It often surprises people just how inactive a Maine Coon can be. Why does my Maine Coon sleep so much? is a very common question, especially from new owners. The habit is instinctual and usually nothing to worry about.
Maine Coons, like all cats, have evolved to sleep so much day and night to conserve energy to hunt. Although Maine Coons no longer need to catch food for survival, the instinct to sleep in preparation to catch prey has never deserted them.
Occasionally there are other reasons why Maine Coons sleep excessively. We look at all of these but firstly, what is classed as too much sleep for a cat?
We need to understand what the right amount actually is and when it should occur.
How Much Sleep Should a Maine Coon Have?
On average, an adult Maine Coon needs 16 hours of sleep per day. Maine Coon kittens should sleep for 20 hours out of 24. During pregnancy, Maine Coon queens often sleep for over 20 hours and the same can be said for senior cats.
Do Maine Coon Cats Sleep More Than Other Cats?
Maine Coons sleep about the same amount as any cat and the amount is linked closely to their age.
Maine Coon Kittens
The reason kittens tend to sleep so much is because hormones essential for their growth and development are only released when they are asleep.
At first, a kitten may sleep for 22 hours a day but this gradually decreases to 20 and then to 16 as they grow.
Bear in mind that Maine Coons mature at a slower rate than most cats and often don’t reach their full size until they are 3 to 4 years old.
Adult Maine Coons
From the age of 3 or 4 years, a Maine Coon is considered an adult and should be sleeping for around 16 hours out of every 24.
This is actually the amount of time that many people consider to be too much sleep when, in fact, it a perfectly normal amount.
Maine Coons, like all cats, are crepuscular which means they are more active from dusk till dawn – the traditional hunting time for cats.
They do tend to sleep more during the daytime interspersed with eating, grooming, and playing.
A pregnant Maine Coon will often spend over 20 hours as the pregnancy will reduce her energy levels. Inactivity and resting are perfectly normal during gestation and its nothing to worry about.
Senior Maine Coons
Like old people, senior Maine Coons often doze off. It’s not unusual for them to appear to sleep all day. Try to encourage more activity and ensure they are not just sleeping out of boredom.
How Do Maine Coons Sleep?
Maine Coon sleep is divided into light sleep and deep sleep. About three-quarters of the time that a Maine Coon appears to be asleep it is actually just catnapping.
During this type of sleep, it is on standby, fully aware of its surroundings, and ready to snap awake in an instant if necessary. You will notice how during this type of sleep its ears will rotate towards any unexpected sounds and it will crack its eyes for a peek at any goings-on.
The other quarter of the time is given over to deeper sleep in 10 to 15-minute cycles. This deeper sleep is critical as it allows their bodies to regenerate and keep healthy.
In this stage of sleep, a cat can dream just as we do and you may notice its paws twitching and ears flicking, and even hear little noises. You may even hear it snore.
When a Maine Coon Might Sleep Too Much
Boredom can be a major cause of excessive sleeping in Maine Coons. So if yours is sleeping a lot more than usual, consider if it has enough to stimulate and occupy it, especially if you are out all day.
Indoor cats are much more prone to boredom than outdoor cats and as many Maine Coons are kept indoors, it is quite common for them to get fed up.
If you are out for long spells at a time, make sure you make your Maine Coons environment as stimulating as possible. Provide plenty of toys, as much space as you can for it to roam around in, a scratching post, and, if possible, an indoor climbing tree.
Also, ensure it has a view from a window to watch the outside world. Some people set up a bird table so their cat can watch the comings and goings of one of their favorite prey.
Make sure you interact with your cat through play as often as possible, and for at least 15 minutes every day. This will go a long way towards relieving any boredom by keeping its mind and body active. The exercise is good for it too. Most cats can’t resist a cat charmer!
One of the best ways to stave of boredom in a Maine Coon is – if at all possible – to get two kittens from the same litter at the same time. They will already be bonded and will be good playmates and
We’ve hand-picked the best toys for a Maine Coon – ones that have actually worked and they haven’t got bored with after 10 seconds.
As your Maine Coon enters its senior years (from age 10) it may begin to sleep a little more each day. You should still try to encourage it to be active to keep it fit and healthy.
Basically, don’t allow your cat to become lazy just because it has reached a certain age. As long as it is in good health, a senior Maine Coon will still enjoy playing as much as ever so you should continue to hold daily play sessions.
On colder days, Maine Coons tend to sleep more. The colder it is, the more tightly they curl up for warmth, even wrapping their tails across their face.
If it’s particularly hot weather they tend to be less active too and will sleep stretched out to keep cooler. And even rainy weather seems to give a Maine Coon an excuse to snooze a bit more.
Cat stress can manifest itself in many ways, and excessive sleeping is one of the symptoms. If your Maine Coon is sleeping more than usual and especially if this is in hidden places you should try to establish if something is stressing it out.
Hopefully, you’ll be aware of whether your female Maine Coon is pregnant or not! If she is sleeping more than usual, this is perfectly normal as she will be experiencing reduced energy levels. Allow her the time and space to sleep as much as she needs to.
Poor health can cause Maine Coons to sleep a lot more than usual. These are some of the main conditions that you should try to rule out.
If you think your cat is sleeping too much because it has one of the following health problems, or it appears generally listless, speak to your vet for further advice. I’ve arranged these in alphabetical order for ease.
Check out your cat’s gums. If they appear pale this could be a sign that your cat is becoming anemic as a result of too few red blood cells.
As these cells are responsible for delivering oxygen throughout the body it’s no surprise that a cat with this condition becomes loath to move around and prefers to sleep.
If caught at an early stage, anemia is easy to reverse or manage but in a later stage, a blood transfusion may be required.
This causes a general slowing down and it should be obvious if your cat is in pain when it moves. It may stop attempting to jump to places it was once quite happy to leap to.
There is no cure but your vet can prescribe medicine to relieve the pain and enable your cat to move more freely.
Maine Coons can suffer from asthma and as this condition inhibits the amount of oxygen a cat can inhale, it’s no surprise that it prefers to lie still and sleep.
Look out for wheezing and coughing caused by inflamed airways. Again it is possible to manage cat asthma with medicine and by eliminating its triggers.
If your cat seems more lethargic than usual and looks like it is having trouble urinating, a bladder infection could be the cause. Your vet will be able to provide a course of treatment to clear this up.
If your Maine Coon is losing weight, seems to be finding any activity a struggle, and is spending more time asleep, there is a possibility that cancer is the cause. A vet will be able to diagnose and advise on treatment.
Maine Coons can suffer from depression which takes away the will to do anything. Causes can be fear of something, loss of another family pet or member.
So if your cat’s inactivity and excessive sleeping seem to coincide with a tragic event or a change in its environment, it may be feeling depressed.
You can try to relieve the symptoms by giving it extra attention and distracting it through play. If this doesn’t help, seek advice from your vet.
This is more common in older and overweight Maine Coons. Tiredness is a side effect because the amount of glucose in the bloodstream is not regulated properly.
The symptoms are usually managed with a low carb diet and insulin. Your cat being in a healthy weight range can also help.
Diarrhea and Sickness
Dehydration and reduced energy tend to go hand-in-hand with these afflictions.
Your cat will definitely try to sleep off the symptoms but don’t forget how quickly a cat can dehydrate which can have a serious impact on its health and recovery.
So if the symptoms persist for a day, take your cat straight to the vets.
Keep your Maine Coon well-groomed to avoid it from swallowing too much fur whilst cleaning itself. If a hairball becomes so tightly lodged that your cat is unable to cough it up, this can cause a blockage.
If your cat is not eating properly and seems to be sleeping more than usual and you have recently noticed it attempting to cough something up with no success a visit to the vet may be in order.
Maine Coons have a genetic tendency to develop heart problems so do keep a careful watch for symptoms.
If your cat becomes extremely lethargic and is reluctant to exercise at all, and has an obviously decreased appetite then it would be wise to pay your vet a visit. Tests will soon diagnose if there is an issue with its heart.
This can also cause excessive sleeping in Maine Coons. Other symptoms are trouble breathing, a cough, vomiting, weight loss, and diarrhea.
The severity of this disease is dependent upon the number of worms present in the body, how long they have been there, and how well your cat responds to treatment. It’s wise to have your cat vaccinated against this disease.
This is another illness that Maine Coons are prone to, particularly Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). If your cat has a general lack of energy, excessive thirst, blood in its urine take it straight to your vet.
PKD is incurable as it is caused by cysts present at birth that cannot be removed.
Indoor Maine Coons tend to gain weight more easily than those that are allowed outside. Some owners do seem to obsess with having a large Maine Coon but overfeeding will only result in an overweight unhealthy cat.
The more overweight a cat becomes, the more it sleeps. The more it sleeps, the more overweight it becomes. It’s a vicious circle.
Prevent your cat from suffering by feeding it the correct amount of food and encouraging exercise through play.
There are many sources of poison for cats, in particular, antifreeze, certain garden plants, and pollens from flowers such as lilies.
If your cat is vomiting or suddenly listless and over sleepy, and you suspect poisoning go immediately to you vets, or an out of hours vet if necessary.
It is highly recommended to have a Maine Coon vaccinated against rabies especially if you live in an area where it is possible to contract this disease.
There is no treatment for rabies and it will lead to death. If a cat is bitten by a rabid animal and has no immunity to this disease after about a week it will become extremely lethargic and sleepy.
Rabies takes about ten days to cause death.
What most people think is too much sleep for a Maine Coon is usually the normal amount. You will get to know your cats sleeping habits and will recognize any abnormalities in them.
Hopefully, having read this article you will know how to help it back to its normal routine. If you want your sleepy cat to snooze in its own bed and not sprawl on your sofa all day, here’s a