How Much Should Your Cat Sleep?

cats sleep 15-20 hours a day

Sleeping 15 to 20 hours a day seems like a bit much to most of us, but there is a small part of many of us that could use just one or two days like that a month to catch up on our sleep deficit. Taking care of our homes, our jobs, our kids and all the extracurricular stuff our kids are into makes us tired. I can tell you with certainty that I’m exhausted from August 1 to the end of October every single year because our daughter has cheerleading practice almost every night until 8 pm, it’s a half hour drive home and since she’s not home long enough between school ending and practice beginning to do anything but change, we have homework, dinner and showers to take. It’s late when we get to bed – and we are exhausted.

If I could sleep 15-20 hours a day just once every other week or so this time of year, I think I’d feel much better and much more alert than I do right now. I’m finding myself wishing at this moment in time that I was a cat instead of a human being. Being a cat and sleeping 15 to 20 hours a day seems so…lovely. And peaceful and relaxing; and all the good things I currently do not feel. But that aside, cats really do sleep 15-20 hours a day, and it’s good for them.

Many cat owners think that their feline friends are just downright lazy. Sure, some are, but this is the sleep time for most all cats. They require this amount of sleep; they’re not doing it because they’re bored, lazy or uninterested in life with you. They’re doing it because it’s how they best function (and because they don’t have four kids including a set of twins and someone else is always cleaning up after them and feeding them). Just why does your cat need this much sleep? We’re going to delve into this aspect of the lives of cats and find out what’s going on with them when they’re asleep all day long.

Cats are Kind of Nocturnal

Have you ever noticed that your cat is pretty much lazy and naps all day long, yet he manages to have a literal party in your bed in the middle of the night? This is because that’s how cats roll. While no one uses the term nocturnal to describe them, they certainly do spend much of the day asleep. According to PetMD, cats are most active in their lives between dusk and dawn (those hours you should stay out of the water here in Florida or risk being eaten by an alligator). That means that 1 – they’re going to annoy you endlessly in the middle of the night meowing, playing loudly with their toys and being feisty in general, and 2 – they’re not doing it on purpose or for their own pleasure.

Cats, plain and simple, just need more time to sleep than humans and many other animals. It can be a little annoying when they’re in your bed or meowing loudly or ready to play in the middle of the night, but you can shut your door and leave the cat to roam the house otherwise so that you aren’t so bothered by the noise. Your cat is ready to play, but you’re not getting 20 hour naps throughout the day so you’re probably too tired to engage.

Why do Cats Sleep So Much and Spend Half the Night Awake?

Did you know that cats are natural predators? Did you know that there was once a time when they were not cute and cuddly little house pets but wild and free roaming animals the preyed on smaller animals in the wilderness? Even though cats are now more domesticated, they are natural predators and it’s hardwired in their minds to behave like this. They’re up all night because that’s when most predators get to work finding their next meal. Since many smaller animals are awake all day, they sleep at night and give these predatory animals a chance to attack and get their meal.

Being a dangerous predator of smaller animals requires ample use of energy. Even when your cat is playing with a ball or chasing that hair tie you thought you hid a little bit better around the house, he’s using more energy than you might imagine. What this means for you and your cat is that he needs to conserve his energy as much as possible – and that’s when it’s time for a long nap.

What’s with the Big Sleep Range Gap?

Sleeping 15 to 20 hours is a lot no matter how you slice it, but what’s with the five hour gap in sleeping times? Why are some cats sleeping longer than others? There are a few simple answers to this question. For one, kittens and older cats will sleep a lot longer than an average adult cat because they require more strength and energy throughout the day due to their age. Another factor in the amount of time your cat sleeps throughout the day is the weather.

Cold, wet and dreary days have the same effect on your cat that they have on you; they make the cat tired and drowsy, and since the cat doesn’t have two loads of laundry, a load of dishes to wash in the dishwasher and kids to bathe and help with homework, they get to take another nap.

If your cat is sleeping longer than usual, it might concern you. Once you’ve eliminated his or her age and the weather as a reason for suddenly sleeping even longer than usual throughout the day and night, you might want to consider asking the vet what’s up with your cat. Sometimes sleep patterns can change when your cat is suffering from illness or disease. If your cat is suddenly sleeping more than ever or not sleeping at all, call the vet and ask for an appointment.

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