4 Odd Cat Sleeping Habits Explained

There are many feline behaviors that baffle us — but their odd sleeping habits might take the cake. For instance, why do cats need so much shut-eye (and still manage to wake us up so bright and early)? We’ve got answers to your most pressing questions about your kitty’s mysterious snoozing patterns in the photo gallery below. Check it out and let us know if we missed any.

The Truth Behind Your Kitty's Mysterious Sleeping Habits

Cat sleeping on couch


Why Do Cats Sleep All Day?

Cats are champion snoozers — they usually sleep anywhere from 10 to 16 hours a day. Biologists chalk this up to two things: their protein-rich diet, which requires lots of periods of rest to aid digestion, and their crepuscular predatory pattern (cats usually hunt twice a day: dawn and dusk). So let your kitty nap to her heart’s content — it’s perfectly normal. However, you should talk to your veterinarian if your cat is lethargic or she isn’t interested in playing or eating.

Woman and cat sleeping on couch


Why Do Cats Sleep on Us?

Who knew humans could be such comfortable pillows for cats? We’d like to think our cats sleep on us out of love and comfort, but that may not necessarily be the case. Veterinarian Dr. Mary Fuller has a few theories about feline snuggling patterns: They may be seeking warmth, or it could be that they love our smell and feel safe and content when they are near it. It's also possible that cats may release oxytocin (the feel-good love hormone) when in contact with their owners — and finally, maybe they really do snuggle with us out of love. We’re hoping that’s the reason!

Cat sleeping in shoebox


Why Do Cats Like to Sleep in Small Boxes and Tiny Spaces?

Your cat could sleep anywhere — your bed, the couch an actual cat bed — so why does she choose a shoe box, sink or cubbyhole? None of those tiny spaces seem particularly comfortable. Well, there are many possible reasons: Small spaces tend to be safer than large ones; in the wild, cats need to be stealthy, and smaller spaces may be better hiding spots; mother cats usually give birth in small spaces to avoid predators; and small spaces are usually warmer and cozier.

Closeup of sleeping cat


Why Do Cat Snore?

While it’s not as common in cats as it is in dogs, snoring is usually caused by a partial obstruction to the upper airway. For the most part, it’s not something you need to worry about, but in some cases, snoring can indicate a health problem. Flat-faced breeds like Persians and Himalayans are prone to brachycephalic syndrome and may have respiratory issues. In fact, you might hear these breeds breathing loudly while they’re awake.

More on Vetstreet:


Join the Conversation

Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!