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Wondering why your cat sleeps so many hours a day or concerned about your cat's sleeping habits? Learn more about their behaviour in our guide.

How many hours a day do cats sleep?

If you're a cat owner, it will come as no surprise to you that your moggy loves sleeping. Domestic cats sleep for approximately 12-18 hours a day and will often find a seemingly strange place to curl up in – whether that means a spot next to the radiator, or on a pile of fresh washing!

Find out more about cats sleeping in our behaviour video:

Why do cats sleep so much?

Our cats spend a lot of time asleep. Cats rest or sleep intermittently throughout the day and often prefer to sleep in a warm, comfortable, elevated and safe place.

One of the main reasons our cats love to sleep so much is to keep their energy levels up (when they’re actually awake). A tired cat with no energy can’t hunt or protect themselves, so it’s important for them to sleep lots to make sure they’re wide awake and ready for anything!

Although our domestic moggies might not do an awful lot in the way of hunting for food, they still have a natural instinct to sleep a lot. Also your cat will like to play and explore throughout the day which takes a lot of energy.

Is my cat sleeping too much?

It’s natural for cats to sleep a lot. Sometimes their naps will be just 10 minutes before they’re up and about again, other times they’ll appear to be fast asleep for a lot longer.

If you notice your cat sleeping a lot more than usual though, or perhaps they’re hiding away more, it may be best to check with your vet to make sure there’s no underlying medical issue. You can read more in our guide about cats hiding.

Kittens and senior cats are likely to sleep more than your average adult cat. This is because a lot of your kitten’s energy is being spent growing so they need more sleep to recharge their body. Older cats sleep more as, a bit like kittens, they tire out much faster. Their body needs more rest as a lot of physical activity is more strenuous for them.

My cat twitches in their sleep – are they dreaming?

Often when we think our cats are asleep they’re actually still very alert to their surroundings. You might see their ears move or their tail twitch as they are constantly on the lookout for any danger. This is a natural instinct, so even if your moggy is curled up safely inside your home their brain is still telling them to watch for any threats.

When your cat is deeply asleep, you might notice their mouth or paws twitching. This is completely normal and is likely because they are dreaming.

Where should my cat sleep?

Cats will generally take a nap where they want to, as long as the place they're settling in is warm and comfortable. There are a range of cat beds available, such as igloo beds or hammocks for the radiator, or you could provide a cardboard box on its side with a soft blanket inside. The Hide & Sleep® provides an ideal napping spot for cats as they have the option of being inside or on top of something. You can read more about choosing the best bed in our blog.

You'll find that cats often rotate their preferred sleeping area. This behaviour is seen in the African wildcat, which our domestic cat is descended from. They will look for a safe place within their territory and rotate the spot to help keep parasite levels low. They often scratch when they wake up to stretch their muscles and to maintain their claws.

In summer, your cat might prefer to sleep outdoors in the sun – usually on top of a shed or in a greenhouse. You might see them asleep in some odd places and in even more odd positions, but don’t worry. If they were uncomfortable, they’d move!

Letting sleeping cats lie

Cats shouldn't be disturbed when sleeping. When a cat falls asleep on your lap, you might not realise that the cat is asleep and continue to stroke them. Most cats will be aware of what is happening, but some might be sleepy and disorientated and react defensively to a perceived threat.

Cats need a lot of sleep, so don’t wake them up or disturb them when they go off to their favourite nap spot. Trying to keep them awake during the day so they don’t hunt at night won’t work and will only cause your cat a lot of distress. If you’re worried about your cat hunting, take a look at our top tips to deter your cat from hunting.

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