The above picture is of Charlie at age 18 1/2. He has since 'crossed over the bridge.'
How much do you sleep per day? Six to eight hours? How long do your cats sleep? Experts say that our cats sleep twice as much as we do! Sixteen hours is the average amount of time that our cats sleep per day. Older cats and kittens spend even more time sleeping. When our cats aren’t playing, eating or washing, they’re sleeping.
Before our cats sleep, they arrange themselves carefully. That might include fluffing up the carpet or blanket. If cool, they curl up tightly with their tail wrapped around themselves and their head tucked underneath a paw or leg to retain body heat. If warm, cats stretch out to their full length with their head resting on outstretched front legs. Some sleep on their backs with legs sticking straight up in the air. This was frequently true for Charlie who has ‘crossed over the bridge.’ I had to include the above picture of Charlie asleep on his back with one paw placed on his forehead…as if he had a headache. In reality, he is probably just shielding his eyes from light. Some cats sleep with their heads hanging over the edge of something. For some cats, this is their favorite position. It is for Inkee-Bear.
Cats are crepuscular which means that they are most active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. Wild cats lay low or sleep during the darker nighttime and daytime hours, when other predators are hunting. Some cats may be active at night as well, especially kittens. In the wild, cats have to hunt to eat. The stalking, chasing and killing of prey burns energy. Sleeping conserves energy between meals.
However, experts say that cats are social and highly adaptable. Thus, your cats are apt to adjust their sleeping habits so they can spend more time with you. Cats also adjust their sleep patterns to their feeding schedules, which is why indoor cats might sleep more than cats that roam outdoors.
Is there a difference between a cat that is deep asleep and a cat that is only napping? Yes. When a cat is snoozing or in a light sleep, they position themselves so they can spring up and into action at a moment’s notice. When snoozing, their ears twitch and rotate toward noises and their eyes will be open a tiny bit. Almost 75% of our cats’ sleep time is spent in the ‘snooze’ or ‘light sleep’ mode. Some experts indicate that cats are only in the ‘deep sleep’ mode 5% of their sleep time.
Just like us two-legged critters, cats are affected by weather. Cats generally sleep more when the weather calls for it. A rainy or cold day will probably have all of us yawning and yearning for some naptime.
Information for this article was obtained from the book “How to Be Your Cat’s Best Friend by Elizabeth Randolph; from the following websites: catster.com; petmd.com and petful.com and from my experiences with the cats who have lived with me, including the Cat Authors.