A cat nap is a true inspiration. It is so special, in fact, that we humans can learn a lot from it. Cats can nap any time, any place, and in any position they so choose. How are cats so good at napping, and how can we pick up some of their tricks? Keep reading to find out.
Sleeping the Day Away
On average, most cats spend 15-18 hours each day asleep. What a life, huh? Their sleep cycle ranges through about 5 minutes of truly deep sleep and 15-30 minutes of light resting. During the periods of light rest, they are still fairly alert and can wake up and act quickly if they need to. Many cats have more active time at night than during the day, but it is not true for each one.
The Feline Sleep Cycle
Humans tend to sleep in one large chunk during the night. Cats, on the other hand, spread out their sleep cycle through the whole day. This often means that they will sleep for just over an hour out of every 104 minutes. Cats tend to have a physical and mental peak at dawn and another at dusk. Many researchers believe this is because they hunt both birds and rodents, who are active at different times of day.
Adapting Sleep Patterns
Since cats spend so much of the day sleeping, they can adjust their sleep schedules based on a variety of factors. Food is always a good motivator for cats, and they might change their sleep time based on feeding time. They could also adapt based on the routine of other animals in the house. They might even work to mimic your own sleep schedule so they can spend more time with you.
Just like humans, cats experience different levels of sleep. These are:
- Non-Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (NREM): This occurs when a cat is sleeping deeply with sporadic quick brain wave movements. In humans, this phase is integral for building memories. Many researchers believe it serves a similar function in cats.
- Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (REM): This sleep phase occurs when the brain is as active as it is during waking hours. House cats will typically get anywhere from 3-8 hours of non-consecutive REM sleep in a day. They will exhibit the same rapid eye movement that humans do during this phase.
Cat Nap Lessons
Although our lives might not be as easy as that of a house cat, we can learn a thing or two about rest from our favorite felines. Cats rest when they need to rest. This helps them be alert and functioning when they are awake. They might not need to hunt for their food anymore, but they still need to be aware of their surroundings. Good sleep is important for good health. If you can find a way to add more rest into your day, do it. Curl up with your cuddly kitty and enjoy a mid-day cat nap.
Union Lake Pet Services is here to help you give your pets rewarding and fulfilling lives. From boarding to training and educational resources, we cater to both pets and their owners. To learn more about our services or to sign up your pet, please call (248) 363-6262.