Cat naps are wonderful but have you ever wondered where the term came from? When we see someone asleep in a chair, we frequently make the comment that he or she is having a catnap. Some doctors have suggested that one or two cat naps taken during the day as being beneficial, especially for the elderly or those with young children or babies. They help us wake up refreshed and focused.
The term cat nap comes from the short sleeps our cats take during the day. We often see cats curled up asleep somewhere comfortable. How often have you said how wonderful it would be to be a cat and sleep the day away.
While it might seem to us that cats spend most of their time asleep, the reality is they only sleep deeply for about 10 to 15 minutes at a time. They have developed this ability to sleep for a short period, and then wake up refreshed and alert. Even when your cat is deeply asleep, its senses can still pick up on danger and they can be alert in a moment, ready for fight or flight.
Cats that are in a safe and secure environment where they don’t feel threatened will sleep in a more relaxed way. They will tend to take more time wakening and can even be disoriented when they do wake, just like a lot of humans (including me). It is wonderful to watch a cat as it wakes up. There is something sensuous about the way it stretches each limb and arches its back. I would love to be able to stretch like that when I wake up. Older cats seem to take longer to wake up. I can relate to this, as bed seems harder to get out of most mornings.
When cats are in a deep sleep, you can often see their ears, tail and paws twitching. I love watching Cassie when she is asleep on my lap, her paws twitch and it gives me a wonderful feeling that she trusts me enough to be so vulnerable with me. She will sometimes open her eyes just a little to make sure I am still paying attention to her.
Cats are certainly relaxed and relaxing pets. A comfy chair, the back of a couch, or somewhere in the sun suits them just fine for a sleep. Some cats like to find somewhere high, such as the top of a cupboard or sometimes a tree branch to sleep on, as they feel safe there. They actually sleep or rest for around two thirds of their life. However, when they are awake, they are usually ready for fun and games.
In today’s society, that catnap has been replaced with the power nap. Even busy, high-powered executives will take a power nap between meetings. The elderly (and not so old) are now accused of having a ‘nanna nap’. Same thing, different words. I personally prefer to have a cat nap.