One of the main reasons I wish I was a cat is because they spend most of their time sleeping, especially after paw-tying all night long. What a life, right?
The research on Animal Sleep shows that cats spend 10-15 hours a day sleeping. This is why many cat parents wonder if cats dream. The reason why there’s no correct answer to this question is explained below:
“For the content of dream-like states in humans, you can wake them up and ask them what they are dreaming about. You can’t do that with animals,” said Matthew A. Wilson, Professor of Neuroscience who conducted a study on whether rats dream.
Now, we’ll turn to the road of the cat’s dream and find a way to answer the question properly.
I, as well as many cat behaviorists and experts, think that cats definitely dream.
I often notice my cats twitching in their sleep, or sometimes even making weird sounds. They look like they’re hunting something. Because of that, I always believed that they were dreaming but I never really figured out what they could possibly be dreaming about.
What Does Science Say, Can Cats Dream Or Is It Something Else?
I already mentioned that cats sleep most of the time. However, they don’t often go into the deep phase of the sleep cycle. In nature, cats are both predators and potential prey. So, they usually have light naps during the day which allows them to rest, but also to react quickly if necessary.
When they go into the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) part of the sleep cycle, that’s where dreams start to happen, even for cats.
Researchers have shown that rats can dream and that they often dream about their tasks, familiar sounds, or even bad things. So, why would it be different with our felines?
Well, it’s not! Experts believe that cats dream too, and that their sleep cycles are similar to ours. When a cat starts sleeping, you might notice it twitching in its sleep, but, during that cycle, a cat isn’t dreaming yet. The twitching usually happens due to muscle contractions, which I often notice in my kitties.
When cats go into a deep sleep, the REM cycle, they finally start dreaming. While it’s not known for sure what they dream about, it’s believed that they dream similar things as rats. That includes noises, places, humans, toys, and similar.
I’m sure I can guess what every one of my cats is dreaming of, just by observing their personalities. Tom is definitely dreaming about tons of his favorite food and treats because he’s a big hungry soul. On the other hand, there’s Mickey who adores playing and hunting.
Therefore, it’s possible that cats also dream about hunting, and it’s logical because that’s what they do. This leads to another question: if cats can dream about hunting, can they dream about being hunted? Can they have nightmares? Let’s find that out too.
Can Cats Have Nightmares?
Considering that cats can dream, many cat experts and behaviorists believe that cats can also have nightmares. In nature, they’re both predators and potential prey, which means that our feline friends may sometimes be stressed and frightened.
Luckily, my cats never really had nightmares, or at least I didn’t notice that while they were sleeping. The famous cat behaviorist, Jackson Galaxy, described his experience through one of his cat clients, named Foley, who apparently had nightmares.
Galaxy said in the video: “I’ve never seen anything like it and to this day I don’t think I will see anything like it again. This was not a seizure, this was not like something happening to sleep. He woke up to this thing.”
Jackson was sure that Foley was having night terrors, so he decided to try some other types of activity to see how Foley would handle them. They started taking Foley out to walk on a harness, and to exercise him to burn off any excess energy.
They also provided him with a new diet, instead of eating dry food only. Ultimately, they even tried melatonin, advised by their vet, to promote a healthy sleep cycle. Luckily, the results and sleep improvement appeared very quickly.
Here you can watch the full video and find more information about your cat’s dreamland.
Finally, even though our feline friends cannot tell us whether they had a nice dream or a nightmare or what was it about, I’m sure that they can dream and even have nightmares.
Whether they’re dreaming about hunting, or their owner, or another pet, I guess we’ll never know.
That’s all for now, but I suggest you come back again to learn more amazing facts about our lovely cats! See you!