New cat parents often discover strange behavior in their pets. Many people say that a cat’s weirdness is charming. You might have seen various funny cat videos on the internet that the owners of feline friends happily capture. We agree that cats behave strangely, but how do you know if that is normal or not?
Of all the strange things that cats do, their sleeping habit is one of them. You might have panicked a little bit when you saw your cat sleeping with its eyes open because we humans sleep by closing our eyes. So is it normal for cats to sleep with their eyes open? Let us try to find it out.
Do cats sleep with their eyes open?
Yes, cats sleep with their eyes open. It is worth noting that not all cats exhibit this nature, and the cats do not always sleep with their eyes open. Do not worry, as in most cases, this behavior is normal. Sometimes people assume that cats are sleeping with their eyes open because they cannot sleep well.
A night of good sleep is essential for the well-being of cats. If you think your cat cannot sleep well, you can try out some of the below-mentioned ways to help her sleep better.
Ensure good playtime
Play sessions are helpful to release mental and physical stimulation. Playing will consume a lot of energy for your cat during the daytime. It will surely help her sleep better and quicker at night.
It will also keep her happy and feel less alone. Ensure that she gets variety in her play sessions. If you cannot spare a lot of time to play with them, buy enough toys or let them out in the garden.
A consistent sleep schedule
Just like babies, you must keep your cat’s sleep schedule consistent. Stick them to certain habits and routines. It will train them when and where to sleep.
They will start avoiding any disturbances and unexpected scenes during her sleep time. The sleep cycle will vary according to the age of your cat. It is therefore vital that you make changes in their schedule accordingly.
Give a healthy diet
For your cat’s optimal health, let them absorb the correct nutrients from their food. Know if they need any supplements because they may not get all nutrients from their food.
There are numerous online sources where you can learn about the essential nutrients of felines. You can also consult your vet to know your cat’s needs. A balanced diet will ensure a good night’s sleep for your cat.
Feeding your cat at the night
Sleep is better when the stomach is full. If you give your cat the last meal many hours before their sleeping time, they will feel hungry and will not be able to sleep. In contrast, if you give the last meal before their sleep time, they will never wake up craving food in the middle of the night.
Cats sleep for several hours a day. During the daytime, they are in light sleep mode. During the initial stages of their sleep, they might sleep with their eyes partially open.
Your cat sleeping with the eyes open is usually not a thing to be concerned about. But, if you see other signs like red eyes and seizures, we advise you to see your vet and get your cat tested.
Can cats sleep with their eyes open?
Yes, cats can sleep with their eyes open. The behavior is not unusual in cats. Cat owners notice that their kitty’s eyes are open, even while asleep. At first, this may seem strange to you, and you will try putting it off. However, this is not a matter of concern. Cat’s open eyes are not an indication that something is wrong.
To your surprise, a lot of cats sleep with their eyes open. If not completely, they leave it partially open, at least. Another fact to note is that younger cats keep their eyes more closed compared to older ones while sleeping.
As a cat owner, you may want to keep your cat under observation, ensuring their safety. Their open eyes may be due to a medical condition. Even if you notice this happening infrequently, this does not mean it is an alarming sign.
It is great to be a protective pet owner; cats sleeping with their eyes open is not a concerning issue. It is sensible to keep observing so that nothing wrong happens.
If you are worried that something is wrong with your kitty, there are some signs that you can look for. Take some time out and observe how your cat reacts in her sleep.
If something is wrong, you might see her twitching in sleep. Twitching in sleep is a sign of epilepsy. However, you cannot determine on your own. Schedule an appointment with a vet when you see such signs. Tell the doctor all your observations so that he can examine your cat well.
Apart from epilepsy, some eye trauma is a possibility. A vet will thoroughly examine your cat’s eyes to see if everything is okay or not. Your cat may not allow you to do the thing, but vets are specially trained for such situations.
They know how to tackle pets and what to do next. Based on the condition that she is suffering from, your cat may need some medications. Discuss all the details with the vet. Understand that taking your cat to the vet is vital when you see alarming signs like twitching in sleep.
Why do cats sleep with their eyes open?
Cats sleep with their eyes open because it is their common behavior. Cats experience a multiple-stage sleep cycle just like humans. They are more likely to keep their eyes open when in light sleep. Even while resting, their bodies are aware of their surroundings. Some common reasons why cats sleep with their eyes open are:
Cats have a sleep cycle of several stages. They are in light sleep or at the initial sleeping stage when their eyes are open. In scientific terms, the phenomenon is known as Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM).
Another stage is the Rapid Eye Movement or the stage of REM. It is where cats are in a deep sleep with their eyes closed. However, it is still possible that their eyes are open at this stage.
Research suggests that cats move their eyes slowly during the NREM stage. This unconjugated motion produces an elevation of the visual axis. Cats can move their eyeballs behind closed eyelids horizontally and vertically during the REM sleep phases.
Cats are also capable of twitching and becoming completely limp. Cats require deep muscle relaxation so that they do not act in dreams. It is why they can sleep in weird and uncomfortable positions.
Cats conserve their energy during the day by sleeping because they are hunters in nature. It is also a reason for keeping eyes open in sleep. Being aware of their surroundings is a characteristic of feline animals. They do so to look out for potential danger.
Cats have a translucent layer under their eyelids known as the nictitating membrane. Your cat might not be able to close her eyes when this layer is wounded or scratched.
She might need to undergo surgery if this is the case. It is an uncommon reason why cats sleep with their eyes open, but it’s good to have your cat checked by a vet if you see other symptoms.
It is normal for cat behavior to sleep with their eyes open. However, as the cat owner, it is your responsibility to take proper care of your kitty. For this, it is significant that you keep looking for other symptoms and quickly take her to the vet if you find anything suspicious.
Some signs to look for are red eyes, seizures, twitching, and eye trauma. You might have observed your cat doing several spooky actions; sleeping with her eyes open is one of them. So never get panicked when you see it first.
The key takeaway is that cats sleeping with their eyes open is a natural and common behavior. It might come as a surprise to new cat owners. But just like many other weird activities of your kitten, sleeping with open eyes is also included.
As your cat ages, her tendency to do this will increase. It is common for old cats to sleep with their eyes open more often. Younger cats also sleep this way, but way less than aged cats. Do not let this fact unnerve or worry you. Observe them for any alarming signs and consult your vet.
Hi There, AJ Oren here. I am the founder of this amazing pet blog & a passionate writer who loves helping pet owners to learn more about their pets through my articles. I am also the content manager of this blog. I have experience in pet training and behavior, sheltering, and currently working for a veterinary clinic.