Why does my cat sleep so much?

You may have noticed cats spend a lot of time snoozing, but have you ever wondered why they sleep so much?  

Reasons cats sleep so much 

Cats typically sleep around 15-20 hours per day. Kittens and senior cats may need more than that. According to Royal Canin, this amount can increase during summer months as cats use sleep to regulate their body temperature. Cats can also sleep more in the winter or rainy seasons because of the cold.  

Light vs. deep sleep 

The type of sleep cats have looks different than ours. Light sleep for cats lasts between 15-30 mins, while deep sleep lasts around five minutes. This way, your cat is prepared to respond to threats in their environment.  

Conserving energy 

Cats need a lot of energy for the “hunt.” According to a BBC article, hunting requires a large amount of adrenaline and focus. Hunting typically happens at dawn and dusk – explaining why cats are considered crepuscular, not nocturnal. Even in your home, where food is regularly provided, your cat will have the desire to express these natural hunting instincts.  


When your cat is home alone, they may lose motivation to play on their own and choose a nap instead. You can support their natural instincts through a variety of enrichment activities. Remember, your cat needs mental stimulation just as much as physical exercise! 

When to be concerned about your cat’s sleep 

When lots of sleep is coupled with inactivity it can be a sign of stress. The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society’s blog has a wealth of resources to help your cat manage stress in a number of situations. 

Pain or discomfort may be another reason for your cat sleeping too much. If the behaviour persists, contact your local veterinarian for support. 

If this information was helpful, please help us continue to educate about pet health and well-being by making a donation. 

The post Why does my cat sleep so much? appeared first on Ontario SPCA and Humane Society.

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