The second week of March is known as Sleep Awareness Week, so it’s a great time to talk about sleep, whether it’s humans or cats who need a snooze.
When it comes to felines, we all know that our kitty friends absolutely love to nap, catch 40 winks, and siesta their way through the day.
So let’s dig a little deeper into the meanings behind cat sleeping patterns, positions, and behaviors.
Have you ever looked over at your snoozing feline in some weird position and wondered what it means?
Well, if you see your cat sleeping on their side, that means they’re in a deep sleep.
If kitty is all curled up, tailed tucked in, that’s meant to suggest they’re looking to stay protected.
And if they’re entering the cat loaf position—paws tucked underneath their body? That means your cat is in a light sleep and is ready to move or respond to any potential danger signs.
Finally, if you see your feline has fallen asleep on their back with their tummy exposed, that means they feel totally content and safe in their environment.
Ever noticed how your cat often turns their nose up at that fancy new cat bed you bought them in favor of an old cardboard box? That’s because cardboard boxes provide a feeling of safety due to the number of sides.
A well-enclosed cat feels protected from predators, so that’s why they might prefer to sleep in a good, old-fashioned box.
What about if your cat sleeps on you? Well, on one level, it could simply mean that your feline is looking for warmth; in effect, they’re tapping into your body heat.
Another reason for sleeping on a human is that your cat might enjoy your familiar smell, which in turn imparts a sense of safety.
And if you notice your cat snoring on occasion? Just like humans, it’s likely caused by a temporary blockage in their upper airway. It’s worth mentioning to your vet, just to be safe.
How Long Do Cats Sleep?
Cats sleep for a long time each day, with most estimates putting the figure at upwards of 16 hours.
One theory behind this extended snoozing suggests it’s because the cat is trying to conserve energy for the next hunting mission. Or, in the case of domestic felines, the next short stroll to the food bowl for dinner.
While 16 hours a day seems like a lot of nap time, cats don’t sleep in the same way that we humans do. Even if it looks like they’ve totally dozed off, your feline is very much alert.
That means if a loud or out-of-the-ordinary noise occurs, they will wake up and be instantly ready for action, as opposed to complaining that they “simply cannot function before that first cup of coffee” like we humans do.
Does your cat do anything funny or strange while sleeping? What do you think it means? Tell us about it in the comments below!