Method or Madness? Why do Cats Sleep so Darn Much?
In our crazy, bustling, harried society, it’s all we can do to simply keep on keepin’ on. We rush to appointments, grit our teeth in traffic, and get home far later than intended. In this kinetic state, we could all take a few pointers from our very dear friends – felines.
If you’ve ever had the luxury of watching a cat snooze intermittently throughout the day, you know well the power of utter peacefulness. It’s no secret that cats sleep in truly strange places (and for exasperatingly long hours), but how well do you know the mysteries behind your feline’s resting habits?
The Crepuscular Cat
While some cats can sleep up to 20 hours in a single day, felines are crepuscular. This means they’re hardwired to be awake and active during the hours surrounding dusk and dawn. While some cat owners attest to their pets being active in the darkest or lightest hours of the day, these times are typically when cats feel inclined to hide from predators.
Prey vs. Predator
While considered prey, your cat is also a predator and is probably excited about slinking around in the shadows of your home. This essential part of your cat’s inner nature actually takes up a great deal of energy. Sure, cats sleep an excessive amount sometimes, but often, it’s because they must reserve their energy for things like pouncing, stalking, climbing, running, and leaping.
Making the Most of It
- The Cat Nap – This enviable “skill” allows a cat to slip into a light sleep lasting 15-30 minutes. Check out your cat when he or she is simply dozing. It’s very likely that the body is positioned in such a way that a defensive posture can be easily and quickly negotiated.
- REM – The twitching whiskers, clicking tongue, and restless paws indicate your sweet cat is dreaming about conquering all the mice in the tri-state area. Deep sleep is marked with rapid eye movement and can last several minutes. Afterwards, your cat will switch back into a doze mode and then back again, until he or she decides to get up. For true wellness, it’s important for your cat to reach this state throughout the day.
Your cat is deeply affected by his or her environment, and sleep habits can change based on the season, weather, and domestic dynamics. Many cats sleep when their owners are gone for the day and are only truly active when in the company of humans. Likewise, colder temperatures, wet, icy, or snowy ground surfaces, and chilling wind can also increase feline sleep frequency. If you ever needed an extra excuse to snuggle with your cat, let this Illinois winter be your guide.
Do Cats Sleep Too Much?
Cats sleep to stay healthy and to be primed for action. However, too much sleep or interrupted cycles can point to possible illness or injury. If you notice your cat’s sleep patterns have changed, such as duration or location, please let us know.
The Pet Experts at Springbrook Animal Care Center are always here to make sure your cat is healthy, happy, safe, and getting the right amount of zzz’s. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.