Temecula Valley Animal Hospital

Health Tips for Your Pet

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Why Does My Cat Sleep All the Time?

You pictured boisterous playtime and the types of antics that have amused you while watching YouTube… So why is your cat sleeping all the time? Is this normal? Is he suffering from some sort of health problem?

To a large extent, the answer depends upon their age. Kittens will often sleep all day, with bursts of activity here and there. An adolescent cat might display erratic sleep patterns, alternating with frantic activity. As an adult, they calm down and sleep between 12 and 20 hours daily. And then, as they age, senior cats will become less active and spend even more time relaxing.

Cats of all species evolved to spend a lot of time resting, because hunting can be an intense activity requiring a large amount of energy. And because they are carnivores, eating depends on whether or not they even catch something. It’s a feast-or-famine life, and cats know to preserve their energy by mostly lying around when it’s not mealtime.

Of course, your average housecat doesn’t have to hunt, and he knows you’re going to feed him daily. But he’s still the product of thousands of years of evolution.

On that note, you might notice that your cat’s patterns of activity align with your own. When he knows mealtime is approaching, he will probably become more active, circling your feet and seeking attention. He probably sleeps most of the day when you’re gone to work, and becomes more active after you arrive home.

So when should you worry? Don’t worry so much about what is “normal” for all cats, and observe what is normal for your cat over time. If your cat’s usual sleep patterns change significantly, that could be a sign that something is wrong. If your cat seems unusually active or abnormally sleepy, call us to schedule an appointment. We’ll discuss his behavior and run any tests that might shed light on the situation.

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