Nina Nandy

Gastroenterologist at The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center

Cats and Their Sleeping Habits

Cats and Their Sleeping Habits

Anyone who has owned cats is well aware that they do not conduct their lives in an order similar to other household pets. For instance, cats may sleep 15 hours or sometimes almost the entire day, then be awake during the night since they are crepuscular (a word meaning relating to twilight). Much more active from dusk until dawn, cats either nap or go into a deep sleep during the day. Some owners who are aware of cats’ nocturnal natures still wonder why they sleep so many hours.

Cats can appear to be asleep for as much as 20 hours, but the depth of their sleep varies. During a third of the time that they are curled up with their eyes closed, cats are in a deep sleep. This level of rest, during which cats dream, is essential to a cat’s health because it is the period in which their bodies regenerate cells, thus allowing the cat to remain healthy.

In the hours in which they are not in a deep sleep, they may just be dozing or resting in case they need energy. They may appear to be sound asleep, yet they can become alert at a moment’s notice and spring into action. This ability is essential to their nature as a predatory animal who must be capable of capturing prey at the opportune moment. When cats lived in the wild, they often hunted for long hours, so they slept as much as possible to have the necessary energy for their hunting. Not having been domesticated as long as dogs, cats retain some of the habits of their ancestors. Taking naps allows them to recharge, just in case they need to spring into action.
Just like us humans, our friendly felines are affected by weather. Although cat behavior will range depending on their breed, age, personality, one thing that is for sure, cats will sleep when the weather is unfavorable. Even if your kitty is primarily an indoor-dweller hey can still feel the affects of a rainy and cold day. Most like you will find them curled up in a blanket when gloomy weather approaches.
Natural instincts and the weather aren’t the only two reasons for a cat’s sleeping pattern. Below you will find a combination of reasons that your very own cat may be snoozing:

1. Kittens who are growing sleep more than adult cats.
2. Older cats need more rest than younger cats.
3. Cats will sleep longer when it is cold so they can conserve energy and remain warm.
4. Cats like to sleep in the sunshine to warm themselves.
5. Cats sleep for long hours if they have been active for several hours.
6. Cats who are bored will sleep more often than others.

How Cats Became Domesticated
How Cats Became Domesticated
Scientists, archaeologists, and researchers believe that house cats were first domesticated around 12,000 years ago. How cats were domesticated still isn’t known for sure, however, many highly educated theories have been proposed. What is certain and known, is that historically humans and cats have mutually benefited from one another. Cats are particularly good at killing vermin that spread diseases amongst humans, while humans provide a constant food supply in return. Today we will explore a few of the origin stories of how cats became our cute and fluffy friends.

Cats May Have Domesticated Themselves

Some leading scientists believe that cats likely domesticated themselves. The theory explains that cats slowly integrated themselves into human settlements, gradually working their way towards being approachable by people. From that point forward they became intertwined in a mutually beneficial relationship with humans due to their vermin killing abilities. Domesticated natural selection took off and ensured that they stayed domesticated.

Cats May Have Been Forcibly Domesticated

Some researchers believe that early wild cats were captured by primitive humans and kept in cages. These wild cats may have been used as a food source. Researchers believe that the captured cats could have eventually become friendly with their captors and eventually freed to roam amongst them. From that point forward a mutually beneficial relationship randomly started.

Cats Were Accidentally Domesticated

Another theory is that cats were accidentally domesticated. This theory suggests that cats inhabited an area where nomadic human beings stopped at. Once the nomads set up a mobile village, cats began to hunt the small vermin that the nomads attracted with their food supplies. The cats then followed the nomads to a new location and eventually became domesticated.

Cats Were Gifted Into Domestication

An unusual theory about how cats were domesticated suggests that early civilizations, such as the ancient Egyptians, used to trade captured wild cats as gifts. Upon receiving the gift the recipient would generally set the wild cat free. After this occurrence repeated itself over hundreds of years, it is speculated that the wild cats eventually became domesticated.

Catastrophe May Have Domesticated Cats

Early human civilizations were often rocked by massive catastrophes. Some scientists and archaeologist speculate that a giant flood, volcano, or super hurricane could have knocked wild cats out of their natural habitat and pushed them into contact with humans, after which point they were eventually domesticated.

Which of the theories do you believe?
Keeping Your Cat Safe in a Heat Wave
Keeping Your Cat Safe in a Heat Wave
Cats are particularly vulnerable to extremely hot temperatures. If exposed to prolonged temperatures in excess of 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 33 degrees Celsius cats can suffer from heatstroke or heart failure. It is very important to take responsible measures in order to safeguard household pets from extreme weather. This includes providing them with ample water and a cool area where they can lounge in order to keep their core body temperatures at a healthy level. If a person does not feel that they can provide a cool enough household area for a pet then there are numerous local shelters and pet boarding facilities willing to safeguard the animal during hot weather for a lodging fee.

The Top 5 Ways to Keep Your Cat Safe During a Heat Wave

1. Crank Up The AC – The easiest way to keep a cat safe during an extreme heatwave is to crank up the household air conditioning until it holds a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit or 26 degrees Celsius or less. Cats thrive in temperatures at or less than the aforementioned range.

2. Provide a Lot of Water – Cats are just like human beings in the sense that they need to consume larger amounts of water than normal during hot summer weather. Always be sure to provide cats with plenty of water during an extreme summer heatwave.

3. Brush Your Cat Often – Brushing excess fur off of a cat during the summer months will help to keep their core body temperatures much cooler. Cats shed a lot of their fur during the summer season. Unless they are brushed this loose fur will stay attached to their bodies.

4. Play in The Mornings and Evenings – Cats need plenty of playtime, however, it is important to play with them during the cooler morning or evening hours during a heatwave. This is particularly true if the cat is staying inside a home without air conditioning.

5. Keep an Eye on Them – It is very important to keep a close eye on cats during extremely hot temperatures. Every 1-3 hours pet owners should track down their cat and make sure that their breathing rate is normal and that appear calm, relaxed, and alert. As a cat owner, you should know the signs of heat stroke. If you find that your cat is panting, lethargic, vomiting, or having trouble standing, your cat may be having a heat stroke. If this is the case, you need to cool your cat down as fast as possible and seek medical treatment.

Meet Lionel 

A Word From Nina Nandy’s Cat

Hi, my name is Lionel and I am a long haired tuxedo likely Maine Coon mix with giant kitten mittens and a big fluffy tail. I was a stray roaming the mean streets of Albuquerque until the age of one and a half when I was picked up by Animal Humane and neutered. My Nina Nandy Photohuman mommy, Nina Nandy, came in to meet me and though she was very sweet I was scared. Nina took me home and I was nervous because I had never lived inside before. She gave me lots of love and treats and toys but I would hide and one day I saw a way out and I ran away! I know she was very worried about me and put up flyers all over town and even went door to door looking for me. It took a few months and animal control picked me up and put me in the west side shelter and because I was microchipped Nina was able to find me again. Now I know to never run away again because I have the best life ever! I have all the cuddles, snuggles and treats a kitty could ever have and all the best toys! I particularly enjoy my giant black and white cat tree because it matches my colors, my window seat where I can catch all the sun I want, getting hair all over everything particularly clean laundry and generally being naughty. =^.^= Check out pictures, videos  and the latest antics of me, Lionel the snugglisest, most mischievous kitty in the world !