a tabby kitten sleeps under a chair

Cats and sleep: FAQ

Wondering whether your cat is getting enough sleep? Find out why your cat enjoys a good snooze.

Like all animals, cats need rest to stay healthy. Age and lifestyle can have an impact on how much your cat sleeps. But you may be wondering how much sleep is normal for your cat, and whether they're getting too much. We've answered the most asked questions on cats and sleep here.

How much do cats sleep?

On average, cats sleep for around 15 hours per day. But they can nap for up to 20 hours in a 24 hour period. Cats often sleep when the house is quiet, and become more active when people are home.

Why do cats sleep so much?

Natural instinct

Like all members of the cat family, domestic cats are a predatory species. Hunting uses up an incredible amount of energy. So it makes sense for them to save it for then they need it. Although pet cats do not need to hunt to survive anymore, this instinct is still strong, as well as the need to sleep and rest for long periods.

When do cats sleep?

Cats are instinctively crepuscular – this means they are most active at dawn and dusk. This is when African wildcats (a predatory species) hunt for food because of the hunting opportunities and their ability to see in low light.

Since they may be more wakeful at night, you'll often see your cat sleeping throughout the day.

Is my cat sleeping too much?

As your cat gets older, you may notice them sleeping more often. Kittens also need lots of sleep, so it's important to not disturb them when they're resting.

Some illnesses – such as arthritis or kidney disease – can also cause cats to sleep more than usual. If you think your cat is sleeping too much, contact your vet for advice.

Where should my cat sleep?

Cats will choose where they want to sleep. But they like to sleep in areas where they feel safe, so you might spot them up high or curled up in a confined space. Cats also like to rotate where they sleep, so make sure they have a few options available.

There are lots of types of beds to choose from. Igloo beds provide a cosy hiding place, but you can also put a blanket on their favourite chair or stool. Many cats also love a cardboard box to sleep in. You can turn it sideways for easy access. You can also place their beds up high on a box or stool to give them some extra comfort. Just make sure they have a safe route back down.


If you have more than one cat, make sure there are plenty of bed options for them throughout your house.

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• 28 May 2024

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Claire crouching next to her white staffie dog
Approved by
Claire Stallard

Animal Behaviourist ABTC-CAB

Approved by
Caroline Reay

Veterinary Surgeon MRCVS