Sleeping Beauties: Why Cats Nap

Cats love hitting the snooze button and dozing off — the term “catnap” exists for good reason. But have you ever wondered why cats nap so much?

If viral internet memes have taught us anything, it’s that cats love to nap—and they look adorable while doing it! Not only do these catnaps make humans say “aww,” but sleeping for long periods is due to the evolutionary history of cats. 

two cats cuddling on a blanket taking a nap

Hunt, Catch, Eat, Sleep 

Cats are predatory animals—their ancestors hunted and stalked prey for survival. These activities expended a lot of energy, requiring cats to conserve and stockpile their energy for large bursts of activity. Sleeping for long periods between hunting expeditions was the best way to achieve this.

baby kitties snuggled up for a nap

The Sleepy House-cat

Today, most house cats don’t need to hunt for their food, but they still retain their energy-conserving instincts. These instincts allow them enjoy sleeping for most of the day—typically for 12 to 16 hours! In fact, cats are one of the few animals that can sleep for long periods of time without suffering from any adverse effects.

So, next time you catch your feline friend dozing off in the sun, remember that they are simply doing what comes naturally to them!

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