Take a look at your cat right at this moment. What is he or she doing? Chances are pretty good that the answer is “asleep.” Cats sleep a lot, far more than humans and even more than dogs. No doubt about it, cats love to sleep! How many hours do cats sleep? Why do they do this? And probably most importantly, what can you do if their sleep schedule messes up yours? As it turns out, cats love to snooze so much because it's in their nature. Let’s go into more detail to answer all of these questions right now.
How many hours a day do cats sleep?
Your cat probably loves sleeping more than just about anything else. Cats sleep an average of fifteen hours a day, and some can sleep up to twenty hours in a twenty-four hour period. Light sleeping makes up about 3/4 of your cat's sleep time, with just 1/4 of their sleep time being devoted to deep sleep. These numbers are pretty impressive! It raises the question: why do cats sleep so much?
Why cats sleep so much
Felines exhibit plenty of so-called weird behaviors (weird to us at least!). Cats are known for kneading, hiding in small places, attacking cucumbers, and loving to sit in a box. All of these are motivated by their genes and animal instincts. Their need for so many hours of sleep has the same foundation.
Energy conservation is one of the main reasons for your cat's long periods of sleep. Your cat isn’t lazy; he or she is resting in order to hunt! Sleep is needed to conserve energy and recharge for the next time they need to chase, capture, and kill prey. While your cat is domesticated and eats the food you serve instead of hunting for dinner, the biological impulse of their wild ancestors remains.
How long do cats sleep?
It’s worth noting that while your cat may sleep for 15 hours a day, he or she isn’t sleeping for 15 hours straight. In fact, despite the fact that cats sleep so much, they are well known to wake up their human family. There is a reason why quick naps are called “catnaps.” A catnap snooze for cats usually lasts about fifteen minutes to a half-hour and makes up a large chunk of their sleep pattern. The problem becomes when your cat wakes up in the middle of the night or early in the morning, waking you up right along with them!
How to adjust cat's sleep schedule to your routine
Your cat will spend much of the late morning and afternoon sleeping and much of the evening and early morning running in circles around the house. Cats are “crepuscular,” which is a zoological term for animals that are active in twilight between dusk and dawn. This may be great for hunting mice in a field, but it’s not so great for letting your human family sleep in on Saturday morning!
There is no such thing as "too much" or "too little" sleep for your cat. A cat listens to their body and rests when needed. This is why it's not really possible to force your cat back to sleep just because it's 4 a.m. and you'd like to get a few more hours of slumber. Animal human sleep cycles differ greatly, and this can affect the quality of your sleep. If your cat is on your bed but isn’t sleeping, chances are pretty good that you aren’t sleeping either!
Instead of trying to change why or how long your cat sleeps, it’s much more attainable to change where he or she sleeps. It is possible to reclaim your bed and even your bedroom if you don’t want your cat interrupting your sleep. It just takes some retraining.
Cats can sleep in a new dog bed and enjoy it just as much as a dog will. We most often call these products dog beds, but that is not to say only a dog can use one. If you order a small dog bed for a cat, they will probably like it very much. In fact, this is a question we get quite often and one we’re happy to answer with a resounding yes! A cat can sleep in a dog bed and will more than likely enjoy it very much!
Experts recommend you set up a nice, warm spot and reward your cat for using it. You may want to use a heated blanket with a comfy item, like a sock or shirt, that smells like you. Praise and pet your cat when they snuggle down into it. That way, you’re reinforcing the behavior you want to happen more often, them sleeping in their new bed. Remember to be consistent! Every cat is different, but with the right training techniques you can both get back to a restful night’s sleep in no time.
By working with your cat's natural cycle instead of against it, both of you can get a good night's sleep. You’ll both be happier this way!