’s life to cut down on their boredom. You can purchase or build an outdoor enclosure so your cat can safely spend some time outside. Cat trees and climbing shelves are also a great way for cats to stay entertained.
Providing toys to your cat is another simple way to keep them busy and entertained. If you introduce new and different toys to your cat on a regular basis, you will find out their preference and what they enjoy playing with. If your cat stays entertained, he or she is less likely to be bored.
Cats Sleep to Conserve Energy
By instinct, cats are predators (and also prey). Most predators conserve their energy by resting and sleeping. They naturally conserve their energy for times when they will be hunting. It’s not just cats in the wild that do this; house cats have this natural instinct as well. Even if your cat is not a hunter, it is in their blood to sleep and conserve their energy.
Some Cats Are Nocturnal
If you think all your cat does is sleep, you may be right. However, some cats are nocturnal, meaning they sleep most of the day and are awake at night. Most house cats will adjust to their owner’s schedule and routine of sleeping at night, but not all cats do. Some cats hold on to their ancient roots of acting as predators during the night and sleeping (or conserving their energy) during the day.
Cats can also be described as crepuscular which means they are most active at dawn and dusk. Cats that have spent a good amount of time outside can develop the habit of being awake at night because that’s when their prey is most active.
Cats Aren’t Always Fully Asleep
Have you ever heard the term “cat nap” and wondered what it meant? A cat nap is a short, light sleep. Even if your cat appears to be asleep, not all sleep is a deep sleep. Sometimes cats take a cat nap and just hit the pause button for a little bit. Your cat may appear to be asleep with their eyes partially or fully closed, but then you will see their ears or tail move. Your cat is most likely listening to the environment and his or her surroundings. During a cat nap, a cat is not in a deep sleep and they are ready to spring into action.
Cats are always on alert – even when they are sleeping. They will wake up to a loud noise and instantly be awake and alert. This is a protective mechanism most cats are born with. Cats in the wild need to always be on alert to keep themselves safe from predators and to be able to catch prey if the opportunity presents itself.