Home » How many hours a day should a cat sleep, according to experts?

How many hours a day should a cat sleep, according to experts?

In this article, we explain how many hours a day a cat sleeps. But also what it looks like and why you shouldn’t always settle for a sleeping cat.

Cat sleeping habits:

Adult domestic cats sleep 15 to 16 hours a day, about 70% of the day. However, feral cats or cats with access to the outdoors cut this sleep time significantly. The difference between the number of hours of sleep between an adult domestic cat and a feral (or outdoor) cat is due to the lack of stimuli inside the house. There is no prey inside to hunt, no new areas to explore, and no dangers to avoid. Therefore, the cat decides to sleep.

She doesn’t need to be so active. Plus, anyone who lives with a cat knows that these felines are nocturnal animals. So a large part of the fifteen hours they spend sleeping is daytime. As veterinarian Adriana Velázquez explains:

Cats are nocturnal animals by nature. Feral cats hunt at night and domestic cats have retained this tendency to sleep at night. However, this nocturnal habit is also a result of the lack of physical activity during the day when we are at work. The whole day is usually spent sleeping. When we come home from work, their day begins. We provide them with food, play and social interaction. It’s in the middle of the night that they hunt their prey and are most boisterous.

So, when asked how many hours a cat sleeps, we answer ‘it depends’, because the amount of rest varies depending on the environment in which the cat lives and, of course, other determining factors such as age.

If your cat sleeps a lot, here’s what you should know:

As mentioned above, domestic cats exhibit many behaviors that mirror those of their wild relatives. In this sense, it shouldn’t be assumed that cats living at home don’t have a need to move around, hunt, discover new things, and take on challenges.

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A cat that sleeps out of boredom can become obese and cat-like, lose its agility and become more unkempt than a cat whose owners care about stimulating it.

How many hours does a cat sleep?

As we have seen, an adult domestic cat sleeps between 15 and 16 hours, or 70% of the time. However, kittens sleep much longer (up to 20 hours), as do older cats (up to 20 hours of lighter, intermittent sleep). Let’s take a look at why and what their rest periods are.

How many hours do kittens sleep?

During the first few weeks of life, cats sleep almost all day and can sleep up to 20 hours. This happens in newborn kittens because in the first few days of life, felines have not yet developed the neural connections that allow them to interact with their environment, so they don’t need to be awake to do so. Later, at about 5 weeks of age, the sleeping pattern changes and kittens begin to significantly reduce their sleeping time until they adapt to the normal sleeping time of any adult cat.

In terms of the number of hours a kitten sleeps, it is not surprising that it is almost 90% of the hours of the day, as kittens grow and develop during sleep. The secretion of certain hormones by the cat’s body is regulated by what are known as circadian cycles, or the cat’s body clock. One of these hormones is growth hormone, the production of which is stimulated by periods of slow sleep.

To understand why kittens sleep so much, it is important to know that the highest peak of growth hormone secretion occurs during the deep sleep phase, or REM sleep, approximately 20 minutes into the sleep cycle. This is why kittens not only sleep more hours than adults, but also sleep deeper, like young children: they need to grow.

Adopt, save a life and get a friend, If you would like to read more articles like this, we recommend visiting our Animals category.

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Cornell Volkman
Written by: Cornell Volkman
Hey there, I'm Cornell! For the past decade, I've been perfecting my craft as a writer with a love for nature and gardening. I take pride in creating engaging articles that bring the beauty of animals and gardens to life. From reporting on the latest conservation efforts to sharing tips for cultivating a thriving garden, my writing aims to inspire and educate. I'm excited to share my passion with you and invite you to join me on a journey of discovery!