Have you ever glanced over at your cat while they’re napping and noticed that they sometimes seem to make a series of small but abrupt movements or even appear to wake up with a sudden start? Has that odd sleeping behavior caused you to wonder whether cats dream?
Well, the answer might surprise you. Scientists have confirmed that cats do, in fact, dream while they sleep!
Here’s what you need to know about cats dreaming and what those dreams might be about.
How Do We Know Cats Dream? Is It Scientifically Proven?
To answer the question of whether cats dream, scientists have used some of the same methods and theories that have proved humans dream.
Back in the 1950s, researchers conducted experiments that spotlighted the rapid eye movement (REM) stage in human sleep patterns.
REM sleep is the deepest stage of sleep, and it’s during the REM sleep stage that human dreams are most lucid.
So how does the human REM sleep stage translate to cats?
Well, in the 1960s, another group of scientists looked into whether a sleeping cat also enters their own REM sleep stage. The answer was yes!
By testing and monitoring cats’ brains for certain levels of electrical activity while they were sleeping, it was confirmed that felines do, in fact, enter their own REM sleep stage.
Drawing conclusions from the experiments, scientists have claimed that cats definitely dream.
What Exactly Do Cats Dream About?
Now that we’ve established that cats do dream, the obvious follow up question is, “What do cats dream about?”
Unfortunately, because cats cannot speak to us–at least not in a language that we both clearly understand–no one’s been able to really get an insight into the exact subject matter of cats’ dreams.
Although it has been suggested that a cat is most likely to dream about the same sort of things that they do on a daily basis. So scarfing down food or stalking toys could be high on their list of dream subjects.
That being the case, the next time you notice your cat napping away the afternoon and making a few curious movements, feel free to imagine that they’re dreaming about lapping up lakes full of gravy, scaling mountains made of cat treats, or diving into a bottomless supply of farm fresh catnip.
Or maybe they’re just dreaming about snuggling up with you, their favorite human!
Do you ever notice your cat moving around in a funny or weird way while they’re sleeping? Do you have any theories on what your cat dreams about? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!