Tag Archives: cat

How much should my cat sleep?

Cats are true masters when it comes to sleeping. They can sleep anytime, any place, under any circumstance. But why do cats sleep so much? Do they have sleep cycles like people do? Read on to find out more about cats and sleep.

Catnap

You may be wondering why your cat sleeps most of the time, don’t worry, cats actually require a lot more sleep than you and I. Cats are crepuscular creatures, crepuscular is just a fancy term that means they’re most active at dawn and dusk. Their vision is best adapted to the light levels at those times in the day so that is when they like to play, socialize, and hunt.

Younger cats and kittens require around 20 hours of sleep a day while adult cats will only need around 13~16 hours a day. Of course your cat may need more or less sleep than others just like the rest of us require different amounts of sleep.

Cats don’t really sleep eight-hour sessions like us, they will cycle in and out of naps throughout the day. While they are sleeping their senses remain finely tuned. They can jump out of bed at a moments notice to be alert. Just as quickly as they awoke they can fall back asleep.

Habits

Cats are predators and they are hardwired to chase and hunt small creatures, mainly at night. Although cats are domesticated, for the most part, housecats are still in touch with their wild side. Even when cats play they still show these instincts of creeping about and pouncing on their prey. Hunting takes quite a bit of energy and all that sleep is used to reserve that energy for hunting, running, climbing, and stalking.

Related: Is your cat board?

Sleeping Problems

Excessive sleep in kittens is rarely a concern but if your adult cat is sleeping more it may indicate a medical concern. Many feline diseases don’t begin to develop until adulthood. Any single illness can cause your cat to spend more time asleep. Excessive sleep in an adult cat could also mean they are in pain, such as arthritis.

If your cat seems to have endless energy and is sleeping less it may be a sign of medical problem such as hyperthyroidism. Other signs of hyperthyroidism may include weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, increased appetite and thirst.

If your kitten seems lethargic or uninterested in her surroundings they may be sick and should be taken to the vet. Sudden changes in behavior, including sleep, can mean there is a problem.

How To Curb A Cat’s Anxiety

You may be surprised to learn cats can suffer from anxiety. In fact, cats can suffer from phobias, violent outbursts, impulse control, and even compulsive disorders.

Signs Your Cat May Be Suffering From Anxiety

There are several behaviors cats may display if they are experiencing anxiety. Some of these include scratching, biting, and going to the bathroom outside of the litter box.

How To Treat Cat Anxiety

Cat, Kitten, Anxiety, separation anxietyBefore turning to drugs like Prozac (which can be prescribed for mentally unstable cats) you should first try to treat with environmental changes.

Cats are predators and enjoy outdoor elements. Think about getting a fish tank, hanging a bird feeder outside of a window, get an automatic or robotic toy that resembles prey, or make a lofted perch.

Another remedy is an empty paper bag, which cats love. Since cats are predators, you could also consider purchasing a puzzle feeder where cats can bat things around in order to get their food or treats.

Keep In Mind The Differences

You should also keep in mind that cats are not like dogs. They do not like excessive petting and that may be a cause of aggression.

According to Dr. E’Lise Christensen, a veterinary behaviorist with practices in Manhattan and Denver, you should not ascribe human emotions to a cat. Their behavior, especially urinating or defecating on your belongings is not because they are vindictive.

Anxiety issues with cats can be frustrating, but with a bit of patience and examination, they can be resolved.

How to Get Your Cat to Use the Litter Box

cute-343756Cats are creatures of habit and also especially clean. Litter box training is fairly easy, as it is in a cat’s nature to dig and bury their urine and excrement. If your cat is refusing to use the litter box, it is important to find out what may be causing this.

Reasons Why a Cat May Refuse the Litter Box

There are several reasons as to why a cat may be refusing to use the litter box from behavioral to a serious, emergency medical condition. The most important thing to keep in mind that cats never eliminate outside of their litter boxes out of anger or spite.

wildcat-356805First, check to see if the litter box is near anything that might make loud noises that may scare your cat. Appliances such as washers, dryers, and furnaces can be quite loud and litter boxes should not be in close proximity. Your cat might be afraid of the loud sounds coming from these. A remedy to this is moving the litter box to a more quiet area.

What type of litter box are you using? If the litter box is too small, your cat may avoid it. A cat needs to feel safe and an owner of the space they are eliminating in. If your cat is large, or long haired, and having trouble turning around in the box to find a “good spot” and be able to bury, they may look for another place to do their business. Are you using a covered or hooded litter box? This can also be a problem, especially for a larger cat. A cat’s whiskers alert them to how wide of a space they can fit through. If the opening to your hooded litter kitty litterbox is narrow enough that your cat’s whiskers brush against it, they may refuse to enter it. Cats prefer space over privacy. Try removing the hood and see if that helps.

You may also want to double check what type of litter you are using. There are myriad of choices: scoopable, clay, crystal, scented, unscented, etc. Cats typically prefer a sandier litter, so if you aren’t using a clay-based litter, give that a try. Also be sure there is enough litter in the box. One to two inches is perfect. Make sure the box is cleaned regularly and remember the rule of thumb: One litter box plus one for each cat.

cat-245750Your cat may be eliminating outside of the litter box due to stress or a medical condition. Did you recently get another pet? Move? Change your cat’s routine? Do you have more than one cat? If so, inter-cat aggression may be happening. When cats do not get along or one cat is afraid of another, they may be too frightened to use their litter box.

If your cat is still eliminating outside of his or her box, there may be an underlining medical cause. A common medical cause for litter box issues is “crystals” (a blockage in the urethra that makes it difficult or impossible for a cat to pass urine). If your cat suddenly starts attempting to urinate in places other than the litter box, especially if it seems they are straining and/or not passing very much urine, you need to see a vet as soon as impossible. This condition can become fatal for male cats in 24-72 hours.

Litter box issues can be frustrating, but with a bit of patience and investigation, they can be resolved quickly!