Find out why your cat sleeps all the time
Cats sleep a lot—it’s programmed into their genetic makeup and part of how they’ve survived in the wild. Wild cats are programmed to sleep up to 20 hours a day, conserving their energy for when it’s needed most: in bursts of explosive speed that help them capture prey.
Your domestic cat may only need to amble over to the food dish for his next meal, but it’s still normal for him to sleep two-thirds of his life—about 16 hours a day. And unlike herbivores that need hours of munching to meet their nutritional needs, a cat's protein-packed diet takes only minutes to consume, leaving even more time for rest.
Like humans, cats experience deep REM sleep cycles as well as light, non-REM cycles. Yet even when they’re asleep, cats are surprisingly alert. In fact, it takes very little noise or movement for a cat to be immediately aware and ready to run—even if he doesn’t need to catch his own dinner any time soon.