One thing that everyone may notice about our feline friends is just how much they enjoy napping. But how much sleep is too much? Our Seattle vets talk about why cats sleep so much, how much sleep is normal and when you should be concerned.
Why Do Cats Love To Sleep?
Cats have evolved to sleep for long periods throughout the day. Wild cats need to sleep in order to conserve their energy to hunt, chase and kill their next meal.
Although our house cats may not need to hunt, the instinct to sleep and prepare for the hunt carries on.
What is a Normal Amount of Sleep For Cats?
The number of hours that your cat needs to sleep and the typical sleeping pattern for your cat will change as they get older:
- Kittens will likely sleep most of the day, with a few brief bursts of energy between meals.
- Adolescent cats may have erratic sleep patterns combined with periods of intense playfulness.
- Adult cats tend to have more set sleeping schedules that average out at about 12 - 20 hours of sleep each day.
- Senior cats will tend to have less energy and reduced mobility which means they will sleep more than younger cats.
You will likely find that once your cat reaches adulthood they will begin to form a recognizable pattern of sleeping and wakefulness. For example, you may notice that your cat wakes just before you in the morning, enjoys an hour or two of eating and socializing with you, then returns to sleep while you get on with your busy day.
Does My Cat Actually Sleep the Whole They Have Their Eyes Closed?
Cats do sleep deeply but not always. Much like people, cats are often just snoozing. Light sleeping makes up about 3/4 of your cat's sleep time, with just 1/4 of their sleep time being devoted to deep sleep.
When cats are snoozing lightly they get the rest they require but are still alert. When your cat is snoozing or napping you may notice that their eyes remain slightly open or that their ears still twitch and rotate toward noises.
How Much Sleep is Too Much For My Cat?
There isn't a set amount of sleep to indicate a health problem or health emergency, instead, it's about knowing your cat's normal sleep patterns and recognizing when that pattern changes significantly.
If your cat begins to sleep a lot more or a lot less than is usual for him/her there may be a health issue, it's time to visit your vet.
Cats who begin to sleep more than usual could be ill or experiencing pain. On the other hand, if your cat begins sleeping less than usual they may be suffering from hyperthyroidism or other conditions.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.