Do you notice changes in your cat’s sleeping schedule as the seasons change?
I certainly do! The changes may be only slight, but I definitely notice that my cats sleep more during winter than during other seasons.
In general, many cats sleep more during winter compared to other times of the year.
This is true of most cats – not all cats are prone to sleeping longer during cold winter days, some are just as playful and energetic as they are during summer!
If you want to learn more about how the change of seasons affects your cat, as well as what you can do about it (how to make your cat more cheerful), then read on!
Do Cats Sleep More In Winter?
Most cats sleep around 12-16 hours a day. Some cats are true sleep-lovers and might sleep even longer than that, as much as 20 hours a day!
During winter, it is possible your cat will sleep even more than usual. You might also notice your kitty is not so energized and seems bored more often.
There are a number of potential explanations for this odd phenomena, so let’s get into it!
6 Potential Reasons Why Some Cats Sleep More During Winter
Not that we know that some cats will sleep a lot more during winter, let’s get to the bottom of why that is.
1. The Days Are Shorter
Even though an outdoor cat’s daily activities do not depend on having light, they really do enjoy sunlight. This increases their body temperature and keeps the cat warm. Therefore, less light can mean less activity for them.
Indoor cats are probably less likely to be affected by the days being shorter compared to outdoor cats.
You might not notice as much difference in your indoor cat’s behavior over winter because indoor cats are often less active than outside cats to begin with.
2. Your Cat Is Reflecting What You Do
Your cat’s sleeping schedule may change due to changes in its owner’s routine. Let’s face it – we are all guilty of not being less active during winter, and also sleeping a bit more as well.
It’s always a good idea to keep indoor cats engaged and active, regardless of the season. A decrease in activity by indoor cats can sometimes be attributed to a drop in their owners’ activities.
If your cat’s energy level is low, think about letting them spend some time outside or adding some new cat toys to the mix to keep them stimulated.
3. Shifting Levels Of Melatonin
During the winter, days are shorter and there are fewer daylight hours.
A cat’s body may produce too much melatonin when their exposure to sunshine is restricted, which will make the kitty feel sleepier.
When your cat is sleepy, they will surely sleep, especially if they don’t receive any physical or mental stimulation in order to combat sleepiness.
Despite how frequently you see cats cuddled up on the couch, technically cats do not hibernate like some other mammals!. Sleeping for long periods can simply be a genetic tendency; they’re behaving as their ancestors behaved.
Your cat’s wild ancestors would save energy during periods of limited food availability by resting. This may be a contributing factor to why your pet cat spends extra time sleeping in the winter.
5. Decreased Quality Of Sleep
This winter, if your cat seems to be sleeping more, it could be due to poorer sleep. According to studies, cat sleep loses some of its restorative power when the temperature drops.
Cats may react by sleeping longer to make up for these interruptions during deep sleep.
Age seems to exacerbate this; older cats in particular will sleep more to make up for the lesser quality sleep they experience during the colder months.
6. There Is Nothing Better To Do!
We have all been there – cold weather laziness affects us as well as our pets!
Sometimes, cats sleep simply because they have nothing else to do. They just snuggle up in their comfy space and relax.
Winter Blues: Do Cats Get Depressed In Winter?
All of us are well acquainted with the wintertime blues. It’s cold outside, there isn’t a lot of sunshine, and there aren’t a lot of fun activity options out there. As a consequence, humans can experience symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.
Can cats experience the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder too? Well, we cannot know for sure. There is simply not enough research in this field. However, many pet owners say their cats’ mood does change during winter.
Symptoms owners have noticed include:
• Sleeping a lot
• Not having a lot of energy
• Not eating as much (or eating more than usual)
• Meowing more than usual
Some researchers believe that cats do not suffer from seasonal affective disorder, but it’s actually the pet owners that project their gloomier feelings onto their cats. More research is needed in order to get to the bottom of this issue!
How Do I Make My Cat Happy During Cold Weather?
Below, I’ve listed a bunch of ideas on how you can make your cat’s day more fun, and I’m sure some of these activities will be fun for you too!
1. Increase The Number Of Playdates
It will help your cat avoid boredom, and you probably love playing with your cat too. It’s a win-win if you ask me…
2. Increase The Natural Light In The Home
In general, natural light is better for you than artificial light. Open up the blinds and curtains and let some natural light come in, or take your cat out for a walk.
3. To Let The Fresh Air In
It will do your cat good, and benefit you too! I know the air is likely to be cold, but try it a few times and you’ll see how good it will feel.
4. Invest In A Cat Tree
Cats absolutely love these trees and there are many cat tree options out there for you to choose from. You can even find really cheap ones that are good quality too!
5. Bake Some Treats For Your Kitty
Of course, I do not mean making a cake and giving your cat a slice. I mean making some cat-safe treats. There are lots of healthy and tasty cat treat recipes online you can check out.
You might find this article interesting: Can Cats Eat Marshmallows? Here Is Your Answer!
6. Cats Love Sun – Make Sure They Get A Feel Of It
When it’s sunny outside, open up the window and let your cat sit on the windowsill. I’m sure your kitty will love the feel of the sun of its fur!
7. Make Sure Your Kitty Does Not Become Overweight
Being overweight puts strain on the cat’s body and can cause mobility issues, as well as joint-pain. An overweight cat is not a happy cat, so make sure your cat’s caloric intake is just right.
Recommended Read: How Heavy Should My Cat Be: Weight Guide
8. Go Outside Whenever Possible
If you know your indoor cat loves going outside from time to time, do exactly that. If it’s extra cold, put your cat in a cat-sweater and go spend some time in the fresh air! But don’t be out for too long or in extreme weather – we don’t want any frostbite!
9. Put The Cat Bed Near A Good View
Some cats really enjoy looking outside (especially if there are birds around!). You can even invest in a bird feeder to make sure there are always some birds around. If it’s sunny, your cat will also be warm and cozy while enjoying the view!
You can even invest in a heated cat bed if you want your cat to have its own private warm place!
10. Make Sure To Groom Your Cat Regularly
During the winter months, cats require frequent grooming. Knots can be avoided and loose fur can be removed with regular brushing two to three times each week.
Even though cats might sleep a bit more during winter, there is still a limit as to how much sleep is too much sleep.
If your cat is sleeping all the time, it could be that your cat is battling with some underlying health issues.
This is a subtle sign of a sick cat, so make sure to differentiate between sleeping too much due to the cold weather vs sleeping too much due to a medical problem.
Obesity, battling a viral or bacterial infection, and arthritis can present with a cat sleeping more than usual.
Therefore, if your cat’s unusual sleeping habits seem a bit off or your kitty starts showing other signs of illness, visit the vet.
If you don’t want to take your pet to your DVM right away, I recommend keeping a close eye on your cat in order to spot any other subtle signs of a potential health issue.
Now you know the answer to Do cats sleep more in winter? There is nothing to worry about if you notice your feline friend is sleeping a bit more during winter compared to other seasons.
Most cats sleep more during cold and rainy days, and it’s not a cause for concern. Frequent cat naps usually mean your cat is simply tired out or bored. Of course, other causes are possible too.
Those extra hours of sleep can be caused by a decreased activity level, seasonal depression, disrupted sleep pattern, changes in melatonin levels, days being shorter, etc.
However, if you notice your cat is sleeping too much, it may indicate a potential health issue. It’s recommended to go for a quick vet check-up, just to make sure your kitty is healthy and continues to stay healthy all year-round.