Have you ever wondered, “Do cats sleep more in winter?” When the winter season hits and the days get lazier, you might like to curl on the couch in your pajamas to make the most of this season. Chances are your pet cat will also lie down beside you on the couch or on the sofa to sleep early. But wait, is it her sleeping time? Probably not!
Cats sleep more frequently and longer during winters than on regular days. Cats change their sleeping habits for many reasons, but cat owners need to watch their cat’s sleep schedule because changing their sleeping routine could also indicate some health issues.
In this article, let’s learn why do cats sleep more in the winter and when they spend so much time snoozing.
Normal Cat Sleep
Like many mammals, cats also have a specific sleep routine. They have different periods of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, non-REM sleep, wakefulness, and drowsiness. The average time of cat sleep during a day is 50% which means one and a half hours of sleep periods.
Cats have REM sleep patterns with relative body immobility but with the common movement of legs, tails, ears, and whiskers.
Why Do Cats Sleep More in Winter?
Most cat breeds extend their sleeping hours in the winter season, and there are several reasons behind that. Some are naturally lazy or close to hibernation, while some aren’t.
Health problems and mood instability can also cause a cat’s lethargy in the cold season.
When days get shorter and nights get longer, cats automatically switch into torpor mode during winters. Some cats show off a little bit of movement to eat, hydrate and mate. But some cats may lose themselves in a mute state. It is essential to keep tracking your cat during this time and feed her well.
In some situations, you might want to reduce the tendency of your cat’s torpor. Keep the lights on and warm up the house to keep your cat stay energetic and upbeat.
Around the end of summer, the majority of adults experience seasonal affective disorders such as winter blues. The symptoms of this disorder are quite similar to depression, and many animal behavior specialists believe that cats also experience the same way in winter.
The colder surfaces, decreased daylight and diminished patches of the sun make the cats uneasy, so they cope with seasonal depression by sleeping for long hours.
A normal cat body temperature should be around 100.4º to 102.5º Fahrenheit. Never ignore your cat if you notice the rapid heat loss from her body; it is an alarming and distressing situation!
During cold weather, cats become sick, lethargic, weak, and resort to sleep. This is not natural in cats; hypothermia is a serious problem. If your cat is shivering and feels cold when you hold or unwrap her from the blanket, it is crucial to take her to the vet immediately.
Other Health Conditions
Your cat can get cold in winter, and she will sleep more frequently to feel well. She might also want to heal from other health issues, and for this, she will spend most of her time snoozing.
If you notice any unusual cold symptoms in your cat, provide her with proper food and medical care. Pet owners should be able to distinguish between their cat’s sickness and natural sleep. This might be challenging to do, especially if a cat isn’t displaying a clear sign of illness. Therefore, it is essential to visit the vet.
Do Cats Get Depressed in Winter?
During winter, many Americans experience seasonal depression. In winter, your cat can also experience the same condition. According to Dr. Albert Ahn, about one-third of pet parents have reported changing their pet’s behavior during the winter season.
The exact reason for seasonal depression is unknown; however, sunlight and sleep routine changes may be blamed. If your cat suffers from seasonal blue, you may notice increased or decreased energy and excessive sleeping. You may also notice changes in your cat’s eating habits, or she may begin vocalizing more than usual.
How Can I Keep My Cat in Good Health in Winter?
Following are the tips you can do to ensure the good health and wellbeing of your cat:
- Keep your pet cat well-hydrated and well-fed.
- When the weather shifts, keep your cat mostly indoors.
- Take her to the vet for routine checkups.
- If your cat shows unusual symptoms of sickness, call the vet immediately.
- Provide your treat in the form of warmed-up food.
- Provide her with warm bedding or warm places around the home.
- Open the curtains and welcome some sunlight.
- Give your cat some interactive cat toys to keep her stimulated and extra active.
- Play and cuddle with your cat as often as possible.
- Leave the heater at a low temperature even while leaving the house.
Cats do sleep more in cold weather. Sometimes it is a form of natural hibernation, and other times, it is a sign they need a little help. If your feline friend seems to be sleeping more than usual this winter, it’s probably due to a natural process that is due to her wild ancestors. However, seasonal depression or physical problems can also be the reason.
Provide your cat light, warm food, blanket, and love, and take your companion to the veterinarian for an examination so that you and your feline buddy may enjoy the extra inside time together. This is the best cure for the harsh winter!