Who Sleeps More Cats or Dogs?

In a world where many of us struggle to get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep, it’s a curious question to think about, “Who sleeps more cats or dogs?” Our “best friends” have a knack for taking long, leisurely naps, leaving us to stare in amazement. This guide will delve into the sleeping habits of cats, dogs, and a few other species, creating an interesting sleep comparison. So, let’s take a deep dive into pets and their sleeping habits.

Who Sleeps More Cats or Dogs? Explained

Cats and dogs, our most beloved pets, have notably different sleeping patterns. In general, cats clock an impressive average of 13 to 14 hours a day, though this can stretch up to 16 hours in kittens and senior cats. Dogs, on the other hand, are active for a larger part of the day, taking short naps and totaling around 12 to 14 hours of sleep daily.

This difference isn’t merely coincidental but reflects their unique evolutionary histories. Dogs, being pack animals, have adapted to be more alert and active during the day, much like humans. Cats, however, are solitary creatures, naturally crepuscular, most active during dawn and dusk, which influences their sleep cycle.

Who Sleeps More Cats or Dogs?

Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?

From our perspective, a cat’s sleeping habits might seem excessive, but this is entirely normal. Cats sleep for extended periods due to their predatory nature. In the wild, cats are hunters who expend tremendous energy in short bursts while hunting. To compensate, cats need ample sleep to conserve energy and remain alert for their next hunt.

Also, a cat’s sleep is not entirely “deep sleep.” They spend about three-quarters of their sleeping time in light sleep, remaining semi-alert to the noises and movements around them. This trait is another carryover from their wild ancestors, who needed to stay alert for predators even while resting.

Who Sleeps More Cats or Dogs?

The Sleep Cycle of Dogs

When it comes to our canine friends, dogs sleep in a pattern not too different from ours. However, unlike humans, dogs have a much shorter sleep cycle. This results in more frequent waking periods, making their sleep seem fragmented to us.

Dogs have a fascinating ability to adjust their sleep pattern based on their surroundings and the schedule of their human household. So, if you’re an early bird or a night owl, your dog will likely adjust its sleep schedule to match yours, reinforcing the saying that dogs are indeed a man’s best friend.

Who Sleeps More Cats or Dogs?

Fascinating Sleep Facts

  • Sloths are one of the sleepiest animals, clocking in an average of 15 to 20 hours of sleep daily.
  • Bats, despite the myth, do not sleep all day. They average about 19.9 hours of sleep.
  • Possums, which are nocturnal animals, sleep around 18 hours a day.

Cat Sleep by Age and Lifestyle


Like human babies, kittens need a lot of sleep, up to 20 hours a day. This helps them grow and develop their brains and bodies.

Adult Cats

Adult cats sleep less than kittens but more than dogs, usually around 13-14 hours a day. The amount of sleep can depend on the cat’s diet and activity level.

Elderly Cats

Older cats, much like elderly humans, tend to sleep more, often up to 16-20 hours a day. This increase in sleep can sometimes be a sign of health issues, so regular vet checkups are essential.

Who Sleeps More Cats or Dogs?

Are Cats Nocturnal or Crepuscular?

It’s a common misconception that cats are nocturnal, but they are actually crepuscular. This term means they are most active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. This behavior is a holdover from their wildcat ancestors, who hunted most effectively during these times when their prey was most active.

That said, cats are also highly adaptable. They can adjust their sleeping and active hours to some extent to align with the schedule of their human caregivers. So, if you notice your cat being active during the day and sleeping at night, it’s a testament to your pet’s adaptability.

Who Sleeps More Cats or Dogs?

How Much Do Cats Sleep?

As we have already noted, cats sleep a lot. But how much is a lot? On average, cats sleep for 13-14 hours a day, but this number can go up to 20 hours for kittens and elderly cats.

This large amount of sleep is due to their evolutionary background as predators. Cats spend a significant portion of their waking hours in high-energy activities like hunting (or playing, in the case of pets). To maintain this lifestyle, they need to spend a large portion of their time asleep to conserve energy.

Who Sleeps More Cats or Dogs?

The Role of Diet and Activity in Sleep

Diet and activity level play a significant role in a pet’s sleep. A well-balanced diet contributes to a healthy sleep cycle. For cats, a diet high in protein mimics their natural predatory diet, leading to well-regulated sleep.

Similarly, a pet’s activity level influences sleep. Active pets may require more sleep to recover from their activities, while less active pets may sleep out of boredom. As a pet parent, providing mental and physical stimulation through toys and playtime can contribute to healthier sleep patterns.

Dog Sleep by Age and Lifestyle


Puppies sleep a lot – almost 18 to 20 hours a day. This time is crucial for their development, much like human infants.

Adult Dogs

As dogs mature, their sleep time decreases to an average of 12-14 hours a day. Active breeds and working dogs may sleep less than this average.

Senior Dogs

Older dogs, much like older humans and cats, tend to sleep more. Changes in sleep patterns and an increase in sleep can sometimes indicate health problems, requiring regular vet check-ups.

Sleep – A Health Indicator for Pets

Sleep is not just a time for rest for pets; it’s also an important health indicator. Changes in your pet’s sleep patterns can sometimes be a sign of underlying health problems. Increased sleep can indicate issues such as diabetes or thyroid problems in cats and dogs.

Conversely, sleep disruptions or insomnia in pets can also be a cause for concern, possibly pointing to problems like discomfort, pain, or anxiety. Regular vet checkups, along with a keen eye on changes in sleep, are integral to your pet’s health care.

Age and Size Matters

Just as with humans, age and size play a significant role in how much sleep pets need. Puppies and kittens require more sleep than their adult counterparts, while elderly pets tend to sleep more due to decreased energy levels and, sometimes, health issues.

When it comes to size, larger breeds of dogs often sleep more than smaller breeds. This is because larger breeds expend more energy in their daily activities and thus need more sleep to recover. However, each dog is an individual, and activity level and health can also significantly impact sleep needs.

Other Sleep Champions in the Animal Kingdom

  • The Brown Bat: Known to sleep for nearly 20 hours, the brown bat takes the crown among mammals for most sleep.
  • The Python: These serpents can sleep for up to 18 hours, thanks to their slow metabolism and sedentary lifestyle.
  • The Koala: Often mistaken for being lazy, these cute marsupials sleep around 18 hours a day, largely due to their low-energy diet of eucalyptus leaves.

A Pet’s Sleep Cycle is Short

Cats and dogs both have shorter sleep cycles compared to humans. While a human’s sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes, dogs and cats cycle through sleep stages much faster, about every 15-25 minutes. This rapid sleep cycle, combined with their semi-alertness even during sleep, allows pets to wake up quickly at the hint of a threat or, in the case of pets, the sound of a can opener!

Therefore, while our pets may sleep more hours, they are not necessarily getting more rest. Quality sleep, characterized by longer periods of uninterrupted sleep, is as important to our pets as it is to us.


When it comes to the question, “Who sleeps more, cats or dogs?” the trophy goes to our feline friends. However, the amount of sleep pets need is influenced by various factors, such as age, activity level, diet, and health. As a responsible pet parent, understanding your pet’s sleep needs and patterns can contribute to their overall health and well-being. Remember, a well-rested pet is a happy pet!