Research

Why do Cats Sleep so Much?

Asia Mayfield
Written by Asia Mayfield

Everybody sleeps- cats just seem to do it more often. But why? Do cats sleep so much because they’re lazy or bored? No, it turns out that cats’ sleeping patterns are mostly dictated by biology.

 

Cats Are NOT Nocturnal

Many people think that cats are nocturnal creatures, but this actually isn’t true. Cats are crepuscular, which means that they’re most active at dusk and dawn. Large stretches of the day and night are spent sleeping and staying out of the way of potential predators.

“This is because, over millions of years, cats have evolved to be low-light predators, with their eyesight specifically adapted for activity at twilight,” animal psychology expert Dr. David Sands told Science Focus.

 

Cats Often Doze

The average adult cat sleeps for 12 to 16 hours a day. However, most of that time is spent in a light doze rather than a heavy sleep. When cats are dozing, their senses are still alert, and they can spring into action in an instant if they catch an unusual scent or hear a strange sound. They may doze for 15 to 30 minutes at a time.

After the dozing stage, they enter a deep, rapid eye movement or REM sleep. This stage only lasts for five minutes or so; then, it’s back to a light doze.

So, although your cat may seem like it’s oblivious to the world most of the day, it’s actually aware of its surroundings and ready to react.

 

Cats Are Adaptable

As we mentioned, cats are generally most active at dusk and dawn. However, cats’ schedules are somewhat adaptable. Your indoor cat may adjust its sleeping pattern to spend more time with you or to accommodate its feeding schedule. In addition, it’s been noted that cats tend to sleep more when it’s raining.

 

Image source: Pixabay

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Asia Mayfield

Asia Mayfield

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