How Much Do Cats Really Need To Sleep A Day?

Cats are both loving and fierce, and this makes them the perfect pet to keep in your house. They're cute and snuggly, and when they get their bursts of energy, they're even entertaining as they zoom around the room. You don't even have to take them outside like dogs require! What's not to love?

Cats have a ton of quirks. They're known to lick humans' faces when greeting them, and sometimes they nibble – okay, bite — you when you pet them. Cats are even better in pairs (or groups), as this gives them someone to play with, to clean, and to do everything else that cats regularly do.

One unique trait about cats is that they sleep. Like, a lot. A whole lot more than dogs. In fact, cats are "said to be naturally crepuscular, meaning they are more active at dawn and dusk" according to Companion Animal Psychology. In the interim, they store their energy by sleeping. But why do they do this? Apparently, this is because their typical prey, mice in this case, are active at these times. This gives cats the opportunity to catch and eat them.

Like babies to adult humans, kittens need more sleep than adult cats, but even adult cats sleep a lot. But just how much do these feline angels sleep?

Cats actually sleep for longer than you realize

Cats go through different phases of sleep just like humans, Companion Animal Psychology explained, including the rapid eye movement (REM) phase. In fact, until they're 10 days old, it's estimated that all of a kitten's sleep is REM sleep. Then, once they reach 28 days old, their REM sleep period drops to about half of their sleep. Like humans, they constantly shift between REM and non-REM sleep while slumbering.

But when it comes to just how long they sleep, you may be shocked. We all know cats sleep a lot, but the number of hours that these fur babies slumber is very, very high. According to PetMD, cats sleep an estimated average of 15 hours per day, though some cats can sleep up to 20 hours a day. This means that they're only awake four hours a day at a minimum up to 9 hours a day on average. "Whether your kitty is hunting for outdoor prey or tackling a catnip toy, all that sleep he gets is reserve energy for running, pouncing, climbing and stalking," PetMD explained.

While cats often sleep during the twilight hours, PetMD noted that cats are adaptable animals, and their sleep schedules can change depending on their environment and needs. Because of this, cats don't fit into a one size fits all description of when they sleep. But the main constant factor is how much sleep they need and get.