Is it normal for cats to sleep 17-plus hours a day?

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Actually, cats sleep, on average, between 13 to 16 hours a day. That equates to roughly two-thirds of each day. Certainly, cats sleep more than most mammals and at least twice as much as people.

The tendency to snooze varies by age, with older cats tending to sleep more. Cats also have the good sense to sleep more in hot weather, and for that matter, in cold weather if they can find a nice warm spot — like right in front of the fire.

If you watch Fluffy at rest, you’ll see him experience Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep just like humans. He will go through periods of whisker and eye twitching, and may make small sounds and movements. We assume the animal is dreaming, but of course he can’t tell us.

Non-REM or deep sleep is just as essential for cats as it is for us. Sleep is essential for bodies to grow and to repair themselves. Humans should pay attention to their cat’s sleep patterns, because a noticeable increase or decrease in quality snoozing time may indicate a health problem.

It is not true that cats are nocturnal. Naturally, they are crepuscular, being most active at dawn and dusk. House cats actually tend to adjust their sleep patterns to those of their humans and will happily sleep through the night with you — right in the middle of your pillow.

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