Why Do Cats Sleep so Much?

Why Do Cats Sleep so Much?

They are notorious for it, but why do cats do sleep so much?

It is natural for cats to sleep as much as they do. Cats will sleep around 12-16 hours a day. And this isn’t all deep sleep, either. Almost 75% of those hours are closer to napping or resting.

But this is part of a natural behavior cycle that should also include eating, grooming, and plenty of play, bonding, and hunting stimulation.  

Crepuscular, Diurnal, and Nocturnal Behavior

Maybe we find cats so strange because they like to be active during a strange time of day. Most animals, including humans, have a circadian rhythm, a 24-hour cycle that sets our sleep patterns. 

We, humans, are diurnal animals, active during daylight hours. And nocturnal animals, like owls, are active during nighttime hours. 

Cats Are Awake During Twilight Hours

But cats, of course, do something slightly in between. Cats are crepuscular animals, which means they are active during twilight. 

Because twilight falls between dawn and sunrise, or sunset and dusk, similar lighting can stimulate wakefulness. For instance, moonlight and overcast days can lead to increased activity since these conditions simulate twilight.  

Does My Cat Sleep Too Much?

Since cats naturally sleep and nap so much, it could come as a surprise to learn that they can oversleep. 

Cats Have Circadian Rhythms

Because cat behavior is regularly strange, it can be easy to forget they’re a lot like us. After all, your cat is a social, sensitive individual who needs attention and love, just like you! And without adequate exercise and regular movement, we can struggle to get into a healthy circadian rhythm, too. 

Bored Cats Oversleep

When too much sleep isn’t spread out between much-needed activity and play, this can be a sign of a bored cat. And this oversleeping and general lack of stimulation could lead to unusually erratic nocturnal behavior. 

Here are some great ways to encourage better sleep and rest quality for your cat:

Get To Know Your Cat’s Sleeping Habits

Your cat's habits are different from others. And this has a lot to do with the fact that you are different from other cat owners.

Because your habits include how you care for your cat, your feline friend becomes attuned to you. This is a natural survival mechanism.

And that’s why loving and knowing your cat well is the best way to combat unusual sleeping habits. When you know your cat’s regular habits well, you will know when something is off. 

Exercised Cats Sleep Best

A bored cat might get moody and dejected from a lack of attention or play. However, if you have a busy schedule and struggle to find time to play with your cat, there are workarounds. 

Having plenty of toys around that your cat can independently engage with will give them more stimulation more often. And a cat that is engaged and encouraged to play will have a better quality of rest. 

The Best Toys to Get Your Cat Moving

An Automatic Laser Chasing Toy is an excellent tool for keeping cats engaged even when parents can't be present. Keeping a few manually operated laser pointers around your home will ensure you engage with your cat even when you're feeling lazy.

Many interactive toys move independently and can offer your cats hours of play. The Electronic Yo-Yo Cat Teasing Toy engages your cat to jump, simulate hunting and capture. 

Scratch your cat's itch for ambush, napping and catnip with a setup like the Cat Tunnel with Dangling Ball. Because the ball accomodates catnip, this can incentivize activity for particularly lazy cats. 

Regular Feeding Schedules for Cats

Ensuring that your cat eats high-quality food on a regular schedule will help to regulate their circadian rhythms. Many veterinarians recommend feeding your cat their largest meal closer to your bedtime.

Because large meals induce sleepiness, this can encourage your cat to fall into a sleeping pattern that at least begins a bit like yours.

But large meals can be tough work for the digestive systems. For this reason, cats benefit from having ideal eating conditions. And bowls that are properly shaped for your cat's preferred eating stance will help with healthy digestion.   

This Anti-Slip Adjustable Tilting Food Bowl, for example, is designed specifically for cats of all sizes and needs. 

Cats Sleep Well When They're Loved!

We’re pretty sure your cat reminds you often enough, but we thought we’d put this in there as the last point. Cuddles, affection and play let your cat know they are a beloved part of your life.

And regular attention makes them feel safe, allowing them to explore and be themselves. When a cat feels secure exploring their home, they will be naturally stimulated.

By placing toys they love around the house, you will ensure they have an opportunity to be engaged and active often. The simplest toys, like these Cute Chewy Catnip Pillows, can make a big difference.

A Cozy Cat Bed For Sweet Cat Naps

Finally, when cats are focused on their favorite activity, they need a good place to do it. Because cats can be picky about sleeping arrangements, it's good to browse your options. Here at CatToyz, we have curated a wonderful selection of dreamy cat beds

 

References

Fetch by WebMD (2021) “Cat Night Behaviour Keeping You Awake? Causes of Cat Night Activity,” WebMD, WebMD, [online] Available from: https://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/nighttime-activity-cats#1 (Accessed 9 May 2021).  

Kotteman, K. (2021) “Sleeping Habits of Cats: How Do Cats Sleep?,” Sleep.org, [online] Available from: https://www.sleep.org/cats-sleep-habits/ (Accessed 10 May 2021).  

Memphis Emergency Vet (2021) “Animal Emergency Center,” My cat sleeps constantly, when should I worry?, [online] Available from: https://www.aecmemphis.com/site/vet-blog-memphis/2020/02/13/my-cat-sleeps-constantly-when-should-i-worry (Accessed 9 May 2021). 

 

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