Deciding Where Exactly Your Cat or Kitten Should Sleep
Cats sleep about 15 hours a day (jealous?), so where they end up sleeping can be extremely important. The nice thing about cats is they can sleep virtually anywhere, but where is actually the best place for them to sleep? Should they have their own cat bed? Can they sleep with humans? What about new kittens vs. older cats? Here’s what you need to know.
Cat Sleep Cycles
If it seems like your cat is sleeping all the time, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean you have a lazy cat. Experienced cat owners know that cats sleep about 15 hours a day, and some can even sleep up to 20 out of 24 hours at times. Why?
It’s important to understand that cats are crepuscular, which means they are neither diurnal nor nocturnal, but are most active in the hours in between, just after dusk and just before dawn. This means when most humans are winding down, cats are gearing up! The reverse is also true.
When you are at your most active, cats are conserving energy. This served their ancestors well in the wild, as with their excellent night vision, the twilight hours provided terrific hunting opportunities.
It’s also important to realize that cats are usually light sleepers (we’ve all heard of the “catnap”), so while they sleep a lot, they are also ready to jump into action and be extremely active at a moment’s notice.
Is It Okay for Cats to Sleep in Bed With Me?
Not only is it okay, it can be a great idea! It’s certainly not detrimental to the cat and can have great health benefits for you. Cats provide a natural source of warmth, reduce stress, and provide a sense of security. Studies have shown that people often have deeper and more restful sleep when they sleep with their cats.
The only downsides to sleeping with your cat are if you have cat allergies, or if you are finding their crepuscular activities to be disruptive to your sleep. Also, if your cat has anything communicable, like fleas or ringworm, you could be affected if you let them in the bed before the problem is resolved.
Where Should New Kittens Sleep?
If you are bringing home a new kitten, it’s a good idea to provide a comfy bed, basket, or box with plenty of blankets and possibly even a hot water bottle. Once they get comfortable with the home, they will probably decide for you where they are going to sleep.
Where Should New Cats Sleep When There Is a Cat in the House Already?
When you are introducing a new cat to a cat home, you want to do everything you can to avoid territorial battles. You should bring a brand-new bed or basket into the home and locate it somewhere where your new cat can go and isolate him or herself from the existing cat.
Do NOT try to force them to sleep together. Once they get used to each other, they will work out the sleeping arrangements among themselves.
What Do Cat Sleep Problems Mean?
Cats can encounter many of the same sleep problems as humans, such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, or insomnia, and often for similar reasons. If you suspect your cat is having a sleep issue, take them to the vet as soon as possible to rule out the possibility of any illness.
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