How Much Sleep Do Cats Need Each Day?

How Much Sleep Do Cats Need Each Day?

Author WCF Staff


Many cat owners wonder how much sleep their cats actually need. If you are a new cat owner, the number of daily naps of your cat can seem worrying. However, cats are primarily nocturnal, so you shouldn’t be too surprised they sleep mainly during the day. You should know that the average cat sleeps about 15 hours a day. However, all cats are individuals, and the amount of sleep they need can vary. Here’s what you should know about cats and sleeping.

Why do cats sleep so much?

You might have heard how much lions sleep in the wild. They are the ultimate lazy animal, and a male lion can go up to 20 hours a day resting and napping. They need to conserve their energy because life in the savannah is not easy. Well, your cat is a natural predator, and it is most active during the night.

kitten sleeping on sofa

We can say cats are “programmed” to sleep a lot. You can be sure if your cat sleeps 16 hours a day; it needs that 16 hours. They need to be rested for their nocturnal hunt. In the wild, cats would hunt at night because that would increase their chance of actually grabbing prey. They could go unnoticed and use their excellent “night vision” to stalk and hunt. The exact amount of sleep your cat needs will depend on its age, mood, health, and many other things. Here’s how these things affect your cat’s sleep.


Just like human babies, kittens will need more sleep. Growing and developing is not easy, and they need their rest to develop properly. The same goes for senior cats. They are not as strong or energetic as when they were adults, so they take longer and more frequent naps.


You probably know the feeling when you don’t feel like doing anything and just spend time in your bed, right? Well, while we can’t abandon all of our duties, cats can. When they feel like spending the whole day in bed, they can just do it. It’s just one of the things that make us jealous of cats.

ginger kitten sleeping


This is another similarity between our cats and us. When we are sick, we do most of our recovering laying down, and cats are the same. If your cat is feeling under the weather, it might feel like sleeping. The cat will lack energy for its usual activities and will spend most of the day resting.

Type of cat sleep

Another crucial thing to know is that cats don’t always sleep as we do during the night. Humans have “deep” sleep, where our entire body shuts down to gather strength for the next day. However, most of your cat’s sleep is not like that. Only about 25% of their sleep is deep sleep; the rest is light snoozing. This is connected to their primal instincts, and if something happens, the cat can awaken quickly and be just as reactive as it was fully awake. Most of the time, your cat won’t need time to wake up, as we do in the morning. Their light snooze allows them to be alert as soon as they get up.

tabby-cat sleeping on bed

Can some cats sleep less?

As we already mentioned, all cats are individuals, and some cats may sleep less than others. They are very adaptable and can easily adapt to a different sleeping schedule. Here are some of the reasons your cat might sleep less.


If your cat is exposed to more artificial or natural light, it might interfere with the typical cat sleeping schedule. It can make them sleep less and be more active during the day.


Very active cats can sleep less than other cats. Cat owners sometimes keep their cats more active, which means they will spend less time sleeping. The amount of physical activity will directly impact the amount of sleep your cat has during the day.

kitten sleeping

Less food

If you decide to cut back your cat’s food, you should be prepared; the cat will be awake more. The cat will be more alert and might even protest a bit. You have to really think about cutting back on your cat’s food.

When should I worry about the amount of my cat’s sleep?

All cat owners want to know when they should start worrying about the amount of their cat’s sleep. A healthy sleep schedule is indeed a reflection of a cat’s health, so you should know how to notice things that might seem weird or off about your cat. Here are some of the reasons your cat might sleep more than usual.

Kidney disease

We already mentioned sick cats sleep more. They will also eat less, drink more water, and become pretty vocal during the night.

kittens sleeping


This is a common reason cats’ sleep patterns change. Cats with hypothyroidism will need more sleep, and one of the main symptoms of this condition is lethargy.

Hearing loss

Cats that have hearing issues will sleep more. Their sleep can’t be easily disturbed by minor sounds, so they will have longer continuous sleeping periods.

In conclusion

Cats sleep a lot; most sleep around 15 hours a day. It is how they’re programmed. Some things will affect the amount of sleep your cat needs, like age, health, and mood. If you noticed rapid changes in your cat’s sleeping patterns, you should notify your vet.

World Cat Finder Team

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