Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio
Our cats live the good life – they sleep until they’re ready to eat or demand your attention. But why do cats sleep much of their day away?

Cats are notorious for sleeping the majority of the day away. In fact, they can sleep an average of 15+ hours, so it may seem like sleeping is all that your kitty really does. But why exactly do cats sleep so much?

Resting to Regain Energy After a Meal

Your cat is a natural born hunter, and this sets the stage for his sleeping patterns. Because hunting takes a high amount of energy, what with all of that stalking, chasing, and tackling of prey, these animals are wired to rest after they make their kill, have their meal, and clean themselves. In this way, they can recharge their bodies before the next hunt.

You may also notice that your cat tends to be up and moving about the house or asking for food around dawn and dusk. Your kitties are most active during these hours because these are the times of day when cats would normally hunt in the wild.


Even though sleeping most of the day away comes naturally to cats, they will sleep more if they become bored, especially when you aren’t home. To help relieve boredom, leave the TV on with some cat-friendly shows for him to watch. Or you can purchase cat-safe toys that you can leave around the house for him to play with. And if you have more than one feline companion, they can keep each other company to relieve boredom (it’s the perfect reason to adopt another cat!).

The Weather isn’t Ideal

Just like people, cats can be affected by weather conditions. For example, some cats may end up sleeping more because they feel tired as a result of the weather being cold. Others may find rainy days really tiring. But every pet is unique, so your cat may not be affected by the weather like others are.

When Sleeping Isn’t Normal

Kittens who are still growing and developing will need more sleep than the average adult cat. And seniors will also sleep more than younger adult cats as a result of their age.

Although sleeping a lot is completely normal for cats, there is such a thing as too much rest. If you notice that your kitty is sleeping more or less than usual, consult your veterinarian, as there could be an underlying medical condition causing these shifts in behavior and sleep patterns.

Fun Facts About Sleeping Cats

  • Although it might seem like your cat is completely asleep, he may just be dozing rather than in a deep sleep (which explains where the term “cat nap” came from). Dozing lasts roughly 15 to 30 minutes, and you’ll probably notice that your cat’s body is positioned in such a way that he can quickly spring to action if necessary. This allows your cat to be immediately responsive to whatever wakes him up, so he’ll be ready to fight or take flight to save himself. Even while they doze, though, cats are getting necessary rest. But when your cat is in a deeper state of sleep, which typically lasts roughly 15 minutes, his body is healing and regenerating energy. Your cat will move from dozing to deep sleep and back and forth again until he wakes up.
  • Cats dream and snore. You may have observed your cat moving or twitching parts of his body during sleep, indicating that he was probably dreaming. Your cat may also make strange noises while sleeping, but snoring is normal for kitties when they are really relaxed.
  • For the first few weeks of their lives, kittens sleep the vast majority of the day.
  • Because cats are adaptable and social, they may be willing to change their sleeping habits to spend more time with you. They might also adjust their sleeping schedules according to their feeding schedules.
Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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