“Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur
Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr”
Cats have been known to sleep for an average of fifteen hours a day and sometimes up to even twenty hours at a stretch. It isn’t a surprise then, why people keep wondering why are cats next to dead almost all the time. And while they are in their phases, they hardly care even if hell breaks loose. Their regular naps are very important to them and they are labelled as the laziest of all animals sometimes. Here are few explanations to these questions provided by various specialists;
If you observe, cats crepuscular – this means that they are most active during the night time than in the day. All kinds of cats are born with an innate predator instinct and that is why you would notice this day time slumber pattern in huge cats like lions. The most active time of the day for cats is from dusk to dawn, therefore all the evening and night time is dedicated to their active phase. So the required energy for the night time adventures comes from sleeping during the day. When you get a new kitten home, you will be surprised to wake up to a mess every morning. You would almost deny that a creature that tiny is not capable of any kind of destruction as such, but just like all other babies, kittens are curious and adventurous too. They would want to explore their new surroundings, ending up ruining things in their investigation procedures. However, rest assured, that as soon as you offer the early morning breakfast to your cat, it will most certainly wind up for a long day of slumber only to get active at night.
Like it’s mentioned earlier that cats have an innate predator instinct, it’s an established fact that predatory skills and activities require a lot of energy. While the hunting may require tremendous amounts of energy, even the stalking and pouncing on the toy mouse or any kind of prey requires certain energy bursts from them. Cats are up all night, creeping in the shadows, very quietly and stalking, pouncing on every object that catches their fascination. So the sleeping factor is directly proportional to the amount of activity they perform in their active time.
Like humans, while sleeping, a cat’s brain wave patterns can be measured via and EEG (Electroencephalograph). While awake, a cat’s brain’s patterns are irregularly peaked and bunched together, because that’s the amount of stimulation going on about in the brain. But when asleep, the brain produces long, irregular waves which are called slow sleep waves, for as long as fifteen to thirty minutes. Sometimes cats sleep in an upright sitting position and their muscles get stiffened to give them balance. This way, cats want to be ready to spring into action in a moment’s notice (what vigil!). Well anyway, this kind of sleeping in a sitting position is the light sleep, only for energy conservation purposes. When a cat relaxes and moves from light sleep to deep sleep, its body muscles take a more relaxed form and it stretches and rolls over to one side. The brain patterns change very obviously. They become smaller and closer and are very similar to a cat’s brain patterns while walking. However, when they are in their deep sleep, which is referred to as “rapid sleep”, it’s hard to wake them up because of the quick brain wave movements, but nonetheless, this phase of rapid sleeping lasts for only five minutes and then cats go back to their normal slow sleep dozing pattern. It is an interesting fact though, that baby kittens directly fall into deep sleep without going through the slow sleep phase until they are a month old. Maybe because they tend to stay awake and be more active in the first month.
Cats are even known to dream. There are low cat calls and kicking of the paws in the air in slumber when cats dream. The dreams usually come during the rapid sleep phase.
A cat’s remarkable predatory senses continue to record sounds and senses even in a state of up to seventy percent of sleep. It isn’t a shock then that they wake up at the slightest strange sound or if nice smelling food is around. Because of this characteristic, cats can adjust around their eating time; they will wake up exactly when the owner plans to feed it.
Humans sleep for longs marathon stretches, cats have pattern of sleep alternating from light to deep sleep all throughout the day. Sleeping time increases on cold and rainy days, and since a cat’s and a human’s sleeping timing are not compatible, cats seem to pester their owners sometimes during the nights, but if a cat is very fond of the owner, it can adjust around the owner’s sleeping times, as in it sleeps when the owner is away and wakes up at the owner’s arrival.