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Is Your Cat Bored? Does Your Cat Sleep Too Much? What is "Normal"?

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Is Your Cat Bored? Does Your Cat Sleep Too Much? What is "Normal"?

Is your cat bored? Is there enough going on in his life to keep him interested? Many pet owners wonder what their cats do while they are gone all day. Do they just sleep all day? And how much sleep is too much?

Today, I'd like to talk to you about indoor cats and their sleeping behavior.

Indoor-only cats sleep a lot. They sleep more than outdoor cats. In fact, only opossums and bats sleep more.

Lets look at a few common questions and answer them.

QUESTION:
How much sleep is "normal" for a cat?

ANSWER:
The amount of nap time varies from cat to cat depending on the cat's age, health, activity level and personality. Most cats sleep about 13 to 16 hours each day. Although reports suggest that in the wild, cats sleep less - perhaps 8 to 12 hours per day.

QUESTION:
How much sleep is too much? And why do indoor cats sleep more?

ANSWER:
We believe there are 3 reasons that cause indoor cats to sleep more:

1. Sickness. Cats that have an underlying illness will often sleep more. They will also play less and act lethargic. Often as diseases or problems progress, their appetite may also decrease, they may lose weight or you may notice vomiting.

To learn how to tell if your cat is sick go to: How to Tell if Your Cat is Ill.

2. Boredom. Outdoor cats have a lot of natural interaction and stimulation. Some of it is good and ... some of it is not so good, but they are often maximally stimulated just to stay alive. They see prey, track movement, stock birds or rodents, run from cars and interact with people (or not - we all know how moody cats can be). There are plenty of dangers outside, but outdoor cats are rarely bored.

Boredom is common for indoor cats. Some cats sleep because they're bored. It's true. Make sure you have plenty of cat toys (find out which toys they like best). Make sure that there are scratching posts, climbing trees and interesting windows for your cat to watch the outside world. It is also important to actively engage your cat in playtime twice a day.

To find the right toy for your cat's personality, go to: Cat Toys - Selecting the Right Toys for Your Cats Play Preference.

3. Advanced age . Older cats and tired cats sleep more. Some cats will sleep more as they get older. Cats will also sleep more after large amounts of stimulation. Just like people - if you work extra hard and have a very stimulating day, you may sleep harder or longer.

If your cat is sleeping a lot, don't assume that your cat's sleep pattern is completely normal. Consider the above possibilities. If you think there is any possibility that your cat is sick, see your vet for a check-up. If you think your cat is bored, do something about it. Get some toys, play with your cat, get a scratching post or a climbing tree, hang a bird feed or squirrel feeder outside your window, create a screened-in porch or other safe cat enclosure.

Finally we have an excellent article to help you enrich your cat's environment (there are some very good ideas here). To learn more go to:
Selecting the Right Environmental Enrichment for Your Cat.

We hope these questions and answers will help you to better understand if your cat is sleeping to much or is bored. We also hope helps you make your indoor cat's life more pleasant.


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