As any cat owner knows, cats love to take naps. While cats may seem to sleep most of the day away, they aren’t just sleeping out of boredom – they’re actually taking full advantage of their natural sleeping cycle to conserve energy and recharge. As cats spend up to two-thirds of their lives sleeping, understanding the mysteries of your cat’s naps is an important part of providing them with a happy and healthy lifestyle.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that cats are naturally crepuscular – meaning they are most active during the twilight hours of the day. This is why cats are often seen to be most active in the early morning and late evening hours. During the day, cats are more likely to be found sleeping – often with one eye open!
Cat naps aren’t just restful – they serve a purpose. Studies show that cats have a unique pattern of napping and this is largely in response to their natural diet. Cats are hunters and their napping pattern allows them to conserve energy during the day so they can hunt at night. Cats take frequent, short naps throughout the day to conserve energy and then have a longer, deeper sleep at night.
Cats also have unique sleep requirements. While humans need about 8 hours of sleep per night, cats generally only require around 6 to 12 hours of sleep per day, which is usually evenly split between day and nighttime sleep. Cats tend to sleep in short bursts, usually lasting anywhere from 10 minutes to a few hours.
Not only do cats need more frequent naps than humans, they also require different kinds of sleep. Cats can enter two kinds of sleep – non-REM sleep and REM sleep. Non-REM sleep is a deeper sleep where your cat may not move or respond to stimuli and is important for physical recovery. REM sleep is shallow and is necessary for mental stimulation and processing. Cats usually go through several cycles of non-REM and REM sleep, with the most activity during REM sleep.
Cats also tend to sleep more in certain environments. A cozy, quiet and safe place is ideal for cats to get their much-needed rest. Cats prefer to sleep in an area that is out of the way – such as a corner or a closet. They also benefit from having a comfortable bed or blanket to curl up in.
Finally, cats are very sensitive to light and noise. Too much can disrupt their sleep and cause them to become agitated or stressed. Make sure to keep your home quiet and dark during the day and night to ensure your cat has a peaceful and restful sleep.
From understanding the importance of their natural napping cycle, to creating an ideal sleep environment, uncovering the mysteries of your cat’s naps is essential for providing them with a happy and healthy lifestyle. So take the time to learn more about your cat’s sleep needs and create an environment that gives them the best chance of getting the rest they need.