How Much Sleep Is Normal for Your Cat?

One of the most surprising parts of owning a cat for the first time is realizing how much they sleep in an average day. Sometimes it seems like you never actually see your cat awake throughout the day. They’ll get up for meal time or maybe to greet you when you come home, but then they’ll be right back to sleep. Don’t be concerned, because it’s quite normal for cats to sleep for a sizeable chunk of the day.

Why Cats Sleep So Much

Like many animals, cats have adapted over the long lifespan of their species. The natural way a cat sleeps for a large part of the day is built in to their genes, which is why just about all cats sleep so often. One of the main reasons cats sleep so much is because they learned to save their energy for only the most important of activities. The crazy thing is for us to sleep even eight hours we need to get things like a super soft mattress, but your cat will sleep away the day in a cardboard box.

Before cats were domesticated, their main focus during the day was to stalk, hunt, and chase their food. Between hunting and taking care of their young, cats didn’t have much else to worry about. Therefore, when they weren’t doing either of these things they conserved their energy by sleeping most of the day.

Cats Aren’t Actually Nocturnal

One of the many reasons people believe cats sleep all day is because of a misconception that cats are nocturnal. Cats are actually most active during sunrise and sundown. This might explain why your cat likes to paw your face at six in the morning. While this might make you question if cats are really the best pets, just remember they only want to wake you up to play with you!

Many believe cats are nocturnal because they seem to act out in the middle of the night, but this is largely because cats spread their sleep quite evenly throughout the day. They don’t mind waking up and playing around at midnight and will do it just the same as they would at noontime. One way to combat this is by trying to play with your cat and keep them active right before your bedtime. This playful nature is why more people are taking the initiative to get a cat.

The Normal Amount of Sleep for Your Cat

The ongoing consensus for the amount of hours a cat should sleep throughout a day is between 16 and 20 hours. This will depend on how old or young your cat is, but that’s a pretty normal range. Kittens might sleep longer than a mature cat, because they’ll tire themselves out more by playing. Once again, when cats get to be in their teens they’ll likely be getting more sleep as their energy will have gone down. Cats might be tricky to understand at times, but you don’t have to worry about them if they sleeping all day!

Hopefully, this makes you a little less nervous about your cat sleeping away the day. It’s built into their genes and it’s completely natural for them to sleep much more than we would. Now, you just have to try and not get jealous that they get to nap all day while you have to go to work!



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