It is a common belief that cats are aloof and generally lazy. This is due to the fact that cats spend two-thirds of their days asleep. Cats sleep for 14 hours per day on overage but older and overweight cats can sleep for as much as 20 hours. Sleeping for this long far exceeds even the laziest teenage humans. However, the assumption that cats are lazy couldn’t be further from the truth.
Cats tend to exhibit a wide range of weird and unusual behaviors. What you may not realize is the fact that these behaviors are motivated by their instincts and are hard-wired in their genes. Sleeping for long periods amongst cats is an innate activity and it falls into this category.
Getting enough rest in the world of cats is crucial. This article takes a look at some compelling reasons as to why cats sleep so much.
Results Of Evolution
As cute as they may be, cats are predatorial animals and were once great hunters. In fact, cats still do have the skills of a hunter and they will gracefully exhibit them when the opportunity arises. In the wild, cats stalk, chase and kill their prey in order to get food. This hunting requires short but intense bursts of energy. After exhausting a substantial amount of energy during a hunt, cats require enough rest in order to recover and get ready for the next hunt. The rest period could be a few days.
Even though our domesticated cats don’t have to hunt for food since they rely on us for food, they still have the biological impulse of their ancestors. This explains why the sleep a lot.
In addition to deep sleep, your cat also engages in light sleeping and relaxation. Dozing helps them to get some much-needed rest and also be able to instantly engage at moment’s notice. If you observe keenly, you’ll notice that their ears will twitch and will rotate towards the direction noises are coming from. They are ready to spring into action should a prey appear or protect themselves in case of a larger predator.
Cats spend a quarter of the time in deep sleep. The deep sleeps will be in short cycles of around 10 mins at a time. Cats in this state will even dream and you might notice their paws twitching. Cats that are in deep sleep will often curl up and they will often have their tails over their faces.
Older cats will sleep for longer. Researchers found that older cats can sleep for up to 20 hours per day. This is due to the fact that cats require more time to recover as they age. Older cats also can’t expel as much energy as the younger cats if the need arises. Therefore, sleeping is the best way to conserve precious energy.
If you have an overweight cat, then you’ll notice that your cat spends more time asleep and doesn’t regularly engage in cat activities. This is because they require more energy to move around or do any activity. This is because carrying and supporting all the excess weight takes a toll on their energy reserves. Therefore, they require a longer period of time to recover this energy.