Ask Moses: Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?


Dear Moses,

Our cat was a frisky kitten, but now that he's grown up he sleeps most of the day, and then goes right to bed with us at night.  Is that normal?

– Concerned About Our Sleepy Cat

Dear "Concerned", 

We cats do love to sleep, sometimes as much as 20 hours a day, but 16 to 18 hours is more typical.  

Since we are top tier predators, we need to save up energy for our hunting expeditions. We love to hunt and explore at dusk and dawn, which is why we're always so happy to have dinner at the same time you do, and why we like to wake you up at 5 a.m.  It's just natural for us to be active at those times.

Big tabby cat sleeping on his back Copyright Karen Newcombe

Our kind like to sleep during the brightest and hottest daylight hours, and also tend to sleep or doze during the darkest part of the night when predators larger and tougher than us are out hunting. 

Some people think that we cats also make for good weather forecasters – we're often pretty frisky when the hot Florida weather is about to turn cooler, and we may turn into round, furry lumps or vanish under the bed before a big thunderstorm arrives.

Sometimes sleeping too much can mean kitty isn't feeling well. There are some definite warning signs that your cat may be sick. If your  cat looks like he's uncomfortable, feels unusually hot to the touch or has other symptoms like sneezing or vomiting, is abnormally lethargic, or is seeking out hiding places it never normally uses (back of the closet, under the bed), you should bring your cat in for a quick check.  

You can always call us here at the office if you're not sure. And keep your questions coming – I'll be happy to answer them. 

~ Moses

Photos: Karen Newcombe.

Phone: 954-421-2244   Serving Deerfield Beach, Coconut Creek, and Boca Raton from our offices at Hillsboro Blvd and  Powerline Road in the Dunkin' Donuts plaza.    © Deer Run Animal Hospital 2017