Understanding your cat's sleep cycle
Cats sleep on an average of 15 hours a day, almost twice as that of an average human. Sleep is a critical part of your cat’s overall health and wellbeing. It is common for owners to see their cats twitching and hissing in their sleep. Interestingly enough, this is because like humans, cats do dream and though it is unlikely you will ever here about your cat’s dream, be assured that mice and small critters may have a role in them.
So why do cats dream??
Like their owners, cats experience both REM (Rapid eye movement) and NREM (Non-Rapid eye movement) sleep stages. The NREM stage of sleep is where your cat is mostly recovering and restoring its body, and in case of kittens, this is when most of the growth hormones are released. During the REM cycle, your cat is recalling most of its day and storing it in memory. This is where most of the dreaming occurs.
Naturally, like us, it is common that your cats’ dreams may sometimes be based on bad events that occurred during the day and it is not uncommon for your pet to experience nightmares around these events. Hence, if you see your feline twitching uncontrollably, waking it up might not be the best idea since you may end up with some painful scratches.
Fortunately though, the chances that you’d see your kitty sleepwalking are next to none. 😊