Cat Behavior

Why Do Cats Sleep Too Much? (2024)

Our cats are real sleep gurus! They can sleep anytime, anywhere, and under any circumstances. Even a quick search on the Internet will show thousands of photos of sleeping cats in cute or funny poses. But why do cats sleep so much, and what happens in their head when they sleep?

Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?

  • Long sleep is in your cat’s genes

Let’s first look at how long cats sleep on average. Cats can sleep up to 16 hours a day, and older cats spend even more time at rest – up to 20 hours a day. This sleeping habit is the result of cat growth, eating patterns, and physiology. In the wild, cats have to hunt in order to feed and survive, and tracing prey, chasing, and killing takes them a lot of energy. Sleep helps cats maintain energy between hunting and eating sessions.

  • Cats do not always sleep soundly

While Answering the question, you should also consider how they sleep. Of the time that cats spend in their sleep, about three-quarters is what we can call nap. In this state, cats can relax, close their eyes, and rest, but they are still alert enough to wake up at any moment. You can determine when the cat is napping by the movements of its body – the ears will twitch and turn in the direction of the noise, and the eyes may be slightly open. Even when cats are sitting upright, they can doze off a bit.

  • Cats, however, are able to sleep deeply and even dream

When cats are in deep sleep, they tend to curl up in a ball, closing their eyes tightly. Sometimes, they can even put their tail on their muzzle, like a fluffy sleep mask, or cover their eyes from the light with a paw. Deep sleep is critical to the body’s ability to regenerate itself and maintain health and activity. Also, this is the time when your cat dreams. If you saw your cat’s mustache or paws twitching in a dream, this is a sign that the cat is dreaming.

  • Some cats snore while they are sleeping

Cats snore because the airways are closed by a fold of soft palate skin. This happens when the cat is relaxed and deeply asleep. Snoring is more common in brachycephalic cat breeds such as Persian, Himalayan, or exotic shorthair. Cats that have suffered rhinotracheitis can also suffer snoring, but, in fact, they do not snore but simply snort loudly.

  • Changing your cat’s sleeping habits may be a sign of problems

Does a cat sleep too much or sleep too little? After all, all this is very individual! If you have a feeling that your cat has begun to sleep much more or much less than usual, consult your veterinarian. Excessive sleep can be a sign of illness or pain, and frequent wakefulness can indicate a problem such as hyperthyroidism in cats.

Why do Cats Lay On Their Backs?

Very often, owners of domestic cats observe a touching picture – the cat sleeps on its back, spreading its legs. In most cases, this position indicates that the puffy is happy. He completely trusts his masters. And only sometimes lying on your back is cause for concern, as it signals a malfunction in the cat’s body. So why do cats lay on their backs? List and explanation of possible causes.

Why does a Cat Like to Lie On Its Back?

It’s no secret that animals take the most unrealistic, sometimes hanging poses and places unsuitable for this matter for sleep: batteries, trees, flower pots, and the owner’s face.


The pose on the back with the legs up indicates that the fluffy fully trusts the environment and the person. This is possible only when a warm relationship is established between the owner and the animal. The cat sees protection in a person and entrusts him with the protection of his sleep. Also, at the same time, pussies can bend and hang from surfaces – so they express complete happiness and contentment with life.


For little kittens, the mother licks her tongue with her tongue while she pays special attention to her belly. This serves as a necessary hygienic procedure and a measure of preventing digestive problems in the baby. After such a massage, the kitten feels good, is calm and completely relaxed, and quickly falls asleep. A grown-up pet retains this picture from childhood, and a dream on his back gives him complete peace of mind.


Cats have a sensitive spine; they need a soft surface for sleep and relaxation. Lying on his back on the spine does not press anything the animal enjoys.


The heat and stuffiness “knock” the cat on its back and make it spread its legs in different directions as the body cools faster in this position. This is because heat transfer in the abdomen occurs faster due to the smaller volume of the coat. Cats in this position are “aired.”


Characteristic for uncastrated male cats. The animal feels discomfort in the groin, and an open pose with its legs up allows you to reduce stress and inconvenience caused by excitement.


After the cat is complete, he craves rest. And here a problem arises: curl up because of a full stomach or lie on your paws, uncomfortable or even painful. Therefore, the animal falls on its side or lies on its back so that nothing presses on a full stomach.


A pose lying on your back can also serve as a signal about the development of some pathologies. It can be diseases of the intestines, kidneys, or inflammatory processes in the body. The cat falls on his back, and he does not allow the owners to approach him or allow him to touch (attempts to probe the abdomen will cause aggression attacks in the animal). Additional symptoms are present:

● lack of appetite;

● stool disorders;

● constant meow;

● general lethargy or restless behavior.

Does the Sleeping Position Depend on the Breed?

This is not to say there are unique breeds with a special relationship to sleeping on their backs. Having excellent health and getting enough pleasure from life, the sphinxes that the British behave the same in this regard.

The only thing that affects the cat’s choice of posture for rest is the coat’s density. In favorable conditions, cats with an unequal coat can feel differently. The one with rare and small hair will likely lie on its paws or curl up, but a cat with longer and thicker hair will fall asleep on its side or roll over onto its back.


Cats do not suffer from insomnia, for which they are often called lazy and sleepyheads. This is especially true for pets, as they are less active. Receiving all the necessary food from the owner on a plate, they can only play with a candy wrapper for several minutes before again plunging into the dream world.

Jenifer Miona

Dr. Jenifer Miona is a highly skilled and compassionate veterinarian based in Ireland. With a passion for animal health and wellbeing, she has dedicated her career to providing the highest standard of veterinary care to pets and their families. After completing her veterinary degree at the University of Dublin, Dr. Miona went on to specialize in small animal medicine. She has since gained extensive experience in all areas of veterinary care, including routine check-ups, surgical procedures, and emergency treatments. In her clinic, Dr. Miona is known for her gentle and compassionate approach to patient care. She takes the time to listen to the concerns of pet owners and develops personalized treatment plans to meet the unique needs of each animal. Beyond her clinical work, Dr. Miona is active in the veterinary community and stays up-to-date with the latest advances in veterinary medicine through ongoing education and professional development. She is a member of several professional organizations, including the Irish Veterinary Association and the European College of Small Animal Medicine. Outside of her work as a veterinarian, Dr. Miona is an avid animal lover and enjoys spending time with her own pets. She also volunteers at local animal shelters and is committed to promoting animal welfare through community outreach and education.

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