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Can Cats Sleep with Their Eyes Open? (When to Be Concerned)

Can Cats Sleep with Their Eyes Open? (When to Be Concerned)
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Cats are such cute animals and many people find them to be the perfect pets to have. If you have a cat, then you likely love it very much and want to ensure that it stays healthy.

People pay close attention to their cats because they want to ensure that they’re caring for their needs. If you have observed your cat sleeping, then you might be surprised if you see that its eyes are partially open.

Is the cat actually sleeping if its eyes aren’t closed? Can cats sleep with their eyes open or is your cat just relaxing or something?

Keep reading to learn about cats and whether or not they can sleep with their eyes open. You’ll learn a lot about this topic including whether you need to be worried about it or not.

Cats Can Indeed Sleep with Their Eyes Open

Yes, cats can indeed sleep with their eyes open sometimes. In fact, this isn’t really all that unusual to see.

Sometimes you might notice that your cat will be sleeping and it’ll have its eyes open. This definitely looks kind of strange and you might even find it off-putting.

However, it’s not something that you need to be overly concerned about. A cat sleeping with its eyes open isn’t necessarily an indication that something is wrong.

You will find that lots of cats will sleep with their eyes at least partially open. It seems like older cats are a bit more likely to sleep with their eyes open than younger ones, too.

That being said, you may want to keep an eye on your cat just to be on the safe side. It is possible that your cat could be sleeping with its eyes open due to some type of medical issue.

It isn’t likely that there’s anything wrong with your cat, and this is something that you might notice happening infrequently. Cats just sleep with their eyes open sometimes and it doesn’t mean that you need to be overly concerned.

Being a good and proactive cat owner is great, though. It’s sensible to be worried about your cat and it’s certainly best to make observations so that you can definitively determine that nothing is wrong.

Signs to Look Out for

There are some signs that you should be on the lookout for if you’re worried that something might be wrong with your cat. It’s going to be wise to observe your cat when it’s sleeping to see how it’s reacting.

If something is amiss, then you might notice that your cat will start twitching while it sleeps. A sign like this could mean that your cat has a condition such as epilepsy.

This isn’t for you to determine, though. When you notice signs like this, it’s going to be imperative to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.

You’ll want to tell the veterinarian everything that you have observed. The veterinarian will examine your cat and should be able to determine if anything is wrong.

Aside from concerns about epilepsy, it’s possible that your cat could be experiencing some type of eye trauma. It’ll be good for your veterinarian to examine the cat’s eyes to see if everything is fine or not.

Veterinarians are trained to take care of situations like this and they will know what to do. Depending on what’s going on, your cat might need to take some medicine or something like that.

You can discuss the details of what needs to be done with your veterinarian. Just understand the importance of taking your cat to see the veterinarian if you notice that the cat is twitching while it sleeps and that it has its eyes open.

Can Cat Epilepsy Issues Be Treated?

If it does happen to be the case that your cat has epilepsy, then it’s possible to get help. Your veterinarian will be able to provide guidance on treatment options for your cat.

There are medicines known as anti-epileptic drugs that can work wonders. When a cat is diagnosed with epilepsy, it’s going to need to start taking medications to manage the condition.

In all likelihood, your cat is going to be taking anti-epilepsy drugs for a very long time. Most cats that get diagnosed with epilepsy will wind up taking anti-epileptic drugs for the rest of their lives.

Thankfully, these drugs help to manage the condition very well. Your cat should be able to get back to feeling better if you follow the advice of your veterinarian to a tee.

If you have questions about epilepsy in cats, then you should direct them to your veterinarian. It’s always important to follow the advice of professionals so that you can protect your cat and ensure it remains in good health.

Is There a Reason Why Cats Sleep with Their Eyes Open Normally?

Now that the possibility of medical concerns has been discussed, it’s important to calm down and understand that it’s usually normal for cats to sleep with their eyes open. Typically, this is not going to be anything to be concerned about.

Even if you have accepted that your cat is fine and that it’s acting normally, you’re still likely going to wonder why an animal would sleep with its eyes open. It’s hard to relate to something like that and you might be wondering if there’s a purpose to it.

Actually, cats do sort of have a reason why they’re able to sleep with their eyes open. You see, cats are very perceptive of their environment and they stay consciously aware of their surroundings even when they’re sleeping.

Some cats will sleep with their eyes open when they’re in the early stages of sleep. Cats actually go through sleep cycles very much the same way that humans do.

In the early stages of sleep, it’s easy for cats to sleep and rest while they have their eyes open. When a cat goes into a deeper sleep stage such as REM sleep, then it’s more than likely going to close its eyes.

A cat can still sleep with its eyes open during REM sleep sometimes, though. This might look especially weird if you happen to be looking at your cat’s face when this happens.

The fact that it’s weird and possibly even unnerving shouldn’t concern you. It’s fine for cats to do this because for them it’s normal.

It’s very much tied to the idea that cats are very alert and that they feel that they always need to pay attention to their surroundings. Remember that cats are animals and they have animal instincts that relate to things such as survival and hunting.

Cats are substantially more alert while sleeping than humans are. Your cat might turn its head in the direction of something that catches its attention even while sleeping.

This is entirely instinctual and it’s very interesting when you think about it. Even though your cat is comfortable and safe in your home, it’s not going to be able to break away from these evolutionary instincts.

Cats Also Spend a Lot of Time Sleeping

It’s also true that cats spend a lot of time sleeping when compared to other pets. This is because cats have learned to conserve energy through the ages.

Cats understand that they need to save energy for when they need to sprint to try to catch prey. Even if your household cat isn’t hunting things regularly, it’s going to have those instincts.

Remember that cats are also very alert while they sleep. They take frequent “cat naps,” but they’re very alert as to what is going on around them.

Some household cats might sleep as much as 16 hours a day or more. They learned to do this because of evolutionary instincts, but they’re very alert while they sleep.

You can easily jolt a cat awake by making a loud noise. They’re so perceptive of their environment that they will be able to spring into action at a moment’s notice.

Since cats sleep so often and they stay so alert, a lot of the sleep that they get isn’t considered to be a deep sleep. This means that your cat might not be in REM sleep when you’re seeing it with its eyes open.

As mentioned earlier, cats can sleep with their eyes open during REM sleep, but it’s more common to see this happening when a cat is in the early stages of sleep. Cats take frequent short naps and this means that they spend a lot of time in the early sleep stages.

You have many opportunities to notice your cat sleeping with its eyes open. Don’t be worried if you notice this.

Keep in Mind That This Will Happen More as Cats Age

Remember that this is likely going to happen more often as cats age. Cat owners have observed that older cats seem to sleep with their eyes open or partially open more often.

If your cat is getting a little bit older now, then that might be why you’re noticing this. Younger cats can sleep with their eyes open sometimes as well, but it’s much more frequent when a cat is older.

You’re more likely to observe your cat sleeping with its eyes open when it reaches an advanced age. Don’t let this unnerve you or make you feel worried for the cat.

Now that you know that cats sleep with their eyes open without it being a big deal, it’s not going to be anything to worry about. It might simply be that your cat has reached an age where this is going to become a more frequent thing.

You might be worried about your old cat, but there’s almost surely nothing wrong. An older cat is just more likely to sleep with its eyes open than a kitten.

If you notice your cat sleeping with its eyes open, then you should just let it sleep. So long as you’ve ruled out any problems such as epilepsy, it’s going to be fine to chalk this up to normal behavior for the cat.

Some Humans Sleep with Their Eyes Open Too

Did you know that cats aren’t the only creatures that sleep with their eyes open sometimes? Humans can actually sleep with their eyes open too on occasion.

You’re probably going to be more than a little freaked out if you wake up next to your significant other and see them sleeping with their eyes open. This isn’t necessarily super common, but it’s a lot more common than you would think.

Around 20% of people sleep with their eyes open according to research. Babies can even sleep with their eyes open sometimes, which is sort of bizarre to see.

It’s possible that you could sleep with your eyes open and you wouldn’t even know about it unless someone told you. You would never notice this unless it caused you issues or if it bothered your significant other and they brought it up.

This condition is known as nocturnal lagophthalmos and it’s a little different than what happens to cats. People with this condition might be able to close their eyes a little when they’re sleeping, but they won’t necessarily close all the way.

Knowing this might make you appreciate that cats sleeping with their eyes open sometimes isn’t that weird. Other animals can do it sometimes and even humans might sleep with their eyes open.

Final Thoughts

You have learned a lot about cats and the fact that they sleep with their eyes open sometimes. As a bonus, you even learned that humans can sometimes sleep with their eyes open.

This definitely seems like a weird thing, but it’s more likely that it’s normal than it is that your cat is experiencing any problems. If you notice your cat sleeping with its eyes open, then it’s probably just a normal thing and you don’t need to worry.

If you do see your cat twitching while it’s sleeping, then you might want to make a veterinarian appointment. The cat could have epilepsy and this will need to be treated with the proper medications.

Generally, cats will sleep with their eyes open and it’ll just be normal. It’s something that happens a lot when cats are in the early stages of sleep, and it’s more common in cats that are older.

Set your mind at ease and just appreciate your cat. You have educated yourself on the topic and you shouldn’t have to be so worried any longer.

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