Why do cats sleep so much?

5 March 2021

How much should cats sleep in a day? How much sleep is too much sleep for your cat? Get your questions answered below in this post about why cats sleep so much!

Grey cat sleeping on blue couch

Have you ever wondered, why do cats sleep so much? Is the amount of time that your cat sleeps normal? If you get a cat, just exactly how much of the time can you expect them to sleep? And when could excess sleeping indicate a potentially serious health issue? In this article, we’ll explore the normal sleeping behavior of cats, including how many hours a day cats sleep, how this can change with time, and the best way to measure your cat’s activity and sleep levels.

How much do cats sleep? How many hours a day do cats sleep?

Cats are sleepy creatures, and chance are, your feline-furbaby is probably curled up, snoring happily right now. But how much do cats sleep exactly? According to veterinary experts, cats normally sleep anywhere from 12 – 20 hours each day1. That’s right; cat’s sleep twice as much as you!

The exact hours a cat sleeps vary depending on factors such as those below:

  • Age: senior cats have less energy and therefore tend to sleep more than younger cats. Kittens, like babies, require lots of sleep to aid in their development.
  • Activity level: cats will need to sleep more after intense bouts of physical activity.
  • Health condition: if your cat is suffering from a disease, for example cat dementia, their sleeping cycle may be affected.

Did you know? It is now possible to track your cat’s physical activity and sleep each day with the help of a GPS tracker and activity monitor for cats.

Cat Location & Activity Tracker 👉

Below, we’ll explore the warning signs – sleeping patterns which may indicate that your cat is sick and needs veterinary assistance. But first let’s answer the main question: why do cats sleep so much?

Why do cats sleep so much?

Why is your feline friend always seemingly sleepy? Well, cats have evolved to sleep for long periods during the day. Doing so allows them to conserve energy, which in the wild they would use for hunting, chasing, and capturing their next meal. After all, cats are natural hunters (their hunting instinct is one of the main reasons why cats run away).

Just like their big cat counterparts, your housetrained kitty still adheres to a schedule of hunting, feasting and sleeping2.

Since cats in the wild are typically both predator and prey2, it makes sense that they need a lot of energy to hunt and bring home their next meal, plus stay alert to avoid becoming a snack themselves! Even the most domesticated of cats are still driven by this ancient biological programming.

Because of this, cats tend to sleep more lightly than humans and take several cat naps throughout the day, rather then one long, deep sleep session at night.

The healing benefits of cat naps

To understand why cats sleep so much, put yourself in your cats shoes (paws?) and take a cat nap yourself. Intentional napping or sleeping for a period of 10-20 minutes – also known as a power nap – can help to restore a person’s energy. And studies have shown that napping can offer us hoomans several other benefits, including reducing sleepiness, aiding memory and regulating emotions3. No wonder cats love to sleep – and you too probably! 😴

Is my cat sleeping too much?

Changes in sleep patterns may be normal, but they could also indicate illness in your cat4. So if you notice that your cat is sleeping more than normal, plus displaying other worrisome behavior such as your cat not eating, this could indicate a serious health issue. Your cat might sleep too much if they are suffering from:

  • obesity
  • nutritional deficiency
  • old age
  • cat dementia
  • feline depression
  • infection
  • diabetes
  • arthritis
  • poisoning

Take your cat to the vet if your cat sleeps more than 20 hour a day, does not wake up easily or respond to stimuli, or if your cat shows any other worrying signs of illness. When it comes to your kitty’s health, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

grey cat sleeping on orange surface

Cat not sleeping enough?

Similarly, if you are concerned that your cat is not sleeping enough, pay attention to your cat’s behavior and seek veterinary assistance if necessary. There are some illnesses which might lead to a cat sleeping less than normal, including:

  • hyperthyroidism
  • hypertension
  • feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)4

How to monitor your cat’s daily sleep & activity

Do you want to get more detailed data and insights on how much your cat sleeps per day? This might be especially useful for example if you have an overweight cat who *should* be getting more exercise. It’s possible to measure your cats rest and active minutes, calories burned, and even set activity goals for your cat with the help of the Tractive GPS Cat Tracker. Not only that, but you’ll always be able to see the exact location of your kitty in the companion Tractive GPS mobile app.

Tractive GPS & Activity Tracker

So, that’s all for today about why cats sleep so much! Did you learn something new? Do you have another topic you’d like to see explored on the Tractive blog? Then write to us and let us know! We’re also happy to answer your questions about the Tractive GPS Cat Tracker, activity monitoring for cats, and more! 😃

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