Photo: JKosolapova|Unsplash

Cats are known to be pretty aloof animals, and their reputation is partly borne out of their tendency to sleep a lot. Looking to play with it? It's probably asleep. Feeding time? It may be snoozing somewhere. 

• Genetic Disposition
Cats can sleep from 16 to 20 hours a day to conserve energy between meals–not that the average domestic house cat really does anything particularly energy-consuming. This habit is a result of a cats' natural evolution.

In the wild, cats have to hunt for prey, and that burns a lot of their energy, explaining its long sleeping hours.

• Light Nap
While the cat appears to sleep a lot, most of the time she isn't in a deep slumber. In fact, for around three-quarters of her entire sleeping duration, she is merely “snoozing” and can actually wake up at a moment's notice.

You can tell if your cat is in this state when her ears twitch and rotate in response to various background noises, and her eyes are partially open.

• Slumber Weather
We love to curl up in bed on wet, rainy days – and our cats are no different. A cats' sleep cycle can be affected by the weather too, and she may sleep more when it gets stormy and chilly.

• Age Factor
Age plays a part in your cat's activity level, which affects the amount of time she sleeps as well. Kittens and elderly cats sleep the most: In the early weeks of their life, kittens sleep most of the day, and up until they are one year old, they sleep more than adult cats.

On the other end of the spectrum, senior cats over the age of seven tend to sleep more as well. This may sometimes be due to medical conditions like arthritis and joint issues.

• Snoring Snooze
You may catch your kitty snoring, and this happens when its airway is blocked by extra skin from the soft palate. It sounds scary, but don't worry – it occurs when your cat is feeling relaxed, so there’s no need to be alarmed by it.

Snoring is most commonly observed in short-nosed cat breeds such as the Himalayan, Persian, or the Exotic Shorthair.

* The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified pet health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Always make a pet health care decision in partnership with a qualified veterinary or pet health care professional.

*This article was updated on 3 May 2021. It first appeared in on 19 Apr 2016.