Given the chance, most cats, from kittens to big lions, will curl up in a warm and fuzzy corner and sleep all day long. Cats, on an average, can sleep for 16 hours a day, some even doze off for 20 hours. Which gets me thinking as to why do cats sleep so much?
Did You Know?
Although they master the art of sleeping, they are light-sleepers. Their propensity to wake up at the slightest noise or touch is a genetic survival mechanism. They have the ability to wake up and be alert quickly.
Sheldon Cooper's song from Big Bang Theory "Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty, Little ball of fur, Happy Kitty, Sleepy Kitty, purr, purr, purr..." perfectly sums up a cat's sleeping habits. Because that's all they need to fall into a deep slumber.
And don't worry, cats can fall asleep anywhere and anytime, so don't bother buying a separate bed for them. That's right, your kitty is capable of sleeping in a basin, in a small confined box, in a clothes dryer, and the list is endless.
A cat's favorite pastime is not grooming itself to look beautiful, or plotting its next attack on the dog, they love to sleep like a lot.. lot, they sleep twice as much as we do. But hey, you can't blame them. Nature has bestowed them with the marvelous ability to sleep for long hours.
Life of a domesticated cat revolves around four basic activities: Eating, Meowing, Playing, and Sleeping. Sometimes, sleeping can encroach on the other three.
One thing that can explain a cat's sleeping pattern is that a majority of cats are crepuscular animals, meaning they are awake during dawn and dusk. So don't assume that your cat was up all night if it wakes you up at 5 am in the morning.
They have inherited this crepuscular nature from their ancestors. Cats are predators thriving on small animals such as rodents, birds, and bugs. Their prey is active during dawn and dusk, and as we all know, hunting involves lots of chasing and running.
So that's why a cat who hunts for itself replenishes that energy during daytime by sleeping for long hours. There are various other reasons why cats need so much sleep, so let's try to understand their habit of hitting the snooze button all the time.
Why do they sleep for so long?
Bored out of their Wits
Have you ever heard the saying, 'All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy'?
Well in this case your kitty becomes dull without any playmate, toys, less playing time with you. Your little fur ball will get easily bored if it is left alone, and to overcome its boredom, sleeping seems to be the best solution.
We go to work, go to school or college, but they are left alone because we are engrossed in our routine life. A bored cat will sleep more than one that has other things to do. To keep their boredom at bay, you can give it toys.
There are battery-operated toys available in the stores, which imitate the movement of a rat or other type of animals. Another cat for company also seems a good option to keep it occupied during the day.
An overweight cat becomes lethargic and slow. It functions and moves very slowly as compared to its counterparts.
An obese cat doesn't share exude the same amount of energy as a regular healthy one. Obesity can slow your kitty down, which leads to further weight gain and future health problems. Such cats generally sleep for more than 16 hours a day because their energy level drops pretty fast, so they easily tire and fall asleep.
Cats are predators by nature, meaning they have to hunt for their prey, which means expending a lot of energy.
The activities of following, chasing, and catching their target requires a lot of physical strength. A hunting cat makes up for this loss by taking small naps in between. While domestic cats don't have to hunt for their survival, they retain this instinct by sleeping for more than 14 hours.
Just like humans need some shut-eye to recover from any illness or disease, the same rule applies to animals as well. Dashing, running, scratching are common sights you see when your cat is awake, but if your feline seems lethargic and sleeps more than usual, then it's time to take it to the vet to check for any illness. Diseases like anemia and hypothyroidism can cause weakness and that may cause your cat sleep so much.
Human babies under the age of one year tend to sleep throughout the day, kittens too sleep more than adult cats while they are growing. A cat's age plays an important role in their sleeping habit.
A newborn kitten will sleep almost the entire day for the first few weeks. Likewise, older cats over 7 years old sleep more than young cats. Health problems like joint issues and arthritis slow them down, which affects their mobility making them sleep periods. How much do cats sleep during the day? Around 16 hours seems normal, but as mentioned earlier, kittens and old cats can sleep for more than 18 hours every day.
It is not a surprising fact that cats are affected by the climate just like us. Other reasons being said, a cat sleeps more if the weather calls for it. Even if it's an indoor-dweller, a cold or rainy day will make your cat sleepy and compel it to search for a warm place to get some shut-eye.
As discussed earlier, cats are crepuscular. They sleep during the darker hours of night and daytime, while all their fellas must be hanging out. Some cats are up all night especially if they are kittens, but having said that, they are flexible enough to change their sleeping patterns to spend some quality time with their loved ones.
They even adjust their sleeping routine to sync with their feeding schedule, that is why an indoor cat is snores away to glory more than an outdoor cat.
On a concluding note, even though they are the sleeping beauties of the domestic animal kingdom, their level of interaction and actions depend a lot on whether they are getting good amount of sleep. Cats may sleep a lot, but once they are awake they make up for lost time.