Interesting Facts: Cats and Their Sleep

Updated on December 29, 2016

Sleeping As a Philosophy of Life

I do not know how many times I wished I was my cat. I just love my cat's philosophy of life. The world could tumble and there she is sleeping.

Cats are sure good sleepers. Just like their lion cousins, they may sleep 60% of the day. They will sleep up to 16 hours in a 24 hour day. Instinctively, they are conserving energy so they can concentrate on hunting. " Hunting? Hunting what?" you may wonder, as you grab the can opener and twist the lid off your cat's canned food. "Their food is freshly served in an instant!"

Well, these are modern times. Before we civilized cats and made them lazy, cats were running after prey, and this was fundamental because no prey=no food, no food= no survival. Nobody catered to them. So they would sleep their 16 hours and then concentrate their energy in several fast bursts of hunting sprees. Today, their hunting has been replaced by following a yarn ball or a fly. What a change!

But do not be fooled by your cats sleeping. You might have noticed that one second there she is eyes closed another second there she is close to the fridge. Leaving you thinking: "How did she do that?" In reality, cats do not sleep sixteen hours straight rather they alternate sleep with rest.

In nature, cats sleep but need to be alert at times if any prey approaches nearby, so this explains why they are so quick to react. Only difference now is that the movement of prey has been substituted by the movement of the fridge door! Oh, well modern times!

Usually a cat is sleeping profoundly when the REM cycle kicks in. Just like us, they will have rapid eye movements and muscle twitches. This is pretty normal and for some reason is more visible in small kittens.

Cats will dream as well. Many times you can see some tail and leg movement or even some soft meows. I am sure cats also have bad dreams as some times my cat would wake up suddenly scared and bounce off the couch. I have helped by petting her and reassuring her and then she would be back to sleep in no time.

Some cats will also snore. Pug-nosed breeds, such as Persians and Himalayans tend to snore more. A cat may snore more too if it has an upper respiratory problem or allergies. Always consult your vet if your cat seems to have trouble breathing and tends to sleep a lot more than usual.

Also remember that cats are nocturnal. When we are asleep, our cat may be highly active and playful. A good remedy to this is to provide exercise before you go to bed to tire kitty.

Many cats will be wide awake in the early hours asking for food. It helps to leave food around all night. This refers to dry food only. This way kitty can munch on how much it likes, a free choice all you can eat buffet. Do not wake up early on purpose to feed your cat. If you do so you are basically training your cat to bother you early every morning. Are you willing to put up with that? You must, therefore, be strong and ignore the meows or the knocking over objects to wake you up.

As stated earlier, I love my cat's philosophy of life, we can really learn from it. Let's take them as an example. A problem arises? I could just hear my kitty raising her head and saying: "Sleep over it, dude!"

Got a problem? Sleep over it dude!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.


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    • poojasd7 profile image


      7 years ago from India

      Loved it :-)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      meow! very helpful!!

    • brettb profile image


      9 years ago from London

      Interesting cat hub, A+++.

    • skydiver profile image


      10 years ago from UK

      I watched a documentary on Discovery channel last night about Dreams. Basically, a small part of the brain keep you from acting our your dreams, so as a test they cut this part out of the brains of a few cats and dogs. Google it if you don't believe me!! They showed video of Cats chasing 'mice' around the room whilst fast asleep, but of course there were no mice! Interesting, but very wrong.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      11 years ago

      I have had cats since I was a child, they are so relaxing creatures to just watch! Many times I think their philosophy of life is the best and we should learn from them. Too bad as humans we have ruined our existence with work, work ,work.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      11 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Love 'em too. My cat scratches on the glass slider to come in...or the wooden door from my shop...or the front door...Like she is knocking. she is very much like a watch dog too...I know when someone is coming...I am alone now so we have even become closer.. Where I am she is. G-Ma :O) nice hub


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