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Why Does My Cat Sleep So Much? The Top 7 Reasons Your Cat is Sleeping So Often

Why Does My Cat Sleep So Much? The Top 7 Reasons Your Cat is Sleeping So Often

✔ This article was reviewed for accuracy by a licensed veterinarian.

The day we took our kittens home, I was excited to show them their new home, their snacks, and their toys! Within an hour of stepping in the door — one was on the couch, passed out, and I was a bit surprised. I couldn’t help but wonder: why does my cat sleep so much? I also wondered where the other one was. (Under the couch, of course.)

I spent three days researching this topic across the internet and I reviewed the results with a licensed vet to ensure accuracy. I also have years of experience witnessing my own cats sleep in the weirdest positions, the strangest places, and at the most surprising times of the day.

Cats and humans have lived alongside each other for thousands of years. As cats do, they took their sweet time in deciding whether to be domesticated or not. We’ve used this time to study our feline partners and learn more about their habits — especially sleep.

Some key facts about cat sleep include:

  • Cats sleep most of the day. 13-20 hours on average depending on age.
  • Cats have two stages of sleep: Non-REM and REM.
  • Cat sleep patterns can adjust to align with their owners’ sleep patterns over time.
  • Cats often sleep in 15-30 minute intervals.
  • If your cat is a good sleeper, you’ve done a great job at making them feel safe and comfortable!

Here are the top 7 reasons cats sleep so much:

#1. Cats are Crepuscular Animals
#2. Cats Are Genetically Designed to Sleep Often
#3. Cats Are Predators Who Need Rest and to Conserve Energy
#4. Cats Can Get Bored
#5. Weight May Impact the Amount of Sleep Your Cat Gets
#6. Your Cat May Be Sick
#7. Weather May Impact Cat Sleep
Final Thoughts

Keep reading to learn more about each reason!

#1. Cats are Crepuscular Animals

A crepuscular animal is one that is more active during twilight hours like dusk and dawn. Your cat is likely more active during the times where you are less active.

Cats are adaptable, loving animals though, and they like to be around the people they love. As such, their sleeping patterns can adjust to align with yours. It may take allowing them in the bedroom at night, which is a game of chance! (“It’s a no from me, dog.”)

#2. Cats Are Genetically Designed to Sleep Often

A cat resting on a cat bed. Why does my cat sleep so much?
Just five more minutes!

Cats experience two types of sleep:

  1. Non-REM sleep. This is a lighter sleep or a “catnap.” This makes up about ⅔ of total cat sleep.
  2. Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. This is where most kitty dreams occur, and like humans — cats don’t move much while in REM. This makes up about ⅓ of total cat sleep.

Age helps inform how much your little friend should be sleeping.

  • Kittens often sleep 20+ hours a day. At such a young age, this sleep is required for growth.
  • Adult cats sleep between 13 – 18 hours a day. 
  • Senior cats tend to sleep a bit more than adult cats. As they get older, they’re less mobile and have less energy. They also may prefer the History channel on in the background.

Although sleep patterns change as your cat ages, there will always be a lot of sleep!

#3. Cats Are Predators Who Need Rest and to Conserve Energy

A cat walking towards a laser pointer. Why does my cat sleep so much?
Stay very still…I just want to talk.

Your cat is both a predator to some animals and prey to others. Cats are aware of this and look for safe situations when they need to recharge.

Dr. Marci Koski is a certified feline behavior consultant in Vancouver, Washington. She notes that cats want to sleep in a safe area as they’re more vulnerable when resting. Nothing is safer than being near their human, so they feel more comfortable to sleep when you’re close by!

Your cat likely positions its body in a way that allows them to quickly wake and exit a potentially dangerous situation. Cats in the wild need to do so to survive, and your cat has the same genetic makeup. 

They could also be positioning their body so they can quickly meet you in the kitchen for snacks. At least my cats do.

#4. Cats Can Get Bored

Believe it or not, your cat is not very entertained watching you. Your cat’s world can be a bit limited. Their days often include the same events, in the same areas, and little to no adventure or chase that they are programmed to crave.

You can combat this! You can buy and try new toys, harness train your cat and walk him, or even build new climbing shelves and areas so he can climb indoors.

Changing your environment can make a huge difference in your cat’s life. In addition to climbing shelves or walking your cat, you can add cat trees, stimulating games to the home, or other inventive ideas you can come up with.

#5. Weight May Impact the Amount of Sleep Your Cat Gets

An overweight cat may be less active than a leaner, more active cat. Cat obesity can be a serious issue, impacting more than just sleep.

Carolyn McDaniel is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She notes “probably 50 percent of cats seen at veterinary clinics these days are overweight, if not obese.”

Increased rest is likely the least of your worries if your cat is overweight. But if he is sleeping more often than usual, and he’s also gained some weight — this could be a factor.

#6. Your Cat May Be Sick

There are many ways to tell if your cat is sick and a decreased energy level is a common tell. Your eye may not be able to pick up on some of the other factors, but a sudden decrease in energy and increase in rest may be obvious to you.

VCA Hospitals notes that cats that are not feeling well may look a little “off.” Other factors to consider include: 

  • A decreased appetite
  • Discharge (from the eyes or nose)
  • Decreased social interaction
  • Increased shedding
  • Matted fur

Keep an eye out for some of these tells, in addition to a change in the kitty’s sleep pattern.

#7. Weather May Impact Cat Sleep

A cat looking out of a window on a rainy day. Why does my cat sleep so much?
Today is a great day to watch Netflix and snooze.

There have been many times where I was leaving for work, saw the rain, and wished I could lay in bed and watch movies. Your cat may feel the same way when the weather changes!

On a cold or rainy day, your little guy may want 5 more minutes, or hours, of rest. 

Keep in mind that you may also be home more often during these times. So, combining the weather with the safety net of his human may lull him right to sleep. 

Final Thoughts

Next time you wonder: why does my cat sleep so much? Remember that there are many reasons that may be contributing to the abundance of cat naps.

Per the Memphis Emergency Animal Center, you should be concerned about dramatic changes to your cat’s sleep pattern. Call the vet if his sleep has suddenly increased or decreased, or other areas of his life have noticeably changed. 

This guide provides what could be causing more sleep, but your vet will know what is best for your cat!

We also recommend this great video by AnimalWised!