Cats are known for sleeping a lot, but some pet owners may be concerned that their cat is sleeping too much. Here, our Dallas vets discuss when a cat may be sleeping too much and it is time to see the vet.
Why do cats sleep so much?
Cats have evolved to sleep for extended periods of time during the day. Wild cats require plenty of sleep in order to conserve energy for hunting, chasing, and killing their next meal.
Despite the fact that our house cats do not need to hunt, the instinct to sleep and prepare for the hunt remains.
How much do cats typically sleep?
Wondering how many hours a cat sleep per day? The number of hours that your cat needs to sleep and the typical sleeping pattern for your cat will change as they get older :
- Kittens will likely sleep most of the day, with a few brief bursts of energy between meals.
- Adolescent cats may have erratic sleep patterns combined with periods of intense playfulness.
- Adult cats tend to have more set sleeping schedules that average out at about 12 - 20 hours of sleep each day.
- Senior cats will tend to have less energy and reduced mobility which means they will sleep more than younger cats.
When your cat reaches adulthood, he or she will most likely develop a distinct sleeping and waking pattern. For example, you may notice that your cat wakes up just before you, spends an hour or two eating and socializing with you, and then falls back asleep while you go about your business.
Cats do sleep deeply but not always. Much like people, cats are often just snoozing. Light sleeping makes up about 3/4 of your cat's sleep time, with just 1/4 of their sleep time being devoted to deep sleep.
Cats get the rest they need while remaining alert when they snooze lightly. You may notice that your cat's eyes are slightly open or that its ears twitch and rotate in response to noises when it is sleeping or snoozing.
When to Be Concerned
No set amount of sleep indicates a health problem or emergency. Instead, it is important to understand your cat's normal sleep patterns and recognize when those patterns change significantly.
If your cat begins to sleep a lot more or a lot less than is usual for him/her there may be a health issue, it's time to visit your vet.
Cats who begin to sleep more than usual may be ill or in pain. If, on the other hand, your cat starts sleeping less than usual, it could be a sign of hyperthyroidism or another condition.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.