Cats sleep an average of 12-18 hours per day, much more than humans. As crepuscular creatures, they are most active at dawn and dusk.
Cats also have a polyphasic sleep pattern, meaning they sleep in short bursts throughout the day rather than in one long stretch.
The Sleeping Patterns of Cats
Average Sleep Time
Cats sleep an average of 12-18 hours per day, but the exact amount varies depending on the individual cat’s age, health, and lifestyle. Kittens tend to sleep more than adult cats, and senior cats tend to sleep more than adult cats. Indoor cats also tend to sleep more than outdoor cats, as they have fewer opportunities to exercise and burn off energy.
Polyphasic Sleep Pattern
Cats have a polyphasic sleep pattern, meaning they sleep in short bursts throughout the day rather than in one long stretch. This is because they are prey animals and need to be alert at all times. Cats also have a natural instinct to conserve energy, so they take short naps throughout the day to recharge.
Similarities to Humans’ Circadian Rhythm:
Cats have a circadian rhythm, just like humans. This means that their sleep-wake cycle is regulated by a 24-hour internal clock. However, cats’ circadian rhythm is slightly different from humans’ circadian rhythm. Cats are most active at dawn and dusk, while humans are most active during the day.
Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?
Nature as Hunters
Cats are natural hunters, and they need to be alert and focused in order to catch prey. Their long sleep hours help them to conserve energy so that they can be ready to hunt when the opportunity arises.
Need to Conserve Energy
Cats are also very good at conserving energy. They have a high metabolism, so they need to eat a lot of food to maintain their body weight. However, they also need to be able to conserve energy when food is scarce. Their long sleep hours help them to do this.
Natural Cool Down Mode
Cats have a natural instinct to cool down their bodies by sleeping in the heat. This is why it is common to see cats sleeping in the sun or on other warm surfaces.
Instinct to Stay Hidden in Bed
Cats are also very good at hiding. Their instinct is to stay hidden in bed when they are sleeping in order to avoid predators.
Reasons for Excessive Sleep in Cats
As cats age, they tend to sleep more. This is because they are less active and have less energy.
Stress or Boredom
If a cat is stressed or bored, it may sleep more than usual. This is because stress and boredom can lead to depression and anxiety, which can cause cats to sleep more.
Illness or Injury
If a cat is ill or injured, it may sleep more than usual. This is because the body needs time to heal.
Cats sleep a lot because they are crepuscular animals, have a polyphasic sleep pattern, and are natural hunters. They also sleep a lot to conserve energy, cool down their bodies, and hide from predators. However, if a cat is sleeping more than usual, it is important to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions.