What I would give to be a cat and just to sleep my days away. Let’s just repeat: to sleep all day. Let that sink in. Mull it over in your mind. “All day”. I don’t know about you, but I would be in seventh Heaven. …Or would I? (I write as I sit here yawning at my laptop and toying with the idea of an early night.) Why is it that we as humans need an average of less than 10 hours of sleep a day? But more importantly, why is it that our cats need more? The question had caught my attention, so I did some study.
Did you know that cats sleep for an average of 16 hours a day? Yes, you are reading that number correctly: sixteen. That is opposite sleep cycle of many of the adults I know! So why is it that these small, furry creatures, (who appear to do little more that occasionally scratch at our carpet and catch the odd insect), need so much sleep? To answer that question, you’re going to learn a new word: “Crepuscular”.
But let’s start with some words that you’ll recognize. Bats are nocturnal, meaning that they are active only at night. Humans are (meant to be!) diurnal, meaning that we’re most active during the day. But cats – always ones to want to stand out from the crowds – are crepuscular. This means that they are most active during the twilight hours around dusk and dawn, like rabbits, deer, moose and many more. Why, do you ask? To avoid the predators that could be present during the daylight or nighttime hours. So it’s genetically ingrained in our cats to while the hours away sleeping. (And here I thought that my Charlie Bear was sleeping in an effort to preserve his rounded physique lol)
Not only do they sleep so much, but they seem to be able to sleep anywhere. Any tight corner, or completely sprawled out across the bed, they will find ways of satisfying this crepuscular urge. Check out the funny compilation video below.
So store that one in your memory banks: crepuscular. You never know when you might need it at a trivia night LOL.
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