A cat will sleep an average of 15 hours per day, sometimes more and sometimes a bit less, depending on a number of factors. So, if you have asked, “how many hours do cats sleep a day,” you now know it’s normal for him to sleep a lot.
Cats, basically predators, are actually “hardwired” to have those habits of getting lots of sleep. The reason: It takes a great deal of energy to hunt for a meal. In the wild, the cat needed to conserve energy in order that his hunt might prove successful.
A Cat Is Crepuscular
Cats fall into the category of “crepuscular,” rather than nocturnal. They tend to participate in activity more at dawn and dusk, as predators seeking them will most likely be sleeping.
Thus, they might tear around the house madly or find things to get into while you sleep, or they might feel it’s important that you get up at dawn to feed them. I have found, though, with indoor cats, when they get used to your sleep pattern, they may adjust a bit to a sleep schedule closer to yours.
Thinking about my old cat, Pogo, at his old age, he still continued a habit from his younger days. Once all the humans went to bed, he would tear madly about the house for a time, leaving throw rugs in little piles, and enjoying an evening game all by himself.
After his mad bout of exercise, he would come to bed with me and sleep the night away. Of course, he did wake up early and let me know he wanted breakfast.
Cats run, pounce, climb, and stalk whether actually hunting or playing with us. When they sleep, their purpose often relates to this need to renew energy.
This energy conservation becomes a vital part of a cat’s routine. You might find it interesting to know that when a cat sleeps, 75% of the time he spends napping, and he does not really enter a deep sleep state. These naps, however, do help conserve energy, and he can awake and spring into action in an instant if something disturbs his rest.
Other Reasons For Lots Of Sleep
Besides the cat nap, which usually lasts about 15 to 30 minutes throughout the day, other reasons may cause him to sleep extra-long. Check to see if any of these factors might come into play:
If kitty is bored or stressed, he may sleep even longer than the usual 12 to 16 hours. If he stays in the house alone while you work, he may spend much of that time sleeping.
See if you can find ways to stimulate him when you are gone.
2) Obesity Or Lack Of Vitamins
If diet and exercise become imbalanced, kitty could sleep more. Make sure he eats a lean, protein-rich diet. As cats in the wild eat several small meals a day, it does some good to give your indoor kitty three or four small meals a day.
If you use feeders, make sure to control portions so the cat doesn’t end up eating too much, thus gaining weight. Also, find ways to see that he gets plenty of exercise.
An older cat becomes less active and more likely to sleep more. Sometimes old cats will sleep 18 to 20 hours a day. During his active period, check his behavior — Does it seem lethargic all the time? Perhaps you should schedule a vet visit.
If your kitty oversleeps and also loses his appetite or behaves in other unusual ways, he may suffer from depression. This condition could possibly be from an underlying illness. However, it can also simply stem from some other reason.
On Spruce Island, when my old cat, Sam, died, he left behind his two kitty friends, Poo and Lou. Sam and Lou had bonded strongly, and could be considered a cat couple. After Sam died, Lou slept most of the time in the bed they had shared. She could be coaxed downstairs for meals, but then she went right back to bed.
One night, I played with her sister, Poo, downstairs in the kitchen. Lou could see us from her bed, and finally she, too, came down and played. After that, I made sure to play with them every night until at last Lou’s depression vanished.
We know the feeling — When the weather becomes cold or nasty, we and the cats may all nap together.
6) Viral Or Bacterial Infection
Fatigue and lethargy can often show up as symptoms of these problems. If other signs accompany this lack of activity, such as loss of appetite, diarrhea, fever, weight loss, or not grooming, kitty needs to see the vet.
With this condition, movement becomes painful, and may mean that kitty sleeps more to avoid the pain. When Pogo first came home from the shelter, he couldn’t run; he just walked slowly. Arthritis pain inhibited his movement. A regular dose of daily CBD oil brought relief, and soon he started running again.
Imbalanced blood sugar can bring on similar signs as you would see if he had some type of infection. Dietary adjustments become mandatory, and your vet can help you determine what he heeds to eat.
Has kitty had an opportunity to inhale, ingest, or come into contact with poison in some way? Poisoning also becomes another problem for your vet to help you determine.
If your cat’s sleep patterns remain consistent, he probably just follows his normal routine. Just observe, and if you see significant changes, take action to correct the situation.
Do Cats Dream?
Have you noticed such things as paw movements or whisker twitches while kitty sleeps? Yes, he probably is in a sleep phase that allows dreaming. Let’s hope he dreams of the most perfect hunt, when his superb skills gain him success.
If you and your cat live together, just the two of you, in a small house, if you are lucky, you have the benefit of the cat’s adjusting to your sleep patterns, at least for the most part. Realize their bodies have different needs than yours. Enjoy them while they are awake, but if they must sleep, let sleeping cats lie. It’s good for them, and it gives you a break to pursue other activities.
Learn from the cat what he needs.
References I used for this post are as follows: