Will your cat sleep more this winter?

Shorter days and less sunlight affect sleeping patterns of humans. But what about cats? Find out if they will follow nature or a mind of their own this winter.

Will your cat sleep more this winter?
© Photo by Kate Stone Matheson on Unsplash
Will your cat sleep more this winter?

Nothing makes you more tired than gloomy days, blistering cold and pitch-black evenings, but your night vision-equipped cat might not feel the same way about the winter.

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Cats are crepuscular, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk. Do they get winter blues too?

Do cats sleep more in the winter?

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The average cat sleeps over 50% of a 24-hour day, between 12 and 20 hours, in one-and-a-half-hour sleep periods. Your feline has distinct periods of REM sleep, non-REM sleep, drowsiness, and wakefulness.

According to experts, most cats do sleep more in the winter. That increase may be caused by shorter daylight hours or them picking up on your changes in the routine if you go to bed earlier.

Sleep is regulated by a complicated combination of environmental and hormonal signals. The amount of light and even the ambient temperature can alter sleep habits. Extra time for snoozing in the wintertime may be, in part, driven by the ancestral tendency to conserve energy during times of decreased food. Technically, cats do not hibernate like some mammals do, despite how often you see them curled up on the sofa.

Do cats get winter blues?

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Seasonal depression is a common cause of human mood changes and has been well-researched and documented. But very little is known about the impact weather and daylight make on cats.

Currently, scientists don’t believe cats suffer from the seasonal affective disorder as people do. They instead think that as the temperatures drop and there is less light, we project our own gloomier moods onto our pets.

How to help your cat cope with feeling down this winter?

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But if you are one of many cat owners who can clearly see their fluffy’s behavioural changes in the winter, there are ways to alleviate the symptoms.

To keep your kitty comfortable when it's cold outside, make sure they have a warm and cosy place to sleep. Cats thrive in a higher temperatures than humans, that's why they are the happiest when the heating in the house is on, and when there is a fluffy blanket close to the radiator to benefit from the warm air.

Keep your outdoor-going cat indoors more when the temperatures plummet. Combat boredom by increasing interactive playtime. Allow access to natural sunlight - a well-lit room with a windowsill napping spot, for instance - to keep your pet healthy.

Sources used:

- Paw Tracks: 'Do cats sleep more in winter because they’re depressed?'

- Pets Best: 'Feline Wintertime Sleeping: Why Is My Cat Sleeping More In The Winter?'

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