How Much Do Cats Sleep: Factors Affecting a Cat’s Sleep Duration

Adult cats sleep for around 12-16 hours a day, with some cats sleeping up to 20 hours a day. However, this can vary depending on the cat’s age, activity level, and personality.

Kittens and elderly cats tend to sleep more than adult cats, with kittens sleeping close to 24 hours a day and elderly cats sleeping up to 20 hours a day. In contrast, more active and energetic cats may sleep less and spend more time playing and exploring their surroundings.

It’s important to note that cats are crepuscular animals, meaning they are most active during dawn and dusk and tend to sleep during the day and night. This behavior is rooted in their wild ancestry, as it allowed them to conserve energy during the day when it was hot and hunt during cooler periods at dawn and dusk.

Factors Affecting Cat Sleep Duration


As cats age, their sleep patterns and needs change, and they tend to sleep more. Kittens, for example, need more sleep than adult cats as they grow and develop quickly. Sleep is essential for a kitten’s development, allowing their bodies and brains to grow and develop properly.

As mentioned, adult cats sleep for around 12-16 hours a day because adult cats are more active and have more energy to explore and play during their waking hours. However, some adult cats may sleep more if they are overweight or not getting enough exercise.

As cats reach their senior years, their sleep patterns change once again. Older cats tend to sleep more than adult cats because as cats age, their bodies and organs begin to slow down, and they need more rest to conserve energy and allow their bodies to heal and repair.

In addition to sleeping more, elderly cats may also experience changes in their sleep patterns, such as sleeping more during the day and less at night. This can be due to changes in their circadian rhythms or health issues such as arthritis or cognitive dysfunction.

Activity Level

More active cats tend to sleep less than less active cats. Cats are naturally curious and playful creatures that need physical and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Cats with opportunities for play and exercise during the day tend to be more active and have more energy, which can lead to shorter sleep durations.

In contrast, less active cats or with limited play and exercise opportunities tend to sleep more. This is because they have less stimulation and may become bored or stagnant, leading to longer periods of sleep.

However, it’s important to note that even highly active cats still need plenty of rest and sleep to maintain their health and energy levels. While cats may be more active during dawn and dusk, they still need long periods of restful sleep to allow their bodies and brains to recover and recharge.


Common health issues affecting a cat’s sleep include infections, injuries, dental problems, and chronic conditions such as kidney disease or hyperthyroidism. These conditions can cause discomfort or pain, leading to longer periods of sleep as the cat’s body works to heal. 

In some cases, medication may also affect a cat’s sleep duration. For example, some medications can cause drowsiness or lethargy, leading to longer sleep periods. On the other hand, cats not getting enough or restful sleep may also be at risk of developing health issues. 

Chronic sleep deprivation can weaken a cat’s immune system, increase its risk of infection, and contribute to obesity and other health problems. As a cat owner, monitoring your cat’s sleep patterns and behavior for signs of illness or discomfort is important. If your cat is sleeping more than usual or seems sluggish, it’s important to take them to the vet for a check-up. 

Similarly, if your cat is not getting enough restful sleep, changing its environment or routine may be necessary to promote better sleep. This may include providing a comfortable and quiet sleeping area, reducing noise and light in the room, or adjusting feeding times to align with their natural sleep cycle.


Cats are obligate carnivores, requiring a diet high in animal protein to stay healthy. A diet high in carbohydrates or low in protein can lead to obesity, diabetes, and other health issues that can disrupt a cat’s sleep patterns.

Feeding your cat high-quality, protein-rich food can help them maintain a healthy weight and provide the nutrients they need for optimal health. It’s also important to ensure that your cat is not overeating or eating too close to bedtime, as this can lead to indigestion and discomfort that can disrupt sleep.

Additionally, providing your cat with a consistent feeding schedule can help regulate its sleep patterns. For example, feeding your cat earlier in the evening can help promote restful sleep at night, as their body will have time to digest their meal before bedtime.

Finally, providing your cat access to clean, fresh water is also important for their health and sleep. Dehydration can cause discomfort and restlessness, disrupting a cat’s sleep patterns. Always provide your cat with clean water, and consider using a water fountain to encourage them to drink more.


The environment in which a cat lives can also significantly impact its sleep duration and quality. A comfortable, safe, and peaceful environment can help promote restful sleep, while a stressful or uncomfortable environment can disrupt a cat’s sleep patterns.

Some key environmental factors affecting a cat’s sleep include noise, light, temperature, and bedding. Cats are sensitive to their environment, and even small changes in these factors can significantly impact their sleep patterns.

Noise is a common factor that can disrupt a cat’s sleep. Loud or sudden noises can startle a cat and wake them up, while consistent background noise, such as traffic or construction, can create a stressful environment that can make it difficult for a cat to relax and fall asleep. To minimize noise, consider providing your cat with a quiet and isolated sleeping area, or use sound-absorbing materials such as carpets or curtains.

Light can also be an important factor that affects a cat’s sleep patterns. Cats are naturally sensitive to light, and exposure to bright or artificial light can disrupt their circadian rhythm and make it more difficult to fall asleep. For example, consider providing your cat with a dark and quiet sleeping area, or use blackout curtains or shades to block out light.

Temperature is another important factor that can affect a cat’s sleep. Cats are sensitive to temperature changes and prefer to sleep in a comfortable and consistent environment. Ensure your cat’s sleeping area is comfortable, and consider using bedding materials such as blankets or beds with insulating properties to help regulate their body temperature.

Finally, providing your cat with a comfortable and safe area is also important for promoting restful sleep. Cats prefer soft and comfortable bedding, such as a plush bed or a pile of blankets. Additionally, providing your cat with a safe and secure sleeping area can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.