There is a good reason the phrase “cat nap” came to be a popular expression. Out of all the animals in the animal kingdom, cats are one of the sleepiest species. You have noticed that your cat is lounging or sleeping most of the time, leaving you wondering; why is my cat so lazy?
Your cat is lazy because they naturally need rest. A cat that is sick, recovering from surgery, has poor nutrition, or is elderly will also appear to be lazy.
A lazy cat does not always mean something is wrong. It’s quite common. However, sometimes, cats that are overly lethargic should be concerning to you. Let’s dive into the most common reasons you have a lazy cat and ways you can help your pet be more energetic.
Reasons Your Cat Is So Lazy
Cats are lazy for various reasons, but below are the most common ones you’ll witness.
Your Cat Is Feeling Tired
Your cat might be acting lazy simply because they are feeling tired! Cats generally do need significantly more sleep than a human. The sleeping pattern of a cat is very different from a human as well, as they do not sleep in one long chunk of time.
Instead, your cat may take shorter but more frequent naps throughout the day, which presents the illusion to you that they are always sleeping. This is normal! Once cats are fully grown, they typically are not high-energy animals.
Your Cat Is Suffering From Depression
There are often some physical signs and cues with their behavior that can help you identify if your cat is acting lazy because they suffer from depression. Cats can have struggles with their mental health too.
If this is the case, they often will start showing signs of being very sad or depressed. Cats cannot communicate with us to share their feelings, which makes it a difficult process to diagnose depression in cats.
If your cat is acting extra isolated and retreating away to sleep or be alone, this can be an initial sign that their mental health is suffering. Additionally, keep an eye out for lack of appetite and refusing physical contact as other signs that they are feeling off.
Depression in cats may lead your kitty to act in a way that is unfamiliar to you. The good news is that you can take steps to develop a healthy routine for your cat that can get them back on track with their usual personality.
It may be a long journey to get there, but your vet can assist with other strategies to help you pull your cat out of its slump.
Your Cat Is Under Stimulated
Like people, cats often turn to other things to occupy their time when cats do not have enough stimulation in their lives. If your cat is under-stimulated, they may spend more of their day sleeping out of sheer boredom.
This can often happen when you are away from home for extended periods throughout the day.
Your Cat Is Getting Lazier As They Get Older
As cats begin to age, they often begin to sleep more, and their energy levels decrease. Some cats develop arthritis in their older age, making it more painful to move around and be as active as they were in their youth.
There is no need to panic if you have observed this with your older cat, as it does not necessarily mean anything is wrong with their health or that they will pass away soon. Older cats need more sleep!
Your Cat Has A Mellow Personality
The energy level of every cat varies. Some cats have more high-energy personalities and constantly want to play and be on the move. Other cats are more mellow and are happy to lay around and sleep for most of the day.
Usually, you will tell fairly quickly after bringing a cat home what their personality is like. That is why some breeders want people to meet several cats within a litter before picking one out to make sure the energy level is a good match for both parties.
Your Cat is Overweight and Struggles to Move Around
If a cat becomes even a few pounds overweight, it may feel cumbersome or difficult for them to run and play. This may lead to them spending even more time than usual sleeping or relaxing throughout the day.
This turns into a vicious cycle, as cats need to stay active to maintain a healthy weight. If your cat is overweight and seems lazier than usual, you may have to use some extra encouragement and playtime to get them moving around.
They Are Awake More While You Are Asleep
Sometimes, it might seem like your cat is lazy or always sleeping when you are quite active during the hours you sleep!
While cats are not truly nocturnal, they have their biggest burst of energy right before bed and early in the morning. Often these might be times during the day when you are asleep, so you just are not witnessing their high-energy moments.
Your Cat Is Acting Lazy Because They Are Not In The Mood To Play
If you are trying to rouse your cat to play with you and they are refusing to get up or won’t stop sleeping, they might be trying to send you a signal that they are currently not interested in playtime. You should respect this and come back in a few hours to try again.
Your Cat Is Ill
It can be difficult sometimes to discern whether your cat is just feeling lazy or a more severe issue. Lethargy is a common sign that your cat is feeling sick. Look for them to be sleeping more than usual or show a decreased interest in food or playtime.
These are clear indicators that something is off with your cat. Whether that is a nutritional imbalance or an underlying condition, a cat exhibiting even less energy than usual should be brought to its vet for further evaluation.
Your Cat Is Feeling Overheated
When a cat’s body temperature rises higher than usual, they start taking action to conserve their energy. Usually, one of the main ways they do this is by becoming less active than usual.
During the warm summer months, a cat with a thick coat of fur might start feeling hot and will be less inclined to play or run around until they bring their body temperature back down to a normal range.
Why Is My Cat More Lazy than Usual
If your cat seems to have even less energy than usual, it may be suffering from some health problem. Evaluate what else seems different about their personality besides their energy levels.
Are they quieter than usual or less interested in playing and eating? These are sure indicators that something is potentially wrong.
Just because your cat seems more lethargic than usual does not necessarily mean anything dangerous is wrong with them. They could be afflicted by various ailments, from food poisoning to diabetes to kidney disease.
There are so many possible illnesses that can cause your cat to act lazier than usual that it would be nearly impossible to diagnose your cat without further medical evaluation.
Your vet will be able to do a complete physical examination and run any necessary blood test to pinpoint what is causing your cat’s behavior. The good news is that noticing your cat is acting differently is a great way to ensure you catch their illness before your cat gets too sick.
Are Cats Lazy During The Day
Cats are indeed lazier during the day than they are during the nighttime hours. Cats usually have between four to eight hours of truly alert waking hours throughout the day, and often these may be in the middle of the night.
Regardless of the time of day, cats spend the majority of their lives sleeping. A big part of a cat’s life is spending their hours sleeping, which allows them to conserve their energy for playtime or hunting.
This is an evolutionary trait that has been passed down through generations of cats. Even though domestic cats do not need to spend as much time hunting for food, this habit of preserving energy carries over.
Is My Cat Lazy Or Sick
Cats may act lethargic while feeling lazy or sick, and sometimes it can be hard to distinguish if your cat is having a slow day or if something more serious is going on.
The good news is that other signs can help you pinpoint what is going on with your cat outside of that one symptom.
It may not be apparent right away if your cat feels sick, but look out for these specific symptoms as indicators that they are not feeling well. Sick cats may experience vomiting, diarrhea, dilated pupils, hair loss, bad breath, or experience a sudden change in their appetite.
Most vets will ask you to monitor your cat for a few days to observe any patterns before bringing them in for evaluation.
How Do I Stop My Cat From Being Lazy
If you want to stop your cat from being lazy, you will need to encourage them to spend more time throughout the day being active. When cats are left alone and do not live with any other cats, their default action will be to sleep when they are home alone or feeling bored.
Cats need stimulation in their daily lives to thrive. Evaluate how you can add some fun to your cat’s life to help them feel more active. Some cats enjoy being outside, so you could consider getting a cat tent or a leash for your cat so that they can safely spend time outdoors.
You can also purchase different cat toys to see which variety is your cat’s favorite and gets them excited to play. Many cats enjoy chasing a laser beam toy around, which is an excellent activity for getting your cat up and moving.
Try out a scratching post or a cat tower to give your cat somewhere special to hang out and play in your home.
Also, cats love to perch on high surfaces and look out windows, so making a place for your cat to do this in your home will encourage them to spend more time awake and engaged. Your cat will love it even more if they can watch wildlife from their perch.
Things To Consider
Sometimes laziness in cats is easy to confuse with an unhappy cat. The best way to tell whether your cat is just tired versus feeling unhappy is to evaluate their nonverbal body cues. A cat that is often sleeping but purrs frequently and enjoys your attention is probably healthy.
Unhappy or disgruntled cats typically can become agitated more efficiently and act more aggressively than they typically would. Sometimes this can mean they swat their paw at you if you try to pet them.
Also, unhappy cats tend to spend more of their time in isolation. If you find your cat suddenly is always hiding under a bed or in a closet and used to be a very social cat, this might be due to a change in their living environment that is upsetting them.
Also, recognize that cats have certain times of day when they are naturally inclined to play. Most cats take a large nap after their mealtimes and will not be interested in toys at that time.
Take note of your cat-specific daily routine to figure out when the best time of day is to approach your cat for playtime. Do not take it personally if your cat wants to sleep while you want to play.