Cat naps – why do cats sleep as much as they do?

It's an easy life - cats sleep for around 16 hours of every day
It’s an easy life – cats sleep for around 16 hours of every day

Cats tend to sleep for about 75 per cent of the day, but why is that? Not because they are – as some people believe – nocturnal. In fact, cats are most active at the very start and very end of each day – dusk and dawn activity is usually when prey would be about and are the times that cats in the wild would hunt.

Eating lots of meat – or cat food – can also make cats sleepy. It’s the same tired feeling that we as humans get after gorging on a Sunday roast.

Cats conserve their energy by sleeping through the hottest parts of the day – an average of 16 hours every day, usually right in the middle of a spot of sunshine and again during the darkest part of the evening since they cannot see in pitch blackness so there’s no point them being awake then.

Cats are naturally light sleepers so 75 per cent of their sleep is light and they are easily woken up. The only times they are truly flat out – or in deep sleep – is a mere 4 hours per day and it is during these hours that they twitch and chase mice or catch birds in flight.

Your cat will sleep far more if it is old. Where older humans tend to need less sleep, the reverse is true for kitties. Older cats slow down and are less active in general so sleeping is an easy pastime for them. Kittens less than 1 year old also sleep more than adult cats and this is because they are using their sleep time to grow.

Fat and ill cats also sleep loads more than healthy and regular weighted ones. Illness like anaemia can cause lethargy and excess weight simply extols more effort to move around and do stuff so your fat kitty has to sleep more to replenish that energy.

Boredom is another snooze factor – so if you need or want your cat to sleep the night through like a good child, the solution is easy – wake them up during the fay and play with them to tire them out then they will sleep at night. By keeping then active during the daylight hours, your cat will naturally adjust his or her sleeping routine to kip overnight instead of during the day.

If you notice any radical changes in your cat’s sleeping routine – for example less sleep or even more than usual – then take note as this could require a vet check up to ensure your kitty is not ill.

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