When To Worry About A Senior Cat’s Sleeping Habits

Cats of all ages are notorious for sleeping, and senior cats are no exception. Life expectancy for cats is gradually growing longer;  a cat isn’t considered a “senior citizen” until they are 12 to 14 years old.

Just like when they were kittens, older cats tend to sleep as much as 20 hours a day.

If your senior cat’s sleep patterns are starting to change, look first to their home environment, before getting concerned.

  • Especially as they age, cats need warm and comfortable places to sleep. Extreme temperatures (hot or cold) can make your beloved Fluffy sick. 
  • Light is important, as many older cats have difficulty seeing well — especially at night. Leaving a light on or installing a nightlight is important. 
  • Encourage a bit of daily exercise. Improved muscle tone will make sleeping more comfortable. 
  • A senior cat may prefer to sleep on a soft surface. If your cat has always slept on the same hard surface, consider adding a soft bed to the area. 

Changes in sleep behavior may be easy to eliminate through simple adjustments at home. But some behaviors in your cat could point to a larger problem and benefit from a discussion with your vet.

When To Talk To A Vet

  • Your cat is howling more than usual, especially at night.
  • You notice a lot of wandering or the appearance of confusion, especially at night.
  • Your pet is acting more irritable or agitated in general.
  • There are any signs of pain or discomfort.

The Bottom Line

A seemingly lazy cat is usually a natural part of the aging process. Doing all you can to ensure Fluffy feels safe, comfortable, and happy will go a long way toward making their twilight years golden.