If you own a cat, you know how much they love to sleep, and when a lot of us pivoted to working remotely, we realized just how much they love to sleep–it seems they snooze all day long. It turns out that there’s a good reason we call it a “cat nap”: cats sleep anywhere from 12 to 18 hours a day, and nearly 40% of cats sleep more than 18 hours a day. Read on to learn about why cats sleep so much and whether you should be concerned (spoiler alert: you probably shouldn’t).
SLEEPING DURING THE DAY IS THEIR NATURAL INSTINCT
While sleeping 12-18 hours a day may seem excessive to us, their deep slumber serves important purposes. In the wild, cats sleep a lot during the day to save energy for hunting, chasing, and killing their next prey. While house cats don’t need to catch prey to eat, their instinct to sleep during the day and prepare for night hunts lives on inside of them. When you see your cat napping during the day, know that they are simply fulfilling their natural instincts (and they’ll probably be running around with the zoomies later that night). (Will link to zoomies article here once published).
SO HOW MUCH SLEEP IS THE RIGHT AMOUNT?
So sleep is good–but how much do they actually need? While each cat is unique, on average, cats need around 12 to 16 hours of sleep per day. However, some cats may sleep for up to 20 hours a day, especially if they are older or have a medical condition. It's important to make sure your cat is getting enough rest, as lack of sleep can lead to behavior problems, obesity, and other health concerns.
HELP KEEP THEM ACTIVE, SOMETIMES
While cat naps are great, it's also important to make sure they get enough exercise to stay healthy and happy. One way to encourage your cat to get moving is by setting up a play area, which can include cat trees, scratching posts, and even tunnels to climb through. Interactive toys, such as laser pointers and feather wands, can also be a great way to get your cat's heart rate up. Another tip is to make sure your cat has access to windows, where they can watch birds and squirrels outside. By providing a stimulating environment and plenty of opportunities to play, you can help keep your cat active and entertained.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR
If your cat isn’t getting enough sleep, it might show up as excessive tiredness or lethargy, as well as abnormalities in behavior, appetite and energy levels. Depression, for instance, can cause lethargy and a loss of interest in normal activities. Arthritis, on the other hand, can make it difficult for cats to find a comfortable sleeping position. By keeping an eye out for these potential medical issues and seeking veterinary care if necessary, we can help keep our cats happy and healthy!