What is the first thing that you see in your mind when you think about cats? Chances are you see an image of a cat snoozing on the sofa. And you wouldn’t be far off the mark. Cats spend an average of 16 to 20 hours sleeping every day. What are the reasons behind this need for sleep? Let’s find out the cause for this peaceful predilection.
Do Cats Really Need to Sleep So Much?
It’s not that cats plan to spend the biggest part of their day asleep, it’s in their genes. This innate (they are born with it) activity is a characteristic inherited from their predatory ancestors. Sleeping allows animals to recharge their energy levels and wake up being more alert, fast and keen-eyed for times they need to hunt for prey.
But domestic cats do not hunt for prey! It does not matter; even though your pet cat may have a bowl of biscuits and wet food readily available, it is never enough to be able to eradicate this inborn instinct for hunting prey. Rest is necessary, as far as the cat’s system is concerned, so that they can conserve their precious energy for hunting and prowling. This is the biological imperative of any cat species.
What Does Crepuscular Mean?
Cats are described as being crepuscular by zoologists and boffins. But what does this mean? The word is used to define any animal or insect that is active between sundown to sun up but has most of its energy in the dusky twilight hours. This is why your cat will spend most of the day sleeping in the sun or in a sunny patch in a room inside.
This is the same schedule that distantly related cousins to cats such as lions and leopards adhere to. They all need a good cat nap during the day so that they can prowl around the garden or house at night. This is also when other nocturnal animals such as the mouse or other pest varieties do a lot of their foraging, so it also works in the cat’s favor to be awake at these times.
Does a Cat Have Different Levels of Sleep?
A cat actually never really has what we would describe as deep sleep. It’s more of a kind of standby mode; the way cats sleep is the origin of the saying “sleeping with one eye open”. Cats are aware of what’s going on around them, even when they have the appearance of being dead to the world. However, if your cat is particularly lethargic and difficult to arouse, make an appointment to see your vet as soon as possible
Once your cat has reached full maturity, it is likely that you will not be that bothered by its comings and goings during its evening and nighttime shenanigans. Make sure that your feline friend has access to an open window and sleep well knowing that you will never have a rodent problem.