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Kitties come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and personalities, but they share one thing in common. They are very, very tired! Fluffy certainly does love sleeping. In fact, cats will sleep around 15 hours per day, on average. They can even sleep up to 20 hours in a single 24-hour period. What’s that all about? Is being adorable that exhausting? Read on to find out more about your cat’s sleeping habits.
Your cat may be small and cute, but her physiology has evolved from the great feline predators of the wild, like lions and panthers. This means that predatory instincts, like stalking and hunting, are hardwired into your domesticated feline. It’s these instincts that are the root cause of your cat’s excessive sleep needs. The act of hunting takes a tremendous amount of energy. Simply put, Fluffy sleeps so much in order to conserve energy for the hunt. Big cats and little cats all sleep a lot, especially during the day. They’re saving up their energy for the coming hunt, whether they’re chasing antelope or just stalking a cat toy under the dining room table. (Of course, every other animal on the planet scrapes by on less excessive amounts of sleep, but that’s besides the point.)
It turns out that cats cycle back and forth between a dozing state and a deep sleep while they’re asleep. That dozing period will last anywhere from a few minutes to a half hour. Your cat will remain semi-alert during this time. Fluffy also tends to position herself so that she can easily hop up and move quickly if necessary. The deep sleep portion of the cycle lasts only about five minutes or so. (And yes, kitties do dream.) When it ends, your furball will re-enter the dozing period. This back-and-forth continues the entire time your cat is resting.
Cats are classified as crepuscular: they are most active between dusk and dawn. This explains why Fluffy tends to get more playful in the evening hours and in the early morning hours. Yes, it’s annoying to have your cat’s silly and adorable antics wake you up at five in the morning, but don’t get mad: those zoomies are built into your pet’s biology! Throughout the middle part of the day, of course, you’ll usually find your feline pal napping peacefully.
Do you want to learn more about your cat’s sleeping habits? Do you think Fluffy’s sleep schedule seems off? Contact us to learn more.