What does it mean when a kitten sleeps a lot?

What does it mean when a kitten sleeps a lot? As a new owner of your kitten, this question could arise in your mind.

Being the proud owner of a kitten, maybe you are enjoying a lot looking at so beautiful behavior of your beloved kitten.

Sometimes, it might seem to you a bit unusual when you observe your kitten sleeping a lot.

Why does the kitten seem so sleepy all the day?

Does it happen as a part of their normal physiological phenomenon or due to any sort of medical condition?

Very natural to come such a question. Be quiet and easy. You don’t need to be that worried.

In this article, I ‘ll explain the meaning of do you see your kitten sleeps a lot.

Let’s get started and stay with me up to the end.

What does it mean when a kitten sleeps a lot?

Besides this question, I shall discuss some other points related to sleeping behavior of your cat.

Read more –  Is it okay for cats to eat rice?

Before going to the main topics, this is good to know if this is normal or unusual.

Is it normal for a kitten to sleep all day?

Yes, you can take this situation normally to sleep your kitten throughout the day. Especially when she is very young.

As you know, sleeping has got a lot of beneficial aspects. One major benefit is – it helps develop the body of the newborn kitten.

So, if you see your kitten is sleeping more than 20 hours a day, don’t take it seriously. It is normal for him.

Physiologically, the nature of your kitten is nocturnal. It means, they remain more active at night and less active in day time.

Therefore, it is usual that your kitten can sleep well on days when they feel stressed or bored. Moreover, during cold weather, it loves to sleep more.

As a general rule, if you have just received a new kitten in your home, the younger the kitten, the more sleep it will need.

The daily routine of a newborn kitten consists of 90 percent sleep – that’s almost 22 hours of sleep!

As kittens continue to mature from newborns, their sleeping rates gradually become less. But to be honest, even at six months old, they can still spend about 16 to 20 hours a day sleeping and dreaming.

However, the reality is that the average sleeping time of cats is 15 hours a day. Some of them extend it to 20 hours, especially older cats and kittens.

The interesting part is that about three-quarters of their sleep is shallow, almost-waking rest known as slow-wave sleep (SWS). Another quarter of their sleeping time passes in a way of deep sleep.

If they look like they’re dreaming when their legs are shaking slowly. It’s most likely because they’re dreaming.

In this article, I’m going to focus on answering that question – what it actually means if you watch your kitten sleep a lot.

Now come to the topics –

What does it mean when a kitten sleeps a lot?

If you are a new owner of a kitten, it might seem something unusual when you see it sleeping a lot more number of hours.

But the fact is, oversleeping doesn’t cause any harmful effects to worry about.

If the amount of sleeping of your pretty kitten, then after getting up from sleep, if you notice your sleepy kitten a bit weaker or low on energy; this could indicate a medical problem like anemia.

Anemia is such diseased condition where the body lacks the number of red blood cells. This, in turn, can rise to a detrimental effect on your kitten.

Those kittens are particularly at high risk which is affected with fleas.

However, if you suspect your kitten to have such anemic condition, check the gums of kitten. If the gums are found pale, it expresses the sign of anemia. Then, contact with a veterinarian for immediate treatment.

While being a veterinarian, I have never seen a cat owner to complain about too little amount of sleep. But it is possible due to some other medical conditions like sleep disorders.

In this case, you should consult with a veterinarian to correct this situation. Because, I already mentioned above that sleeping plays an important role to develop your kitten healthy.

Fortunately, in many cases, those kittens passing the day with less amount of sleeping much better can be explained in a sense that they are like some unique individual characteristics. And simply, they don’t require much more sleep than others.

Another important thing to mention is that generally, kittens can sleep anywhere – either on a shelf, or in the bathtub, and even in the litter box.

As a pet owner, you can face a common sleeping issue of your kitten is not defecating in the litter box. Rather thinks it to be the safest spot to sleep.

But for adult cats, this indicates a kind of medical condition.

Anyway, if you also observe this sort of situation with your new kitty, it usually could be due to one of two reasons:

  1. The kitten might seek the security of the litter box you offered.
  2. It may not like the litter substances you provided at best for elimination, that is.

You can typically fix this issue yourself with a bit of help and patience on your part. Ensure a designated bed for your kitten in a way that one side becomes higher so that he can find it as a safe place for nestling down in comparison to that litter box.

Besides this, purchase a few other litter substrates also because there are some particular cats who are fastidious in nature.

In this case, you can choose the past litter box during purchasing with your kitten.

Make sure to practice a low pan as an alternative to a typical cat litter box so that it can’t be confused with a safe bed.

Step by step you always try to habituate towards a regular litter box. Eventually, it will be accustomed to this and your kitten will start to use it.

Now the question is

Why is so much sleep happening with your kitten?

No doubt to tell, cats love to sleep.

Naturally, cats evolved to sleep more throughout the day. Wild cats require to sleep more with a view to saving energy which they apply to hunt as their next meal.

So, you can assume that she’s taking a rest in preparation for the upcoming big hunt. As we know, hunting needs energy.

After that, the stress factor that the cats always face due to being both predator and prey as explained by a cat behavior expert Pam Johnson-Bennett.

In simple words, in order to conserve energy and recharge for the next hunt, sleep is required.

Though, you may domesticate your cat and serve cat food to your pet without hunting, still, she carries the biological property of her wild ancestors.

But, in case of any newborn kitten, the development of the brain and central nervous system is mostly dependent on those recurrent catnaps.

The immune system of your kitten is also dependent on proper sleeping. In absence of adequate sleep, your kitten may become irritable and can be affected by infections or illness.

Apparently continuous sleep in kittens has linkage with its evolutionary roots. The ancestors of your lovely kitten were predators on the African plains. And they used to sleep most of the day to preserve energy for hunting.

It can still reflect the sleeping pattern of your new kitten.

How do I know if my cat is sleeping in a deep sleep?

A good question to answer.

There are two sleeping modes in cats which are – deep sleep and dozing.

If you see dozing within your cat, it means the cat is enjoying a light sleep. In this case, their eyes remain closed but the ears move around in relation to noises.

Your cat may open his eyes shortly to understand the situation though they are not awake in this condition.

The paws of the cat remain a bit tucked in. They might be in a position by which it becomes easy to spring for action. This kind of sleep can continue for 15 to 30 minutes occurring mostly in day time.

On the other hand, the duration of deep sleep is a much shorter cycle of sleeping.  The reason behind this, when cats are in wildlife, they need to be more careful and alert to save themselves from possible threats from others stronger animals.

So, in these circumstances, the cycle of deep sleep lasts only around 5 minutes.

During this time, the cats are in the most vulnerable state, so don’t go to startle them.

You can identify if your cat is sleeping too much or a deep sleep by observing its body position that remains as fully relaxed and a bit extended. They might be traveling in the dream world twitching their paws with occasional snoring.

It also can resemble advanced yoga stages looking very uncomfortable.

These two types of sleeping state continue repeatedly as long as your cat feels the necessity to sleep.

Typically, it can go for a few hours at a time.

Apart from this, there exist some special cat breeds which have got a tendency to sleep more genetically. For example, Persians, Maine Coons, Russian Blues, and Ragdolls are well familiar to show this characteristic.

But, you cannot say – breed alone is responsible to develop so much sleeping attitude for your cat. This is what you need to observe over time if this is changing suddenly or rapidly. You need to intervene.

Should you worry if your cat sleeping more than usual?

Not at all.

The sleeping patterns of your cat don’t remain constant over time. It can vary in relation to climatic conditions or weather.

Say for example, during rainy weather, cold atmosphere – your cat, just like you, wants to curl up somewhere in a warm place to snooze.

But if you see a very sudden and dramatic change in the behavior of your cat – then it could be a matter of concern.

When you notice your kitten just began to sleep much more than that of the normal amount, or after awaking if you find them lethargic, weak or unenergetic – this could reveal the sign of any medical problem.

So, then, you should consult with vets or need to have special care.

By this time, hope you got the answer – “What does it mean when a kitten sleeps a lot?” We are already at the end of the session.

How to Know Oversleeping is due to Sickness

If you are a new cat owner, you may think your kitten overslept is just part of its normal routine. But, be careful with your kitten’s behavior when he wakes up. If you notice that he looks sluggish and has insufficient energy, it may be due to an illness.

A medical condition commonly found in cats is anemia in which your kitten lacks sufficient red blood cells. This can make your cat weak after a long sleep.

Fleas are the leading cause of anemia in cats as it sucks blood from the body.

However, pale gums also indicate that your cat is anemic. Consult with your veterinarian immediately for proper treatment of this serious condition.

By now, we have all agreed that sleeping is necessary for your kitten’s development. Although it is normal for your kitten to sleep a lot, there are other subtle signs of sickness accompanied by oversleeping that might call for a trip to the vet.

Check out these signs of illness in your kitten:

By now we all agree that sleep is necessary for your kitten’s overall body development. While getting plenty of sleep is normal for your kitten.

But there are other possible signs of illness found due to oversleeping that can direct you to a visit to the vet.


A veterinarian completed Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from Bangladesh Agricultural University. I worked for more than 12 years as a veterinary surgeon for Bangladesh Govt. During this time, I got the opportunity to work with pets. I bear a keen interest in pets by sharing my knowledge and experiences. Till now I am working in Dept. Livestock Services, Bangladesh.

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