Our cats are real sleep gurus! They can sleep anytime, anywhere and under any circumstances. Even a quick search on the Internet will show thousands of photos of sleeping cats in cute or funny poses. But why do cats sleep so much, and what happens in their head when they sleep? Read on to find out more about sleeping cats.
1-Long sleep laid in your cat’s genes
Answering the question “Why do cats sleep so much?”, Let’s first look at how long cats sleep on average. Cats can sleep up to 16 hours a day, and older cats spend even more time at rest – up to 20 hours a day. This sleep habit is the result of cat evolution, eating habits and physiology. In the wild, cats have to hunt in order to feed and survive, and tracing prey, chasing and killing takes them a lot of energy. Sleep helps cats retain energy between hunting and eating.
2-Cats don’t always sleep soundly
When answering the question “Why do cats sleep so much?” you should also consider how they sleep. Of the time that cats spend in their sleep, about three-quarters is what we can call nap. In this state, cats can relax, close their eyes and rest, but they are still vigilant enough to wake up at any moment. You can determine when the cat is napping, by the movements of its body – the ears will twitch and turn in the direction of noise, and the eyes may be slightly open. Even when cats are sitting upright, they can doze off a bit.
3-Cats, however, are able to sleep deeply and even dream
The remaining quarter of all hours of cat sleep is spent in deep sleep, but older cats can spend up to 30 or 40 percent of the time at this level. When cats are in deep sleep, they tend to curl up in a ball, closing their eyes tightly. Sometimes they can even put their tail on their muzzle, like a fluffy sleeping mask, or cover their eyes from the light with a paw. Deep sleep is critical to the body’s ability to regenerate itself and maintain health and activity. Also, this is the time when your cat dreams. If you saw your cat’s mustache or paws twitching in a dream, this is a sign that the cat is dreaming.
4-Some cats snore in their sleep
Cats snore because the airways are closed by a fold of soft palate skin. This happens when the cat is relaxed and deeply asleep. Snoring is more common in brachycephalic cat breeds such as Persian, Himalayan or exotic shorthair. Cats that have suffered rhinotracheitis can also suffer snoring, but, in fact, they do not snore, but simply sniff out loud.
5-Changing your cat’s sleeping habits can be a sign of problems
Does a cat sleep too much or sleep too little? After all, all this is very individual!
If you have a feeling that your cat has begun to sleep much more or much less than usual, consult your veterinarian. Excessive sleep can be a sign of illness or pain, and frequent wakefulness may indicate a problem such as hyperthyroidism in cats.