A Better Sleep Guide For Your Cat

Cat Sleeping
Image courtesy of Sleeping Polly by Marina_in_Wonderland on Flickr.

Cats, would you believe it, sleep a lot. You probably already knew that if you are a veteran cat owner, but to some, the amount of hours a cat sleeps during a day can startle even the most avid cat lover.

On average, a cat sleeps up to sixteen hours a day. Yes, sixteen. Put another way, in the average life span of a cat (fifteen years), a cat will sleep for ten of those years.

There are lots of reasons as to why cats sleep so much. These are mainly;

  • Genetics. Cats would spend a lot of time hunting a gathering prey using up all of their energy, so it is only natural that they sleep so much. Of course, in a home environment, there is no need to use up that energy, but the genetics remain the same.
  • Nature. Cats are very light sleepers, spending most of their lives in light sleep, once again caused by an evolutionary tale of being alert against larger predators.
  • Boredom. Cats, like humans can get very bored. Boredom in the animal kingdom can lead to prolonged hours of sleep. If you can keep your cat regularly exercised and entertained with toys and games, this will cut down the amount of hours a cat sleeps.
  • Diet. Have you noticed how much food they eat and what kind of food it is? Full of nutrients and protein from meats and fish, cats are the carnivore kings of the animal world. If they don’t have a balanced diet, this will lead to longer hours of cat sleep time.
  • Time of day. Cats are crepuscular which means that they are most active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. They tend to lay low in the darker night-time and day-time hours, when other predators may be hanging about.

So what can you do to help your cat get the best possible sleep and ensure that they are getting enough exercise to fill their day?

  • Give them plenty of exercise. Unlike dogs, cats are a lot harder to walk, but activities which involve climbing, scratching, chasing items and general play will help keep their activity high levels high during the day.
  • Feed your cat before bed time. A warm meal isn’t only good for humans, but for your cat as well, it helps relax them and automatically helps their body clock adjust to sleep time.
  • Give them attention. A few minutes of gently stroking before bed time will help set them off for the evening.
  • Set a time. If humans have a regular bed time, so do cats. Keep a regular time for bed set, this will help your cat sleep through the night.
  • Set a good environment. Make sure that the room is quiet; that their cat bed is in a warm well ventilated area. Turn down the lights and cut out noises. Remember, your cat sleeps on average for sixteen hours a day, so if the environment isn’t distracting they will rest comfortably.
  • Give them a comfortable sleeping area. Cat’s seek the warmth, even in summer, so a comfortable and warm environment is ideal. Our Cleo Pet radiator and Duffle Beds are ideal solutions.

These are of course just some general sleep facts about a typical cat sleeping behaviour and should help with abnormal sleeping patterns or behaviours. If you notice any changes in their sleeping behaviour, whether it is more or less than they should be getting, then contact your local vet and get them in for a regular check up.

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