Do Cats Dream? Or Have Nightmares? (What About? Their Owners?)
Cats are known for being obsessed with sleeping and their love of a good cat nap. But have you wondered what is going on in their little heads during such long naps?
Are felines capable of dreaming? In spite of being so different, cats and humans have similar sleep state patterns. Cats are crepuscular, which means they are most active and awake during twilight at dusk and dawn.
do cats dream
Our furry friends also go through sleep cycles and cats experience REM sleep cycle that allows them to dream. They also experience non-REM sleep.
Let’s take a deep dive into the world of cat’s dreaming.
Do Cats Dream?Yes, cats dream.
Just like they have similar sleeping cycles to humans, so can they can embark on a journey through the dreamland. For felines, sleep is highly important as it helps them, process information and quickly restore energy and get ready for the next survival day in the wild.
Domestic cats have fewer worries as they don’t have to hunt for their food, hence they tend to sleep slightly longer and prepare for playtime, dinner time, and even more naps!
Both domestic and wild cats do and see a lot of things while awake. Besides replenishing energy, they use their sleep to store information and form memories accumulated throughout the day.
This process can be visually rich as kitties recall the activities they have been involved in and places they have visited.
what do cats dream aboutRead this next: Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?
What Do Cats Dream About?A cat’s dream content will naturally be logical and straightforward. It’s hard to imagine that they dream about winning the lottery jackpot, traveling to Mars, or fighting with a furious daon.
Scientists believe their dreams are strongly connected to reality and their previous experiences. As it was mentionedaove, during sleep felines tend to store the information gathered throughout the day.
They recall the day’s events and new information like file folders on an office shelf.
Sometimes, cats may dream about events that took place in the past. The more emotional impact they had on your cat, the higher chance it will recall them over and over.
It might be a favorite game, a tasty meal, or a scary encounter with a bigger animal.
Do Cats Have Nightmares?Since the day consists of positive and negative events, cats are likely to have nightmares too. They might recall fighting with another feline, being chased by a dog, or having severe pain.
It’s important to mention that unpleasant dreams can stimulate the cat’s brain more and cause uncontrolled reactions.
If you notice your cat twitches while asleep, flutters its whiskers, or growls, your best decision is to wake it up. You want to save it from the negative emotions and stress it experiences during the nightmare.
Of course, it may come at a cost for you as your sleepy feline may scratch or bite you in a continuation of its nightmare defense actions.
Your best reward though will be seeing your kitty back in a peaceful environment where it’s not chased by an angry dog or bitten by a stronger cat.
It’s essential to make your cat forget about the nightmare as soon as possible. For that, consider playing with it, petting it, or giving it treats.
do cats dream about their ownersA Cat’s Sleep Cycles: REMDuring the REM sleep cycle, the eyes of the feline move actively and randomly. It is the very time when the most vivid dreaming takes place in the brain of your kitty.
You may also see your furry friend twitching its toes or whiskers and changing sleeping position. What’s more interesting, waking up your kitty during this stage is the most difficult.
Like humans, cats appear to experience cycles of paradoxical sleep, where there is a loss of muscle tone. This REM state prevents cats from moving much.
While judging by its movements it may seem about to wake up, it is actually more immersed than ever in the process of dreaming and information storage.
What causes cat twitching? Don’t fret, it’s more than likely not a bad dream! Twitching is an involuntary reaction during the REM cycle when the brain is almost as active as when the cat is awake.
It sends signals that cause movements related to what the feline is dreaming about. Paw movement and twitching are typical of both positive and negative dreams.
Your cat can twitch when it’s dreaming about playing with its favorite toy or fighting with another feline.
The owner plays an important role in the cat’s life. Most cats are highly attached to their human parents and spend much time with them, which makes them appear often in their dreams.
Even if the cat spent little time with its owner on a given day, it may still dream about them.
Specifically, they may recall a happy moment with their owner that happened in the past.
Researchers can’t certainly say if cats dream in color. But given that cats are capable of recognizing some colors, it’s unlikely that their dreams are black and white.
Most probably, they see their dreams in shades of green, blue, and grey.
Although they share a similar sleep pattern with humans, cats are not predisposed to sleep disorders. Sleepwalk is a rare disorder in humans, and it’s inexistent in felines. Nonetheless, you can notice your kitty moving its toes uncontrollably while sleeping. Be sure though that it will not stand up and start to walk.
Unlike humans who have a long uninterrupted period of sleep, cats have several naps a day. A sleep session can last from an hour to two hours depending on how much energy the feline has consumed while playing or hunting. Altogether, an adult cat sleeps 15-16 hours a day. Kittens sleep about 18 hours.
Definitely! Cats tend to take longer naps on rainy, cold, and dreary days. In such weather, they get lethargic, tired, and sad, refusing to engage in any sort of activity.
Because of a lack of stimulating experience, ‘dreamtime’ on these days is limited.
Hot weather can reduce sleep pleasure because of overheating and sunburns. For most cats, the perfect weather for sleeping is mildly warm and sunny days.
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