How Long Do Cats Sleep?

If you’ve witnessed your kitten have a shut eye more frequently than not, you’ve naturally got some questions about your cat’s sleeping patterns. Find out how much sleep our dear feline friends need to feel refreshed and ready to play with their favourite owner.
Cat sleeping in a red bed
Cat sleeping in a red bed
Cat sleeping in a red bed

A cat’s sleeping habits can easily puzzle anyone less familiar with the feline lifestyle. For the best part of the day, a cat will act like the retired elderly on a well-deserved holiday, constantly on an all-day snoozing diet. If your cat’s always-off mode makes you feel like the world’s most boring housemate, you’ll be happy to know this is not personal. Cats sleep a lot, naturally.

If you’ve been wondering ‘how long do cats sleep?’ and ‘why do cats sleep so much?’, we unpacked some of the amazing facts surrounding their siesta habits to help you better understand your kitty’s unconventional take on sleeping schedules.

How long do cats sleep?

Cats sleep on average 15 hours a day, with some sleepy kitties getting in up to 20 hours of shut-eye each day.

There are a few factors influencing how long a cat sleeps, age being one of the most important ones. Kittens will sleep most of the day, but as soon as they turn into “teenagers” you’ll notice a change in their sleeping patterns as they become more and more active. Senior cats tend to slow down their activity levels and turn in earlier, snooze more often and for longer periods of time than an adult cat.

car sleeping on a white bed

You will also notice your cat dozing off longer than usual when the weather doesn’t allow for proper outdoor exploration. When it’s cold or raining, your cat will likely try to add even more hours to their already impressive sleeping record.

Why do cats sleep so much?

Cats sleep long hours in order to recharge for their next hunting spree. Although your domesticated cat’s existence couldn’t be more different to the wild felines’ such as lions, the genetic programming is pretty much the same. Just like its big cat cousins, your fluffball instinctively conserves energy in case they have to chase down their next meal, which they do despite all the nice dinners they get at home, served in a timely fashion every day. Never mind the premium cat food the loving owner puts in front of them day in and day out, their innate instincts can easily take over despite the countless comforts of home life.

Do cats sleep at night?

You might have noticed your cat is fast asleep during the day and wide awake at dawn and dusk. This sleeping schedule has helped your cat’s wilder relatives to be such efficient hunters. Their prey, usually small mammals and birds, are less likely to take notice of dangers during twilight hours and thus become easy targets for the hungry feline.

The same hunting instincts are responsible for your cat’s playful disposition just as you get ready for bed. Their crepuscular nature means they’ll be running up and down your room exactly when you’re least likely to appreciate it: early mornings and late evenings.

However, some domesticated cats are nice enough to adjust their sleeping routines to match the waking hours of their owner. After all, they do need a cooperating human around to give them their share of food, water and play time.

Why do cats sleep on you?

You’ve probably woken up more than once to your cat curled up fast asleep on your chest. If you’re wondering why does my cat sleep on me when they have a perfectly comfy bed of their own, here are a few possible reasons:

  • They trust you
  • They want to keep warm
  • They think you’re a comfortable spot
  • They feel the safest when you’re around
  • They love you
car sleeping on a person

All these reasons combined make you the perfect company for letting their defences down to get a good, refreshing rest.

What is a catnap?

Curled up, stretched out or standing up, cats have no problem dozing off whenever they feel like it. We humans have taken notice and used it as an inspiration for our quick naps during the day. The term ‘catnap’ was coined to refer to a short sleep similar to the ones cat have.

Is your cat sleeping too much?

It might seem your cat is sleeping their life away, but most of the time this is just part of their natural sleeping patterns. However, if you do notice more snoozing than usual (or maybe less) make sure you bring it up with your vet. Although it might be down to the weather or just their mood, a change in the sleeping routine can also point to more serious health concerns. Anaemia, gastrointestinal problems, depression or pain can make your kitty extra lethargic or cause loss of sleep.

Since it seems that dreamland is their favourite place to be and you should feel lucky whenever you manage to catch your cat between naps, find out more about the cat sleep cycle in our article about cat dreams. Or understand your kitten’s behaviour better by learning what their body language means.