What types of sleep stages do cats fall into?

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Cats are great nappers of the animal kingdom, although they aren’t the sleepiest animals in the world. Still, with 85 percent of their time devoted to shut-eye, they certainly are well rested.

About 40 percent of the time a cat’s sleep cycle would be termed “regular” sleep. During those periods felines tend to lie flat, or curl up comfortably. They are totally relaxed.

Fifteen percent of the time cats are in deep sleep known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. In this state, their face, paws, legs, and tail may twitch and move to indicate they are dreaming.

Thirty percent of the time, Fluffy is just cat napping, or resting with his eyes closed in a half-awake state. These light snoozes can last for up to half an hour. If you whisper the cat’s name during this type of sleep, his eyes will open slowly. He may look at you for a second and go right back to what he was doing, but he’s far from sound asleep.

Newborn and young kittens sleep much more than adults. When they’re not trying to tear the house down and rip each other’s ears off, they’re snoring pretty much night and day. This pattern is actually an aspect of survival, allowing a mother in the wild to safely leaving her sleeping young tucked in a hiding place while she hunts.

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