My cat is always sleeping. How many hours does a cat sleep each day? Why?

Cats typically sleep between 13 and 14 hours a day, although this can vary depending on the specific cat and its age, health, and lifestyle. Kittens and elderly cats tend to sleep more, with kittens needing the extra sleep for growth and development, and elderly cats often sleeping more due to a slowing down of their metabolism.

The reason behind cats' sleep pattern is largely tied to their evolutionary background. Cats are primarily crepuscular animals, which means they are most active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. This is a behavioral pattern that has evolved over thousands of years and is tied to their natural hunting instincts. In the wild, cats' prey (small mammals, birds, etc.) are most active during these hours, so cats evolved to be awake and alert during these times as well.

However, domestic cats can also show nocturnal behavior, being active at night, which is another carryover from their wild ancestors. This is often when they get the "zoomies" and might play, hunt, and explore.

To accommodate these energy bursts, cats sleep during much of the daytime and some of the night, storing up energy for hunting, playing, and protecting their territory. Their sleep includes both deep sleep and lighter snoozing, with the latter making up about three quarters of their sleep time. This type of sleep allows them to rest while still being alert to potential threats or opportunities for hunting.

So, even though cats sleep a lot, they are not simply being lazy. Their sleep patterns are a deeply ingrained part of their biology and evolution that serve a critical purpose in their behaviors and survival instincts. Their sleep habits help them to stay energized and ready to pounce into action at a moment's notice.