How Many Hours Do Cats Sleep A Day? And Other Facts About Kitty Rest
As much as you love your cat, there’s no way around admitting the truth — your kitty can be quite the mystery. Between their unexplained zoomies and shifts in mood, it can be hard to know what’s going on in that fuzzy little head of theirs. What’s normal when it comes to cat habits anyway?
If you ever wondered if your feline friend is sleeping too much or confused about why one second your cat is deep in a snooze fest and wide awake not even five minutes later — we have the answers you’ve been looking for.
The Truth Behind the Cat Naps
Kitty sleep patterns are not a one-size-fits-all, but there are some truths behind what’s going on with your furry friend.
The term “cat nap” originated because you can often find a cat sleeping for short bursts frequently throughout the day. Most cat naps are 15 to 30 minutes long — just long enough to regain some of their energy for running around the house (hello, cat zoomies). Regular sleeping is a normal part of cat health.
But it does add up. How many hours do cats sleep in a day? The average cat typically will sleep anywhere from 12 to 18 hours in a single day. The majority of that statistic (a whopping 40 percent of cats) will actually sleep even more than 18 hours per day.
But Are They Really Sleeping That Long?
You’re right. Sometimes Mr. Whiskers really isn’t deeply dreaming the day away. In fact, often, when your furbaby is catching those quick snoozes, they are mostly resting their eyes. This is because cats are predatory by nature and instinctually need to be ready for anything. By sleeping in short bursts, they can keep their energy up and be poised and ready to go if they need to pounce (or run away and hide under the bed from unwanted house guests).
By nature, cats are crepuscular, which means they have two very distinctive peaks of activity. One is early in the day before sunrise, and the other one is in the evening around sunset. So if you noticed your cat gets extra wild during those times, don’t worry! It’s completely normal.
Kittens and Older Cats Tend to Sleep more
If you thought the answer to how many hours do cats sleep in a day was shockingly long — hold on to your hats. Kittens and older cats sleep even longer than the average-aged adult cat.
Newborn kitties sleep for 24 hours a day, growing as they nap and nurse. While it’ll decrease to that 12- to 18-hour sweet spot as they mature, once they hit their elderly years, they’ll start snoozing more again (so don’t get too concerned if your old pal is sleeping more as he gets up there in age).
Cat REM Sleep is Significantly Shorter Than Yours
While the question started with wondering how many hours cats sleep in a day, another point of curiosity has to do with their REM cycle. Do cats have the longest REM cycles ever due to how much they’re sleeping? Nope!
The truth is, cats are the masters of that short cat nap, and as a result, they also have very short REM cycles. This means that they’re able to get more meaningful sleep in shorter amounts of time (Wouldn’t that be nice? Most of us take one 30 minute nap and still feel like a truck has hit us even with a good shot of espresso afterward).
A cat’s REM sleep will usually only be about 6 minutes total compared to the average human who spends anywhere from 90 to 120 minutes in their REM cycle.
Deep sleep with REM cycle and dreaming is necessary for optimum cat health. You can tell when your cuddly buddy dreams when he’s twitching and making little noises.
There is a Reason Behind Them Sleeping On Your Face
Here’s a cat fact you’ve been probably dying to know — why does it seem like your head is your cat’s favorite sleeping spot? This one doesn’t really have anything to do with cat health. The truth is, there are two main reasons why Mr. Whiskers is parking his sleepy bum on your face.
First, your face is just comfortable. Shocking, right? But your head is the warmest part of your body and where heat escapes from. Your cat is literally using you for a space heater (such an honor, am I right?).
The other reason is also a self-preservation tactic on their part. Cats don’t like to be disturbed when they’re sleeping, and you’re most likely not going to move your head around in your sleep. Your arms and legs may flail, but that noggin of yours is pretty stable.
So I guess you could say you’re their safe space? That’s probably the closest you’ll get to a compliment from your furbaby today, so I’d take it.
While cats do sleep a lot, too much sleep can be a sign of cat health issues, so paying extra attention to your cat’s habits is important. Excessive sleep and lethargy could be a sign of these cat health problems:
- Kidney Disease: Other symptoms of extra sleep include eating less food, drinking more water and being more vocal at night.
- Hypothyroidism: Other symptoms other than extra sleep include overall lethargy, hair loss and decreased appetite.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, if your cat is sleeping significantly less or you’ve noticed them becoming more restless while they snooze, here are the cat health issues you may want to look into:
- Lack of Stimulation: If your cat is especially overactive at night, try playing with them more intentionally. A lack of stimulation can cause sleep issues.
- Hyperthyroidism: Other symptoms other than less sleep include an increased appetite despite losing weight and acting super excitable.
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV): This disease impairs a cat’s immune system, disturbing sleep patterns and sleeping less overall.
If you’re unsure if your kitty is hitting the normal levels of how many hours cats sleep in a day or you suspect other cat health issues, consult with your veterinarian.
Skoon Makes for Purr-fectly Peaceful Cat-mosphere
It’s hard to catch some much-needed Zs if you’re busy doing kitty clean-up chores constantly (and even harder for Mr. Whiskers to get his catnap on if his whole zone is stinky like yesterday’s tinkles). That’s why Skoon works extra hard to provide cat lovers, and their furbabies with the most absorbent cat litter on the market delivered straight to their door.