You may have noticed that your cat sleeps a majority of the day with random spurts of energy sprinkled in. Perhaps you notice this when you're awoken in the middle of your night by sounds of your kitty running about. Or maybe you have noticed that your cat is hyper in the morning when you're up but by the time you're heading out the door, your cat is fast asleep on your favorite chair. Typically, most cats sleep an average of 15 hours a day while others can sleep upwards of 20 hours! This begs the question: why do cats sleep so much?
There are several reasons for this. First, cats are crepuscular, meaning that they are active during times of dawn and dusk and typically inactive during the day. Though it may not look like it when you're observing your adorable feline, cats are predators and their behavior reflects that of their ancestral carnivores. Thus, it is easiest to hunt for prey in the dark than during daylight. Though your cat may be an indoor cat, its physiology still reflects its predatory nature.
Another reason for the increase in activity during dawn and dusk is for protective reasons. It is easier for cats to hunt in the dark and hide from predators. Cats typically maintain these protective behaviors regardless of being indoor or outdoor cats.
Moreover, cats typically sleep to conserve energy. You might be inclined to ask why when they seemingly don't do anything all day? Well, first off, your cat might not be completely asleep. They might just have their eyes closed or be napping. Have you ever noticed your cat may be asleep but their ear might twitch to the slightest sound despite this? This is because your cat, though napping, is not experiencing deep sleep. The cat is still aware and alert of his or her surroundings despite the eyes being closed. Either case, cats are conserving their energy to play later-- whether that means going outside for a hunt or playing with their favorite catnip-filled toy. How else would your cat be able to jump crazy heights for that string or that red laser dot? After all, this takes a lot of energy out of the cat.
Finally, some credit can be attributed to weather. Much like how weather may affect us, it can affect cats too. Have you ever noticed your cat being exceptionally tired on rainy or cold days? We noticed our cats loved to cuddle and sleep with us through the night during the winter but would keep us awake if allowed in the bed on warm days. This may be to maintain warmth during those cold days. Even we experience more fatigue during these types of weather.
Nonetheless, cats can still adopt their sleep cycle to fit your schedule and their feeding schedule. They may sleep more while you are away during the day so they can be awake to play with you when you return home. Furthermore, they can alter their sleeping schedule depending on when you feed your feline friend as well. This is also why indoor cats tend to sleep more than outdoor cats. So, if your cat sleeps a lot and often, not to worry! It is completely normal. Be sure to use the time they are awake as best as possible!
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