In fact much of the feline sleep a sort of semi-sleep, of only partial dozing, of suspension of movement but not of psychic and sensorial activity: it can be seen for example by observing the ears of the cat, which remain erect, or the tail, which can continue to wave slowly; sometimes the eyes remain half open. When in this intermediate condition between wakefulness and sleep, the cat substantially in possession of all its qualities: that is able to escape, or to attack a prey, or to resume the game with a partner in a matter of seconds and even less.
The half-sleep phase can last up to a good half hour, before the cat sinks into real sleep: the cycle here is shorter, rarely lasting more than five minutes and in this phase the body is completely relaxed, the ears are stretched out and the tail is motionless. Pu to happen, when the cat dreams, that the paws suddenly move in rapid jerks and that the muzzle curls into a kind of smile, or a quick breath, showing part of the teeth. No one knows exactly what cats dream: the rapid movements of the paws make us imagine a hunting scene, but as far as we know our kitty could dream of anything else. We only know that in this short phase that the cat it actually rests and recharges, so to speak.
The fact remains that the time devoted to sleep seems decidedly excessive. Even the wild cat, ancestor and first cousin of our domestic cat, spends very long periods of the day in a state of semi-sleep or deep sleep: it is the structural reason, so to speak, that predation requires an enormous amount of energy, physical and mental, which the cat then absolutely needs to recover. Lurking, running, jumping, climbing and, above all, concentrating in agony on the undertaking – with that haunted expression we have all seen when sighting prey, no matter if a mouse or a cork – produces strong adrenaline rushes and great dissipation. of energy.
What if the cat does not prey and does not play, or does so very rarely, as indeed happens very often to apartment cats, especially if they live alone? The simple answer and known to all: the cat that continues to accumulate energy in prolonged rest that then fails to consume in predation or play, it just gets fat – more or less like us, after all. Here is a fundamental difference compared to dogs, which are also excellent sleepers: the dog needs to discharge the accumulated energy, can not do without it. The city dog walk – the ideal would be a couple of outings a day of about an hour each – is not used to make needs, as some hasty human still thinks, but to consume energy. If not allowed, the surplus of energy turns into discomfort, aggression, nervousness.
Cats, on the other hand, do not have this need: if they are not stimulated, by the external environment or by another cat or by a human who urges them, they continue to accumulate energy which over time turns into fat. Nothing tragic, mind you: an overweight cat can go into serious problems with age, but within certain limits – just like an overweight human – leads a normal life. It’s good to know: and, without too much effort on our part, it is possible to fix it. All it takes is a ball or a self-propelled mouse, much more effective (and much more fun for the cat) than a diet.
October 17, 2021 (change October 20, 2021 | 18:31)