Cats come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and personalities, but they share one thing in common: they love sleeping. In fact, cats sleep on average around 15 hours per day, and can even sleep up to 20 hours in a single 24-hour period. That’s a lot of slumber for your feline friend! You might wonder why your cat rests so much—read on to find out more about your cat’s sleeping habits.
Your cat’s physiology has evolved from the great feline predators of the wild, like lions and panthers. This means that stalking and hunting instincts are hardwired into your domesticated feline, and it’s these instincts that are the root cause of your cat’s excessive sleep needs.
The act of hunting takes a tremendous amount of energy for your cat, and she sleeps so much in order to conserve energy for the hunt. That’s why domesticated house cats and giant cats in the wild both tend to sleep a lot, especially during the day—they’re saving up their energy for the coming hunt, whether they’re chasing antelope or just stalking a cat toy under the dining room table.
It turns out that cats go back and forth between a dozing state and a deep sleep while they’re sleeping. The dozing period lasts anywhere from a few minutes to a half hour, and your cat remains semi-alert during this time and tends to position herself so that she can easily hop up and move quickly if necessary. The deep sleep portion of the cycle, on the other hand, lasts only about five minutes or so before your cat re-enters the dozing period. This back-and-forth continues the entire time your cat is resting.
Cats are classified as crepuscular, which is a term in zoology referring to animals (or insects) that are most active between dusk and dawn. This explains why Fluffy tends to get more active in the evening hours and in the early morning hours. Yes, it’s annoying to have your cat’s antics wake you up at five in the morning, but it’s simply built into your pet’s biology! Throughout the middle part of the day, of course, you’ll usually find your cat napping peacefully.
Do you want to learn more about your cat’s sleeping habits? Do you think Fluffy’s sleep schedule seems off? Contact us to learn more.