Your cat may seem lazy because of its normal sleeping patterns. Cats are crepuscular, meaning they are most active during dusk and dawn. So, in order to conserve energy for their evening activities, cats like to sleep during the day. That is why they may seem like lazy lay-abouts.
Indoor cats with little mental stimulation may become bored and take naps because there is nothing else to do. But if your cat becomes lazy all of a sudden, there might be an underlying medical issue.
If you think your cat has been lazy lately and want to know why that is, keep reading.
Why is my cat so lazy?
A cat may seem lazy for the following reasons:
1. Cats sleep in different ways.
Cats have two different kinds of sleeping states, a light nap and a deep sleep. The light nap is their way of recharging energy while still being aware of the presence of predators. Deep sleep is when they are completely relaxed.
2. The reason why they sleep so much is dependent on the cat.
Cats may sleep for over half of their lifetimes, but that does not mean that they are just being lazy. Maybe your cat just has nothing else to do. Would you rather they wreak havoc or take a quiet nap? If there are no stimuli present in their environment, cats would rather go to sleep.
3. Cats are independent creatures.
If your cat refuses to play fetch or learn new tricks, it does not mean that they are lazy. Cats like to think that they do not need help from humans. They like to harness the resources around them on their own. So, if you want your cat to do something for you and they do not do it, they probably think accomplishing it will not benefit them in any way.
4. Genetics play a role.
Domestic cats are descendants of wild cats. One of the qualities of these wild cats that domesticated cats retained is their crepuscular sleeping habits.
5. Your cat may have a medical issue.
If your cat’s laziness is sudden, it could be a symptom of something your cat may be feeling. It is not laziness, but lethargy. This could mean that your cat is sick.
How much do cats sleep?
On average, cats sleep about 12 to 15 hours every day. The exact amount depends on other factors.
Kittens and older cats sleep more than adult cats. The more active your cat is, the more sleep it will need. Cats that sleep more than 15 hours a day may be doing so out of boredom, so try providing a bit more playtime.
How do cats sleep?
Cats have different sleep patterns. Their sleep varies from regular sleep to deep REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. The cat nap is the result of a cat’s instinct as a predator. During a cat nap, your cat can be up and running within seconds of opening her eyes, because It is a very light sleep.
Their night sleep is more restful, so their bodies are more relaxed. A deep sleep is unmistakable. Their body is totally relaxed, and they are usually curled up or stretched out. You may notice twitching and REM that indicates dreaming, and it takes a moment for your cat to wake from a deep sleep.
Are cats nocturnal?
Cats are actually not nocturnal; cats are crepuscular. Unlike nocturnal animals, which are active at night, crepuscular animals are active at dusk and dawn. Cats exert a lot of effort during these hours, so when they sleep, they are recharging to enable them to be awake during their active hours.
Cats are up during these hours because of how their sleeping habits have evolved as a species. Cats are also natural hunters. Their ancient ancestors would hunt during the early morning and twilight and sleep during the main daytime and nighttime hours when their natural predators are on the prowl. This is also why cats like to sleep tucked away somewhere safe.
What do you do with a lazy cat?
Even though it is not necessarily a red flag if your cat sleeps a lot, keeping it energetic and healthy, especially in an indoor environment, is still important. Here are some ways to encourage your lazy cat to be more active:
1. Find the right toys.
Cats can be picky with the toys they choose to play with. Having plenty of toys in your home may not be enough, because they have to be the right ones. If your cat is oblivious to a felt mouse but goes crazy for a crumpled-up piece of paper, take note of that and buy toys that make crinkling sounds the next time you go to the pet store. Finding a toy your cat will like is trial and error.
2. Spend more time playing with your cat.
Taking the time to play with your cat is a critical step in encouraging your cat to be more active. Play time is a great bonding experience for you and your cat.
3. Use battery-operated toys.
If your cat loves to hunt and pounce on moving targets, and you do not have the time to play with it as you would like, add a few battery-operated toys to your home.
4. Give good quality food.
Check with your vet if the cat food you give your cat has all the essential nutrients it needs to be healthy and active. Also make sure that your cat has access to fresh drinking water all day so that it never becomes dehydrated.
5. Add vertical space and scratching posts.
A stimulating and enriching environment for your cat will have vertical space, like perches, trees, and cat walks, as well as scratching posts. As natural hunters, cats benefit from vertical space because it allows them to survey their territory from above, but it also encourages them to jump and climb. Putting a perch near a window will help stimulate your cat even more because it gives them a front row seat to all the sights and sounds of the outdoors.
6. Play cat-stimulating videos.
There are a lot of Youtube channels designed specifically to stimulate your cat. This is helpful if you are unable to play with them.
7. Reward healthy behavior.
If your cat is healthy enough to handle moderate exercise, use treats to get your cat moving. With the promise of treats, you can convince your cat to be active.
Your cat is not lazy; it is likely just following its natural sleeping habits. Cats are crepuscular, meaning they like to be active during dusk and dawn and will sleep during the main parts of day and night to recharge.
Cats like to take short, light naps that they can wake up from easily in case a predator comes along. They like to get deep sleep in the evening when they can relax.
If your cat is lazy all of a sudden, there may be an underlying medical issue that needs to be addressed, so take your cat to the vet.
Keep your nap-crazy cat healthy by playing with them using toys that are designed to keep them active. Build them perches and scratching posts to encourage movement. Give them good quality food to ensure optimal health, and make sure to give them treats when they are exercising.
Image: istockphoto.com / Gutzemberg