Picture of a cat asleep

Why Do Cats Sleep So Much? (The Answer May Surprise You)

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You’ve probably noticed how much your pet sleeps if you own a cat. So, why do cats sleep so much? This behavior comes from various contributing factors, making you wonder if it is normal or you should be concerned and take them to the vet. 

Why Do Cats Sleep So Much? 

Cats sleep so much for several reasons, including their instinctual behavior, conserving energy, or just following their crepuscular patterns. They may also be old, sick, in pain, bored, or stressed, making them sleep more than usual. 

Why Do Cats Sleep So Much During the Day? 

A feline’s sleeping patterns are crepuscular, meaning they are most active during dawn and dusk. However, if you pay close attention, you may notice that your pet will zoom around your house early in the morning or later in the day as the sun sets. 

This pattern encourages your cat to sleep during daytime hours. 

Why Do Cats Sleep So Much When They Get Old?

Once your cat reaches its senior years, its sleeping habits typically change. Older cats require more rest after a life of: 

  • Jumping
  • Climbing
  • Running
  • Playing 

This extra time generally appears around age 11 and will increase every year. It can be normal for your older cat to sleep up to 20 hours daily. 

Why Do Cats Sleep So Much in Summer? 

Cats have an intuition that comes from their wild feline genetics. Cats need to expel more energy to perform regular activities when the temperatures rise. 

Why Do Cats Sleep So Much When It’s Hot?

Your cat may seem lazier if you live in a region where the climate experiences hot temperatures. Your pet has a built-in fur coat that can keep them warm in the cold, but they can get heatstroke if they overexert themselves when it’s hot. 

They instinctively know they should refrain from high activity levels and conserve energy during these hot days.

Why Do Cats Sleep So Much When It Rains?

Another time you may notice less activity with your pet is when it rains. Today’s indoor cats are typically not fond of getting wet, making rainy days uncomfortable. 

When there are days that your cat cannot go outside to explore, it will save its energy and pass the time by sleeping. 

Why Do Cats Sleep So Much in Winter?

Although your feline friend will be energetic during dawn and dusk, you may notice a decline in activity during the colder winter months. When the seasons change, your pet’s circadian rhythm will also adjust. 

The daytime hours will be less, directly affecting the melatonin production in your cat. As a result, they will sleep more during the winter. 

Tips from Our Vets

Cats make excellent companions and bring so much joy to our lives. Unfortunately, however, they cannot speak to us.

If your pet exhibits odd behavior, it can be worrisome and difficult to know if the behavior is normal or a reason for concern.

Not sure why your cat is exhibiting a specific behavior?

  • Some behaviors can seem very odd but may be completely normal.
  • Others could signal illness or injury.
  • Due to the lack of ability for a cat to communicate with us verbally, it is imperative to pay close attention to what the cat is telling us through their behavioral changes.

The most important takeaway is that if you are ever concerned about a behavior that your cat is displaying, your best resource for information is your veterinarian.

In general, a new behavior that is not typical for your cat should be investigated. Examples would be:

  • Not eating
  • Suddenly sleeping more than usual
  • Becoming aggressive or grumpy when interacting with other people or pets

These behavior changes most commonly indicate that something is wrong, and your pet needs to see their veterinarian as soon as possible. It is much easier and more likely to be successful, to treat an illness early in its course as opposed to waiting until the cat is very sick.

Other odd behaviors include:

  • Eating feces or vomit
  • Chasing their tail
  • Sudden bursts of activity

These may be completely normal. However, if you notice a drastic change in your cat, for example, they never exhibited one of these behaviors, and now they suddenly are, it is prudent to have them examined by their veterinarian as soon as possible.

Even if the behavior is normal, it may lead to unintended issues.

For example, young cats consuming their feces or the feces of other cats can be a normal behavior but can lead to gastrointestinal upset as well as intestinal parasitism.

Parasites from your cat can cause serious health complications, not only for your cat, but also for you and your family, as many are transmissible to humans.

Licking of the feet or scratching may seem like normal cat behavior but typically indicates a health issue such as allergies, fleas, or skin infection.

Left untreated, these issues will worsen and cause additional discomfort for your cat.

Remember that your best source of reliable health information for your cat is your veterinarian. Because cats cannot verbally communicate with us, it is essential to be proactive with any possible health concerns.

Working with a trusted veterinarian as your partner will ensure many happy and healthy years for both you and your cat.

Final Thoughts: Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?

Although you may think your cat sleeps too much, it may be normal behavior, depending on the circumstances. Some common reasons for cats sleeping a lot include: 

  • Instinctual behavior
  • Crepuscular patterns 
  • Being older 
  • Being sick or in pain
  • If they are bored or stressed

If your cat’s sleeping patterns change drastically for no apparent reason, it may be best to take them to the vet to get checked out. 

If you’re wondering about other behaviors of your cat, we have a series of guides that explain why your cat may be doing what they’re doing:

 

 

 

 

Pet News Daily Staff
Pet News Daily writers are experts in pet care, health and behavior. We are members of Society for Professional Journalists and practice ethical journalism.