Sleep: How Much Do Cats Really Need?

Updated: 04/27/2022 – 21:46

sleeps a lot…
Sleep: How Much Do Cats Really Need?

Photo: Getty Images/Beach Photography Tokyo

How cute: This cat looks really tired…but how much sleep do cats really need?

Cats need their sleep just like other animals, logically speaking. But how much of that actually? What does sleep duration depend on? And do cats have bad nights too?

She looks so cute and calm when she’s lying there and falling asleep – preferably on our lap…but isn’t sometimes what cats claim in terms of sleeping day and night? How much do you really need? These and other facts about the sleeping behavior of our favorite pets.

How much sleep do cats need?

Experts seem pretty much in agreement when it comes to the average time cats sleep: It takes about two-thirds of the day, which is about 16 hours. Some say up to 18 hours, others say 12 hours minimum. But, as is well known, exceptions confirm the rule, on average, public opinion is about 16 hours.

Vet Yasmin Grau also mentions such a volume for BILD the FRAU – but at the same time restricts the phrase: “You can’t say that at all – maybe plus/minus 15 hours a day. If you ask such a question with people, there yes, there is Also severe differences: one needs four hours to get a good night’s sleep, and the other is still unresponsive after nine hours. I’ll put it the same way with cats.”

What affects the amount of sleep?

On the other hand, cats are hunters and need a well-trained body to get their chance, or rather to get their prey. They have to start from a standing start and be able to run super fast and nimble, they have to climb and jump – and they have to always be in a state of interest. All this requires a lot of energy. Accordingly, cats that are active in hunting simply need a lot of time for their bodies to recover.

On the other hand, it seems that cats are no different from us humans: in the rain and cold, but also in the heat, they prefer to take a nap and sleep until nature is a little less bad again.

Jasmine Grau on how much sleep: “It can be very different things. Examples include age, weather, and environment. If cat companions are, for example, jumping outside, the sun is tempting or waiting for mice, the cat certainly sleeps not as much as when they are It’s boring, it’s raining and nothing happens.”

Does breed also determine how much sleep cats need?

Yes, the breed of cats also has an effect on the length of sleep. Siamese cats, for example, are said to get less sleep. On the other hand, the British Shorthair (BKH) prefer to be rested and usually sleep longer.

Jasmine Grau also confirms this: “Yes, that is too. For example, the Bengal cat is usually more energetic than the Persian cat.”

Do cats find it difficult to sleep? Do you generally sleep through the night?

This can certainly happen. For example, cats like to sleep less if they have a lot of excess energy, that is, they do not have enough fatigue. In nature, the cat will have to bring its own food and will have to spend more energy than it needs in your home.

“Like humans, it can happen in animals that the sleep stages are disrupted,” says veterinarian Grau. “It can also appear the same way people do – meaning: if they don’t sleep well and soundly, it’s not just their day!”

As far as sleeping through the night is concerned, the power of habit applies up to a point: while outdoor cats wake up instinctively over and over at night, this is usually different for cats who are only house or residential cats: they are also naturally. Nocturnal, but mostly adapts to the day and night rhythm of the family.

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Do cats dream?

Cats dream like all other mammals and we are humans. And just like we do, they are also processing everything that happened during the day or in the previous waking phase in their dreams. Cats hunt, play, eat, or clean themselves in a dream. It can also make noise for sure, as is the case with humans as well. Cats may meow, purr their lips, or slap them softly while they sleep.

advice: Are you afraid that your cat is having a bad dream because it is shivering and making noises? They shouldn’t wake you up anyway – sometimes they are so sleepy that they are very frightened and can even react aggressively when emotionally affected.

What does Jasmine Gray say? “Animals can also dream. This can sometimes be seen by the fact that they are literally running around in their sleep, for example, or giving a little meow or something similar.” You can read more about how cats sleep and what they dream about here.

Sources:,,,,,,, own research


What about dogs, rabbits, birds, etc.? How much sleep do pets need?

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