Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?

There’s an old saying that cats are not the pets for owners who like to do things with their animals. That’s not totally fair: cats can and do play, but only when they feel motivated to. If you really want to have a faithful companion that is always up for a game of fetch, well, get a dog.

Cats sleep a lot. You have probably looked at yours during one of those seemingly endless periods of slumber and wondered if there was something wrong with her. The answer is probably not because it is common for domestic cats to enjoy quite a bit of shuteye, as much as 16 hours or twice as much as the average human.

So why does an animal that is not exactly busting its hump most of the day need so much time to re-energize? Well, wild cats must spend a good amount of time and energy hunting down their next meal. That can wear you out, so they nap to conserve energy for the next round. Your house pet still has that instinct in her genes, so she follows suit even though the only hunting that must be done is the location of the food bowl.

Cats are often thought of as nocturnal, but if you set up a hidden video camera to see what she was up to at, say, 3AM, you would probably be disappointed to find her conked out. Felines are actually what is known as crepuscular, meaning that they are at their most active in the time before sunrise and sunset. As you can imagine that leaves a lot of extra time to lie around doing nothing.

You can help to keep kitty active by playing with her. However, when cats want to rest, they will slink away and do just that, so don’t be disappointed. You can always go and hang out with the neighbor’s dog.