Cats love to sleep. Our White House explains how much sleep is too much for cats and when owners should be worried about it.

Why do cats sleep so much?

Cats have a natural instinct to sleep for extended periods of time, which has been ingrained in their evolutionary history. While domesticated cats may not need to hunt for survival, the innate urge to sleep and recharge remains.

How much do cats sleep?

Are you wondering how many hours a cat sleeps per day? The number of hours that your cat needs to sleep and the typical sleeping pattern for your cat will change as they get older :

  • Kittens will likely sleep most of the day, with a few brief bursts of energy between meals.
  • Adolescent cats may have erratic sleep patterns combined with periods of intense playfulness.
  • Adult cats tend to have more set sleeping schedules that average out at about 12 - 20 hours of sleep each day.
  • Senior cats tend to have less energy and reduced mobility,, so they sleep more than younger cats.

As your cat reaches adulthood, it will likely develop a consistent pattern of sleeping and waking. For instance, you might observe that your cat wakes up just before you, spends an hour or two eating and socializing with you, and then goes back to sleep while you carry on with your day.

Is my cat really asleep?

Cats sleep deeply, but not always. Like people, cats spend about 3/4 of their sleep time in light and 1/4 in deep sleep. During light sleep, cats can rest while remaining alert.

You may notice that your cat's eyes are slightly open or its ears twitch and rotate in response to noises while snoozing.

When should I be worried about my cat sleeping so much?

The amount of sleep your cat needs can vary, so it's important to know their normal sleep patterns. If you notice a significant change in your cat's sleeping habits, it could be a sign of a health issue, and a visit to the vet is recommended.

If your cat is sleeping excessively, it could be a sign of illness or discomfort. Conversely, if your cat sleeps less than usual, it may be experiencing conditions like hyperthyroidism.

If you are concerned about your cat's health after your regular vet has closed, contact our White House emergency vets.