Like any other animal, cats need their daily sleep hours. A good rest is essential in animal welfare.
How much sleep do cats need?
A domestic cat sleeps an average of 15 or 16 hours a day, which can be in a long continuous period or distributed in several naps. As you can see, it is a large part of the day, so rest is an important part in the life of cats.
Further, sleep hours depend on the age of the cat: a kitten will sleep longer than an adult, the same thing happens with older cats.
Likewise, felines are nocturnal animals, so much of those hours of sleep occur during the day, especially if they are usually alone in the morning. The hours in which cats are most active coincide with sunrise and sunset.
When we get home it is the time when they have social interaction, play or food, so the part of the day they are awake probably coincides with our arrival. This fact, together with its feline nature, explains why your cat bothers you just when you go to bed or are in it.
The cat’s environment
One factor that influences how much sleep cats need is environmental enrichment I have at home. A cat that goes outside or has access to a garden has more stimuli than a home one; A cat that lives with another cat always has a playmate, just as if a kitten is always accompanied by a person.
Having company all day, a place to walk or hunt, a window to look at, scrapers to climb or toys provides the animal with enough activity to distribute their hours of sleep and also rest at night.
Where do cats prefer to sleep?
Cats can get to sleep in very strange positions, worthy of a contortionist; Normally, we notice at a glance when a cat is comfortable enough.
They always look for a warm place, especially if it is autumn or winter: scrapers’ hiding places and beds are a good option. In summer they will look for a cool place and, probably, they will be less active during the day.
They tend to prefer refugee places, although they will never reject the comfort of a sofa, unless there is a cardboard box in between.
Why is sleep important?
Sleep is a basic need of animals, and that is that by sleeping we replenish the energy we spend during the day, essential for physical and mental functions.
It also affects brain development: sleep is essential for memory consolidation and learning.
The dream is divided into several phases that occur continuously and interspersed; During all stages of sleep an animal can dream and even have nightmares.
- Non-REM phase or deep sleep. In deep sleep It is when more dreams occur, and it is very common to see a cat trying to hunt something imaginary while sleeping. During this phase a high peak of growth hormone segregation occurs, so it is very important that newborns get enough sleep in their early stages to grow.
- REM phase (rapid eye moment). This phase is known by its acronym in English and the eyes move quickly while we sleep. It is in the REM dream that everything learned has been saved in memory Until now.
Now that you know the importance of sleep in cats, if you see an abnormal change in your cat’s sleep patterns, observe it and go to the veterinarian if you suspect any disease.
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