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Why is my cat sleeping so much?

Most people know that cats love to nap. They will nap anywhere, any time of day, but how much is too much? Here, our Rancho Cucamonga vets talk about cats and their sleeping habits and answer questions like 'How many hours does a cat sleep?' and 'When should I worry about my cat sleeping too much?'.

Why do cat's sleep so much?

Cats have evolved to sleep for long periods throughout the day. Wild cats need plenty of sleep to conserve their energy to hunt, chase, and kill their next meal.

Although our house cats may not need to hunt, the instinct to sleep and prepare for the hunt carries on. 

How much do cats sleep?

Wondering how many hours a cat sleeps per day? The number of hours that your cat needs to sleep and the typical sleeping pattern for your cat will change as they get older.

  • Kittens will likely sleep most of the day, with a few brief bursts of energy between meals.
  • Adolescent cats may have erratic sleep patterns combined with periods of intense playfulness.
  • Adult cats tend to have more set sleeping schedules that average out at about 12 - 20 hours of sleep each day.
  • Senior cats will tend to have less energy and reduced mobility which means they will sleep more than younger cats.

When your cat reaches adulthood, it will most likely develop a recognizable pattern of sleeping and waking. For example, you may notice that your cat wakes up just before you, spends an hour or two eating and socializing with you, and then goes back to sleep while you go about your business.

Do cats go into a deep sleep?

Cats do sleep deeply but not always. Much like people, cats are often just snoozing. 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.

When cats snooze lightly, they get the rest they need while remaining alert. When your cat is sleeping or snoozing, you may notice that its eyes are slightly open or that its ears twitch and rotate in response to noises.

When is a sleepy cat concerning?

No set amount of sleep indicates a health problem or emergency. Instead, it is important to understand your cat's normal sleep patterns and recognize when those patterns change significantly.

Cats who begin to sleep more than usual could be ill or experiencing pain. On the other hand, if your cat begins sleeping less than usual it may be suffering from hyperthyroidism or other conditions.

A healthy cat who’s just sleepy will react to your touch; he’d open his eyes and maybe move a little bit before falling asleep again. A lethargic cat, on the other hand, doesn’t react to your touch or any stimuli. He won’t stir when you open a bag of cat food.

Lethargy in itself is not a condition, but it can be a sign of poisoning, tick paralysis, infection, and heart or liver disease, among others. When you see your cat behave this way, check for other symptoms like:

  • Abnormal sleepiness
  • Low energy
  • Lack of response to surroundings
  • Pale gums
  • Appetite loss

If your cat begins to sleep a lot more or a lot less than is usual for him/her there may be a health issue, it's time to visit your vet.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you concerned about how often your cat has been sleeping? Contact our Rancho Cucamonga vets to book an appointment for your kitty.

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Rancho Regional Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Rancho Cucamonga companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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