Understanding your cat's sleep

Posted on January 02 2019

Understanding your cat's sleep

Do you have to worry about seeing your cat often lying, eyes closed or semi-closed, lethargic a good part of the day? Does a cat sleep more than a human being? How many hours on average and why? These questions are sure to please you and we answer them with precision so that these answers are forever anchored in your minds.

If a human sleeps an average of 8 hours a night, the cat's sleep is double. Indeed, your feline needs about 16 hours of rest a day . It alternates between deep sleep, simple drowsiness and naps. Each time, these periods are happily interspersed with a moment of more or less intense activity.

The phases of sleep in cats

Throughout your day, your cat will alternate several periods of rest. Like human beings, it will go through the phase of deep sleep (or paradoxical). This phase often alternates with light sleep. Let's take a closer look at these different moments in his life.

REM sleep

Your cat no longer has any muscle tone . He is totally released and even seems to have died. This creates a lot of fear among homeowners. This phase usually lasts no more than ten minutes, never again. It often goes hand in hand with deep sleep. He dotes deeply even though his eyes, tail or paws can move. This is a time when your cat dreams, like the human being. The kitten knows more about these phases than the adult, who essentially goes through a more mental rest.

Light sleep

This phase does not allow your cat to rest completely. His muscles remain contracted and he stands ready to intervene, to jump, to move. He is between the waking phase and the deep sleep phase, neither totally relaxed nor totally on the alert. The slightest noise can make it move.
  • Mental decompression
We talk about mental decompression or mental rest. This is the majority of the adult cat's sleep, while the kitten spends most of its time in the deep sleep phase. The mental rest lasts about thirty minutes maximum at each rest period. The waves are slow in the brain of the cat that spends about ten hours a day in this period. This allows him to regenerate and recover faster.
  • Sleep differs by age

Your kitten does not have the same sleep as your adult cat or the one he will have in old age. Indeed, the phases are not all identical according to the youth or age of your feline.

The kittens spend most of the day sleeping, with more deep sleep than mental rest . The adult cat (from 2 months) rests mainly through mental rest , during the day, only waking up on rare occasions. He is more active in the evening. At night, it is not uncommon to see him move. An activity related to his origins since he took advantage of the penumbra to hunt.

Finally, if your cat is older , he will tend to sleep even more, up to 20 hours a day. This is a perfectly normal rhythm. However, he may also wake up during the night or start to meow. Do not hesitate to approach a veterinarian as this may be a sign of illness.

The reasons for such a need

Your cat spends 2 thirds of his life sleeping . It may seem like a lot but it is not. This rhythm comes from its nature of gutter cat, or wild cat. Outside, a cat spends a lot of energy hunting , looking for food. In particular, he must feed himself extremely quickly , otherwise he will be stolen. In fact, it spends less time than an herbivore eating, and therefore has more time to rest and save.

This cat has the advantage of not being a prey in nature. In fact, he may be less alert to danger and more focused on his mission of survival.

Your cat, although domestic and having a bowl at a fixed time, has kept this natural instinct . So his internal clock did not move.

Your cat is suffering from sleep disorders

Your cat can not get enough rest at night and can not stop waking or waking up. It can be:
  • From an underlying disease. In this case, it is advisable to get closer to your vet to make sure of it. In case of hyperthytoïdie or hypertension , your cat may appear more agitated and nervous. Conversely, a fever can make your cat amorphous for a whole day, with no waking and activity phase.
  • A lack of activity day or evening. Your cat gets bored and spends almost all of his days and nights lying down. In fact, it has energy to resell once night has fallen. In this case, it is advisable to modify one's rhythm, to have a stronger presence or to play more with it.

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