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Is my cat really dreaming?

Updated on June 19, 2013
I am wide awake; take my photo quick!
I am wide awake; take my photo quick! | Source

Is she dreaming?

Sometimes, when my cat is asleep she seems to be chasing something- she wiggles and winces whilst she is trying to catch something. Is it my imagination or is she dreaming?

Can you tell if your cat is dreaming?

There can be no definitive answer to this question as our cat cannot tell us- however let's look at the evidence. My evidence is far from scientific but is gleaned from hours of watching my cats sleep . I have two cats and they sleep an awful lot usually in places that you would not think of, like the top of the stairs or on a pile of laundry.

Do you dream?

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When we fall asleep

What happens when I go to sleep? After a little while I go into a period of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) which sleep scientists say is a period of dreaming. Some of my dreams are really vivid; sometimes they are based on real events and real people, but with scripts reminiscent of a television drama! Have you ever had a dream that is so real that you cannot distinguish truth from dream? I know I have and I wake up hot and sweaty after winning the 100m hurdles and the Olympic medal!

Observation is required

Watch your cat when she falls asleep- try and position her somewhere warm where you can get a good view- in front of the fire on a comfortable rug is a good place. Watch her and see what happens. After a little while she will go into a deep sleep, her eyes will start twitching and she will start to make small sudden movements with her paws or even make noises, sometimes a very guttural meow. Is she dreaming, is she hunting for the mouse that got away? Or is she remembering what happened when she was out today? The problem is that we don't know.
There have been studies on brain activity which indicates that the cat is dreaming, just as studies on humans indicate that we dream. The problem is that your cat cannot tell you what they are dreaming about .
The best thing to do is to watch your cat, watch her dream and see what happens, does she catch that mouse or miss it? You can learn to interpret your cats dream just like you interpret their different calls- My eldest, Tiggy has a certain call that gets me out of the chair with alacrity- it usually means that something is wrong and needs sorting – usually an argument with his brother . So it is a good idea to watch your cat carefully and see her dreaming an try and imagine what she is doing- there is no right or wrong in your analysis as she can’t tell you off.

What was this kitty dreaming about? Who knows, my personal guess is that it was something nice, a warm bed and anticipation of her dinner

Does your cat dream?

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Help! she is having a nightmare!

Have you ever had a nightmare? I guess the answer is "yes". The sort of dream which frightens you and takes an unreal hold over you. Sometimes you just have to wake up and tell yourself not to worry as it is only a nightmare. It is my belief that cats experience nightmares. As they sleep so much they will have more than us, maybe that is why they tend to want to come into our beds for comfort, warmth and security. Perhaps when they are asleep with us the bad dreams go away? Sometimes when they dream a cat will growl or mew or seem less relaxed, it is at this time that I think they are having nightmare. If you caress your cat and talk quietly in a soothing tone you will help them to deal with their nightmare.

A dream perchance to sleep= or something like that-
A dream perchance to sleep= or something like that- | Source


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    • CASE1WORKER profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      i hope they enjoy their dreams! Thanks for your visit and kind comment

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      4 years ago from Minnesota

      I don't have kitties but I do have two dogs that dream all the time. I do wonder what they dream about. I can tell when my dogs are having a dream that is troubling them. I calmly wake them or pet them softly. My family and I always talk about wanting to know if our dogs dream, and if so, what their about. Thanks for a cute and interesting hub.

    • CASE1WORKER profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      I do love them all- I wish we could have a house full but my husband wont wear it

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      4 years ago from USA

      I love to watch them sleep. Sometimes they'll meow or act like they are sucking. There's nothing better than a cat.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      Came back for another read, as my brothers cat always amuses me, it does dream and its little legs go flying all over the place! lol! isn't it strange how animals dream too?

    • CASE1WORKER profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      I too am interested in how they avoid knocking things over, especially when they don't! My tabby Bagera will sometimes for no apparent reason knock somthing over when he has avoided it for years- sometimes I wonder if his eyesight is getting bad. Thanks for the visit

    • Jeani Nugent profile image

      Jeanine Elizabeth 

      7 years ago from Cumberland, Wisconsin

      My daughter loves to watch our animals as they sleep. She is convinced one day she will discover why dogs circle before they lay down and how cats can weave thru my potted plants without knocking them over. She has never wondered about dreaming but I am anxious to share this thought with her as she is fascinated by her own dreams. Very interesting hub!

    • CASE1WORKER profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      CyberShelley- Thanks for your visit- Glad they have sweet dreams- I caught my eldest trying to have a dream- but he was sitting on anewly ironed pile of laundry- arghhh what a great British summer we are having when the cat has to get warmth from the ironing.

      I hope you enjoy popping over to my other account- though I am afraid it is not light hearted like this!

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 

      7 years ago

      Hello Case1Worker - My two siamese certainly dream, the tails swish,the whiskers twitch, a wiggle of an ear and a curl of a paw. Haven't a clue what's going on, but they seem to be rather happy when they wake up, so couldn't be a nightmare!! Enjoyed the hub and will have look at the history site - one of my favourite subjects too!

    • CASE1WORKER profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      Ah but do they think in their native language or in their second language- I assume they answer to your English questions?

      Thanks for the visit

    • Peter Geekie profile image

      Peter Geekie 

      7 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear case1worker

      I'm quite sure my three Siamese dream judging by the grumbling and twitching. I don't know what about as I don't speak Thai

      Kind regards peter

    • CASE1WORKER profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      DeborahNeyens= Thanks for your visit,- yes I think you are quite right, both cats and dogs dream,

      Nell Rose- Thanks for your visit= so far no one seems to have an animal that does not dream- oh how I wish I could read their minds

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Cats definitely dream as do dogs, I remember my cat used to grumble under his breath and wave his little legs about! lol! as for my dog, she used to run in her sleep! she never got up but the feet would be going! lol! loved the video! cheers nell

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 

      7 years ago from Iowa

      I'm pretty sure my cats and dog dream. Especially my dog, her paws get going and she makes a weird barking noise. The cats are a bit more quiet about it, but I do see the signs with them, also.

    • CASE1WORKER profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      christin53- thanks for your visit- I love the video too and am trying to get my own two to star in their own videos- but they sleep so soundy

    • christin53 profile image


      7 years ago from UK

      I used to have cats and they used to twitch and move their paws while they slept. I like to think they were chasing mice in their dreams. I love the cute kitten video it's purrrfect :)

    • CASE1WORKER profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      Lucky cats- thanks for your visit- I wonder if that's why sometimes they rush into bed for comfort in the middle of the night- bad dreams?

    • Lucky Cats profile image


      7 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Yes!! I definitely have seen my cats dream!!! I have no doubt! What a great hub!! Up! $ all positives across the board!!

    • CASE1WORKER profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      mrsaxde- thanks for your visit- I totally agree with you in that they dream when they are asleep

    • mrsaxde profile image


      7 years ago from Southern Delaware

      I have seen so much evidence over the years that cats (and dogs) dream. I have had several cats that would move their lips and whiskers, as well as their paws as you mentioned, while asleep. I always took it that they were chasing or stalking something in their dream.


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