Do cats have dreams and nightmares
It is well known that cats sleep a good part of the day. But what actually happens when your kitty is asleep? Many people ask themselves the following question: Do cats have dreams and nightmares?
Your cat's sleep is a very important element to take into account for his well being.
Don't panic, we are passionate about this subject and know exactly how to help you.
In this article, you will discover :
- The different phases of your cat's sleep
- Do cats have dreams or nightmares?
- Do house cats have dreams
This aspect of your cat's sleep will no longer hold any secrets for you.
Let's discover all this together now.
I. The different phases of your cat's sleep
The cat sleeps between ten and sixteen hours a day (on average 15 hours). It alternates phases of drowsiness, REM sleep and deep sleep. The cat's sleep characteristics are multiple and its measures of brain activity are quite similar to those of humans.
a. Mental rest
The cat's sleep is composed of long phases of twenty to thirty minutes which correspond to mental rest. Brain activity shows slow waves of large amplitude. Your kitten's breathing slows down, her muscles relax and her eyelids are closed. He is rolled on his side or fully deployed.
In adult cats, these phases represent nine to twelve hours of total sleep. But they are almost non-existent in kittens. During this time, the cat's body regenerates to keep it in good health.
b. REM sleep
These first phases are regularly followed by fast and low amplitude wave sequences. We talk about REM sleep. Your cat sleeps deeply, but its eyes (rapid eye movement), mustache, tail or paws may move.
It seems that your cat is dreaming. Dreams occur in this phase. These phases are the most common in kittens. The cat is the animal with the most REM sleep phases.
c. Light sleep
During this light sleep, the cat rests, but remains alert. It is ready to wake up at any time, to jump on a prey or to run away. This sleep is easily recognizable by looking at your cat's ears. They contract and turn towards the origin of different noises.
If the cat's sleep is close to that of humans, then like us, it is dreaming. It should be noted that the number of hours of sleep also varies according to the age of your small feline.
II. Do cats have dreams and nightmares?
Cats have dreams or nightmares depending on their experience. They may dream about their feline friends, or even their canine companions, about the birds they see through the window, about their hunting session, about games, etc.
Young kittens can dream about their mother, brothers and sisters or familiar sights and smells from their past.
Cats may have beautiful dreams and nightmares based on their memories. It is therefore important to offer them positive cat experiences rem so that they only have good dreams.
III. What do house cats dream about? Do cats dream about their owners?
A study conducted in the 1960s on cats and REM sleep, led by sleep researcher Michel Jouvet, showed that cats behaved similarly to hunters during REM sleep. They whistled and bent their backs as if they were hunting prey. The scientists concluded that the cats probably dreamed of being on the hunt.
Hunting, however, is not the only thing they deal with during sleep. Cats may also dream about their human family, their owner, their food, toys or treats. Researchers suspect that cats dream about their experiences throughout the day, including their interactions with you.
If your pet has a bad experience, it could very well have a nightmare about the negative events of the day and react with sporadic mewing, wheezing or movement while sleeping.
IV. How do I know my cat is dreaming?
To find out if your cat is dreaming, simply observe her. Indeed, if it contracts, stretches, moves its paws, snores or makes strange noises, it means that it is in "dreamland".
V. Do cats cry in their sleep?
When you observe your kitten sleeping, you may have already seen her paws contract or move her tail. It is possible that the kitten has been dreaming, but more importantly, that she is in an active sleep period.
During this type of sleep, she may kick, shiver, move her paws, tail, torso, head and she may even cry or whine. The purpose of these movements is to develop his muscular strength while he sleeps.
This type of sleep is healthy and very common in kittens, but disappears gradually as the kitten grows.
If you see kicking and meowing in an adult cat, he is dreaming.
VI. Should I wake my cat up from a nightmare?
If your cat is in the middle of sleep and starts to make strange sounds and movements, you may be tempted to wake your cat up from its "bad dream". It is not recommended to wake your cat up from a nightmare. Your cat could be surprised by being suddenly awakened and could scratch or even bite you. Let your pet sleep and give it some extra love when it wakes up.
As you can see, your cat can have dreams or nightmares. It depends on his past experiences.
With all this information, you are now an expert in understanding this aspect of your cat's sleep.
It is important to provide your pet with positive experiences so that it can have sweet dreams.
This is why we suggest that you offer him a haven of peace with an adapted cat bed.
Discover them now by clicking on the image below.