Why do cats sleep so much?

Cats have the uncanny ability to make themselves comfortable in the strangest places!
Cats have the uncanny ability to make themselves comfortable in the strangest places!

Cats are probably some of the laziest animals around. After all, they sleep all day, and expect their human slaves to bring them food day after day. Right? Wrong. Actually, the cat’s sleeping pattern makes perfect sense.

 

All in the genes

Generally cats are most active at dusk and dawn, and then for up to 16 hours a day they will sleep. As your cat gets older she will need even more sleep – as much as 20 hours a day!

The explanation for this takes us back to the days before cats were domesticated, and had to fend for themselves in the wild. They had to hunt if they wanted regular meals, and for a cat hunting involves stalking, chasing and killing her prey – a process that burns a lot of energy. Therefore, the purpose of sleeping so much is to conserve as much energy as possible for the hunt – helping to ensure the cat’s survival. Our cats today are thus ‘programmed’ to sleep a lot, despite the fact that they get delicious meals served to them!

Ever wondered why cats are such fussy eaters? Read more here.

 

Sleep with one eye open …

Yes, they seem to sleep all the time, but it’s not always the same level of sleep. About three quarters of your cat’s naptime is spent in a ‘lighter’ sleep. In this state she still gets proper rest, but is alert enough to wake up instantly. When your cat is in light sleep her ears are still awake, twitching and rotating towards sounds, and her eyes might be slightly open.

In deep sleep your cat’s eyes will be tightly closed and she will usually be curled up, while the body works at renewing its energy.

* The full article appears in the June 2016 issue of Animaltalk.

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