How Many Hours Do Cats Sleep?


Have you ever wondered how many hours do cats sleep? Cats are known for their seemingly endless slumber, but the actual duration and patterns of their sleep can vary greatly depending on factors such as age, environment, and health. In this blog post, we'll uncover the mysterious world of cat sleep patterns and behaviors.

We'll explore average sleep durations for kittens and older cats alike, as well as examine polyphasic sleep patterns that allow our furry friends to enjoy multiple cat naps throughout the day. Additionally, we'll discuss how predatory instincts influence a cat's sleeping habits and how domestication has affected these behaviors.

Furthermore, we will cover environmental factors that impact a cat's sleep duration and how adapting sleeping routines based on human interaction can benefit both pet owners and their feline companions. Lastly, we'll touch upon emotional states influencing feline sleep patterns before discussing identifying potential health issues through changes in your cat’s sleeping habits.

By understanding how many hours do cats sleep alongside other aspects of their restful behavior, you’ll be better equipped to ensure your beloved pet enjoys optimal health and happiness.


Average Sleep Duration for Cats

Cats are known to sleep a significant amount of time, with an average duration of 16-20 hours per day. The amount of sleep cats need can differ depending on age, lifestyle, and environment. Newborn kittens may require up to 24 hours of sleep daily while older cats might need slightly less. In this section, we will discuss the factors affecting a cat's sleep duration and age-related differences in sleeping patterns.

Factors Affecting Cat's Sleep Duration

  • Age: As mentioned earlier, younger cats like newborn kittens tend to sleep more than adult cats or senior felines.
  • Activity level: Outdoor cats that engage in hunting activities usually have shorter periods of rest compared to indoor-only pets who often lead more sedentary lifestyles.
  • Diet: A well-balanced diet can contribute positively towards your cat's energy levels and overall health which could affect their sleeping habits. Discuss with your vet which diet is most suitable for your cat, based on their individual requirements.
  • Mental stimulation: Providing mental enrichment through toys or interactive play sessions helps keep a cat happy and healthy; it also contributes towards regulating their sleep patterns by ensuring they're sufficiently tired out after engaging activities during waking hours.

The amount of time spent asleep tends to vary between different stages within a feline's lifespan. Here is what you can expect from various age groups when it comes to their slumber preferences:

  1. Newborns (0-4 weeks): Newborn kittens typically spend most of their day asleep, requiring up to 24 hours of rest in order to grow and develop properly.
  2. Juveniles (4-16 weeks): As kittens become more mobile and curious about their surroundings, they may start sleeping slightly less but still require a significant amount of sleep for healthy growth.
  3. Adults (1-7 years): Adult cats usually fall within the average range of 16-20 hours per day. Their activity levels during waking hours can impact how much rest they need at night or throughout the day.
  4. Seniors (7+ years): Senior cats, especially those suffering from conditions like feline cognitive dysfunction, might experience changes in their sleep patterns as well. It's essential for cat owners to monitor any shifts in their pet's behavior and consult with a veterinarian if necessary.

Cats tend to sleep in short bursts, also known as cat naps, throughout the day and night. They have a polyphasic sleep schedule, which means they alternate between periods of deep sleep and light sleep. Providing your cat with a comfortable sleeping area, such as a cat tree or cat shelves, can help them get the rest they need. Additionally, pet insurance can help cover any unexpected medical expenses that may arise due to changes in your cat's sleeping habits or other health issues.

Polyphasic Sleep Patterns in Cats

Polyphasic Sleep Patterns in Cats

Cats follow a polyphasic sleep schedule, which means they have multiple short bouts of sleep throughout the day and night. This is different from humans, who typically have one long period of sleep at night. These frequent cat naps last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes and allow cats to conserve energy while still being able to spring into action if necessary.

Catnap Characteristics

  • Duration: Cat naps can last between 15-30 minutes, allowing for quick restorative breaks.
  • Muscle tone: During these brief periods of rest, a cat's muscles remain relatively relaxed but not completely limp like during deep sleep.
  • Vigilance: Even though they may appear fast asleep, cats are always on alert and ready to respond quickly when needed. This is why you might see your cat suddenly wake up and jump into action without any apparent provocation.

Benefits of Polyphasic Sleeping Patterns

The polyphasic sleeping habits that cats exhibit provide several advantages over monophasic (single-phase) sleeping patterns found in most humans. Some benefits include:

  1. Energetic conservation: A cat's body uses less energy during shorter periods of rest than it would during an extended period of deep sleep. This allows them to reserve their energy for hunting or playing when awake.
  2. Hunting efficiency: Frequent napping helps maintain a cat's predatory instincts and keeps them sharp for when they need to hunt or defend themselves.
  3. Adaptability: Polyphasic sleep patterns allow cats to adjust their sleeping habits based on environmental factors, such as the availability of prey or changes in weather conditions. This flexibility helps ensure that they are well-rested and ready for action whenever necessary.

In summary, understanding your cat's polyphasic sleep schedule can help you better appreciate their unique sleeping habits and provide insight into how these patterns contribute to their overall health and happiness. As a responsible cat owner, it is essential to be aware of these behaviors so you can support your feline friend in maintaining an optimal balance between rest, play, and other daily activities. Providing your cat with a comfortable sleeping area, such as a cat tree or cat shelves, can also help keep your cat happy and well-rested. Additionally, considering pet insurance can help ensure that your cat receives the best possible care, especially as they age and may develop conditions such as senior cats or feline cognitive dysfunction.

Predatory Instincts Influencing Cat Sleep Habits

Predatory Instincts Influencing Cat Sleep Habits

One reason why cats need so much sleep is due to their natural predatory instincts that drive them to hunt small mammals or birds during twilight hours when prey is least likely to notice danger lurking nearby. Even domesticated felines retain these instincts which influence their crepuscular nature - most active during dawn and dusk.

Crepuscular Activity in Domesticated Cats

Although indoor cats may not have the opportunity to engage in actual hunting, they still exhibit crepuscular behavior patterns. This can be observed through increased activity levels at dawn and dusk, such as playing with toys or engaging in stalking-like behaviors around the house. These activities help satisfy your cat's innate desire for hunting while also providing essential mental stimulation and exercise.

Adapting Hunting Behavior for Indoor Living

To ensure your cat remains happy and healthy indoors, it's important to provide opportunities for them to express their natural predatory instincts safely within the home environment. Some ways you can do this include:

  • Scheduled playtime: Set aside time each day specifically dedicated towards interactive play sessions using toys that mimic prey movements (e.g., feather wands).
  • Puzzle feeders: Encourage problem-solving skills by hiding food inside a puzzle feeder or treat-dispensing toy designed for cats.
  • Cat trees & shelves: Provide vertical spaces like cat trees and shelves where your cat can climb, perch, and survey their territory.
  • Window perches: Offer a comfortable spot near a window where your cat can observe birds or other outdoor wildlife from the safety of indoors.

By providing these outlets for your cat's natural instincts, you not only help keep them physically active but also mentally stimulated. This, in turn, contributes to maintaining a healthy sleep schedule as they expend energy during their awake periods and then rest during the day when prey would be less active outdoors. Remember that understanding and catering to your pet's unique needs is essential for ensuring their overall well-being - which includes supporting healthy sleeping habits influenced by predatory instincts.

Environmental Factors Affecting Feline Sleep Patterns

Cats have a remarkable capacity to adjust their slumbering behaviors, and this includes how much shut-eye they get. Various environmental factors can influence how much rest a cat gets each day, with weather conditions playing a significant role in determining sleep duration. In this piece, we'll examine how various external elements can affect a cat's sleeping behavior.

Winter vs Summer Sleeping Habits

In colder months, cats tend to sleep more than they do during warmer seasons. This is because lower temperatures prompt them to conserve energy by resting longer. PetMD explains that outdoor cats may seek shelter indoors or find warm spots outside when the temperature drops, leading to increased hours spent sleeping.

  • Winter: Cats often sleep more during winter due to decreased daylight hours and colder temperatures.
  • Summer: As days become longer and warmer in summer months, cats typically spend less time asleep and engage in more active behaviors such as hunting or exploring outdoors.

Rainy Days Influencing Rest Periods

Rainy days also affect your cat's sleeping habits since wet weather limits opportunities for outdoor activities like hunting or exploring new territories. According to an article from Catster, some cats might even be sensitive enough to detect changes in barometric pressure before rain begins falling which could lead them into seeking shelter early on and catching extra z's until the storm passes over.

To ensure your cat's comfort and well-being, providing cozy resting spots like cat trees or shelves is essential to create a safe environment that accommodates their needs. This includes offering cozy cat trees or cat shelves for them to rest on during colder months, as well as providing safe spaces where they can retreat from loud noises or sudden changes in weather conditions.

In conclusion, understanding how environmental factors influence feline sleep patterns is crucial for keeping your cat happy and healthy. By monitoring these variables and adjusting accordingly, you can help create an optimal living space that promotes restful slumber for your furry friend.

Role of Human Interaction in Shaping Cat Sleeping Routines

Role of Human Interaction in Shaping Cat Sleeping Routines

Cats often adapt their sleeping routines based on the habits of their favorite humans. If you work during daytime hours or maintain a consistent feeding schedule for your furry friend, chances are high that your cat will adjust its resting pattern accordingly in order to enjoy quality time together and ensure mealtime remains predictable.

Adapting Sleep Patterns to Human Schedules

Many cat owners have noticed that their feline companions tend to synchronize their sleep patterns with those of the household members. Your cat may adjust their sleep schedule to match yours, so they can be awake and interact with you when you're home. This adaptation allows them not only to bond with you but also helps them feel more secure within their environment.

The Importance of Playtime and Stimulation

In addition to adapting sleep schedules according to human routines, cats require regular playtime and mental stimulation for optimal health and happiness. Engaging activities such as interactive toys, cat trees, or cat shelves, help keep indoor cats entertained while also providing much-needed exercise.

  • Puzzle feeders: These devices challenge your cat's problem-solving skills by requiring them to manipulate the feeder in order to access their food.
  • Chasing toys: Toys that mimic the movement of prey, such as laser pointers or wand toys with feathers, can help satisfy your cat's natural hunting instincts.
  • Hiding spots and perches: Providing elevated spaces for your cat to rest and observe their surroundings contributes to a sense of security and well-being.

Maintaining a consistent routine for playtime not only helps keep your cat happy but also supports healthy sleep patterns. By ensuring they have opportunities for physical activity during waking hours, you're helping them expend energy which may lead to more restful periods when it's time for sleep. Additionally, consider investing in pet insurance so you can provide the best care possible should any health issues arise related to sleeping habits or other concerns.

The Impact Of Emotional State On Cat Sleep Patterns

Cats' sleep patterns can be influenced by their emotional state. Stressful situations such as introducing new family members into the household or changing feeding times can affect how much rest a feline gets each day. Monitoring sleeping habits is crucial for detecting any changes caused by stressors.

Stress-induced alterations in sleep duration

When cats experience upheaval, such as relocating or a new pet joining the family, they may become distressed and agitated. This emotional turmoil can lead to disrupted sleep patterns and increased wakefulness during their usual resting periods. In contrast, some cats may react oppositely and seek solace in more extended periods of slumber when they feel stressed.

  • New pets or people entering the household
  • Moving homes or rearranging furniture
  • Sudden changes in daily routines (e.g., feeding schedules)
  • Loud noises from construction work or thunderstorms

Signs of distress affecting rest periods

Besides monitoring your cat's overall sleep duration, it's essential to watch out for signs that indicate distress might be impacting their rest quality. Some common symptoms include:

  1. Restlessness during sleep (tossing and turning)
  2. Vocalizations while asleep (whining or meowing)
  3. Increased grooming behaviors before bedtime
  4. Hiding or seeking isolation when it's time to sleep

If you notice any of these signs, consider consulting with a veterinarian or a feline behavior specialist for guidance on how to alleviate your cat's stress and improve their sleeping habits. Additionally, creating a comfortable and safe environment by providing cat trees, shelves, and cozy hiding spots can help keep your cat happy and well-rested.

Identifying Health Issues Through Sleeping Habits

Identifying Health Issues Through Sleeping Habits

It's important to monitor your cat's sleeping habits for any signs of injury, pain, or illness that might cause them to sleep more than usual. Consult with a veterinarian if you notice anything out of the ordinary so they can address underlying health issues promptly.

Signs Indicating Potential Health Problems

Cats are known for their ability to hide discomfort and pain, making it crucial for cat owners to be vigilant in observing their pet's behavior. Some indications that your cat may be experiencing health issues include:

  • Increase or decrease in sleep duration: If your cat is suddenly sleeping much more or less than usual, this could signal an underlying issue such as infection, inflammation, or even anemia.
  • Limping or difficulty moving: Cats who are experiencing joint pain from conditions like arthritis may have trouble getting comfortable and therefore struggle with restful sleep.
  • Vocalizing during sleep: While some cats naturally vocalize while asleep due to dreaming (as discussed under "Understanding Feline Brain Activity During Sleep"), excessive vocalization could indicate distress caused by physical discomfort.
  • Frequent waking up: A change in your cat's normal polyphasic sleep schedule where they wake up frequently throughout the day might suggest an issue such as urinary tract infections (UTIs) causing discomfort.

The Importance of Regular Veterinary Check-ups

Regular veterinary visits are essential for maintaining your cat's overall health and detecting any potential issues early on. It is recommended that adult cats receive a check-up at least once a year, while senior cats or those with known health conditions may require more frequent appointments.

During these visits, be sure to discuss any changes in your cat's sleep patterns with the veterinarian, as this information can provide valuable insight into their well-being. Additionally, consider investing in pet insurance to help cover the costs of routine care and unexpected medical expenses.

In summary, understanding how many hours do cats sleep is important not only for ensuring they have adequate rest but also for identifying potential health concerns that may arise from changes in their sleeping habits. Closely observing your cat's behavior and seeking vet advice when necessary can help maintain its well-being over time.

Understanding Feline Brain Activity During Sleep

Cats experience brain wave activity similar to humans during both slow-wave and REM (rapid eye movement) stages while asleep. Research has identified occurrences called "sleep spindles" which indicate dreaming is taking place when cats enter the REM stage characterized by quick eye movements, loss of muscle tone, and occasional twitches.

Slow-wave vs REM Stages in Cats

The sleep cycle of a cat consists of two main stages: slow-wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. During SWS, the feline's body relaxes, pulse rate decreases and respiration becomes more consistent. This stage allows for physical restoration and helps maintain a healthy immune system. REM sleep is important for mental functions like keeping memories and learning new activities.

In adult cats, approximately 75% of their sleeping time is spent in SWS while 25% occurs in REM sleep. Interestingly enough, younger kittens tend to spend more time in REM phase, suggesting that this might be essential for their development.

Dreaming Behavior Observed in Felines

  • Twitching: Just like humans do during dreams, cats may exhibit small muscle twitches throughout their bodies while they are experiencing vivid dream states within the REM phase.
  • Vocalizations: Some felines may make soft noises or even meow during their dreams - an indication that they are reacting to something happening within these mental scenarios.
  • Eye Movement: Rapid eye movement, which is the hallmark of REM sleep in cats and humans alike, suggests that your cat's brain is actively processing information while they snooze.

While it may be impossible to know exactly what our feline friends are dreaming about, these observations give us a glimpse into their fascinating world of sleep. As cat owners, understanding their sleeping habits and patterns can help ensure we provide them with a comfortable environment where they can rest peacefully and maintain optimal health. Cat trees and shelves can provide a comfortable and safe place for cats to sleep and play. Additionally, pet insurance can help ensure that your cat receives the best possible care if they develop any health issues, such as feline cognitive dysfunction, as they age.

FAQs in Relation to How Many Hours Do Cats Sleep

How many hours a day is normal for a cat to sleep?

A healthy adult cat typically sleeps between 12 and 16 hours per day. However, this can vary depending on factors such as age, health, activity level, and environment. Kittens and older cats may require more sleep than younger adults.

How many hours do cats sleep by age?

Newborn kittens sleep around 20-22 hours per day. As they grow older, their sleeping time decreases: young adult cats (1-7 years) usually sleep about 12-16 hours daily while senior cats (8+ years) might need up to 18-20 hours of rest.

Why do cats sleep 12 to 16 hours a day?

Cats are natural predators with crepuscular habits, meaning they're most active during dawn and dusk. Their long sleeping periods help conserve energy for hunting activities even though domesticated felines don't necessarily hunt for food anymore.

Do cats sleep 70% of their lives?

Yes, it's estimated that an average cat spends approximately 70% of its life asleep. This percentage varies based on individual factors like age or lifestyle but generally remains consistent throughout the feline population.


Understanding how many hours cats sleep is crucial for cat owners to ensure their pets' health and well-being. As we have learned, cats' sleep patterns vary depending on their age, predatory instincts, environment, emotional state, and human interaction. From newborn kittens to older cats, they require different amounts of sleep duration.

By paying attention to our feline friends' sleeping habits and adapting routines based on their needs, we can help identify potential health issues early on. It's also fascinating to learn about the science behind feline dreams and brain activity during sleep.

Sign up to our newsletter and enjoy 10% off one order

Which product do I need?
As Seen On: