Why do cats sleep so much? Are they really sleeping? Or are they just resting? Do they dream? Is cat snoring normal? Read on to find out the reasons behind why cats sleep so much!
Our feline friends can fall asleep anytime, anywhere, under any circumstances. Even a cursory internet search will show thousands of pictures of cats sleeping in cute or crazy positions. But why do cats sleep for such extended periods? Many people have wondered about this question.
To answer “why do cats sleep so much?” let’s first look at how long cats sleep. Cats can sleep for 16 hours a day, and older cats spend even more time resting, up to 20 hours a day.
This sleeping habit is a result of cats’ evolution, feeding habits, and physiological functions. In the wild, cats have to hunt for food, and stalking, chasing, and killing prey requires a lot of energy. Sleep helps cats conserve energy between meals.
When considering “why do cats sleep so much?” it’s about their style of sleeping. During their sleeping time, about three-quarters of it is what we call catnapping. In this state, cats can get all the rest they need but still remain alert enough to wake up at the slightest noise.
You can tell when a cat is in light sleep because their ears twitch and turn toward noises, and their eyes are slightly open. Even when they’re sitting upright, they can enter this dozing mode.
The remaining one-quarter of cats’ sleep time is spent in deep sleep, but older cats might spend 30% to 40% of their time in deep sleep. Cats tend to curl up and close their eyes during deep sleep. Sometimes, they even tuck their tails over their faces like a furry sleep mask. Deep sleep is crucial for the body’s self-renewal and maintaining overall health. This is also when your cat dreams. If you see your cat’s whiskers or paws twitching while asleep, it’s likely dreaming.
Cat snoring occurs when extra skin from the soft palate blocks the airway. It’s most likely to happen when your cat is really relaxed, so it’s not a big deal if you hear your cat occasionally snoring. Snoring is more common in short-nosed or flat-faced cat breeds like Persians, Himalayan, or short-haired cats.
When asked “why do cats sleep so much?” you might also wonder if there’s an issue of sleeping too much or too little. If your cat starts sleeping more or less than usual, it’s a good idea to consult a veterinarian. Excessive sleep might indicate illness or pain, while frequent insomnia could signal problems like hyperthyroidism.