What Is a Normal Amount of Time a Cat Sleeps?

Any time is a good time for a cat nap.
Any time is a good time for a cat nap. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

In the life of a cat, sleeping seems to be interrupted only by the occasional meal or belly rub. Sleeping the majority of the day isn’t a sign of laziness, but rather a trait inherited from their ancestors. Cats doze for hours at a time to save up energy for short bursts of high activity, which are particularly concentrated in the morning and evening hours.


The average cat sleeps for 15 hours per day, but individual cats vary widely in their shut-eye requirements. A normal healthy cat routinely gets 13 to 20 hours of sleep in a day, so don’t worry if yours seems stuck to the same few spots around the house from sunrise to sunset. Adult cats sleep less than young kittens or senior cats, who need more time to recuperate.

Sleep, Eat, Sleep

Most house cats don’t have to chase their own food anymore, but they’re still wired like cats who do. Cats developed to hunt down small meals throughout the day. Because of their natural hunting instincts, they go from sound-asleep to wide-awake-and-playful in a blink. By nature, cats spend much of their waking time running around at a high exertion level. That means they need to rest frequently to save up the energy to do it again and again.

Cat Naps

Although cats sleep a lot, they’re not always sound asleep. Cats sleep deeply for about five minutes at a time. They spend three to six times that long in a light slumber, ready to wake up if something demands their attention. They alternate between periods of heavy and light sleep for hours at a time. Indoor cats sleep more than outdoor cats, as they don't have to worry about chasing down their next meal.

Rising at Dusk

If you wonder why your cat sleeps all day, only to be hit with a burst of energy just in time to wrestle your feet under the covers at bedtime, it’s in their nature. Cats are crepuscular, meaning they’re not quite nocturnal. Crepuscular animals are at their most active at dawn and dusk. They get most of their rest during the daytime and are usually slightly more active during the night.

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