March 18th may be one of Fluffy’s favorite holidays: it’s World Sleep Day! If there’s one thing our feline pals are fond of, it’s naps. Actually, there’s a good chance that your kitty is sleeping right now. Why are cats so tired? A Rochester, NY vet delves into this topic below.
The majority of our feline friends sleep between 12 and 18 hours every day, but many of them sleep even more than that. Kittens and senior cats are the drowsiest. There is some logic here: kittens grow in their sleep, while seniors are apparently expert nappers. However, 20 hours a day just *might* be a little much.
Most furballs sleep several times a day, but will often have one or two naps that are longer than the others. The average cat nap is about 78 minutes, but they can range from about 50 minutes to 113. Fluffy will also sleep more when it’s cold or dreary out.
Cats have a circadian rhythm, just like humans and many other animals. This 24-hour cycle is Fluffy’s biological clock for sleeping and recharging. One thing that is interesting about kitties’ sleep patterns is the fact that they will adjust their snoozing schedule in order to spend as much time as possible with their humans. For instance, if you work the night shift, Fluffy will snooze while you’re gone, but she’ll save that long stretch of sleep for when you go to bed, so she can curl up with you.
Kitty Sleep Cycles
Just like people, cats go through different cycles of their sleep, and experience both NREM (non-rapid eye movement) and REM (rapid eye movement) stages. Most of the time, your furball is in NREM. In this phase, your pet isn’t completely zonked out. She may still be drowsily monitoring what’s going on around her. You may notice her moving her ears or flicking her tail in response to sounds. The REM stage is when your feline buddy is in really deep sleep. This is also when she’s mostly likely to be dreaming. As to what kitties dream of, well, nobody really knows. We suspect that toys, mice, and beds are in the mix, along with boxes, sunbeams, food bowls, and Fluffy’s favorite humans.
Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your Rochester, NY animal clinic. We’re here to help!