Do Cats Dream? Some Insights Into Our Felines' Sleeping Habits

Cats have dreams, just like people.

There's evidence that cats have dreams about their day-to-day experiences, such as exploring and hunting. They may also be dreaming about their communications with their owners! Isn't that exciting?

Cats spend between one about two-thirds of their lives asleep. Whether your pet cat sleeps like a log, or if you witnessed the tell-tale twitches of a cat having a fantastic dream occurring, you may be wondering what's happening while they are asleep?

Are The Dreams Of Our Cats Like Human Dreams?

There are researches available on a wide range of information about different animals' sleeping habits over the years. Some of these are specifically about cats.

The Sleeping Life Of Cats

do cats dream

Felines spend the majority of the day sleeping. This is a behavior that they have developed before they've become domesticated. Wild cats sleep a great deal to save energy for hunting prey.

In the early 50s, scientists recognized that mammalian sleep cycles have several unique phases. Among these phases is 'active sleep.' Active sleep is defined by a quick motion of the eyeballs behind the closed lids, and an awake-like brain activity

As a result of the particular rapid eye movements, active sleep is also known as REM sleep. Cats spend 3 to 8 hours a day in REM sleep, though not simultaneously—cats go through multiple short durations of active REM sleep and non-active non-REM sleep throughout every nap.

Do Pet cats Have Dream During REM?

By the late 1950s, scientists were sure that adult human dreams are experienced during REM sleep. Sometime after, scientists discovered that cats with lesions on the part of the brain called pons acted out the activities they were dreaming about. These include motions and behaviors like jerks, hisses, pouncing, attacking non-existing victims, and even running.

In other words, cats did just the same activities they did awake. This suggests that the cat's dreams were reenactments of things they do while they were awake.

Do Cats Dream About Their Owners?

do cats dream?

All the existing evidence suggests that cats dream about the same things they encounter when they're awake. This includes interactions with other pets, prey, and opponents. So it's safe to say that they may also be dreaming about the people they know while they're awake.

Do Pet Cats Have Bad Dreams?

Similar to us, felines are probably susceptible to having nightmares as well. Among the actions recorded in cats that acted out their dreams was piloerection.

Piloerection is when tiny muscular tissues called arrector pili at the base of each hair contract. This results in making the hairs stand. Cats do this to trap some heat close to their skin during winter. But it is also used to make themselves look more significant when they feel threatened. Some felines even hissed while dreaming. This is an indicator that they were experiencing an unpleasant experience.

Should You Wake Them?

If you think your pet cat has a bad dream, it's generally best to allow it to pass. Nevertheless, a plan can't hurt them. However, if you wake them, do it by calling their name softly and from a distance.

Do Cats Realize That They're Dreaming?

These are questions which we are nowhere near answering yet, unfortunately. For us humans, we rarely recognize that we are dreaming as we are doing it. Unfortunately, there is no for cats to tell us what they understand about their dreams.

How about you? Can you tell if your cat has dreams? Please share it with us in the comments!

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