Cats naturally sleep for fifteen to twenty hours a day, and kittens may even sleep for twenty-two. Cats are mostly light sleepers and need more of it, but this way they’re always ready to pounce when food scuttles by. Cats are crepuscular hunters (meaning “active at twilight”), so they instinctively sleep away the rest of the day to save their energy and to stay hidden from their natural predators.

Cats’ natural playfulness is all good hunting practise, and feline hunting takes a great deal of skill, focus and energy to get right. That’s why plenty of “standby” sleep is essential for cats to recharge.

Cats also sleep a lot because of their eating habits

Cats eat small meals frequently, (like they would in the wild with mice and birds), and instinctively swallow chunks of wet food rather than chewing them thoroughly. This is their natural eating behaviour on a healthy feline diet since they don’t have the same molar teeth or range of jaw motion as chew-happy dogs.

Because of their eating habits, cats also require more rounds of gentle dozing between meals to digest these small unchewed meals fully, and to store every calorie of energy from their food ready for the next hunt.

Cats enjoy their sleep, too

Watch any cat that’s cosied up and sleeping soundly, and it’s easy to see that they love what they do for a living. (And who wouldn’t?). Domestic felines originally evolved in desert climates, and so they naturally adore warmth and shelter wherever they can find it. That’s why warmth + sleep = happy cats, and happy cats will generally snooze and dream the days away in between spells of hunting, scratching, cleaning, climbing, playing and cuddling.

Is my cat sleeping too much?

Probably not! Cats are champion sleepers, and catch more zzzs than any other common pet. It’s usually safe to assume that a cat is getting exactly the right amount of sleep they need to match their age and level of activity. However, if you do notice a change in your cat’s sleeping patterns, or if you suspect that they aren't sleeping enough, then it may be worth looking for changes in their weight, appetite, appearance and toilet habits too.

Despite their love of sleep, cats should still be responsive to stimuli (like food or the presence of their owner), and should enjoy interacting with you. But if a cat becomes unusually lethargic, or aggressive or defensive when woken by touch, this may even be a pain response to underlying infection, arthritis or other health condition.

Noticeable changes in a cat’s ordinary behaviour or appearance is often a strong signal that you should seek your vet’s advice. Routine procedures like a feline ultrasound diagnosis can often be the best way to identify any issues clearly, so that your veterinary care provider can act in plenty of time and get your feline friend back to their days filled with blissful sleep.

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