There’s something about a sleeping cat that tugs at all our heartstrings. I’m convinced that not even a “dog person” (in quotes because I’m not convinced they should be real) can look at a cute little feline all curled up in a ball for a nap and not be suckered in.
Picture from post Phone Picture Roundup Part II: Sleeping Cat Pictures
I mean how is it possible to not want to hug a lovely little thing like that?
But there are times when you think to yourself – “Hey, the cat’s cute, but he’s been sleeping pretty much all day – is there something wrong with him/her?”
Cats Sleep a Lot
You’ve probably heard the statistics before – cats sleep for approximately 16-18 hours a day – that’s a lot! Way more than we humans do at a measly 6-9 hours a day.
Why do cats sleep so much? Well unlike us terribly un-photogenic humans (by comparison to cats – really, who could argue otherwise?), they need more beauty sleep.
Jokes aside, what cats do is spend a great number of hours conserving their energy, then when they get up and need to hunt, expend huge bursts of energy to stalk, chase, attack, and finally kill to eat their prey.
Lions sleep for long stretches of the day, and so does your own mini-feline at home. This is all completely normal, unless..
Picture from post Stretchin’ & Sleepin’
When To Be Concerned About a Cat’s Sleeping Habits
If Your Cat Is Sleeping More Than Usual: You May Have Cause to Worry
Yes, like with humans, if an individual sleeps way more than normal, it may be cause for alarm. Does your cat usually sleep around 16 hours a day and yet has magically started sleeping 20 or so hours instead? You may want to go get him/her checked out at a vet.
Now, remember, we’re not talking, “Hey, I just realized my cat sleeps like 18 hours in a day! That’s crazy, could something be wrong?” No, if your cat has always slept 18 hours a day, likely nothing is wrong. But if you’ve noticed a spike in the number of hours kitty’s asleep, it’s probably time to book a visit with your vet, or at least give him/her a ring on the phone to tell ’em what’s up. If they think something might be wrong based on what you tell them, they’ll have you come in so you can be certain whether kitty’s health is up to spec.
If Your Cat Is Having Trouble Waking Up: You May Have Cause to Worry
If you’ve had a cat for even a few months, you’ll know what a typical kitty routine is like when it comes to sleeping and waking. You want them up, so you go to stroke them or coax them with food – it takes little to no time for them to go from zero to 100 – from dozing away to completely awake. Cat naps! They’re amazing! If only we humans could sleep like this – we’d never need to hit the “snooze” button again.
But if your cat is having problems waking up from his/her cat naps – you may have cause to worry. In the unlikely circumstance that your cat is having issues waking from sleep, definitely worthwhile to call your vet.
If Your Cat Is Lethargic: You May Have Cause to Worry
What is lethargy and how is it different from just pure kitty laziness? (Which is a thing, let me tell you, good luck trying to get my Avery to play a game when he’s not in the mood…).
Lethargy is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “a pathological state of sleepiness or deep unresponsiveness and inactivity.”
If a cat, or even a human for that matter, is inactive, indifferent, appears to be drowsy a huge chunk of the time, basically just does not want to get up and looks, for lack of a better analogy, like a miserable little kid who’s at home sick in bed and exhausted trying to recover from his/her cold, well that’s what lethargy is like and if you suspect your cat’s got it, he/she may be sick.
See, when humans are sick and exhausted, they sometimes get lethargic. And when cats are sick and exhausted, they sometimes are the same. So if your cat has lethargy – time to call up a vet and figure out what’s ailing your poor little feline friend.
If None of This Applies to Your Cat
Your cat sleeping just the same quantity as usual? Has no trouble getting up? Definitely not lethargic? Your kitty’s probably doing just fine.
Think your cat may just be bored? Add bird feeders near your windows so your cat can bird watch. Get your hands on a closed off fish tank so that your cat always has something else interesting to watch. Put in a crazy cat tree, make an awesome cat wall out of jumping shelves and cat climbers for your cat to have fun on. Basically, find ways to keep him/her entertained throughout the day.
Suspect you have a lazy cat? Try some of these tips to encourage your cat to play with you during playtime.
What Do You Think About Cats’ Sleeping Patterns?
Have you ever been in awe of how much your cat sleeps?
Ever wish you could sleep as much as a cat? Ever envied their ability to wake up at the drop of a pin, and then get back to sleep again like nobody’s business? I know I have.
Let me know in the comments! And if you’ve ever had issues with a cat being lethargic or sleeping too much – please do let me know how it turned out. Would love to hear your thoughts!