Cats love to nap. In the morning, the afternoon, the evening, any time at all. But this can lead us to sometimes wonder if they are sleeping too much. Our St. Louis vets talk about whether or not a cat can sleep too much and what to do if you think their sleeping habits are caused by a health concern.
So do cats enjoy sleeping so much?
Cats have evolved to sleep for long periods throughout the day. Wild cats need to sleep in order to conserve their energy to hunt, chase and kill their next meal.
Although our house cats may not need to hunt, the instinct to sleep and prepare for the hunt carries on.
How much sleep should my cat be getting?
If you find that your cat is napping constantly then you may wonder how much cats sleep and how many hours should a cat be sleeping. Here is the average amount that a cat sleeps at each stage in their life:
- Kittens will likely sleep most of the day, with a few brief bursts of energy between meals.
- Adolescent cats may have erratic sleep patterns combined with periods of intense playfulness.
- Adult cats tend to have more set sleeping schedules that average out at about 12 - 20 hours of sleep each day.
- Senior cats will tend to have less energy and reduced mobility which means they will sleep more than younger cats.
By the time your kitten has grown into an adult, they should have sleeping habits that you can easily recognize making it easier to spot deviations from their usual pattern. For example, you may notice that your cat wakes just before you in the morning, enjoys an hour or two of eating and socializing with you, and then returns to sleep while you get on with your busy day.
Does my cat actually sleep the whole time they are lying down?
Cats do spend some time in a deep sleep but not always. Much like people, cats are often just snoozing. Light sleeping makes up about 3/4 of your cat's sleep time, with just 1/4 of their sleep time being devoted to deep sleep.
Light sleep allows your cat to rest while still being alert enough to know what is happening around them. When your cat is snoozing or napping you may notice that their eyes remain slightly open or that their ears still twitch and rotate towards noises.
When should I be concerned about my cat's sleeping habits?
There isn't a set amount of sleep to indicate a health problem or health emergency, instead, it's about knowing your cat's normal sleep patterns and recognizing when that pattern changes significantly.
If your cat is sleeping much more than normal then it may be a good idea to reach out to your vet to schedule an examination.
Cats who begin to sleep more than usual could be ill or experiencing pain. On the other hand, if your cat begins sleeping less than usual they may be suffering from hyperthyroidism or other conditions that will require diagnostic services from a vet.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.