By: rberteig
Why do they always seem to be napping? Because about 70 percent of their day is naturally reserved for just that. By: rberteig

Many people worry that their cat sleeps too much.

The truth is, cats sleep twice as much as we do, so it just seems like they sleep all the time. So sleeping for a long time is a normal part of your cat’s daily routine.

Why Are They Always Sleeping?

Your cat’s favorite pastime is not plotting his next attack on the bird. Cats nap constantly and are exceptionally good at it.


In the wild, cats must hunt for their food. Regardless of whether it’s a Bengal tiger or a feral kitty, he must find a way to get food. This takes a lot of time and energy.

Often, prey escapes the grasp of their claws and teeth. Sleeping conserves energy so that the cat can chase down their dinner whenever dinner makes itself available.

OK, so a house cat doesn’t hunt for meals — he gets them delivered in a pretty bowl from a can or a bag. However, the natural need to doze off and save energy will always be there.

How long do cats sleep normally? Around 16 hours seems to be the average, but young kittens and senior cats can snooze even longer: around 18 hours a day.

Myth: Cats Are Nocturnal

Many people believe their kittens are nocturnal and are awake and active all through the night. This is not true. Cats are crepuscular animals. This means they are most active at sunrise and sundown — the easiest times for cats to find and catch their meals.

This dominates the sleep patterns of all cats, feral and domesticated alike. Genetic behavior doesn’t change.

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By: GwendolineQuinlan
Are you providing enough mental stimulation, such as toys? By: GwendolineQuinlan

Give Your Cat Something Interesting to Do

If there’s nothing terribly exciting happening in your house, who can blame your cat for dozing off?

To see your pet on her feet more often, enrich the environment through interactive toys and grooming activities.

Increased activity can benefit your cat’s muscles and heart. Another plus is less weight gain versus a more sedentary lifestyle. You might want to install a window perch. Cats love gazing out at things that are happening outside.

Don’t Miss: 10 Easy Ways to Exercise Your Cat

And now, a ridiculously cute diversion. This little kitten would rather not be awake:

Potential Signs of Trouble

If your cat is sleeping far more than usual, this might be a sign of illness.

Just remember that young kittens will snooze more than the average adult cat. Growth hormones are released when the kitten sleeps that are essential for growth.

Senior cats also fall asleep more than most others. Just as in humans, older pets need more bedtime than younger ones. It is merely a result of the aging process. Again, note unusual sleep patterns and see your veterinarian if things just don’t feel right.

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Symptoms of Anemia in a Cat

If your pet is not a kitten and not old, she should maintain her regular hours of naptime.

If the amount of hours she sleeps has increased, check her gums. If the gums are pale, it is a sign of anemia. Anemia can kill your pet, so get her to the veterinarian right away.

You’ve heard the expression “Let sleeping dogs lie.” I believe it’s equally important to “Let sleeping kitties lie.” They love to nap, and it’s perfectly natural. So, to sum this up: If there are no signs of illness, distress or extreme disinterest in play, I doubt you should worry a whole lot about whether your cat sleeps too much.

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  • Johnny

    I have 5 cats and most of them sleep during morning. Now I know why it is. Thanks for sharing this very informative article.

  • Bob

    I have the feeling, now as winter approaches, my cat is sleeping even more than the rest of the year. This must be close to 20 hours a day.

  • Cuccioli Animali

    Interesting post, from an evolutionary point of view sleeping may be a way to save energy. But if that’s true, why only felines have such behavior and not other predators like, for instance, wolves or bears?

  • Johanna

    One of our cats, we think, sleep too much. But we never worried about it, he’s just enjoying lazing around all day; but when it’s meal time, he gets up and meows with the rest of the gang. :)

  • Hammy

    I thought my cats sleep too much too, but like Johanna’s he still gets up for meal time. So maybe I just have a lazy kitty? I dunno!!

  • Anime

    I have a kitten about 6 weeks old and he won’t stop sleeping. He wakes up, drinks his milk and goes back to sleep.

    Please tell me why is this. I know he’s a baby and such, but is this normal?


    • Pets Adviser

      Hi Anime,

      Think a minute about what human babies do: pretty much sleep, eat, poop, sleep some more…

      Extremely young kittens are a lot like babies. Kittens require lots of sleep, something like 19 hours a day! Think about this from an evolutionary standpoint: crying kittens would attract the very much unwanted attention of predators; but sleeping kittens make no noise and remain safe and sound.

      So, in short, your cat’s sleepyheadedness is most likely quite normal. (Unhealthy kittens tend to be highly active and cry a lot.) As your kitty ages, his sleeping habits will evolve into something more reasonable: say, a mere 15 hours a day.

      That said, you may want to get him checked out by a veterinarian just in case. Never hurts to check.

      • Pets Adviser

        By the way, you mentioned feeding him milk. If you’re feeding him cow’s milk, you’ll definitely want to consult with your vet about that. Cow’s milk may not be the right choice for your kitten. “Kitten milk replacer” is easier on the stomach. You can get it at Walmart or a pet store.

  • Lucy Britton

    Thank you, this advice was very useful. I have a 5-week-old tabby and he sleeps loads! And I was getting really worried, but this has put my mind at ease.

  • Carrie

    I have a cat who is just now a year old. She just recently, maybe 2 weeks ago, started sleeping way more than normal. She will wake up to look at us & the dog if we leave the room, then right back to sleep. Normally follows us even if she was sleeping. Took her to the vet & he didn’t know what it could be, gave her a shot of antibiotic as a precaution. Normally she is up multiple times a day/night acting like a kitten, but hasn’t lately. What could be wrong?

  • Demi

    T.Y. I found a kitten/young cat outside my home. He was desperate! Starved, flea infested and crying! I fed and bathed him. Fell in love,so i brought him to the vet. For shots, snap test, neutering… he supposedly is healthy. 2 wks since and all of a sudden he sleeps all day and wabbles when he does get up. One time he looked like his back legs wouldn’t work. Hardly plays nor act like a scavenger at meals. Help.. i love this guy. :+)

    • Pets Adviser

      Demi, a kitten that seems unsteady on his feet needs to be seen by your vet again, pronto. Let us know what the vet says after the examination, and best of luck!

  • Sharon

    Not sure of the age of our male fixed cat — a stray, less than 5 years, I’d say.

    This cat is one crazy boy. Most of the time he is active and running around, jumping, knocking my stuff off dressers and the baker’s rack, always asking for food (yes, overweight), taking cat naps here and there. But as of this past Tuesday things have changed. He had one episode of diarrhea that morning, and now he is sleeping much more and not asking for food like he was (but he is still eating a bit). He had a soft stool yesterday, but nothing as of this morning. He’s drinking and urinating, eyes are clear, gums are pink. Keeping an eye on him so if I still feel unsure come Monday, calling the vet. But I’m just wondering if anyone out there had a similar case, and what was their outcome.

    • Pets Adviser

      Hi Sharon,

      Lethargy often accompanies diarrhea, so it’s not surprising that your cat is sleeping more. He should recover. We would see a vet if the diarrhea persists or if you notice blood or mucus in the stool. These are symptoms of another problem. In the meantime, keep your cat away from high-fat foods, and no dairy products.