Do Cats Really Dream?


Have you ever tried to observe what your cats do while in the state of sleep? If so, you would actually notice that they normally curl and cover their eyes with their front paws. While in a deep sleep, you can hear them purring and when you touch their body you would feel strange vibration coming from their diaphragm.

Additionally, a little scary thing to witness is that they twitch with their paws and whiskers. Moreover, with their eyes barely opened, another phenomenon unfolds. Their eyes move rapidly in random motions like they are experiencing seizure.  There is more, some cats surprisingly snore.

Right, these things appear to be alarming but studies show there is nothing to be afraid of, somehow. The bigger question here is what really happens when your cats are asleep. Do cats really dream? Without a doubt, yes!

Rapid Eye Movement

Regarding our sleep, it is categorized into two: Non-REM and REM. The term REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement. The moment you fall asleep, you are already in Non-REM state. In this state you can easily wake up in between. The longer you get sleep, the more you position yourself to have a deep sleep, after which you transition to REM.

The best evidence we can associate with cat’s dream is the REM. During this stage, when you are most likely in more than an hour of sleep, dreams typically materializes. The rapid eye movement is said to be an indication of change of scenes in the dream.

For the body to keep up, both heart rate and blood pressure increase. According to researchers, the neuron activities in our brain during the conscious stage are carried on into our dreams. These contents influence what we see in our sleep. Mammals like cats are not different from us. They experience similar natural cycle in their sound sleep. 

What their Dreams are all About

It is still unclear what cats really dream of, but one can suggest, and as what have already been stated, activities during the waking phase are connected to their dreams.

These can be about processing, analyzing or organizing of what have transpired during the day. The possibility of having a nightmare is there but knowing when it will happen remains a mystery. Making good memories with your cats is your best present before letting them go to sleep.

We can only imagine what they are like in their dreams. When they are underfed, they must be dreaming about food. When they are ignored, they must be dreaming about attention and cuddling and all that. Their dreams must be simple and not as complicated as ours. But a happy day with you will most definitely be a happy dream for them. Take time to play with them. It should benefit them a better sleep.

How much time a Cat Sleeps

As one has already thought, cats enjoy sleeping more than anything else. They aren’t the typical pets you play with chasing and fetching. You don’t normally walk them in the morning. You don’t play much time during the daytime.

A little activity is already enough for them. Indoor cats just like their wild feline family love to preserve their energy. A cat sleeps on an average of 15 hours a day; however, a kitten can sleep up 20 hours a day. A drastic change in their sleeping habit is often observed once they reached adulthood. They are better off sleeping at daytime and are seen more active at night. Nevertheless, in general cats sleep longer than most house pets.

The importance of long sleep

Cats are naturally born predators and to be efficient, they need to conserve and recharge their energy for their hunt. Though, they aren’t living in the wild, it is encrypted in their genes. For indoor cats, instead of hunting, they become playful around late night or early morning. 

And comes daytime they snooze. While they are crepuscular or active in twilight, some cats are flexible enough to adjust their sleeping habit to entertain their pet owners.

It is completely natural for them to take the whole day off.

Sleeping more than Usual

There isn’t really nothing to be alarmed when your cat sleeps a lot. That’s their usual activity and we should not be disturbing their sleep. You can always have your playtime set for later when they are in the mood. With that being said, you should observe whether your cat is sleeping too much or not.

If your cat has a big change of sleeping time, it can be a sign of concern. Your cat might be sick or experiencing some pains. For this matter, you better go see a vet for an immediate aid.


It feels great to understand our pets’ behavior. Knowing that cats dream, there is one thing clear about them. When they enter the REM mode, we should not feel frightened.

You see them twitching? There is no need to panic. They are just dreaming and they aren’t supposed to be awoken. For mammals, dreaming is a sign of a healthy being.

46 thoughts on “Do Cats Really Dream?”

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