In a viral video doing rounds on the internet, a seemingly tired, intoxicated, and unbothered cat is seen lazily sleeping on a restaurant floor, causing a scene. From a distance and at first glance, the cat seems dead or in deep distress. However, after a closer look and observation, it becomes apparent that the cat is just being lazy and bossy! The cat’s seemingly deep slumber has left many wondering about the science behind cats’ sleeping habits. Why would a cat slumber that much, and what are the stages of feline sleep?
The Four Stages of Feline Sleep
The average cat spends about 12-16 hours a day sleeping, but this can vary based on age and activity levels or cats just being lazy. Interestingly, cats’ sleep is not continuous and is divided into various stages;
1. Drowsy Wakefulness
Cats spend a brief period in this stage when they’re waking up or just about to doze off. Their senses are still alert, and they can quickly transition to full wakefulness.
2. Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep
Cats enter REM sleep, characterized by rapid eye movements and increased brain activity. During this stage, their dreams may be vivid, and you may notice twitching or even vocalizations.
3. Light Sleep
After REM sleep, cats move into a lighter sleep stage. Their muscles are still active, and they can easily wake up if something grabs their attention.
4. Deep Sleep
The deep sleep stage is where cats truly relax. Their muscles fully relax, and their body temperature drops slightly. This is when they’re less likely to be disturbed.
Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?
Cats’ sleep patterns are influenced by their evolutionary history. In the wild, they needed to conserve energy for hunting, and sleeping for extended periods helped achieve this. While your indoor cat may not need to hunt for food, this instinctual behavior remains deeply ingrained.
The Benefits of Cat Napping
Cats’ sleep patterns have evolved to be highly efficient. They can achieve restorative sleep in shorter bursts, allowing them to be alert when needed. This ability to catnap and recharge quickly is why they often seem ready for action when the opportunity arises.
In the world of sleep science, cat sleep patterns are truly fascinating. Their ability to adapt to their environment, their efficient catnapping, and their intriguing sleep stages make them unique creatures in the animal kingdom. While cats may appear to sleep their days away, they are fine-tuned sleepers, always ready to pounce when the time is right. Cats’ incredible sleep patterns are a testament to their adaptability and evolutionary history. So, the next time you see your feline friend taking a nap, you can appreciate the complex science behind their seemingly simple behavior.
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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,