Do Cats Sleep More as They Get Older? Is It Normal?

do cats sleep more as they get older

Ever wondered if cats sleep more as they get older?

Let me tell you, I understand.

You're sitting there, watching your furry friend snooze away day after day, and the questions start to creep in. Is it normal? 😴

Should I be worried?

Well, you're not alone.

So, let's dive into this mystery together and uncover the truth.

Are you ready?

Let's unravel the secrets of feline slumber.

Is It Normal for Older Cats to Sleep a Lot?

As cats get older, they sleep more.

Yep, it’s true.

Hormonal changes are to blame for this increased sleep in older cats, especially those who are a bit more of a veteran and 11 years or older.

These senior cats sleep more than their younger counterparts—up to 20 hours a day.

I mean, who wouldn’t want that kind of relaxation time?

Now listen up.

While more sleep is totally normal for older cats, you still need to stay on the lookout for any potential medical issues.

One condition in particular you should be aware of is hyperthyroidism.

It’s a doozy.

Is It Normal for Older Cats to Sleep a Lot?
Old cats, they sleep a lot. Up to 20 hours, you know? Hormones do that. But hey, too much snoozing might mean something else – like hyperthyroidism. So if your old kitty seems way too sleepy or less active, better check with a vet, alright?

So, what are the signs again?

We’re talking lower activity levels, more frequent and longer naps. But hey, if your older cat starts excessively sleeping, it could be something more serious.

Hyperthyroidism brings about heightened metabolism, weight loss, more energy, and—shocker—less sleep.

That's when you know there might be a problem, peeps.

Quick reminder:

Cats snooze more than usual could be ill or in pain, while cats getting less shut-eye could be dealing with something like hyperthyroidism.

Keep an eye out. 👀

But here's the thing...

Did you know that cats may start sleeping more as early as 7 or 8 years old?

Well, it's true!

Let me explain why this happens and why it's important for you to pay attention to your furry friend's sleep habits.

At What Age Do Cats Start Sleeping More?

When do cats start sleeping more?

Here's the lowdown:

  1. At around 7 or 8 years old, cats may start snoozing more.
  2. But they don't hit the senior status until they're 12 to 14 years old.
  3. If your furry friend is napping excessively, it might be a red flag for sickness or discomfort.
  4. Since indoor cats are living longer nowadays, it's common for them to catch extra Zs as they get older.
  5. For cats aged 11 or above, they may require a hefty 20 hours of shut-eye each day.
  6. Keep an eye on your mature feline and ensure they have a serene and cozy place to snooze.
  7. To help them slumber better, provide a warm bed or snug blanket.
  8. And getting your whiskered buddy moving with regular exercise can keep them sprightly when they're awake.
  9. Don't forget: if there are any shifts in your cat's sleep habits, it's worth paying attention as it could hint at something serious.

Just like humans, cats need their beauty rest too, you know! 😺

By now, you must be wondering what to do if your older cat is experiencing appetite changes.

At What Age Do Cats Start Sleeping More?
As your cat gets older, you'll notice they snooze more. Around 7 or 8 years old, they might take longer naps, and by 11, they could doze for up to 20 hours a day. If their sleep habits change, be mindful – it might mean something's wrong with their health. Keep them cheery and lively when they're awake by giving them a comfy spot, warmth, and some exercise now and then.

Fear not, for I have created a comprehensive guide that offers reasons and solutions for an older cat not eating but drinking.

If you want answers tailored to your feline friend's needs, I highly recommend checking out Older Cat Not Eating but Drinking.

In there, I delve into the most common issues, providing practical advice that can help restore your cat's appetite.

Don't let uncertainty linger, take action and discover the solutions you need.

Cats' Sleep Cycle: How Many Hours Do They Sleep?

AgeSleep DurationSleep Changes
KittensHighSleep significantly more than adult cats
AdolescentsHighStill require plenty of sleep, but start to become more active
Adult CatsModerate to HighSleep for an average of 12 to 18 hours, with variations by breed
Senior CatsHighTend to sleep more and may have more frequent napping periods
Cause for ConcernSudden increase or decrease in sleep, excessive lethargy

Let's have a chat about the sleep habits of cats.

Forget everything you know about human sleep patterns, because cats have a completely different game.

Their sleep cycles are short. They only last 15 to 30 minutes, unlike our eight-hour routine.

Throughout the day, cats take quick naps here and there.

And don't assume it's just older cats who sleep all the time.

Even adult cats sleep a ton – around 16 to 18 hours per day. That's more than half a day!

But don't think they're passed out like a log for all those hours.

No way. Cats have that predatory instinct always on high alert, even while sleeping.

Those twitching ears and slightly open eyes?

It's their way of staying attentive during light sleep stages.

Cats also experience deep sleep, but that makes up only a small portion of their slumber – about one-quarter of it.

So, yeah, your cats might be pros at sleeping, but it's all part of their natural sleep cycle.

But what about when cats get older?

Do their sleep patterns change too?

Well, I'm here to tell you all about it!

So, listen up because understanding these changes in your senior cat's sleep can be crucial for their overall well-being...

Senior Cat Sleep Patterns: Unraveling the Mystery

The mysterious sleep habits of old cats, huh?

It's a subject that has left many cat owners puzzled.

But don't worry, my friend who loves felines, because I'm here to decode this puzzle for you.

When your beloved kitty gets older, you might notice some changes in how they sleep.

Maybe they're waking up more often at night or behaving strangely while they snooze.

Well, these modifications could mean more than just dreaming about chasing mice.

It could actually be a sign of something more serious.

These changes in sleep patterns might indicate medical conditions commonly seen in senior cats, like arthritis, hyperthyroidism, or cognitive dysfunction.

If anything seems unusual, it's important for you to keep an eye on it and recognize the behavior as it could signify a bigger health issue.

Stress also affects how older cats sleep.

So, taking care of their sleep means looking after their brain health.

Giving them proper attention and care can help reduce any discomfort and improve their sleep quality.

Now, let's talk about what normal sleep looks like for old cats.

Getting enough rest is crucial for their aging bodies to repair and rejuvenate. However, too much sleep due to boredom can lead to behavioral problems, which we definitely want to avoid.

Establishing a consistent routine and giving them mental and physical stimulation regularly will go a long way in maintaining healthy sleep habits for your cuddly companion.

Both REM sleep (you know, the deep sleep where dreams happen) and deep sleep are essential for older cats to replenish and heal their bodies.

So ensure your senior kitty gets plenty of uninterrupted nap time.

To determine if their sleep patterns are concerning, pay attention to other signs of aging in your cat.

Are they developing gray fur, a thinner coat, hearing loss, no interest in food, slower movements, difficulty jumping, or less enthusiasm for physical activity?

And keep an eye on how they sleep too - if they curl up tight during sleep, it may indicate pain or discomfort.

Your old cat's sleep habits give you a glimpse into their in essence health and well-being.

Stay watchful, notice any changes, and if you're worried, consult your vet to ensure a long and peaceful life for your four-legged friend.

Older Cat Sleeping Comfortably

Here's a list of practical tips to provide comfort and improve sleep for your older cat:

  1. Provide orthopedic bedding to alleviate joint pain during sleep.
  2. Consider feeding your senior cat easily digestible proteins specifically designed for older cats.
  3. Create a safe and comfortable sleeping area with soft padded beds in a quiet spare room.
  4. Stimulate your older cat's mind by providing entertainment and interaction to combat boredom.
  5. Establish a routine for meals, exercise, and grooming to promote better sleep and overall well-being.
  6. Be mindful of introducing new kittens, as older cats typically prefer relaxation over high-energy play.
  7. Ensure your aging cat has access to their owners for companionship and comfort.
  8. Sleep is crucial for elderly cats to heal their bodies, especially if they have arthritis or other ailments.

Your older cat can experience improved sleep and a higher quality of life by making these minor changes.

Why Is My Cat Asleep All Day and Awake at Night?

To regulate your cat's sleep-wake cycle, you must maintain a consistent daily routine with scheduled meal times.

Why Is My Cat Asleep All Day and Awake at Night?
If your cat is snoozing all day and wide awake during the night, it might be because their sleep-wake routine's gone haywire. To give them a paw, make a solid schedule with set feeding times, keep disturbances to a minimum during the day, and toss in some brain-teasing activities to promote sweet dreams.

If your cat is a senior, pay extra attention to their sleep environment if they experience a reversed sleep-waking cycle.

Inconsistent feeding times and disturbances during the day can contribute to their nocturnal activity.

Moreover, cognitive decline in older cats can disrupt their natural sleep patterns and lead to disorientation and increased vocalization at night.

The Impact of Aging on Cat Sleep

  1. Senior cats (11+ years) sleep more, up to 20 hours a day.
  2. Increased sleep in older cats can be normal, but also a sign of hyperthyroidism.
  3. Older cats have lower activity levels and nap more frequently.
  4. Excessive sleeping in senior cats may indicate hyperthyroidism or underlying conditions.
  5. Cats are not considered seniors until 12-14 years old.
  6. Oversleeping in cats can be a sign of illness or pain.
  7. Older cats sleep an average of 12-18 hours a day.
  8. Cats have a polyphasic sleep cycle, with multiple short periods of sleep.
  9. Changes in sleep patterns in senior cats can indicate medical conditions.
  10. Managing feline cognitive decline is important for their sleep.
  11. Routine and regular activity are vital for older cats' sleep patterns.
  12. Aging signs include physical changes and decreased interest in activity.
  13. Senior cat meals are available for easier digestion.
  14. Providing a safe and comfortable environment is important for older cats.
  15. Simple adjustments at home can improve sleep behavior in senior cats.

And that wraps up today's article.

If you wish to read more of my useful articles, I recommend you check out some of these: How Long Does It Take for a Cat to Die if It Stops Eating, Do Cats Get a Winter Coat, Do Cats Shed More in the Summer, How Hot Is Too Hot for Cats, and Do Cats Pant When Hot

Talk soon,

-Sarah Davis

Sarah Davis

Howdy howdy, I'm Sarah Davis, and I'm all about cats – that's right, those mysterious, independent furballs we adore. So welcome to my blog "I Care for Cats", where I dish out the real talk on cat food, health, training, behavior, and so much more. My goal? To help your feline friends live their best nine lives.