What to Do When You Have a Sleepy Cat on Your Hands
What to Do When You Have a Sleepy Cat on Your Hands
We all know the cliche that cats love to sleep more than anything else. But if you start to notice your sleepy cat is napping more often, you need to act on it.
It's no surprise to cat owners that cats love to sleep, sometimes more often than they are awake. Sometimes, a sleepy cat may not be just sleepy-- they could be dealing with an illness.
If you're concerned about your sleepy cat, don't worry. We put together a guide to understanding the differences between a healthy sleepy cat and a sick sleepy cat so you can act quickly should they be the latter.
Check out this handy guide!
Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?
On average, the typical domestic house cat sleeps around fifteen hours a day. Some cats can even go for a twenty-hour nap on average.
This isn't without reason. Sleepy cats sleep for so long for many reasons.
It's important to understand that cats are active primarily at night, specifically around twilight. While we humans are asleep, our furry friends are actively exploring our homes and getting into mischief.
Sunrise and sunset are ideal 'hunting' times for the cat, so they are more likely to be wide awake and energetic at these times.
Cats are predators that love to hunt and pounce. By nature, cats prefer to do this at night. Big cats like tigers and pumas have sleeping habits that aren't so different from domestic cats, and that evolutionary habit is still within our not so terrifying pets.
Despite domestication, housecats still have the urge to hunt at night and conserve energy during the day.
Even though housecats don't need to hunt anymore, these habits are still hardwired into their brains. Hunting a bug or chasing a shadow in the night is a full body hardcore workout, so cats will need to sleep substantially to get all that energy back.
Like humans, sometimes the weather can affect the sleeping habits of cats. Cold or rainy days may trigger a cat to sleep more often.
Cats have pretty crazy defensive senses. The sound of their owners cleaning a room on the other side of the house or briefest flash of a car light passing by will probably wake them up. This means that while cats sleep substantially, they don't really sleep well.
Even if your furry friend is in a very safe environment, it's difficult to turn off their predator instincts and they tend to remain on the defense when they're vulnerable and asleep. This is especially true if you own more than one cat, even if they get along well.
Is My Sleepy Cat Oversleeping?
There is definitely a good amount of sleep and a bad amount of sleep when it comes to sleepy cats.
Fortunately, though, casual oversleeping is typically not a problem for most housecats. Unless your cat is behaving differently or appears to be sick, oversleeping is probably just a response to recent activity or weather.
However, sleeping too much could also be a response to a lack of stimulation. If you had absolutely nothing to do, wouldn't you opt for a nap?
If you think your cat is sleeping more than usual and they seem to be putting on weight, it may be time to remedy the situation. Cat depression and diabetes are definitely real and are often caused by a lonely, fun-free environment.
How To Help A Bored, Sleepy Cat Exercise
If you think your cat is oversleeping out of boredom, there are many ways to help them exercise.
The easiest method is try scheduling daily playtime with your cat. Buy them some toys that they will be inclined to chase around, such as a string attached to a stick. This interactive playtime will help facilitate bonding between you and your cat while also giving them some much-needed exercise.
Outside of one-on-one playtime, there are other ways to exercise your cat.
Get A Second Cat
Obviously, deciding to get another cat is a decision that must be heavily considered. If you have the means to care for another cat as well as the desire to adopt another cat, this could be a great way to keep them stimulated and healthy. Two cats are much more likely to play with each other than anything else.
Invest In Toys
Outside of playing with your cat personally, getting them some toys to play with while you're away or asleep can be helpful. There are a ton of different toys that are designed specifically to entertain a cat on their own.
Opt For The Laser Pointer
If you really want to tire your cat out, look no further than the laser pointer. This classic cat toy can turn even the laziest old cat into a bonafide predator. Ten to fifteen minutes of laser pointer chasing time will likely have your cat panting and exhausted.
Just be mindful not to point the laser pointer directly in your cat's eyes. It can also be helpful to point the laser pointer at one of their toys so they have something to "catch" and not be left totally frustrated.
Clear Off Some High Spaces
You cat may be sleeping too much out of boredom because their whole line of sight is the ground. Cats love to climb and jump, and if they cannot do that they could be getting seriously bored.
You don't have to put up cat shelves (unless you want to) but clearing off the top of a stable bookcase and lining it with a soft blanket could provide your cat with some much-needed heights to jump on.
We're kidding here-- don't give your cat drugs. But you could try giving them some catnip, which can almost be the same thing.
The active chemical in organic catnip stimulates feline pheromones. While eating the substance will mellow your cat out and help them sleep, letting them sniff catnip will rile them up. This is a great remedy for cats that have a hard time getting energized and ready to play.
How was our guide to dealing with sleepy cats? Tell us what you think, along with your own success story with energizing cats, in the comments below!