If you are a pet parent of both cats and dogs, you have noticed. You have noticed the difference between your dog’s sleeping patterns and your cat’s. While one may be eager to play during the day, the other is having a nap marathon in the warmest spot in the nearest vicinity. With such significant differences, it can leave us wondering, how much sleep do our animals actually need?
For dogs, they require less sleep than cats. Studies have shown that dogs sleep approximately 12 hours out of a 24-hour cycle. However, if your dog appears to sleep more than that, it is completely normal. Older dogs, puppies, and larger dogs may sleep more than 12 hours a day. This is because they may require more energy for functioning or tire more quickly. In addition to the 12 hours spent sleeping, dogs spend about 50% of their waking hour’s lounging, or what some call “loafing” around.
Cats, on the other hand, require on average 15 hours of snooze time per day. Some cats can even average 20 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. Now while we as owners may experience a sense of jealousy at the ability to sleep 20 hours a day, just know that our cats do this to conserve energy for the hunt (or the trip down the hallway to the food bowl). Cats have the physiology of a hunter, so the conservation of energy is important evolutionarily speaking. Studies have shown that cats will sleep more on a cold or rainy day. Similarly, to older and younger dogs, older cats and kittens will sleep longer than the average adult cat.
If your dog or cat experiences drastic changes in their sleeping patterns, such as sleeping more during the day, in unusual places, or experiences overall lethargy, this may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. If you have any concerns about your pet’s sleeping patterns, feel free to mention these concerns to your vet during your next visit.