Many cat owners wonder how their pets can sleep for so long. The family is especially perplexed by small children who want to play with their cat right now. In response to flirting, the animal begins to get nervous, and then curls up and quickly falls asleep. Why do our cats sleep for so long and what affects the duration of their sleep?
Wild feline sleep
The life of a domestic cat basically consists of four simple activities: playing, grooming, eating and sleeping. The last lesson takes the most time. Cats are some of the best sleeping animals in the animal world, and there is a good reason. In the wild, these animals are nocturnal predators. This means that cats have to devote a lot of time to chasing prey, which means that this chase takes a lot of time and energy. Thus, the cat’s body has evolved to sleep most of the time and amass strength for future hunting.
Cat nutrition can also help increase sleep duration. Basically, cats eat protein, which takes a lot of time to digest. A wild cat usually sleeps between 16 and 20 hours a day. For young and not very old cats, this is near the upper limit of the range, while newborn kittens sleep almost a full day.
Cats are always on their guard, even when they are napping. If a strange noise wakes them up, they wake up almost instantly and quickly return to a conscious state. This ability allows the wild cat to remain safe and survive in the wild.
Domestic cats, of course, left the “survival of the fittest” behind. They do not need to chase dinner and goodies. On the contrary, they are served their dishes on time and often in abundance. But the instincts of domestic cats have not changed. They have the same genetic programming as wild animals. Domestic cats, like their wild colleagues, sleep about 16 hours a day on a fairly regular schedule, saving their energy for hunting. So nature takes care of these animals even at home, because a cat never knows when its gourmet food will end.
Do cats have sleep stages like humans?
Cats progress from slow sleep to fast sleep, like humans and other mammals, but the time they spend at each stage, as well as the full sleep cycle, is much shorter. Cats spend about 6 minutes in fast sleep, while humans spend between 90 and 120 minutes per night. You will not find the cat’s twitching mustache and eyelids during the phase of such a dream. Most of the time cats are in some kind of light sleep, where their noses and ears remain alert – ready to wake up at any time to hunt or defend themselves. At this point, cats can sleep in an upright or even sitting position.
Is your cat sleeping too much?
Domestic cats with fewer toys and games will sleep more simply out of boredom. However, if your cat seems excessively sleepy or lethargic when she is awake, this may be a sign of a health problem, such as anemia or hyperthyroidism. They may also experience cat arthritis pain. Cats are also more likely to sleep when they are overweight, so feeding a cat with healthier and slimmer foods can increase their energy and reduce sleep propensity. If you notice a sudden change in sleep with your pet, be sure to contact your veterinarian.
How can I help my cat sleep better?
- Feed your animal healthy food. Cheaper foods tend to contain less nutrients. As a result, your cat will become less playful and more lethargic.
- Give your cat enough time to play. Cats love to play. If you do not give the animal enough time to play, do not be surprised when it wakes you up at 2 a.m. You can occupy the animal throughout the day, providing it with regular games. For example, many cats like to watch birds outside the window and play with rustling bags. A glowing dark ball that is quiet on impact is a wonderful night toy for a cat.
- Feed your cat at night. Cats almost always fall asleep after eating. If your cat bothers you during sleep, you can use food to let it enjoy its primal instincts of a late dinner after a “real” hunt.
In fact, the feelings of cats during sleep are very sharp, especially the sense of smell and hearing. Therefore, they can begin to act at any time, for example, when they smell or hear a mouse nearby. Most cats love to curl up or stretch out while sleeping, but some prefer to sit. In this position, their muscles tighten and hold them upright. Like their owners, cats tend to like to sleep more when the weather is cold, gray or drizzling. Although cats usually sleep during the day and are active during the night, their connection with the host may be stronger than the circadian rhythm, so most cats adjust their schedule for them. They are awake when the owners are at home, and can sleep next to you when you lay down to take a nap.