It can be an interesting thought: What do cats dream about?
Well, if you have a cat and you’re watching them sleep for 12-15 hours, there’s no wonder you have had this thought and you are here… reading this.
It’s easier to understand human dreaming than animal dreaming since they can speak. For animals, their brain has to be studied and we have tried to gather information on what they dream about, why they have particular dreams, and do they also have nightmares.
You’ll be shocked to read how the cats follow the same dreaming patterns as humans. So, first, let’s begin with the most obvious question.
Do Cats Dream?
The answer to your question is ‘YES!’ Cats can dream. But of course, that’s very difficult to believe, unless it is backed up with solid scientific research. So, here it is.
According to animal scientists, dreaming is a universal phenomenon even among mammals because of similar brain structures, the brain activities during sleep as well as sleep behaviors. They use the time of sleep to restore the energy required for their next hunt.
Cats are comparatively intelligent animals compared to humans. So, they can dream but their dreams are less abstract than ours.
How Do Cat Dreams Work?
To understand their dreams and cat naps, it is important to know about the types of sleep. REM- rapid eye movement sleep and non-REM sleep. Dreams occur during the REM stage as there is the random and fast movement of eyes with closed eyelids.
When a cat is having REM sleep, a cat twitches or you find paw movements. A cat can also move her mouth but will not be able to pounce or climb anything. The twitching in a dream indicates that the signals are being sent to the brain.
The interesting fact here is that the sleep cycles in cats are shorter than in human cycles. Cats experience three times more REM sleep than humans i.e., every 25 minutes. Whereas humans get REM sleep every 90 minutes. From this, it can be concluded that cats get REM sleep even during short naps.
When a cat is not in REM sleep, it is in deep sleep. In this phase, your body revives.
What Do Cats Dream About?
Dreams are a mirror of daily activities. So, there’s a high possibility that a cat is re-living its day. Dr. Dodman says that just like humans, cats also dream about things of the recent past like stalking a bird or rat.
If you’re wondering whether your cat dreams about you, the answer is ‘Maybe’. Your cat can relive the experiences it had with you in waking life to their dreams. It can dream about getting petted by you or about you calling out its name.
Apart from that, they can also dream about:
If they’re chasing in their dream, they are likely to be moving their heads in the dream as if they’re tracking stimuli. The zombie cats are extremely mobile in their REM sleep.
In real life, you’ll find cats killing or trying to kill something the majority of the time. So, this is one thing that will certainly be manifested into their dreams. Dreaming cats can be trying to kill rats or birds. They can also dream about killing you.
Adrian Morrison, a vet, proved from his study that cats move their heads in REM sleep when they’re tracking something. We know our feline friends love to play and hunt in real life.
You’ll find them running in dreams to take off cat errands like waking life. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re chasing something in their dreams.
4. Avoiding threats
If you tried scaring your cat away with a cucumber or something else recently, the poor cat can be having nightmares about the stressful experience she just dealt with. Or maybe they can dream about trying to outrun something.
5. Their day
Cats also remember and organize the events that took place throughout the day. They put together their events and look for a bigger picture.
Why Do Cats Dream?
Like all mammals, cats dream for the same reason. Sleeping helps us to come to terms with our daily experiences. The dreams that we see allow us to process the undergoing emotions and help us to frame memories.
Can cats have bad dreams?
Well, there’s no evidence to state this point. But we all know, sometimes cats also wake up scared.So, it is assumed that, like humans, cats can have bad dreams or nightmares too.
Other FAQs about Cat’s Dreams
Cats are unable to see the colors like humans. However, they are capable of seeing muted shades of blue and green.
By this, we can conclude that they cannot dream in color but in the same muted shades that they are able to see in real life.
Yes. It is likely that they dream about their owners if you were a part of their day.
The snoring factor also depends upon the breed of cats. Persian and Himalayas cats snore more due to their facial structures.
Humans and animals, both watch these edited clips of their day during REM sleep.
So if a human dreams about spending time with their human friends, a cat may dream about spending time with her feline friends.
So, yes, cats dream similar to humans.
You’ll get to know that your cat is dreaming if you find them twitching or making movements in sleep. But this is not always true.
The best possible way to know that your cat is dreaming is when you find them sleeping in a totally relaxed position.
A word from ThePleasantDream
You shouldn’t wake your cats if you find them twitching or making movements while they’re asleep even though you want to wake them up from the bad dream. This is quite intrusive.
Also, there’s a chance that your cat can bite or scratch you if they wake up on a defensive impulse.
Further, if you think your furry friend has been having disturbed sleep for several days, it’s best to consult a vet and see if there’s any underlying medical condition.
If you want to know ‘What do Dogs Dream about?’, then click here.