If you are a cat lover and you own a cat, you are likely to have a lot of pictures of your cat on your phone. Everyone loves to look at these cute pictures of our feline friends. If you pay attention, then you will notice that most of them are sleeping in their pictures. Most of these pictures must have them sleeping. This is because they are asleep most of the time. They have mastered the art of sleeping and looking cute while doing it. If you have a cat as a pet for the first time and you see it sleeping for a long period, don’t worry about it. In fact, you should worry if it is not sleeping for a significant time. Cats can sleep anywhere between 12 hours to 16 hours. For young kittens or older cats, this number gets higher and they can sleep for up to 20 hours a day. So, if your cat is sleeping in that range, there is no reason to be concerned. It is normal for cats to sleep for such a long period. But this raises the question that why do cats sleep so much. We are here to find the answer. Most of it has to do with their genetics, their evolution, and how they have grown and survived since the time they existed. Let’s take a look at the reasons for this sleeping pattern of cats in detail.
The most important reason why cats have evolved for such long periods has to do with their history. We will understand by looking at their habits from the early past. They are natural predators just like their distant cousins- the big cats. Even if you take a look at wild cats, you will see that they have to hunt their food. Wild cats are predators by nature and they need to save their energy to hunt, chase, and kill their next meal. If they lack energy at the time of the hunt, they will starve. So, having a high level of energy at the time of the hunt is essential for their survival. And the best way to make sure that you have that energy for the hunt is to be at rest when you are not hunting. So yes, there is the answer to the question of why do cats sleep so much. Cats sleep to conserve their energy. All that pouncing on prey and hunting it takes up a lot of time and energy. Optimum sleep is essential for the healthy living of a cat. Even though they are domesticated now and they feel safe and protected, their habit of sleeping has remained with them. If you are thinking that your cat is lazy, I think it would love to tell you that it is not the case. It is the biological impulse that she has retained from her wild ancestors. This is a trait that once made sure that they would not starve to death.
Now let’s take a look at the timing of sleep of the cats. It will help us to better understand why do cats sleep so much. Cats are crepuscular in nature. It means that they are most active in the twilight hours. This means that they are most active between dusk and dawn. This is not the same as nocturnal animals. While nocturnal animals are active at night and sleep through the day, cats start being active at dusk and they want to get rest after dawn. This is why your cats love to sleep after breakfast whereas you are getting ready for work. This should answer questions like how long do cats sleep at night and do cats sleep at night. They actually sleep the most during the day and are active after dusk.
We can understand why do cats tend to sleep for such long periods a lot better if we take a look at their sleeping pattern. The answer lies in how they sleep. Just like us, cats love to snooze. For three-quarters of their sleep, they are in a light doze mode. This is called slow-wave sleep (SWS). Even though the cat may look asleep to us, in reality, it is ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice. For the remaining quarter, they will go into a deep sleep. That is when they enter REM Sleep. This is when they are truly asleep and they are unaware of their surroundings. If you were wondering do cats dream, then the answer is that they do. They are most likely to do it in this period. The way these works is that they go into the doze mode first. This usually lasts for a period of 30 minutes. Then they enter the deep sleep mode for a period of 5 minutes. Then they switch back to the doze mode and then back again to the deep sleep mode. This keeps going on for the total duration of their sleep.
Cats are lovely creatures and we love them with all our hearts. They reciprocate that love really well and that is why they are now one of our most beloved pets in the world. They inhibit a lot of habits that may seem weird to us. These might be habits that we don’t understand. But if we take the time to educate ourselves on their life, we can empathize with them and understand them. If you are concerned that your cat is sleeping so much, then understand that sleeping too much isn’t really a concept for cats. They listen to their bodies and act accordingly. They are habituated to rest according to their needs. On the other hand, you should be concerned if your cat isn’t sleeping enough. Initially, you can try to make sure that the cats get a lot of activity and play in the time that they are awake. Cats love to play when they are active and they would love to give you all their attention when they are up. If it doesn’t fix the sleeping pattern, then take your cat to a veterinarian. Now that you have a better understanding of why they have these sleeping patterns, you can empathize with them and deal with them a lot better.