Popular Misconceptions and Myths About Cats and Sleeping

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cat sleep habits

Is My Cat Sleeping Too Much? Why Is She Up All Night?

If there’s one thing we know about cats, it’s that they love to nap. For some cat humans, sleeping and napping are prized as some of a kitty’s most appealing features. Cats always seem to be ready to cuddle when you’re looking for a companion to catch a few zzzz’s, and if you’re not available to amuse them, they can always grab a sunbeam or a cushion and pop off to cat dreamland for a while.

But how much do cats really sleep? And how much is too much when it comes to napping? Here are some myths and misconceptions about cats and sleep that you may not have know about.

Myth: Cats Sleep 15 Hours a Day

In fact, the average cat sleeps more than 15 hours a day! Cats tend to sleep 16 hours a day or more, with very young and very old cats sleeping around 20 hours a day.

Myth: Cats Dream of Chasing Mice

Obviously, we don’t know what cats dream about, but they do dream, and it can look like they’re dreaming of chasing mice when they move around in their sleep. Like us, cats enjoy both non-REM and REM (dreaming) sleep.

However, they do not experience the deep delta wave sleep that humans do, and can snap to alertness at the slightest sound, hence, the “cat nap.” This gives them the evolutionary advantage they need in order to survive in the wild.

cat sleep habits

Myth: Cats Sleep So Much Because They Are Lazy

Cats are not lazy – you can probably tell this if you’ve ever seen your cat get the scent of prey, like a small mouse in the house, for instance. Cats are some of nature’s most efficient hunters, and part of that efficiency plan is to lie dormant most of the time when they are not hunting.

Also, it may interest you to know that cats are crepuscular, meaning that they are neither diurnal nor nocturnal, but are at their most active in the twilight times in between. That means that about half the time your cats are at their most energetic, you are sleeping… that is, if they let you.

For Cats, How Much Sleep Is Actually Too Much?

So how much sleep is too much when it comes to your cat? The trust is, as long as your cat is awake sometimes, and appears to be breathing normally when he or she is asleep, there is almost no amount of sleep that is too much for your cat. Newborn kittens sleep almost all the time, and the older your cats get, the more time they will probably spend sleeping, too.

If your cat is sleeping for longer amounts of time more recently than in the past, check your pet’s gums. If they are pale, your cat may be anemic, which is a serious medical condition that should be addressed immediately. If not, you may still want to take your cat to the vet just to get them checked out and make sure everything is okay, but in most cases, you will probably find that everything is fine. Excessive sleeping by itself is not a sign of illness in cats.

What About When Your Cat Is Awake?

When your cat wakes up, he or she has usually stored up a lot of energy and is going to want to burn it off. Help him or her with toys that let your cat practice his or her natural, instinctive hunting behavior. For great toys and other accessories for cats, visit PDX Pet Design now.

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