Sometimes you wish you can sleep as much as a cat, don’t you? And sometimes, you worry that your cat may be sick because he or she seems to be asleep all the time.
And then you hear your cat walking--running actually-- on the roof or playing with other cats at the terrace.
Do not worry too much. It is normal for cats to sleep a lot and to play and roam at night.
Cats sleep an average of 15 hours every day, says Yahaira Cespedes in Why Do Cats Sleep So Much in PetMD.
There are cats who even sleep 20 hours a day, says Cespedes.
Cespedes explains that cats are most active between dusk and dawn.
This means they sleep most of the time during the day and are active around twilight.
“This can come as quite a shock if you're bringing a new kitty home for the first time. Your cat will waste no time investigating and getting into trouble -- usually while you’re fast asleep! But as soon your cat is done with breakfast, as the rest of the world winds up for action, you'll find him winding down for a long day of slumber,“ Cespedes says.
Cats are predators, thus, they are wired to chase and hunt, mainly at night.
“Large cats such as lions have a similar pattern of sleeping during the day and hunting at night. Although they have been domesticated, for the most part, housecats still retain that wild streak. Even cats at play will display the feline primal instincts of creeping about in the shadows and, without a whisper of warning, pouncing on their target prey,“ Cespedes explains.
Hunting requires a lot of energy. To be able to hunt well, the cat needs to sleep and rest.
“Whether your kitty is hunting for outdoor prey or tackling a catnip toy, all that sleep he gets is reserve energy for running, pouncing, climbing and stalking, “ Cespedes says.
One eye open
Similar to humans, “cats either doze in a light sleep or sleep very deeply. When your cat dozes (which lasts about fifteen minutes to a half hour), he will position his body so that he can spring up and into action at a moment’s notice, “ Cespedes says.
When in a deep sleep, cats experience rapid (or quick) brain movement. This lasts for about five minutes, then the cat goes back to light sleep.
“This dozing-deep sleep pattern goes on until the cat wakes up,” Cespedes says.
Cespedes adds: “Kittens and older cats tend to sleep more than the average-aged adult cat.”
Cats are also affected by the weather. When it rains, a cat usually prefers to sleep.
“Cat behavior can vary greatly, depending on their breed, age, temperament, and overall health. But, whatever your kitty’s usual disposition, it has been observed that cats sleep more when the weather calls for it. Yes, even if your kitty is an exclusive indoor-dweller, a rainy or cold day will have him (and probably you) yawning and looking for some shut-eye,“ Cespedes says.
Time and cats
Cespedes adds: “Cats are crepuscular—which means that they are most active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. They tend to lay low in the darker night-time and day-time hours, when other predators may be hanging about.”
Most kittens and some cats are more active at night.
“But, cats are also sociable and highly adaptable. This means that a cat is apt to adjust his sleeping habits so he can spend more time with his loved ones -- meaning you. Cats will also adjust their sleep patterns to their feeding schedules, which is why an indoor cat sleeps more than a cat that roams outdoors, “ Cespedes reveals.
“Whether your cat is a spry kitten or a mature feline, his level of interaction and activity depends a lot on whether he's constantly recharging his kitty battery, “ Cespedes says.
Even if cats sleep a lot, they do lots of stuff when they are awake, usually, those that make you smile and want to hug them more: play with toys and other cats, go up the tree, “talk” to you, and yes, even massage you.
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