Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?

Have you ever wondered why cats sleep so much? Secretly envying their ability to lounge around all day while you have to go to work to keep the cupboards stocked with their favourite snacks? Well, it’s not laziness that leaves your moggy regularly seeking some shut-eye – the answer to ‘why do cats sleep so much’ can be found in their genetics.

Getting the lion’s share of sleep

Although your feline friend might be a world removed from the African Serengeti and the need to hunt and gather their own food, they still share genetics with their big cousins. Hunting expends large amounts of energy, so your moggy will instinctively sleep to conserve enough energy to spring into action for the next big hunting expedition.

How many hours does a cat sleep?

How many hours does a cat sleep a day? Cats spend around two thirds of their lives snoozing, but the amount they actually need will, much like humans, come down to age and other factors such as mood and health. The weather will also have an impact on how much sleep your cat gets, with colder weather encouraging them to curl up and enjoy some creature comforts.

It’s perfectly normal for cats to sleep for an average of 15 hours a day, with some hitting the snooze button to rest for up to 20 hours, but this will vary depending on their life stage.


Kittens will sleep for most of the day as they charge their little batteries ready for the next burst of mischievous activity.

Adult cats

When kittens become adolescents and adult cats, the amount of sleep they need will reduce and you will notice an increase in their activity levels.

Senior cats

Senior cats often hang up their ‘wild adult cat’ hats, instead choosing to slow down and sleep more frequently and for longer periods of time.

Cat sleeping habits

Snoozing while the sun shines

As with the big cats, the lion in your living room is crepuscular which means that they refuel during the day and become more active, and ready to hunt down their prey, when dusk arrives.

However, it’s not uncommon for considerate kitties to adjust their cat sleeping habits, and their circadian rhythms, to match their owner’s routine so they can enjoy play time with you while you are awake and curl up with you at bed time.

Kitty sleep stages

Just like humans, cats go through non-REM and REM sleep stages. You may notice your cat twitch and dream (dreaming of chasing squeaky friends?) when they’re in a deep REM sleep.

However, no matter how deep your cat may be sleeping, they’re always alert, ready to react and spring into action.

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