Whether she stays put or moves every few hours from your bed to a sunny window sill to the cool tiles in the kitchen, your cat spends a significant part of her day sleeping. There’s no doubt that it’s one of her favorite activities. But how much do you know about your cat’s sleeping habits? Here are 7 facts that may surprise you.
#1 – Cats spend 2/3 of their lives sleeping
Don’t be alarmed if your cat sleeps a lot. It’s actually perfectly normal and healthy for a cat to sleep for 16-20 hours per day! Cats who spend the most time sleeping are generally either very young (new kittens) or elderly.
#2 – Cats experience both non-REM sleep and REM sleep
Just like you, your cat experiences both non-REM and REM sleep. You’ll know your cat is in deep REM sleep (and dreaming!) when you see her body or face twitch.
#3 – Cats are always on alert, even when they’re asleep
Cats are hardwired to be able to fight or flee at a moment’s notice, even when they’re sleeping. If you’ve ever touched your cat while she was deep in twitchy REM sleep, you may have noticed how quickly she’s able to spring to action with complete alertness, ready to defend herself and her territory.
#4 – Cats do most of their sleeping during the day
Your cat’s wildcat ancestors slept all day so they could hunt all night. Your cat’s sharp sense of hearing paired with her ability to see clearly in very dim light gives her a huge advantage over her prey once the sun goes down. Though cats can be trained to adhere to a schedule more in line with your own, they’re naturally nocturnal.
#5 – Sleeping helps them conserve energy
Sleeping a lot helps your cat conserve energy, making it easier for her to spring into action at the first sign of play or prey.
#6 – The weather affects your cat’s sleeping habits
Do you get sleepy when the weather is rainy? So does your cat! If you start paying attention, you’ll probably find that your cat spends a larger chunk of her day snoozing when it’s rainy or cold out.
#7 – Some cats snore
Your cat can snore, just like you. It’s often the result of the position she’s laying in or a partial obstruction of her airway. Some breeds, such as Persians and Himalayans, are more prone to snoring than other breeds since their smooshed faces often produce respiratory issues. Don’t worry about your cat’s snoring unless you notice other signs of respiratory distress, such as open-mouth breathing, she’s extending her neck and head, sneezing or coughing, producing a nasal discharge, or if her voice has changed. It’s time for a vet visit if you notice any of these signs.