Most of us cat lovers have at some point wondered how cats are sleeping so much in a day. Except during food time and some infrequent rendezvous, we can usually see our cat taking a comfortable nap.
So how much really do cats sleep in a day and do they spend the majority of their life simply sleeping? Let’s dive into the answers.
What Percentage Of A Cat’s Life Is Spent Sleeping?
It might boggle your mind to know that a cat spends about 2/3rd of its life just sleeping. But well, that’s the way they’re wired.
Because of their bouts of high energy during playtime, which in a way is related to their hunting time when in the wild, cats need to sleep this long to rejuvenate their body and mind for action.
Cats, unless domesticated, need to hunt regularly for food which is mainly fast moving rodents and the like.
Similar to the way their distant cousins- Lions, Tigers, Leopards, Cougars hunt, cats need to find an unaware target prey, quietly stalk it in stealth mode to get near striking range and then pounce/ chase the prey to capture it.
Although cats have been domesticated for a really long time, these instincts are always present in them.
You can clearly notice your cat exhibiting stalking or pouncing behavior during its playtime with toys.
This is a highly energy intensive process and it takes a heavy toll on the cat’s energy levels. Regardless of the success of the chase, it needs to get enough rest for the next hunt.
How Long Does A Cat Spend Sleeping In One Day?
A cat spends around 14 hours a day sleeping. This is sometimes less for younger cats and older cats tend to sleep a bit longer, even 20 hours a day.
Cats are crepuscular which means they are most active during dawn and dusk. The reason for this behavior is that in the wild, their favorite meals are mice and rodents which are also most active during this time.
These prey animals spend most of the day in safe spots such as underground tunnels and under rocks or thick bushes.
And they come out in search of food during dawn and dusk, that is, when they think there is low visibility to avoid being noticed and enough light to find food.
So cats, which love to eat these animals, need to be at their A-game during these times. There is a lot of energy spent by cats in identifying a target prey under poor visibility, getting near striking range without getting notice, and then pouncing or chasing it down.
Hence, during daytime, cats tend to lazily roam around or just find a comfortable spot to sleep peacefully.
The sleeping habits of cats differ from us humans in that cats have a polyphasic sleep pattern. This means that, unlike us humans who sleep in a continuous block during night, cats spread out their sleep time throughout the day at several intervals.
These sleeping sessions tend to last about an average of 1.5 hours at a time. Cats manage to get around 10 of these sleeping sessions a day which account for their long sleep duration per day.
About How Much Of Their Lives Do Cats Spend Sleeping: FAQ
Do Cats Sleep 70 percent Of Their Lives?
Yes, most Cats spend about 70 percent of their lives sleeping. As your cat grows older you’ll notice it sleep even more than when it was young.
By taking long naps throughout the day and only being fully active during twilight hours, cats manage to sleep through most of life.
Do Cats Spend An Average Of 13 to 14 Hours A Day Sleeping?
Cats are known to sleep from 12 hours per day to even 18 hours a day.
The age, health and environment of the cat has an influence on their sleeping period. Generally, the older the cat is the more time it may spend in a day sleeping.
So on an average, you can expect your cat to spend 13 to 14 hours a day sleeping.
Do Cats Like Being Pet While Sleeping?
Being petted while sleeping definitely wakes up a cat so whether it likes being woken up by your gentle petting depends on a few things.
First things first, if your cat is of the grumpy type, then you are sure to get a rebuke in the form of a variety of reactions ranging from an angry look to a mild paw attack or a bite.
In case, your cat really happens to like you so when I get awakened by your petting, it will stretch and cuddle you to let you know that she’s fine with it.
Another important factor is whether your cat is in an NREM or a REM sleep.
NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) sleep is said to be happening when your cat sleeps in a half awake manner. This means that at any given moment its senses are in touch with the outside world.
This allows the cat to sense the presence of danger or even a hunting opportunity. So in a way, the cat is just taking a mild nap.
But during REM sleep, the cat goes into deep sleep where it has dreams and you can notice its eye moving now and then and its paw twitching.
This is when you should never pet the cat. Cats require these sessions of solid REM sleep to be healthy and full of energy and if they are petted, they may find it hard to get into REM sleep again.
So although you may be tempted to pet your cat while it’s sleeping, it’s generally better not to do so unless you feel it’s just taking a shallow nap.
Do Cats Spend Most Of Their Life Sleeping?
Yes, whether domesticated or not, cats are what they are – predators. Their sleeping pattern is naturally designed to rest most of the time in order to be ready with energy for hunting.
Cats raised in houses of course don’t need to go out hunting for rodents, although they often sneak out and do it anyways.
But they still tend to spend a huge block of time sleeping so as to be fully recharged to chase its next prey which albeit might be just a toy.
Final Words About How Much Do Cats Sleep In Their Life
Now you know why your sleepy head cat is not actually lazy but resting in order to be fully active when it’s needed.
You are also now a very sensitive cat owner since you know that petting it while sleeping might disturb its most needed resting period.
As for your cat, it goes through life having only a few moments when it’s fully awake.
So make sure you have a memorable time with your cat whenever it’s not dozing on the couch.