Tip 49 – Sleeping cats – My cat sleeps all the time
Cats sleep a lot and it is perfectly normal. In fact an average house cat will sleep the majority of its life away. It’s one of their most favorite activities and they are really good at it. Most cats will sleep about 16 hours a day, and some even more than that. Whoever said it’s a dog’s life, obviously never spent time with a cat.
Cat sleeping patterns
The expression cat nap refers to the light sleeping pattern of most cats, most of the time. About three quarters of a cat’s sleeping time is light sleep. The cat can awaken very quickly, and to an observer it looks like they are not fully asleep. Their eyelids may even be slightly open. Again this is genetically related and governed by evolution. A cat that can awaken quickly can more easily escape from predators or fight with possible intruders. The remaining 25 per cent of a cat’s sleeping pattern is deep sleep. This is where they do their dreaming. Their paws and faces may twitch during this type of sleep.
Why do they need all that sleep?
Most wild cats use huge amounts of energy when they hunt and they need to conserve energy in between their hunting activity. When a cat (or any living thing for that matter) sleeps, it uses very little energy. The longer a cat sleeps, the more energy it conserves and the less often it has to hunt. Although today’s domestic cats don’t really need to hunt, their genes are still the same as before we took them into our homes as pets.
Kittens tend to sleep just as much or more than grown cats. This is primarily due to the fact that growth hormone is only released during sleep.
The actual diet of a cat is also a factor. Cats are carnivores. Eating meat makes you sleepy and anyone who’s just had a huge steak can attest to this.
• It should be noted that any drastic change in a cat’s behaviour can indicate an illness or problem. If your cat normally sleeps only 14 hours for example, and recently it has been sleeping much more, the cat should be checked by a vet.