Spending most of your day snoozing gently in a warm beam of sunlight with a full belly and the occasional head scratch as your human walks by — ah, the life of a house cat is glorious.
But there are instances where your cat may be sleeping too much. And yes, too much sleep can be a bad thing. Even if they do adorable things like cover their little faces or twitch while they slumber.
So is it normal for a cat to sleep all day, or should you be worried? Before you get too concerned about your snoozy Suzy, let’s take a closer look.
How Much Should a Cat Sleep During the Day?
Genetically cats are predisposed to be creatures of the night. They have excellent low-light vision, and that’s when they’re most active. They hunt nocturnally, especially if your kitty is left to roam outdoors during the wee hours.
Even if your furbaby is the ultimate indoor cat, they’re likely to be awake during those dark hours when the night reigns supreme thanks to instinctual behavior. This is why they need to spend a good portion of the daytime sleeping in preparation for their nighttime antics.
Senior cats and kittens often sleep 18 hours or more, but the average for adult cats is 12 – 16 hours a day. The other eight hours or so are split between grooming, exploring, observing, playing, eating, and taking care of their feline business.
Most House Cats are Crepuscular
Even though they still have nocturnal instincts deep within their genetics, house cats are more likely to be crepuscular. That is, they’re most active at dawn and dusk and actually manage to catch some z’s during the night.
This is a learned behavior that’s basically a compromise between their nocturnal inclinations and their humans’ lack of availability during the late night and early morning. Think of it as the cat equivalent of zoomies.
Is it Normal for a Cat to Sleep All Day? 10 Reasons Why a Cat Might Sleep More than Usual
Although it’s completely normal for cats to sleep for long periods, you might notice your pretty kitty is sleeping a lot more than usual. And it could potentially be a cause for concern. Here are the top reasons why your cat would start sleeping too much:
1. They’re Not Getting Quality Sleep
A lot of the time when you see your fave feline in a cat nap, it’s just that — a nap. They don’t enter a state of deep sleep very often because 75% of the time they’re only sleeping lightly and still slightly on alert. It’s their way of conserving energy for when prey, food, or a threat suddenly presents itself.
2. They’re Not as Young as They Were
Sadly all pets get older, and with age comes the imperative to sleep more often. 18 – 20 hours a day isn’t unusual, but if they’re still keeping to their usual antics while awake, there should be no cause for concern.
You might notice that they no longer prowl when they usually do, or are seeking out your attention less when awake. In this case, it may be a good idea to pop to the vet to get that lethargy checked out.
3. They’re Bored
Cats that are bored or stressed sleep more than the usual 12 – 16 hours a day. They may need a more engaging environment, especially if left home alone a lot. Try to set aside some daily playtime with your furry friend, and invest in some interactive toys like scratch posts and automatic laser toys to keep them entertained.
4. They Might be Obese
A chubby cat will be more inclined to nap the day away. A lack of exercise and an imbalanced diet make for a bad combination when it comes to weight control. A lean, protein-rich diet fed three to four small meals a day is ideal.
If you work away from home or are gone for long periods, don’t leave out a big bowl of food they might overeat out of boredom. An automatic feeder that doles out regulated portions at timed intervals is a lifesaver in this scenario.
5. They’re Depressed
Yes, your precious pussycat can get depressed, too. They might lose their appetite, sleep more often, and avoid you. It often results from an underlying illness rather than a mental health issue, so if you notice these symptoms in your kitty, it’s time for a trip to the vet to see what’s ailing them.
6. Bad Weather
Just as much as the rain makes us want to cuddle under warm blankets and catch 40 winks, it has a similar effect on your cat. In the winter months or rainy season, they may be more inclined to longer, more frequent cat naps. The lower amount of sunlight on stormy days kicks in those sleepy feels.
7. They have a Viral or Bacterial Infection
When a body is fighting off an infection, sleep is a necessary requirement. Viruses and bacteria can be picked up surprisingly easily from contaminated food, wounds, or interaction with other sick animals.
Lethargy and fatigue are common symptoms, but there are typically other symptoms that will help you realize they’re sick and need a vet.
Common viruses are feline herpes, feline distemper, and feline immunodeficiency virus, while common bacterias include salmonella, bordetella, e.coli, and clostridia.
8. They Have Diabetes
Diabetes is pretty common amongst cats, and one of the notable symptoms is lethargy and extra cat naps. Others include loss of appetite, vomiting, weight loss, and dehydration, so you would definitely notice. A strict diet would have to be enforced to help balance their blood sugars, but you should discuss the best way forward with your vet.
9. It Could Be Arthritis
If your older cat isn’t simply giving into their naturally longer sleep schedule from their senior age, it could be that they have arthritis. It’s a degenerative joint disease that causes inflammation and pain in the joints, making them less inclined to move.
It might be more comfortable to stay in their curled-up cat nap than try to get up. Speak to your vet if you’re concerned this could be the cause of your older cat’s excessive sleeping habits for some pain solutions.
Toxic plants and substances are hazardous for pets, especially if they roam outdoors. Sleeping a lot more than usual is just one potential sign that your kitty has inhaled or ingested something poisonous.
But there would be more severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, and the even presence of blood in both of these. The vet is your only (and immediate) option in this case.
Can I Change My Cat’s Sleeping Routine?
It is possible to encourage your kitty to sleep more at night and less during the day if you want to interact with them more during reasonable hours. Here are some ways you can encourage a peaceful night’s sleep.
1. Early Evening Exercise
Basically, just tire the little guy out by starting some intense play before bedtime. Cat wands and lasers are a great way to do this without getting exhausted yourself. After a good play session, they’ll usually be ready to wind down for a nap. (www.utahfoodbank.org)
2. Feed the Biggest Meal Before Bed
After they’ve had their playtime but before they get too sleepy, give them a nice big dinner in accordance with a balanced diet. This means they’ll be less inclined to wake you up with a hungry belly in the middle of the night.
3. Ignore Them
They’ll get up to shenanigans at night if that’s what they’re used to, but it’s important to ignore them. Reacting to their behavior will only give them an incentive to carry on with it. If you confine them to a separate part of the house where there isn’t much for them to do, they’ll get bored and doze off.
Is it Normal for a Cat to Sleep All Day | Wrapped Up
So, there you go. Cats love to nap so they can literally be prepared for anything — it’s in their DNA, basically.
But there are certain times when too much sleep indicates an underlying problem. So keep an eye on your kitty, and if you notice their sleeping patterns changing, best to head to the vet for a check-up to be on the safe side.
Ever wondered why your cat sleeps next to you? Read here and find out.