Anyone who has a pet cat knows where they’re most likely to find them during the day – sleeping peacefully in one of their favorite snoozing spots.
Cats certainly have a reputation for sleeping a lot, so much that we’ve even named the “cat nap” after those furry feline creatures.
On average, cats sleep around 15 hours a day, almost double the typical 8 hours humans are recommended to get.
However, some cats can sleep up to 20 hours in a 24 hour period.
You may wonder how something could spend over half of each day sleeping, but cats have good reason to.
Even though house cats may be mostly domesticated, they still have the physiology of a predator. Similar to the patterns of other larger cats, they’re hardwired to chase and hunt, even if you consistently refill their food bowl every day.
And hunting takes up energy. While your pet cat may not be stalking a zebra on the African savanna like a lion might, hunting for small outdoor prey or attacking their favorite toy uses up energy. And how do they receive that energy?
Yep, you guessed it – sleeping.
Cats are also crepuscular, meaning they’re more active during the night than during the day.
They spend most of their waking hours between dusk and dawn, so, when you’re snoozing, that’s actually the prime time for your cat to be up and about. Of course, when you finally pull yourself out of bed in the morning, there’s a good chance that your cat will be fast asleep.
Did you know the way that cats sleep isn’t exactly like the way humans do? Like people, cats experience both non-REM and REM-sleep. However, they have a particular sleeping pattern, where they doze, then sleep deeply for about 5 minutes, and then doze again, repeating the cycle until they’re fully awake.
Also, even when cats are asleep, they’re still attentive. If a strange sound wakes them up, they can be alert and ready to take on whatever comes their way almost instantly. Their instincts depend on the ability to stay safe and fed, even if they live a pampered life in the safety and comfort of their owners’ home.