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My Cat Sleeps Constantly: How much is too much and when should I worry?

If you have been around a cat, you might have noticed that they love to nap a lot. But have you ever thought about whether your cat is sleeping too much? Our veterinarians in Portland answer common questions related to cat's sleeping habits, such as 'Why do cats sleep so much?' and 'How many hours do cats sleep a day?'.

Why is my cat sleeping so much?

Cats in the wild spend significant energy stalking and hunting for their prey. As a result, they have developed a habit of sleeping for extended periods to conserve energy.

Although domesticated cats do not need to hunt for food, their evolutionary instincts have remained unchanged.

How many hours does a cat sleep?

When it comes to the number of hours a cat sleeps, 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 tend to have less energy and reduced mobility, which means they will sleep more than younger cats.

You may observe a distinct sleeping and waking pattern as your cat grows up. For instance, you might notice that your cat wakes up just before you in the morning, spends some quality time with you for an hour or two, and then goes back to sleep while you head out for your daily routines.

Is my cat actually asleep? Or are they just lying there?

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 toward noises. 

When should I be worried about my cat sleeping so much?

It is important to know your cat's normal sleep patterns and recognize when there is a significant change. There is no specific amount of sleep that indicates a health emergency, but if your cat starts sleeping a lot more or less than usual, it could be a sign of a health issue. In such cases, it is recommended to visit your vet. 

If your cat sleeps more than usual, it could be a sign of illness or pain. Conversely, if they are sleeping less than usual, they may be suffering from conditions like hyperthyroidism. Therefore, paying attention to your cat's sleep pattern is crucial, and consult your vet if you notice any significant changes.

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.

Are you concerned about your cat's sleeping habits, or are they showing other concerning symptoms? Contact our Portland vets to schedule an examination.

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