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Your Sleepy Cat

June 1 2017

Do you have a kitty? If so, there’s a pretty good chance that your feline buddy is sleeping right now. Cats certainly are drowsy little furballs. In fact, cats sleep more than almost any other animal on the planet! Read on as a McHenry, IL vet discusses Fluffy’s sleeping habits.

Sleepy Kitties

Why do cats sleep so much? When Fluffy is a kitten, napping helps her grow, as the hormones that promote growth are released during sleep. And by the time your pet reaches her golden years, she will be an expert napper!

Fluffy’s Nap Schedule

Our feline friends are really creatures of habit. Fluffy may follow a strict schedule for morning, mid-morning, noon, afternoon, and evening naps, and will still curl up beside you when you go to bed.

Emergency Naps

Sometimes cats get very tired, and are forced to take unscheduled naps. Rainstorms, for instance, often call for extra sleep. Other things that can call for emergency naps are cold weather, late night snacks, and unexpected encounters with boxes, sunbeams, empty laps, and/or soft blankets.


Many kitties love snoozing in sunbeams, especially in the morning. Although it’s probably safe to say that Fluffy does not actually run on solar power, putting a comfy cat bed in a sunny spot may very well earn you some extra purrs!


Studies show that yes, kitties do dream, at least when they are in the deepest stage of sleep. No one knows exactly what they dream about, but it would be interesting to find out!


Kitties aren’t always sound asleep during their naps. In fact, they actually spend most of their time just dozing. They can still hear what’s going on around them, even if they appear to be zonked out. That’s why Fluffy’s ears will move if you call her name while she’s napping.

Sleeping Spots

Cats are very talented sleepers. Fluffy can doze off almost anywhere! One of the best ways to pamper your sleepy furball is to make sure she has plenty of napping spots to snuggle up in. You can get pet beds in stores, or look online for cute DIY options. For instance, a hard shell suitcase can make a great kitty bed. Even folding up a soft blanket will work.

Our Advice on Your Sleepy Cat in 2024

Why do cats sleep so much, and how does it benefit them, especially when they are kittens?

Cats sleep extensively due to their evolutionary and physiological adaptations. Kittens, in particular, need sleep for growth, as growth hormones are released during slumber. Cats are also crepuscular naturally more active during dawn and dusk, requiring rest to conserve energy. Frequent napping also aids in muscle development and overall physical health. It enhances cognitive functions and sharpens hunting instincts, which are crucial for survival. Cats’ sleep patterns blend deep and light sleep, alerting them to potential threats while enjoying rejuvenating rest. Their lengthy slumber supports their well-being from kittenhood to their golden years.

Do cats follow a specific nap schedule throughout the day and maintain this routine as they age?

Cats are creatures of habit and often follow a specific nap schedule throughout the day, regardless of age. They typically have short bursts of intense activity followed by naps. Cats, especially kittens and young adults, may have more frequent and energetic play sessions. As they age, cats tend to maintain their nap routine but may sleep longer and become less active. However, senior cats may adapt their schedule to shorter, more frequent naps. While individual variations exist, the general pattern of multiple naps interspersed with activity remains consistent throughout a cat’s life, providing them with essential rest and rejuvenation.

What are some factors or situations that can trigger emergency naps in cats?

Cats may take emergency naps in response to various factors or situations. Unexpected encounters with intriguing items like boxes, sunbeams, empty laps, or soft blankets can trigger sudden tiredness. Cats may also nap when feeling chilly in cold weather or after a late-night snack. Rainstorms and sudden loud noises can also lead to emergency naps, offering them a sense of security amidst uncertainty. These unscheduled naps testify to a cat’s ability to adapt to their environment and seek comfort and relaxation when needed, even in unpredictable situations.

Do cats dream during their sleep, and what is known about their dreams?

Studies suggest that cats dream, particularly during the deepest stage of sleep, known as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. While the exact content of their dreams remains a mystery, observations of their behavior during REM sleep indicate they may be reliving experiences from their waking hours. You might notice subtle movements, twitching, or whisker cramps corresponding to their dream activities. It’s believed that these dreams may involve hunting, exploring, or interacting with familiar or unfamiliar situations. While we can’t peek into a cat’s dreams, their sleep patterns suggest that they engage in dreaming, much like humans.

Where do cats prefer to sleep, and how can owners create comfortable sleeping spots for them?

Cats have a preference for cozy and secure sleeping spots. They often seek warm, soft, and elevated locations to observe their surroundings. Providing comfortable sleeping spots for cats can be achieved by offering plush beds, blankets, or mats in quiet, draft-free areas. Window perches with a view or heated cat beds can be especially appealing. Cats also enjoy snug hideaways like covered beds or boxes. Regularly cleaning and washing their bedding ensures cleanliness and comfort. Ultimately, understanding your cat’s preferences and creating a variety of comfortable resting places around the home will keep your feline friend content and well-rested.

Please contact us, your McHenry, IL pet hospital, for all your drowsy pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!