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My cat sleeps constantly, should I be worried?

No doubt about it, cats love to sleep. But how much is too much? Today, you will discover reasons why cats sleep so much and learn when to be concerned about your cat's sleeping habits.

Why do cats sleep so much?

Cats have developed a natural inclination to sleep for extended periods during the day. This behavior stems from their evolutionary adaptation to conserve energy for hunting, chasing, and capturing their prey in the wild.

Even though our domesticated house cats may not have the same need to hunt for survival, the instinctual pattern of sleeping and preparing for a hypothetical hunt remains ingrained in their behavior.

How much do cats sleep?

Have you found yourself wondering, how many hours does a cat sleep each day? The number of hours that your cat needs to sleep and the typical sleeping pattern for your cat will change as they get older :

  • Kittens will likely sleep most of the day, with a few brief bursts of energy between meals.
  • Adolescent cats may have erratic sleep patterns combined with periods of intense playfulness.
  • Adult cats tend to have more set sleeping schedules that average out at about 12 - 20 hours of sleep each day.
  • Senior cats will tend to have less energy and reduced mobility which means they will sleep more than younger cats.

When your cat reaches adulthood, it will most likely develop a recognizable pattern of sleeping and waking. For example, you may notice that your cat wakes up just before you, spends an hour or two eating and socializing with you, and then goes back to sleep while you go about your business.

Is my cat really asleep?

Cats have various sleep stages, similar to humans. Along with deep sleep, they also have lighter sleep periods. Interestingly, about three-quarters of a cat's sleep time is spent in this light sleep phase, while the remaining one-quarter is dedicated to deep sleep.

During light sleep, cats can relax while still being aware of their environment. You might notice their eyes partially open or their ears moving in response to sounds while they are sleeping or taking a nap. This heightened alertness enables them to promptly react to any potential stimuli.

When should I be concerned about my cat's sleeping?

No set amount of sleep indicates a health problem or emergency; instead, it is important to understand your cat's normal sleep patterns and recognize when those patterns change significantly.

If your cat begins to sleep a lot more or a lot less than is usual for him/her there may be a health issue, it's time to visit your vet.

Cats who begin to sleep more than usual could be ill or experiencing pain. On the other hand, if your cat begins sleeping less than usual it may be suffering from hyperthyroidism or other conditions.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you worried that your cat's constant sleeping could be related to an underlying health problem? Contact our experienced Cordova vets to book an examination for your kitty!