Understanding Cat Sleep Patterns: How Human Habits Impact a Cat's Sleep Routine & What Cat Owners Can Do to Ensure Healthy Habits

Last updated: September 7th, 2023

Understanding Cat Sleep Patterns

Cats are known for sleeping an average of 16 hours a day, but the amount of times they sleep and the patterns behind it can be interesting to learn. While cats mostly sleep across day and night, with average cat sleep being around 79 out of 104 minutes in total, there are differences between cats based on age and breed. Adult cats averagely sleep between 12 and 18 hours a day, as cats often get lazier and require more sleep as they age - while different-sized cats have different activities that may require them to sleep more.

Within the cat sleep routine, cats generally move through two stages of sleep. Rapid Eye Movement (REM) goes hand in hand with dreaming what has been experienced in the day and a non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM). With cats’ NREM sleep resembling humans’ ‘deep sleep’ stage, rhythmic brain waves help cats transition from NREM to REM. As REM sleep requires partial paralysis in cats, they limit movement they can make - apart from eyes darting rapidly back and forth.

How Human Habits Impact Cat Sleep

Often, cat owners have noted that cats have suited their sleep patterns to their owner’s. As the difference between cats and humans’ sleeping hours present an issue – around 60% of cat owners admit to sleeping with their cats. It results in the cats adjusting - to the human - their sleeping times, to created a richer bond between the two.

However, this does not mean that cats should suffer and have their regular patterns disrupted. It is best for the cat’s health to evenly split day and night - as skeleton patterns vary for cats and humans, cat owners should ensure they and their cat, alike, have enough understanding that sleeping together doesn’t severely disrupt either of the two’s lives. Some owners would invite Exercise during day times, to ensure cats aren’t tired when the night hits - or bringing home toys that they cats can take advantage of when night strikes.

What Can Cat Owners Do to Ensure Healthy Sleep?

To ensure cats get enough sleep, owners should take into account all the aspects of cat sleeping. Cats often take part in activities that require energy, and sometimes cats, especially aged cats, may not be able to take part in activities that require as much energy as playing. Exercise should always be incorporated, as it can be used as a way to tire out the cats to sleep - and during night times, play can disable cats from becoming too restless.

It is best to learn the cat’s sleeping patterns, throughout the week or day, and adjust their bed times accordingly!

Conclusion & Reiteration: Cats Can Lead Healthy Sleeping Habits

Cats can often adjust their sleeping patterns to their own owners, but owners should be mindful that a cat’s body and skeleton are different from their own. The best way to understand a cats sleeping routine is to monitor it - and try to incorporate things that will tire them out during day times, such as exercise and play.

Cats can generally sleep for up to 16 hours a day, and when the NREM and REM sleep stages are understood and taken into account - cats can lead healthy and restful lives!

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