My red tabby, Jack, frequently sleeps twisted around on his back with is front legs extended over his head. He looks like he’s making the sign for “touchdown” from an upside-down position. It doesn’t look
very comfortable to me, but that’s how I often find him — which means I find
him in that position a lot. Like other cats his age, 6-year-old Jack sleeps any-
where from 15 to 20 hours every day. Some days I’d like to join him. *sigh*
That seems like a lot, doesn’t
it? I was a little surprised when I
found out, too, as sometimes it
seems like Jack and my 2-year-old
cat, Phillip, spend the entire night
batting their catnip mice up and
down the hallway, only to stand on
my chest at 5: 30 a.m. demanding to
It turns out that cats get in
those 15-plus hours in small doses.
Cats alternate between two modes
of sleep: dozing and deep sleep.
The stretches of dozing usually last
15 to 30 minutes, alternating with
5-minute periods of deep sleep.
When a cat is dozing, he is ready
to jump up and get moving immediately. And, coincidentally, these
periods of dozing are probably
where the word catnap came from.
Cats of all ages follow these
basic sleep patterns, but the
amount of sleep a cat needs may
vary a bit with the cat’s age. And,
much like humans, every cat has his
own sleeping needs.
Kittens sleep more than the average adult cat. In fact, newborn kittens sleep almost 24 hours every
Author Stacy Hackett’s bed
is a prime sleeping spot for
both her cats. Here’s Phillip
sprawled out for a catnap.
NINE LIVES BY STACY N. HACKETT
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The Scoop on Snoozing