Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?

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If you own a cat, probably, you know all its nap time. Most owners don’t think that their cat is sleeping too much because she always loves to sleep. However, cats not only love to sleep but their body function is naturally designed like that. Hence, any cat is capable of sleeping 12-20 hours every day. However, this always depends on when the cat is being brought newly to home. They adapted to the circumstances, and their sleep hours reduced rapidly.

In the beginning, while raising a cat, almost all the owners are curious and ask why do my cats sleep so much – well, it is not your cat only. Any cat can sleep more than what you think or imagined them to be. Don’t think that cats are like humans who only sleep 6-8 hours. You have to accept that cats are meant to be different. Although there is a lot of science that one needs to understand behind the cat sleeping. In this article, we will be profoundly discussing the cat sleeping pattern, its cause, when you need to be worried, etc.

Guess who termed the word “Napping”?

Cats know their limitations to sleep. They know how much time to spend on sleeping. Hence all other times when you see them doze off, they are technically napping. Cats always take plenty of naps every day. Only by seeing the cats, the term ‘nap’ was introduced. Although there are majorly some of the critical differences, one has to understand about napping and sleeping.

When the cats’ nap, they are resting, and they are not entirely asleep. It means that they are conscious enough to defend themselves from their enemies or predators. Your cats are ready to take a walk, start to eat, smell food, identify someone walking towards them. They are more likely in a position where they are aware of their surroundings and themselves.

Every nap that cats take is between 15-30 minutes, and after that, they regain their full potential. Also, they sleep well during the night and stick to the nap cycle as well. It helps them to stay active all day and able to perform their day to day skills effectively. You can see that when cats are sleeping, you can twitch or wiggle them. They only show mild responses like this is happening to them in the dream. They are not aware of the disturbances. Here is where you can quickly get the difference between sleeping and napping.

Why people get confused with the cat sleeping?

People are not so much aware of whether the cat is sleeping or just napping. Because the cats tend to sleep even during the daytime, whenever they feel a little tired or after a treat meal, they automatically go to deep sleep. Here is where the confusion starts. But there are ways to note their sleeping patterns.

If you observe them or spend more time with the cats, you can see that they sleep more in the darker months. The winters make their mood sleepy, which is completely normal. (Come on. Don’t pretend like you don’t know that) Cats get highly comfortable to sleep when it is cold, and the weather is too breezy or stormy.  The reason behind it is that they are also addicted to air conditioning at home. They love to get cold, curling up their body that put them to deep sleep.

Also, cats are most awake during the early morning. As a cat owner, you also have experienced this when your cat tries to wake you up, which is sometimes annoying, but that’s when they want to be more active.

Facts about the Sleeping cat

Cats are Crepuscular

Cats are animals that belong to the category of crepuscular. It is a zoological name for animals or species that are awake or commonly active between dusk and dawn. We cannot generalize them as nocturnal, but they are active, or their functionality is high during this time. Most of the insects also belong to this category.  The patterns seem to be weird for humans, although there is nothing wrong with it. You can easily observe this because your cats sleep well during the late mornings and afternoons and pro-active during the evening and early morning. Therefore, you have to accept that this is part of their gene & you can’t do anything about it.

When humans are active during the day, there is one or other work that keeps them engaged, but this is not the case with the cats. Therefore, you may think that your cats sleep a lot, which they don’t. They usually are awake when you are not.

Their hunting spree doesn’t stop them

Cats sleep long hours to recharge for their hunting spree. Even though you have a domestic cat, it always tends to have the instinct for predators and hunting. Since cats belong to the family of the tiger by origin, the wild nature in them is inbuilt, and this is one of the reasons why they could sleep for long. The lions and tigers also sleep a lot before and after hunting. They are saving enormous energy because of these wild instincts. However, cats tend to utilize energy by playing, climbing, or running across the hall only.

Also, when there is more than just one pet at your home, your cat becomes even more conscious about its existence. Until your cat gains that trust, it is going to assume other pets as predators and sleeps before the attack.

Kittens can’t resist

Kittens can’t miss the sleep or nap cycle. They manage to sleep at least 12-16 hours every day so that they can stay and play with you in the remaining hours. This demanding hours variedly becomes less when compared to the adults. Especially when the kittens trust the home and have all the warmth that they want, they tend to sleep naturally without any disturbance. You can even easily commute with the sleeping kitten anywhere. Many owners use the opportunity to take cats for grocery shopping or even to the vets or parlor. These are places where kittens are too much frightened to go. Therefore, you can schedule such visits while they are asleep, as it is easy to carry them.

On the other hand, the probability of sleeping of adult cats becomes 30-40% less because they are even more cautious about predators, hunting instincts, and more. As cats grew up from kitten to adult phase, their curiosity on the things take over and eventually lose sleep. Even deep sleep at night becomes critical for an adolescent cat.


Cats are expected to sleep in patterns

Of course, every cat has its own schedule or pattern of sleeping. If you are there at home and notice your cats carefully, you can note the difference between their napping and sleeping patterns. They are expected to sleep in the patterns, which means they are comfortable, and everything is normal. However, if you think they are abnormally awake or don’t take the naps on time, there is something wrong with them. It is as part of their routine that they are missing.

For instance, consider your cat that takes naps during the late morning and sleeps by early nights. Suddenly, if the pattern is changed and they don’t take a nap at all in the mornings, definitely there is something that is bothering them. A gradual decrease in naps is different. Still, all of the sudden stopping to take naps in between are entirely different. You may have to address this problem immediately.

Cats and Snoring

Not all the cats are expected to snore during the nights. But from first, if you had seen the cats snoring, then it cannot be changed. In other words, it is complicated to change this snoring habit of cats. You may have to consult the behavioral vets to change the patterns or leave it like that. Because according to science, cats, when they are completely relaxed or after a very tiring day, seems to have a sound sleep. It is always accompanied by snoring.

But when your snoring cat suddenly stops to snore, there is something wrong with them. Vets say that when the snoring cats stop snoring all of a sudden, you can see their change even in the behavior, especially when cats have trouble with the new place or people. Also, when they have been introduced to any fellow pets, they usually tend to lose this snoring pattern. They become all insecure about their existence at home. Even their sleeping methods change during this time.

These are some of the vital facts you must know about your cat. Always presume that your sleeping cat is normal. There is only one thumb rule: The pattern is an essential aspect of cats sleeping. If you had figured this out, you have almost achieved an intermediate level in understanding the cat. Further, in this article, we will discuss the cat sleeping types.

There are several positions you can see when your cat is sleeping. Each of the sleeping type or position always reveal something to their owner.

The following table will give you an overview of it.

Cats Sleeping Position

What does the position look like?

What does the position mean?

Curled UpCompletely curled with a tail around the body & head is tucked toward the chest.


Curling up for cats is for a good reason. They feel relaxed and conserving warmth. This position also helps them protect their vital organs.
Sleeping inboxKeep their body like hiding or crawl up their legs to the face, especially a rambunctious or young cat.Cats love dark places, and hence they love to sleep in the box. It gives them a sense of protection from predators, or at least that’s how they perceive this.
Half-eyes shutSleep on their back and must be relatedly stretchingCats that are both awake and asleep. It is a skill that they possess. When they feel something wild about their surroundings, they adapt to their position.
Paws across the faceCurled up and face in between the paws.You can give all your heart to see them sleeping in this position. But it is the legit sign of saying that do not disturb them. They are either blocking the daylight or bright light, disturbing them while they have decided to sleep.
ContortionistSeem like cats are hanging somewhere; their limbs are sticking out, and the head is twistedOne of the weirdest position that owners have to come across. By pretending like hanging up, they are not conveying anything, although the cat seems so much comfortable being like that.
Sideway sleeperIt is a combination where you can see that the cat is belly-ed-up in the sideways.Your cat is highly relaxed and is having a deep sleep in this position. The stomach is a vulnerable region for cats; hence if they are showing it up while sleeping, it means they are extremely happy. You can see this pattern common after you treat them mostly.
Belly-UpObviously, in a position where they show their lower area completely and sleepingThe cats feel extremely safe with the owners. In this position, they are comfortable only with the most closes ones. For example, their mother or partners only. So you are being honored here.
Monorail catCat lying on the arms or back of the chair or any static, plain surfaceIf you have the most active cats that can climb across the places, you can see them sleeping in the position. They even sleep like this on walls, fence posts, sofas, etc.
LoafFront paws tucked under the body. From the exterior, it looks like a bread loaf.This position is so much viral over the internet. The kittens take this position to inform you that they are going to sleep for long. The cats look extremely adorable in this position. Also, it is a sign that they are done for the day.
NeutralJust the way they will be sittingThe cats don’t have to lie down for this. They sit and sleep. You can experience this position when they are tired of looking for any prey that can cross their path. They are keeping an eye on them and sleeping.

We are sure that this table would have given the right idea about how the cats sleep commonly and what they wanted to convey to their parents. Always adore them as much as you want while sleeping, but remember the hidden message that they want to give to you.

What are the normal hours that cats sleep?

The number of hours that the cats have to sleep typically depends on the age of the cat. In every stage of a cat growing up, this pattern may continuously change.

The following table can give you an idea about the cat regular sleeping hours according to age.

Cats growth stage


Hours of Sleep

KittensBirth – 6-monthsKittens sleep most of the day and show energy during the meal and play hours.
Junior7-months to 2-yearsErratic sleep patterns can be seen with 8-10 hours of sleep every day
Prime3-6 YearsTakes numerous naps during the day time; 8-10 hours of sleep is mandatory.
Mature7-10 Years12-20 hours of sleep every day. They schedule properly to be equally active and awake.
Senior11-14 YearsLesser energy and low mobility. It means that they will sleep most of the day.
Geriatric15+ YearsNo patterns at all; they can sleep 16-18 hours continuously without being disturbed. And they are not very active, even when they are awake.

This table would help you understand the regular hours of sleep for your cats. Of course! There are some varied combinations. However, it does not mean that they cannot fit in either of the category mentioned above.

When do you need to be worried about their sleep?

Even though adult cats sleep 16-18 hours every day, they are often awakened by the situation or the surroundings. They keep their mind awake for instincts, predators, and unusual movements in the home. Thus, you can always play with them at any time, even if it is nap time. But when the cats lie down often but unable to move for a longer time, there is something wrong about it.

Since you are prone to the fact that cats sleep longer than usual, there is a probability that you are negligent about the pattern. Especially when you are working, you may never be able to get the schedule of their nap times. But there is a fair chance that your cats are showing the sickness sign with their sleeping behavior or pattern. Sometimes when they have a health issue, it can affect their sleep aggressively. Following are the signs you may have to know if the cat is sick.

Know the signs

Unexplained weight loss:

When you feel like they are exhausted and lie down all the time, check for the weight often. If there is a rapid weight loss, you may want to take them to the doctor immediately. Similarly, if they gain weight adequately, it means that they are undergoing some problems. It can be hormonal, but it is always better you take them for tests.

Abnormal food consumption

Sleep patterns accompanied by abnormal eating is a severe sign of stomach problems or something to do with their kidney. Since you are feeding them, you must know how much quantity they can typically take. However, if you see a sudden drop in quantity or consume more regularly, the behavior indicates something unusual. When cats are pregnant, they may have this symptom as well. Therefore, confirming with the vets is essential.

Change in water consumption

When your cat is not sleeping properly and is always thirsty, you need to observe them more than usual. It may be challenging for anyone to observe cat water consumption. But they always consume only what they want for their body. If you see that your cat is taking adequate water and urinating everywhere or before reaching the litter box, it is an early sign of thyroid or stone problems. To check the water consumption if you have doubts, always measure and keep the supply. See how much they are consuming per hour before jumping into conclusions.


If they create vocalization in sleep, they are in some distress. Especially if they are introduced to a new lifestyle or practicing to some routines newly, they automatically get this vocalization. If they are having some physical pain, you can see that it cries even during sleep. If it is some anxiety, then they have slow moaning or feeble voice while they are sleeping.

These are some of the important times where you may have to seek professional help. It is always better to think that you can handle it all by yourself. Well! That’s not true. Cat is just showing indications while there can be something beyond your observance. Hence it is recommended that you fix an appointment with the vet. If the cat has a problem sleeping because of stress or anxiety, then meet the behavior specialists as soon as possible.


It seems like the cat is sleeping their life away. For some people, it may come to wonder how your pet cat sleeps all the time. Well! What you need to understand is that their gene is designed in such a way that they create opportunities to sleep or nap. It is not always the dreamland that your cats are dwelling into. They are as conscious as or sometimes even more conscious than humans. Their senses work perfectly fine, and as species, they are lucky. Take time to know your cat’s sleeping behavior, and it can help you in the long run.

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