In today’s hectic world, many of us are lucky to get in a good eight hours of sleep a night. If you own, or have been around cats, however, you know that they do not experience the same problem. Cats sleep about twice as much as your average human – that’s about 14 or 15 hours a day. Oh, don’t you wish you were so lucky?
It’s a widely held belief that cats are nocturnal animals, meaning they are most active during the night, but this isn’t really the case. Technically, cats are crepuscular, meaning that they’re most active during the twilight hours (dawn and dusk). Cat owners are only too familiar with the unwanted wake-up calls they get at sunrise from their newly awakened cat. The rest of the day, however, is usually dedicated to sleepytime.
Why do cats sleep so much? Part of the reason has to do with being a domesticated animal. Free from the pressures of having to exist in the wild by finding food and evading becoming someone else’s food, our pets are free to sleep their days away in relative luxury and safety. Most of it has to do with being a predator, though. Cats are natural hunters and they expend a great deal of energy when exercising their natural instincts, whether chasing down birds or chasing around toy mice. They need a corresponding amount of downtime to recuperate.
So, next time you see a cat lazing away in the afternoon sun, try not to be too judgmental – or jealous. It’s just they way they are.