Cats are well-known for their proclivity for napping. They seem to sleep for the majority of their lives, either curled up on our laps or hiding in their favourite secluded spot.
It can surprise you to hear that cats sleep twice as long as humans and spend an average of 15 hours a day sleeping, but this may easily be up to 24 hours for very sleepy cats.
It’s fair to believe that they dream as we do because they spend too much time sleeping. Is that real, though? Continue reading to learn why cats dream and what it means if your cat twitches while asleep.
Cats can have nightmares because they are compatible with a wide variety of negative feelings, and even apparently insignificant events may have a significant effect on them.
Why Do Cats Have Nightmares?
They don’t dream of politics, cataclysms, or any frightening events they’ve seen or read on television.
They are unconcerned about global warming problems, financial challenges, jobs, and other topics that cause fear in people’s lives.
Nonetheless, this would not preclude them from having nightmares.
For instance, if your pet is twitching and fidgeting in its sleep, it may be having a frustrating dream about catching the bird it saw through the window.
Cats, on the other hand, may have dreams of absolutely dreadful occurrences that have existed in their lives.
Separation anxiety, traumatic landings, battles with other creatures, and other incidents, for example, can all cause nightmares.
Even if they are now living in a healthy, happy, and calming environment, rescued animals that have spent time on the streets, in overcrowded shelters, or with abusive pet owners are more likely to have nightmares.
Furthermore, owing to the more regular REM stages, kittens experience more nightmares than their adult counterparts.
Senior cats are much more likely to have nightmares than adult cats. It’s likely that their misery will haunt them in their nightmares as their days become unbearable as a result of their deteriorating health.
It’s perfectly normal for your feline friend’s dreams to be correlated with a negative experience during the day, just as it is for humans.
After all, as we discovered, their visions are founded on real-life events, and it’s not unusual for your pet to have a nightmare.
However, there are a few things to bear in mind. If you notice your feline companion sassing and making uncontrollable noises while asleep, waking it up may not be the best option.
It’s likely that you’ll be scratched, bitten, or worse. It’s the same for humans: they won’t know what’s going on in the first few seconds after waking up, and defense is their natural instinct.
But don’t presume cats aren’t smart enough to realize that once they wake up, everything will be well!
Can Cats Dream?
Cats, like humans, can and do dream.
Researchers were unable to prove it for a long time, but due to new science, we now realise that felines, canines, and other animals can have dream-filled slumbers.
Cats, like humans, go through various stages of sleep, including REM sleep, which is where the majority of hallucinations occur.
Dreaming scenes are colourful and long-lasting throughout the REM process.
Even though cats can dream at other periods of sleep, if you’ve ever seen your cat’s whiskers, vocal cords, tail, or paws “wake up” during a nap, your pet is most likely in the REM period and thinking about anything.
Non-REM dreams are usually less colourful, fragmentary, and real than REM dreams.
In their very first few months, kittens go through long and regular periods of REM sleep.
That’s why you’ll find more pronounced muscle twitches in young cats’ sleeping periods than in adult or senior cats’.
If the cat gets older, the amount of REM sleep he or she gets on a daily/nightly basis decreases, as does the amount of time he or she spends napping.
How Do Dreams Occur In Cats?
Any periods of sleep are more likely to produce hallucinations than others. Sleep is a period during which we avoid communicating with the outer world and our minds digest the events of the day.
Sleep is characterized as a reduced state of consciousness, sensory input, and voluntary motor activity.
Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep are the two modes of sleep.
The majority of dreaming happens during REM sleep, which is characterized by random and rapid eye movements under closed eyelids.
Since the brain prevents actual activity, it is unable to physically carry out fantasies.
Dreams that occur during REM sleep are informative, lengthy, and often creative, while dreams that occur during non-REM sleep are usually brief and replay everyday activities.
Like the many nights in college that I fall asleep to (non-REM) Tetris hallucinations.
A cat can twitch, display paw motions, or move her mouth as if feeding or grooming during REM sleep, but she is unable to pounce or climb the curtains.
The cat’s eyes move very randomly and easily in this particular period. This is because the cat’s brain mimics the behaviour of the animal when it is awake.
And if it can seem that your cat can be quickly awoken during this time, this is rarely the case.
What’s more fascinating is that older cats waste less time in this period than younger cats so they don’t have to digest too much new material.
What Do Cats Dream About?
Cats have the opportunity to relive previous memories and have nightmares about them.
Your adult cat will dream of something that happened years ago and most cats have a significant long-term memory capability.
2. Basic Needs
Indoor cats are fully reliant on the care of their pet owners.
Even the most spoiled and well-cared-for pet will find something new to desire, whether it’s another delicious treat or the chance to scrape its nails on your new furniture.
Many animals are highly intellectual, and some have also been seen to have creativity.
It’s possible the feline animals are in the same boat. It’s a safe bet that cats will fantasize as they sleep.
We won’t be able to completely comprehend what our cats dreamed of during their last sleep, unfortunately. We might still ask them, but all we’d get in exchange is a meow – if we’re lucky.
Hopefully, technology will progress to the point that we will be able to use software that will correctly translate each meow into human speech one day. Imagine that!
Felines, believe it or not, are very well-organized. It’s easy to equate your cat’s brain to a post office, which is temporarily locked for visitors when you go there late at night.
The staffs, on the other hand, are rapidly sorting the mail in the back, ensuring that it is delivered on schedule. When your kitty friend is dreaming, the same thing happens to it.
When he sleeps, the feline remembers the events of the day and categorises them. This is a fascinating subject.
So, while we have fantasies that are totally detached, our pets, on the other hand, bring the whole day together to see the big picture.
How To Prevent My Cat From Having Nightmare?
The bulk of animals have visions. And it turns out that cats have the most visions.
They must fantasise about all the items they’ll be removing from the shelf, as well as all the catnip mice that need roughing up and drool therapy.
Cats, it’s possible, sleep better than most dogs. On average, kittens sleep 20 hours a day, while adults sleep for only 16 hours.
This provides them with a lot of space to fantasise.
If you dream, you’re more likely to have nightmares.
We don’t know what keeps them awake at night, but scholars claim it’s not the same stuff that concerns us.
They don’t see themselves at final examinations, remembering they haven’t attended a single math class this semester.
Their nightmares are likely to be re-enactments of traumatic events in their life, such as the burden of being in a shelter, time spent on the streets, or rape.
Cats that haven’t had such encounters may have dreams of separation anxiety, a crash while jumping from one object to another, or a frightening confrontation with another cat on the other side of the window.
According to doctors, there’s no need for us to be worried about our cats’ nightmares.
The nightmare, as well as the terror or discomfort, fades away until they wake up. You will assist them by offering support and telling them that they are valued.
A cat that is having a nightmare should be softly awakened. As a result, the cat is at ease. What makes you think they’re nightmares?
Cats are light sleepers by default, and what seems to be a violent waking due to anxiety may be the result of something else/something external, such as another cat being nearby.
Cats are thought to dream about their daily experiences, including their interactions with humans, according to researchers.
If your pet has a bad day, they can have a nightmare about it and respond with meowing, hissing, or sporadic motions while asleep.
Do Cats Always Sleep Well?
Cats, like humans, may have sleep issues that prevent them from getting deep sleep and having those REM-induced nightmares. A sleep-deprived cat will be agitated and whine of meows or tears.
Sleep Apnoea, a disease that inhibits breathing while sleeping and can keep the nervous system on high alert, can induce sleep deprivation in cats. Insomnia will strike cats as well.
If you notice your cat isn’t having enough sleep, take him or her to the vet to rule out infection and get advice on how to get your cat to sleep more.
Extra playtime to work off steam, making your cat a playmate to wear her out, and having a good big meal before bedtime are all possibilities.
Don’t give in to a cat that tries to wake you up in the middle of the night, no matter what you do.
Her nocturnal routine will throw your sleep schedule off. It is possible to teach her to value your sleeping and waking hours with some patience on your side.
Sleepwalking cats are exceptionally unusual. In reality, sleepwalking is a symptom of a particular form of brain damage in cats. When cats sleepwalk, what do they do?
Of course, they pounce, hunt, and flee! Fortunately for your pet and your home’s cleanliness, cat sleepwalking has only been observed in experimental studies.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Makes Those Cats Twitch?
Cats, like dogs, twitch involuntarily, and it’s not on purpose. During the REM cycle, the cat’s brain emits identical impulses as if it were awake, triggering gestures that lead to what the cat is dreaming of.
Do cats have dreams about their owners?
Cats do dream of their people, and they do so often. As previously said, they remember the entire day while sleeping in order to arrange it more efficiently.
Do cats have colour dreams?
And if it is extremely probable, it is impossible to say with utter certainty. Cats, like humans, can see colours, which makes it possible that they will be able to dream in colour as well.
Is it possible that they sleepwalk?
It’s unlikely that you’ll see your kitty wandering about in its sleep. Nightmares, on the other hand, can be heard meowing or twitching uncontrollably.
What is the size of their heads?
The typical domesticated cat’s brain reaches about 5 centimetres in length and weighs about 25 to 30 grams.
If you can see, our feline partners do dream, and it isn’t at all spontaneous. Cats, unlike dogs and humans, use this moment to reorganise the events of the day.
Even if it’s unlikely that cats hold grudges, as many people say, they are likely to recall such incidents from the past. They are capable of efficiently sorting and maintaining them while they are sleeping.
So, the next time you see your cat twitching or meowing while asleep, don’t rush up to wake it up – you’ll be doing it wrong.
It is preferable for you to go ahead and let it happen, since this is a totally normal occurrence.