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My cat sleeps constantly - how much is too much and when should I worry?

If you have a cat then you probably catch them napping most of the time. But have you ever wondered if your cat is sleeping too much? Our Charlotte vets talk about a cat's sleeping habits and answer some questions like 'How much do cats sleep?'.

Why do cats sleep so much?

Sleeping is the easiest way for your cat to build up energy for stalking and hunting prey. While our domesticated cats no longer need to hunt for food, their evolutionary habits haven't changed. Still, how much sleep does this actually mean that our cats get?

How many hours does a cat sleep?

When it comes to how many hours your cat is sleeping it generally depends on their age.

  • Kittens will likely sleep most of the day, with a few brief bursts of energy between meals.
  • Adolescent cats may have erratic sleep patterns combined with periods of intense playfulness.
  • Adult cats tend to have more set sleeping schedules that average out at about 12 - 20 hours of sleep each day.
  • Senior cats will tend to have less energy and reduced mobility which means they will sleep more than younger cats.

You will likely find that once your cat reaches adulthood they will begin to form a recognizable pattern of sleeping and wakefulness. For example, you may notice that your cat wakes just before you in the morning, enjoys an hour or two of eating and socializing with you, and then returns to sleep while you get on with your busy day.

Is your cat always sleeping or do they just look like it?

Cats do sleep deeply but not always. Much like people, cats are often just snoozing. Light sleeping makes up about 3/4 of your cat's sleep time, with just 1/4 of their sleep time being devoted to deep sleep.

When cats are snoozing lightly they get the rest they require but they're still alert. When your cat is snoozing or napping you may notice that their eyes remain slightly open or that their ears still twitch and rotate towards noises. 

Is there a point when a cat is sleeping too much?

There isn't a set amount of sleep to indicate a health problem or health emergency, instead, it's about knowing your cat's normal sleep patterns and recognizing when that pattern changes significantly.

If your cat begins to sleep a lot more or a lot less than is usual for him/her there may be a health issue, it's time to visit your vet.

Cats who begin to sleep more than usual could be ill or experiencing pain. On the other hand, if your cat begins sleeping less than usual they may be suffering from hyperthyroidism or other conditions.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your cat showing other concerning symptoms along with sleeping more than usual? Contact our Charlotte vets to schedule an examination.

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