Cat Nap Champion. How Many Hours Do 13 Year Old Cats Snooze Each Day?

Typical Sleep Patterns for Cats

Cats are polyphasic sleepers, meaning they tend to sleep multiple times during a 24-hour period in short bursts rather than sleeping for one long stretch (Sleep Doctor). On average, cats sleep for 12-16 hours a day, split into short naps that last about 30-120 minutes each (Sleep Foundation). Cats typically alternate between rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep throughout the day and night.

Cats also follow a circadian rhythm like humans, being more active at certain times of day. However, cats often split their sleep into both daytime and nighttime napping. Outdoor cats tend to be much more active at dawn and dusk when prey is active. Indoor cats may sync more with their owner’s schedule. But in general, cats are most alert early morning and evening, napping more frequently during midday.

How Much Should a Cat Sleep Daily?

Cats are known for being excellent sleepers, often clocking in 12-16 hours of sleep per day. On average, most adult cats will sleep around 13-14 hours daily. Kittens and older cats will sleep even more, averaging 15-20 hours per day, as their growing bodies need extra rest and they are less active. An adult cat’s sleep can range from 12-16 hours on average, but every cat is different based on activity levels, age, environment, and health.

Cats are crepuscular, meaning their natural peak activity times are dawn and dusk. As a result, they tend to be most active early morning and evening, and sleep more during midday. This aligns with their heritage as predators who hunted at dawn and dusk. Cats also alternate between short naps and longer deep sleep cycles throughout the day. Their frequent napping supports their alert and active predator nature, allowing them to conserve energy between hunts.

Overall, the normal range for an adult cat’s daily sleep is 12-16 hours. Kittens and senior cats need even more rest. Understanding your cat’s sleep patterns and allowing them ample nap time is important for supporting their health and natural rhythms.

Factors That Influence Sleep Needs

There are several main factors that determine how much sleep a cat requires on a daily basis:

Age – Kittens and senior cats tend to need more sleep than adult cats. Kittens sleep up to 20 hours per day as their growing bodies and brains need a lot of rest. Senior cats often become less active and need extra sleep.

Health – Cats who are ill or recovering from surgery require extra sleep to aid the healing process. Their bodies are using extra energy to fight infection or repair, so resting is important. Sick cats may sleep over 20 hours a day.

Activity Levels – More active cats that play frequently and explore will need to recharge with more sleep. Whereas older or less active cats may sleep less overall.

Environment – Indoor cats usually sleep more than outdoor cats since they get less stimulation. Cats may sleep more in colder weather when conserving energy.

Personality – Some cats are simply more lazy and inclined to nap often. Breed can also play a role.

Medications – Certain medications like pain relief can cause drowsiness as a side effect.

13 Year Old Cat Sleep Needs

At age 13, a cat is considered a senior or geriatric cat. According to Heron Crossing Veterinary Center, just like when they were kittens, older cats tend to sleep as much as 20 hours a day. Per Chewy, it’s normal for an older cat to sleep more of the day away — up to 20 hours, in fact.

Since 13 is toward the later end of a cat’s life expectancy, increased sleep is to be expected. It’s important not to immediately worry if an aging cat sleeps more. According to Animal Emergency Center, adult cats average 12-20 hours of sleep daily. Senior cats especially tend to sleep longer hours.

While up to 20 hours of sleep is normal for a 13 year old cat, significant changes in sleep patterns could indicate an underlying health issue. It’s important to monitor sleep behaviors and watch for other symptoms that warrant a veterinary visit.

Tips to Help Cats Sleep

Getting good quality sleep is important for your cat’s health and wellbeing. Here are some tips to help your 13 year old cat sleep better:

Provide comfortable bedding. Cats like soft, warm places to sleep. Try different beds and blankets to see what your cat prefers. Memory foam beds or plush blankets can make great sleeping spots for senior cats. Place beds in quiet, peaceful areas of your home.

Maintain a consistent schedule. Cats thrive on routine. Feed your cat and schedule playtime at the same times each day. This helps regulate their circadian rhythm so their bodies know when to be awake and asleep. Avoid too much activity right before bedtime.

Shut out noise. Exposure to loud noises or sounds can disrupt a cat’s sleep. Close doors, pull curtains/blinds, and try earplugs or white noise machines to muffle sounds. This creates a more restful environment.

Keep the litter box clean. Ensure litter boxes are scooped daily and fully changed out weekly. Dirty boxes can disturb sleep if a cat has to get up to use the bathroom. Having multiple boxes around your home gives them easy access.

Limit playtime before bed. While important for activity, too much energetic play right before bed can make it hard for a cat to settle down. Try to taper off play at least 1-2 hours before bed for better nighttime sleep.

With some simple adjustments, you can make your home more conducive to a good night’s sleep for your aging feline. A consistent routine with proper bedding, limited noise, and accessibility to a clean litter box can go a long way.

Signs of Sleep Issues in Cats

Cats who are not getting adequate sleep may exhibit certain behaviors that indicate an underlying issue. Here are some common signs that a cat is struggling with its sleep:

Excessive vocalization – A cat that meows, cries or howls more than usual, especially at night, likely is not getting sufficient rest. The excessive vocalizations are a sign of distress.

Restlessness – A sleep deprived cat may seem restless or agitated. It may pace around or seem unable to get comfortable. This is a clear sign something is interfering with its ability to sleep well.

Hiding during the day – Cats are naturally most active dawn and dusk. A cat that sleeps excessively during the day and hides may not be sleeping well at night. The daytime hiding attempts to make up for lack of nighttime sleep.

If a cat is exhibiting any of these signs, it’s important to identify the underlying cause. Sleep disorders or other medical issues may be to blame. Consulting a vet can help get to the root of the problem. Addressing sleep deficiencies properly will help ensure a cat’s health and wellbeing.


Common Cat Sleep Disorders

Just like humans, cats can suffer from medical conditions that disrupt their normal sleep patterns. Some of the most common cat sleep disorders include:


Insomnia, or the inability to sleep, is one of the most common sleep disorders in cats. Insomnia can be caused by anxiety, stress, pain, or other medical conditions. Cats with insomnia have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. They may pace, meow, or seem restless at night. Treatment involves addressing any underlying medical issues and using techniques to relax the cat before bedtime [1].


Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that causes sudden, uncontrollable episodes of deep sleep. A narcoleptic cat may suddenly lose muscle tone and collapse into a deep sleep. These “sleep attacks” can occur anytime, even mid-activity. Narcolepsy is rare in cats and the cause is unknown. Treatment options are limited, but scheduled naps and medication can help reduce symptoms [1].

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea refers to interrupted breathing during sleep. It is most often caused by airway obstruction. Signs include loud snoring and snorting noises while sleeping. Sleep apnea prevents cats from getting deep, restorative sleep and can lead to daytime sleepiness. Treatment options include addressing underlying causes, opening up airways, and pressurized breathing masks [1].

When to See the Vet

If your senior cat is suddenly sleeping much more than usual or experiencing restless nights, it’s important to have them checked out by a veterinarian. According to a veterinary article, some signs that warrant a vet visit include:

  • Sudden change in sleep patterns – For example, if your once-active cat is now sleeping most of the day and night.
  • Lethargy/lack of interest – An unusually high amount of sleeping paired with a lack of interest in play, food, or social interaction can indicate an underlying issue.
  • Pacing and vocalization at night – Restless or anxious behavior like crying, whining, or aimless pacing at night could point to sleep disturbances or pain.

While an increase in napping often comes naturally with age, a drastic change in sleep habits may signify illness or discomfort in senior cats. Sleep disorders like insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and sleep apnea can also occur. It’s important to have any major sleep disturbances checked by your vet, as they can greatly impact your cat’s health and quality of life if left untreated.

Treatments for Cat Sleep Problems

If your cat is exhibiting signs of a sleep disorder, the first step is to take them to the veterinarian for a full check-up. The vet can help identify any underlying medical issues that may be contributing to sleep disturbances, like thyroid problems, pain, or other illnesses (source). Treating these underlying conditions may help resolve the sleep problems.

Behavior modification techniques can also help, like keeping your cat active and stimulated during the day to tire them out for better sleep at night. Sticking to a regular daily routine with consistent feeding times, playtime, and sleep schedules can help regulate your cat’s bio clock as well (source).

If necessary, your vet may prescribe medication to help treat specific sleep disorders. For example, they may recommend melatonin supplements to help a cat with insomnia fall asleep more easily. Or stimulant medications for a cat with narcolepsy to help regulate periods of wakefulness and sleep. Always consult your vet before giving any medication to your cat.

Ensuring Your Senior Cat Gets Quality Sleep

As cats grow older, their sleeping habits and needs may change. It’s important to support senior cats in getting good quality sleep. Here are some tips:

Take your senior cat to the vet for annual exams. Cats are considered geriatric at around 11-14 years old. At this stage, regular vet checkups can catch any age-related issues early. The vet can also suggest ways to help your older cat sleep better.

Monitor food and water intake. Decreased appetite or thirst could indicate illness in senior cats. Make sure food and water are easy for your cat to access. Consider feeding smaller, more frequent meals.

Provide comfortable bedding. Memory foam or orthopedic beds can ease pressure points. Place beds in warm, quiet areas away from drafts. Wash bedding regularly to keep it clean and cozy.

Stick to a routine. Cats thrive on predictability. Feed, play and groom your cat around the same times daily. Be consistent with bedtime habits like treats or cuddles.

With some adjustments, you can ensure your aging feline continues to get healthy, restorative sleep. Focus on meeting your senior cat’s needs for comfort and security.

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