Cat owners are well aware that their pets sleep soundly. They can be found sleeping peacefully in a variety of places at any time. Scientists have calculated that the average cat is quite capable of sleeping up to 22 hours a day. But sleep is not always a sign of peace and well-being. In some situations, excessive sleepiness may indicate a disease, be a sign of an imbalance in the animal’s body. Check here the best cat mugs at love cat stuff.
The Origin of Long Cat Sleep
Cats are originally nocturnal animals. Such were their distant ancestors, and such are the modern mustachioed-striped ones. This quality is especially familiar to residents of rural areas, private houses and summer cottages. Living in full or partial freedom, cats come home only to eat and sleep, preferring to travel or hunt at night.
Domestic cats, who have lived indoors all their lives, rarely roam the apartment at night, so they sleep much more than their freer counterparts. They simply need significant daytime sleep, as the body needs to recover and digest prey. How do domestic pussies sleep so much and maintain the flexibility of the spine and joints, the elasticity of muscles during small physical exertion is a mystery that has not yet succumbed to scientists.
Normal sleep duration
Like human offspring, kittens sleep almost all the time, interrupted only by food. This is completely normal, because their body is still very weak. In a dream, they grow and get stronger. A slightly grown cub already sleeps less, but still at least half a day.
An adult cat sleeps about the same or a little less/more. It is impossible to give an exact figure, because all animals have a pronounced individuality. A lot depends on the character. Some cats are energetic, mobile, play a lot, have fun. Others are inert, lethargic, prone to weight gain and much less mobile than their sprightly counterparts. Most of the time they just sleep.
There is a popular expression “sleeps like a cat with one eye.” This is a very apt remark. Unlike humans, who need at least 7-8 hours of sleep in a row to recuperate, cats sleep in “short intervals”. On average, they just doze off during the main time, without losing their vigilance. It is worth hearing the slightest rustle, as the cats immediately wake up.
All sleep in cats is divided into two phases:
Drowsiness, superficial “slow” sleep – 20-30 minutes.
Deep, “fast” sleep – 5-7 minutes. At this time, animals, like people, dream. Cat owners are well aware of this, as a sleeping pet can twitch its paws in a dream, “run” and even meow. All this clearly indicates the presence of dreams.
Natural Causes of Longer Sleep in Cats
A healthy cat may sleep more when:
- Strong fatigue. After a night hunt, an active game or a long wakefulness, the animal needs to restore its strength and expended energy, so it sleeps much more than usual.
- Hot weather. At high temperatures, it is necessary to conserve energy and water reserves in the body. This is well known to animals from arid and hot places. The ancestors of cats originally lived in deserts, so they were perfectly able to maintain strength in conditions of heat and high dryness of the air. They slept during the day and were more active at night when there is no sun and temperatures drop significantly. Modern cats use genetic memory and prefer to take a nap during the midday hours, so they sleep more than usual during the hot season.
- Cold winter, rain, snow or low room temperature. At the same time, purrs also sleep a lot, saving heat and trying to spend less energy. Curled up in a dream in a tight ball, it is easier to maintain the temperature balance in the tissues of the body. This method allows you to survive the cold and not freeze.
- During the gestation of the fetus, the cat has to live for three, and even for seven or eight. This is a burden on the body, and a natural way to save strength is a long sleep.
- The use of a number of drugs with sedative properties. They act on the nervous system and cause some of its oppression, which leads to a lengthening of the duration of sleep. Drowsiness goes away on its own as soon as the time of action of the drug ends.
- Postponed operation. After surgery and exposure to anesthesia, the animal sleeps a lot for two reasons: pain due to surgery and exposure to an anesthetic drug. It is also known that during sleep the body recovers faster, recovery occurs faster. As you recover, the duration of sleep will decrease to normal.
- Vaccinations cause a reaction in the body that is somewhat similar to a disease. The animal feels weak, lethargic, so it sleeps a lot to recover.
- Castration or sterilization. This is not only severe stress, but also hormonal changes in the body of a cat or cat. While the restructuring is underway, the pet may be sleepy and lethargic.
- Elderly age. The older the cat, the longer his sleep lasts. This is due to the aging of the whole organism, loss of strength, fatigue and, as a result , a consequence, unwillingness to move a lot, as in youth. The reason for the increase in sleep duration can also be various age-related and chronic diseases that further weaken the pet.
- Recovery after illness. This is an energy-intensive and difficult period for the cat, so he rests and sleeps a lot.
- The reaction to it is first excitation of the nervous system, and then strong inhibition.
- All these conditions are not accompanied by additional symptoms, which suggests the presence of negative reasons for such a long sleep.
Pathological causes of too much sleep
If a cat sleeps unusually a lot, this may also indicate an underlying medical condition. Look out for the following additional symptoms:
- fever, fever;
- the animal seeks to hide, chooses a dark corner or a hard-to-reach place;
- lack of appetite;
- refusal of water;
- complete disregard for your favorite treat or toy;
- nausea, vomiting;
- digestive disorders;
- heavy, hoarse breathing, runny nose;
- festering eyes;
- blanching of tissues in the mouth;
- trembling, shaky, uncertain gait;
- meowing, including in a dream;
- acute reaction to touch, up to aggression;
- fallen, unkempt hair.
These symptoms may indicate that unusually long sleep is not an increased rest period, but an indicator of health problems. In such cases, the pet must be urgently shown to the veterinarian, because the cause may be a disease, including a life-threatening animal and requiring urgent treatment.