Do cats sleep?

If you are a cat owner you would know that the cat has four main activities listed on its daily planner…. play, groom, eat and sleep. Stray cats and cats in the wild would include hunting prey on the list of activities but basically, an indoor cat’s day would revolve around the mentioned four activities. Cats usually spend 2/3 of its day having a close eye. It appears that the sandman consistently sprinkles the cat with its daily quota of the magical sand. Cats sure do know how to sleep.

Cats don’t only love sleeping…cats love to sleep on the most unlikely places too. You certainly have seen a cat sleeping on the branch of a tree, on the roof, on the narrow ledge, on top of the piano and on the backrest of the sofa. Sleeping atop a narrow fence is a feat that only cats can do. Of course cats also sleep on their own bed or on their owner’s beds. Cats really do have some amusing sleeping habits. Cats love to sleep on a puddle of sunlight, on top of the still warm stove or in front of the roaring fire. It seems that cats love to be warm when sleeping. However, cats are seen sleeping under a parked car, under a shady tree, or on a small cardboard box. Because cats love sleeping so much, they would sleep anywhere.

During the first few days, new born cats would sleep almost 24 hours. Generally, outdoor cats sleep anywhere from 13 to 16 hours a day. These cats need to hunt to survive. Although cats are often dubbed as nocturnal animals, cats are actually crepuscular hunters. Cats would hunt at dawn and dusk because it is during these times that their prey are most active. Unlike herbivores that spend more time grazing, cats would consume the prey in a flash. After eating, the cat has nothing else to do so it would sleep. Indoor cats have more sleeping time. A cat inside a temperature controlled home, one that is left alone all day would have more time to sleep. Indoor cat can sleep from 16 to 20 hours a day because of boredom. The sleeping pattern of a cat though depends on some factors. Senior cats tend to sleep more as compared to young playful cats. Cats that are not in the peak of health tend to sleep more as well.

What do cats get from sleeping? Sleeping is important for cats because this activity allows the cat to rest and the body to makes the necessary repairs. Like humans, cats too have 2 phases of sleep – the REM and the Non-REM sleep. The REM or the Rapid Eye Movement is the phase when the cat dreams. The non-REM phase is very important as it is during this stage that the body grows and the tissues make the needed repairs.

Cats are seen having a snooze all the time. However, seldom would cats have the kind of sleep where rousing them would be difficult. Cats are always alert even when they are sleeping. Remember, cats have very sensitive senses. A sleeping cat would wake up instantly when it hears an interesting rustling sound or when it gets a whiff of its favourite prey. Even domestic cats that no longer need to hunt or to fend off possible attacks of predators would still be able to wake up instantly once a threat or the presence of a prey is perceived.