DO CATS DREAM?
DO CATS DREAM?
Have you ever wondered.....DO CATS DREAM? Most indoor cats spend from 16-18 hours a day sleeping, so hopefully there's at least SOME dreaming going on in all that time!
To me, it's obvious my cats dream. Whenever I witness one of my cats laying on the bed, deep in sleep....and suddenly, their ears start flicking and their paws start flexing and they twitch and make funny little sounds....oh yea, there's a dream going on, alright!
But the big question is....WHAT IS MY CAT DREAMING ABOUT?
Is she dreaming about chasing the tan mouse I rub catnip into?
Is the tan mouse TAN in the dream...or do cats dream in black and white?
And what about when cats see US in their dreams? (And they must, right? I mean, we're such a big part of their lives).
Do we look all distorted? Can they differenciate between family members? Are we wearing clothes in the dream? I hope so!
Are we talking in our cat's dream?
What are the cats actually hearing? Real words, like "toy" or "treat".......or do they hear just a bunch of gobbly-gook and THEN their name, like they always joke about on cartoons?
Do my cats see each other in their dreams?
Do they dream of chasing real mice?
Or do they have nightmares about getting chased by the evil vacuum cleaner?
And how do cats know the difference between real life and a dream? Like, if I step on my cat's tail in a dream, will they wake up mad at me?
I wish I knew! I wish someone could attach a little device to my cat's head that projects on a screen, so I could watch what's going on in there!
SLEEP LABS FOR CATS
Well, I did a little research, and it seems that cats left alone sleep more than cats that have company.
Does company mean "people company" only? Or does it include "other pet company"?
Let's just assume it means any company.
Anyway, I suppose these experts know what they're talking about, because there really is some sort of "sleep lab" for cats - perhaps with some one-way glass to observe, and other assorted scientific equipment.
And in this scientific lab, cats do have little devices attached to them - and wires and things. Cats have been measured with EEG while they sleep, which measures their brain activity....and yes, phases of deep sleep and light sleep have been distinguished.
There is external evidence that they experience REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement associated with dream sleep) - which leads us to believe that yes, cats DO dream! (I knew it all along)!
There has also been movement detected indicative of a dreamlike state - such as paws flexing; twitching of whiskers; vocalizations, etc...
IS THE TAN MOUSE TAN?.
Now what about that tan mouse? Is it tan in the dream?
Well, it turns out that cats are NOT color blind; they have the ability to distinguish between blues and greens - however, lack the ability to pick out shades of red.
Hmmm. That still doesn't answer my question about the tan mouse.
Oh well. At least I know that my cats can see the blue chair in their dream!
WHAT ABOUT THE MICE?
But even though we do know for sure that cats dream....we still don't know for sure what they dream about!
A common question is, "Does my cat dream of chasing a mouse?"
Well, if your cat chases a lot of REAL mice - then chances are....yes.....this activity will become incorporated into his dreams - just as we incorporate elements of our real lives into our dreams.
However, if the only mouse your cat has ever chased has been a toy mouse inside of a plastic Mouse Trax...well...then that's the sort of mouse he'll no doubt be chasing in his dreams, as well!
SUPER HERO DREAMS
As far as our cats dreaming they are super heros and can fly...well, that's quite unlikely. We can't believe our cats have the same sort of imagination that us humans do.
Plus, chances are, creepy monsters from scary movies will NOT be starring in our cat's dream, either...which is good news for them.
And the good news for us is, f we are nice to our cat in real life, chances are, that's how we treat him in his dream, as well.
What about your daughter's pet gerbils, Marshmallow and Nutella? Or your son's iguana named Frank? Do they appear in your cat's dream? Probably so. After all, these critters are a part of your cat's life.
(Of course, we still don't know how we LOOK to our cat in his dream)!
Now that we know for sure that cats dream, let's talk about all the funny places they find to do it in!
There are those spoiled cats who think they're people - they like to sleep right on the bed; often with their head on the pillow. Then there are those cats who really do sleep in their store-bought kitty beds...there must be some....
Princess likes sleeping in the laundry basket - on top of freshly washed clothes. That way, my husband can go to work with gray and white fur all over his shirt. (That reminds me; I must buy another one of those pet hair rollers)!
When Coco-Puff was a kitten, she used to sleep inside my daughter's Barbie doll tent. It was so cute, like she was going camping.
Although cats will usually seek out the warmest and most comfortable place in the house to snooze (their body temperature actually drops while they are sleeping) sometimes, they will lay in the most UNCOMFORTABLE places...like smooshed inside a too-small box, or curled up in the bathroom sink with water dripping on them, or half on top of my husband's hard hat.
Following, are some cute (and funny) pics of sleeping kitties: