Your cat couldn’t seem further away from his wild relatives than when he’s snuggled up in his favorite chair. But don’t be fooled! Your cat has inherited the same sleeping routine as its Serengeti dwelling kin.
Days are for sleeping
Do you ever feel like your cat spends more time sleeping than awake? That’s because it does! The average cat spends between 12 – 18 hours a day sleeping. This is a behaviour that is naturally built into its DNA and mimics that of its wild relatives. Cats use sleep as a way to conserve energy used for hunting, stalking, chasing and killing their prey.
Apart from the likes of Bengals or Abyssinian kitties – who are bundles of energy for most of the day – cats become more active between dusk and dawn. Nighttime is when they would naturally hunt if left undomesticated and this explains why you occasionally wake up to unexpected “gifts” on the doorstep.
You’ve no doubt heard of the expression, but ‘cat nap’ is actually an accurate description of a cats sleeping routine. It refers to a light sleep that cats fall into for 15-30 minutes before nodding off into a deeper slumber.
You can identify where your cat is in its sleep cycle by looking at its position. A cat in a deep sleep is typically lying flat or curled up with their body totally relaxed. You may notice that their paws, legs, and facial muscles twitch, which some experts believe indicates dreaming. Another sign of deep sleep is rapid eye movement (REM), during which you can see the cat’s eyeballs moving behind her closed eyelids. This period of sleep lasts an average of five minutes. In contrast, a cat in a light sleep is more likely to rest in a position poised to pounce – ready for anything the wilds of your house will throw at them.
Under the weather
Clouds and rain can really put a dampener on your day and it’s the same for your cat! Your kitty will catch more z’s than usual on wet days – yawning and hoping the grey day will soon be over.
Sleep patterns differ depending on the age, temperament and breed of your cat. You should familiarise yourself with what is and isn’t normal for your individual cat, that way you will be able to identify any potential problems. Kittens and seniors are more likely to spend more time sleeping than an adult cat.