Cat Tips

Why Do House Cats Sleep So Much?

You would have seen your cat chasing a toy mouse with the speed of a tiny cheetah, and then in the next minute, snoozing in a sunbeam like a furry little loaf of bread. It’s like cats have perfected the art of napping. There’s a reason it’s called a ‘cat nap’ right? But what is that reason? It’s an irony that the curiosity of why cats sleep so much has kept many up at night. Let’s dig down this hole and find out why!

Cats sleep for an average of 15 hours a day! If you think this is a lot, some of them even extend it to 20 hours. (1) However, the upper side is usually seen in older cats and young kittens. This much sleeping can be understandable for old cats and the ones with the folly of youth. But why is the ‘working population’ of cats sleeping so much? 

Why Does My Cat Sleep So Much?

Scottish Fold

Evolution is one of the reasons cats sleep so much. Cats in the wild had to work hard to fill their tummies. This required a lot of physical effort, which needed plenty of energy. Sleeping became a way to recharge their bodies and be ready for the hunts. These hunts happen at dawn and dusk, the twilight hours. This is why cats sleep most of the time during the day. They aren’t stuck in the 9-5 rat race like us anyways. (funny right, how they are not stuck in the rat race but are stuck in the ‘rat’ race? 

Cats do not sleep deeply most of the time. Almost ¾th of their sleep is shallow. It’s like a stand-by mode for them. They doze in a kind of ready position, with their senses of smell and hearing in the “on” mode. During these naps, you may see their ears twitch. Any prey that passes around them will be immediately attacked, including you, if you try to pet them during the nap. The remaining ¼ th of the time they are in a deep sleep mode. You may even see their paws tremble at times. This is probably because they are dreaming. (1)

Why are Cats so Sleepy All the Time?

A tabby cat is lying by a window with light filtering in.

You may be wondering if all this was needed for wild cats, yours is a domestic one that sits around like a queen, gets fed on time without even having to lift a leg and is probably in an air-conditioned room most of the time. The reason why your cat is yet sleepy all the time is because of heredity. Cats, as a species, have become hardwired to the same internal clock. All of them have a snooze button depressed in them, irrespective of whether they are sleeping on the streets or on a comfortable sofa. Moreover, house cats also tend to sleep when they are bored. We are sure that many of you reading this would give anything to get a life like this – Eat-Sleep-Repeat. 

Why Does My Cat Wake Me Up at Night? (2)

Maine Coon

We understood above that cats are nocturnal as their ancestors used to prey during twilight hours. However, the reason for them to wake you up at night just because their sleep schedules don’t match with yours is not very simple. Most cats try to wake up their owners at night to demand for something, usually something they did not get during the day. 

Another reason for it may be that it’s actually missing you. This may feel shocking, but cats are emotional and affectional creatures like dogs. They do miss you while you’re trying to present the same idea with a different presentation template to another client. 

Other times, if your cat is feeling bored and is looking for some mental or physical stimulation, they may try to wake you up because according to them, you are not working at night. They don’t really count your sleeping as something important. How ironic for a cat to do this!

If it’s not for any of the above reasons, then your cat is simply asking for a cuddle or a warm and cozy spot to sleep. They may want to sleep on top of you or beside you. Here, they are actually not trying to wake you up but end up doing so in the process. Try offering a warm place for them to sleep in your bed or get a heated cat bed for them.  

Why Do Cats Lay by Our Feet?

A bearded person with tattoos holds a fluffy cat close to their face.

There are a couple of reasons why a cat would lay by your feet. These include – 

  • Personal space – Sleeping at the end of the bed, near our feet, ensures the least disturbance or encroach upon their personal space while they are resting. Cats value their sleep just like we value ours after working 6 days a week and resting on a nice and warm Sunday. They do not want any movement or disturbance during their rest times. 

  • Warmth – Human feet often emit heat. The reason your cat is lying by your feet can also be because it’s craving a warm temperature to rest. 

  • Bond - Cats feel safe being near people they're bonded with. Some show this bonding by sleeping on your chest and others by sleeping by your feet. The latter option is a safe one for them to avoid intense physical content but yet be close to you. 

More About Spot Pet Insurance

Curious, intelligent, and full of wonders are what these four-legged feline creatures our. But even these lovely beings are prone to certain health issues that can cause problems for them and you at any point during their life. Some may even get severe at times that may require hospitalisation, medications, alternate therapies, surgeries, etc. for treatment. You may be able to prevent some of them by taking the best care of your pet, but some may be inevitable. With pet health insurance, however, you’ll be able to save up to 90% of all the treatment costs. So, even when you may not be able to protect your kitty from a medical problem, the finances will never stop you from getting the best treatment for them.

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Learn more about cat insurance or get a free quote. 


  1. Wallenfeldt, J. (n.d.). Why do cats sleep so much? Encyclopedia Britannica.

  2. How to handle an Attention-Seeking Cat at night. (n.d.).

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