Many people have heard that cats sleep about 16 hours per day. Of course, this isn’t true in every case there are cats who spend their days lounging around all day long, after all.
However, most cats do need to get up at least once during the night to eat and relieve themselves. So when they’re sleeping, they may roll onto their backs, press their paws to the ground and curl into a ball. This “sleeper” position is called recumbency.
It’s possible for cats to fall asleep while lying down, but it’s not as comfortable as it is for them to lie down in order to rest. Cats also tend to wake more easily when lying down than when they’re sitting down. In fact, cats are usually so sensitive to changes in light levels that they’ll respond by getting up and looking for a better place to sleep just because the sun moved from one side of the house to another!
This means that if your cat chooses to lay down frequently, he’s probably doing so because he wants to feel comfortable rather than because he’s actually tired. If your pet does choose to lie down, it can indicate a problem. When your cat lies down with his head or body pressing directly against any surface, like the carpet or hardwood floorboards, he may be suffering from pressure-related health issues.
The good news is that these problems aren’t serious, but you should still pay attention to them. They can signal illnesses or injuries such as feline upper respiratory infections (fURI), bladder stones, arthritis and other joint conditions, cancerous tumors and even stroke.
If you notice repeated episodes where your kitten presses her face against the floor, then you should take note and consult your veterinarian. It could be an indicator of an underlying medical condition. On the next page, we’ll go over what to watch out for when your kitty decides to sleep head first.
Your cat is trying to tell you something when she sleeps headfirst. Her typical resting position involves curling into a tight little ball with her nose tucked between her hind legs. She’ll tuck her tail under her bottom and wrap her front legs around her chest. A cat will sometimes arch her back in this position, which gives you a nice view of her cute button nose.
Cats don’t always sleep this way, though. Sometimes they’ll stretch out completely, with their entire bodies pressed firmly against the floor. They may turn their heads slightly toward the ceiling, exposing only their noses and eyes. Or they might extend their necks and try to peer upward, taking advantage of the extra height.
Whether your cat likes to snuggle up with her butt or whether she prefers to stretch out full length, repeated exposure to this type of position can cause pain. Restless leg syndrome is one possible problem caused by constant contact with the floor. It occurs mostly in older cats and is characterized by symptoms like limping, scratching, rubbing at affected areas and general discomfort. Other conditions associated with sleeping on your floor include hip dysplasia, osteoarthritis and spinal diseases. Arthritis sufferers should consider consulting a vet before allowing their cat to sleep on the floor.
Another sign that your cat may be experiencing pain is frequent urination. Repeatedly laying down with a full bladder can result in physical damage to the kidneys and urethra. Not only can this lead to infection, but prolonged exposure to urine can weaken the skin and increase the risk of developing bedsores.
In addition, cats who regularly sleep on floors that contain toxins such as formaldehyde, adhesives and varnishes can develop dermatitis. Cats who find themselves constantly licking their paws may have dry skin conditions like demodectic mange or sarcoptic mites. Allergies can also be associated with this habit. Cats who spend a lot of time playing on hard surfaces can develop allergies and asthma attacks similar to those experienced by humans.
Cats who sleep on hard floors are especially prone to injury. Their claws grow longer and sharper due to wearing down the nails on their forepaws. As well, sharp corners and edges present a hazard to a cat who spends much of its time sleeping on the floor. One particularly dangerous area is under furniture. A cat may try to jump under a table or couch, and the edge of the wood can cut into her soft belly fur, causing severe bleeding. So how would you know if your cat has a painful ailment like a torn ligament or a broken bone? Read on to learn the warning signs.
Frequent urination could also be a symptom of constipation. If your cat doesn’t seem satisfied after eating, you should check her stool for large pieces of undigested food. Also make sure that she hasn’t eaten anything that contains caffeine, chocolate or onions. Caffeine can induce vomiting, onion juice can irritate the stomach lining, and chocolate can upset a cat’s digestive system.