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

One thing that we often hear about cats is that they love to nap. But how often does this mean and are they actually asleep the whole time? Here, our Crystal Lake vets talk about how often cats sleep at each age, what kind of sleep they get, and when it might be time to worry.

Cats & their Love For Naps

Cats have evolved to sleep for long periods throughout the day. Wild cats need plenty of sleep to conserve their energy to hunt, chase, and kill their next meal.

While these basic instincts may not be required anymore, they are still acted upon.

How much do cats really sleep?

Wondering how many hours a cat sleeps per day? The number of hours that your cat needs to sleep and the typical sleeping pattern for your cat will change as they get older:

  • 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.

When your cat reaches adulthood, it will most likely develop a recognizable pattern of sleeping and waking. For example, you may notice that your cat wakes up just before you, spends an hour or two eating and socializing with you, and then goes back to sleep while you go about your business.

How often are cats sleeping lightly?

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 snooze lightly, they get the rest they need while remaining alert. When your cat is sleeping or snoozing, you may notice that its eyes are slightly open or that its ears twitch and rotate in response to noises.

How much sleep is too much?

No set amount of sleep indicates a health problem or emergency. Instead, it is important to understand your cat's normal sleep patterns and recognize when those patterns change 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 it 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.

Are you having a difficult time waking your cat up or getting them to stay awake? This may point to an urgent medical condition. Contact our Crystal Lake emergency vets right away.

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Companion Animal Specialty and Emergency Hospital is accepting new patients! Our specialists and experienced emergency veterinarians are passionate about restoring good health to animal companions in Crystal Lake.

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