Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?

Sleeping CatThe term “cat nap” isn’t without an explanation; cat owners know that this isn’t just a figure of speech. However, a real cat nap can last for many hours, rather than just a few like the term. Cats sleep up to 75% of their lives away, and many people wonder why this is.

Well, there are many reasons as to why your furbaby needs so much sleep to function; from instinct, to age, and more. Here, we’re going to talk about why kitties sleep so much and whether or not the amount of sleep your cat gets is normal.

First, let’s start out with the basics. Cats are predatory animals. This means that they are built to be continuously hunting their food source, and must maintain a high level of energy for hunting. Cats that aren’t housecats must conserve as much energy as possible, as they don’t know where their next source of food is coming from. This mentality affects the common housecat as well, even though they are in a secure environment.

Your cat’s natural instincts are telling them to catch up on as much sleep as possible. This manifests as anywhere between 16 to 18 hours of sleepytime per day. If you’ve noticed your cat getting extra hyper and running around just as you’re getting ready for bed, this is likely their nighttime instincts popping up. Cats in the wild hunt at dawn and dusk, so good luck linking up your sleeping schedules!

Many animals that are predators tend to remain alert at all times and constantly on the go, which makes you wonder why cats feel comfortable enough to sleep the day away. This is because they are used to not having many natural predators above them in the food chain. Cats aren’t a commonly hunted meal and although they are paranoid and alert, they aren’t in fear for their life. They are more fearful of having their next meal be stolen than they are of being preyed on themselves.

Another reason why house cats sleep so much is because they are bored. Cats enjoy stimulation, and without any adequate toys and distractions, it is easy for them to just close their eyes and head on over to dreamland. This sleepiness and boredom can manifest as a fat cat. It is important to keep your cat active and entertained while you’re at home and away. By providing stimulating toys and perches to look out of, you’ll give your kitty more of a reason to stay awake.

Cute ginger cat sleeps on warm knit sweaterYour cat may sleep more or less depending on their age. Kittens younger than one year have a lot of growing to do, and tend to sleep almost all day long. You shouldn’t worry, as this is normal, and usually leads up to very high energy spurts when kitty is actually awake. Between the ages of 1-7 years, it is normal for a cat to sleep for 12 to 18 hours a day. Once the cat has reached maturity, or senior status of over 7 years, they may go back to old habits of sleeping almost all day.

Keep an eye on the amount of sleep that your cat usually gets. If your cat seems to be sleeping way more or less than usual, it may be cause for concern. It is normal for a cat to peacefully sleep while they’re asleep, and be very alert and awake once they’re up. If your cat seems sleepy while they’re awake, you should consult with your veterinarian. There are many illnesses that cause cats to become lazy and lethargic, including anemia, hypothyroidism, and others.

Cats that are overweight may also have problems with energy and sleep. Carrying around extra weight can literally slow your kitty down and could lead to further health ailments. It is entirely possible for a hefty kitty to lose weight and become a svelte feline, but it is important that this change takes place gradually. Cats that lose weight too quickly can develop serious health problems that could be fatal.

Cats love sleep, so let your kitty sleep as much as they need to. As long as your cat seems energetic while they’re awake, there is no reason to be concerned. If your cat seems lethargic during their awake times, you should consult with your veterinarian.