cats twitching in sleep

Why Cat twitching in sleep: The scientific logics/ Experts opinion

Cat twitching in sleep can make the owner wonder. Do you often notice your cat twitching while falling asleep, or stretching and snoring a few minutes when they sleep? What happens in their sleep? Are they dreams or nightmares? 

Let’s know the scientific logic behind cat twitching in sleep. All of the information here I have collected from recognizing medical experts’ opinions. 

What is cat twitching?

Twitching is a natural event that can happen with almost all sleeping cats. It is not any serious issue to worry about. Cats have a deep sleeping phase named REM, where cats can see the dream. And twitching is the result of a dream at the REM phase” 

Why Do Cats Twitch in Their Sleep?

Cats generally spend 15 to 16 hours in sleep a day. Sometimes a tired cat can sleep up to 20 hours. As a result of long sleep, they can stay in a dreaming phase. Do cats dream? Yes, they can indeed see stay at dreamland like humans. 

Jouvet, an expert, has proved that cats reach low electrical activity during sleep. And their muscles remain relaxed that reach them in the REM sleeping stage. Most importantly, this stage is good for their brain health and memory. 

What happens when a cat twitches in sleep?

Cats can twitch in their sleep due to the transmitting the signal from the brain in the dreaming phase. Not only twitching in this phase, but you will also notice the sign of cat twitching in sleep eyes open, eye movement, stretching, squeaking and snoring. All of these activities clearly said that something is happening in their brain when they sleep. 

Here is an interesting fact about cat dream twitching. You will be surprised to know that a kitten can see much more twitching than an adult cat. 

Cat sleep cycle

Cats have two stages of sleep, one called REM, and another is called deep sleep. 

REM phase:

In this stage, a cat can twitch a lot. A cat can twitch the body, head, eyes and ears. It recommended not to move a cat twitching in sleep won’t wake up. 

Deep sleep:

In this phase, a cat can sleep a lot without twitching. Due to the tiredness, they can spend a lot of time in deep sleep. Every owner should give their proper cat time to rest. 

What happens when a cat twitches in sleep

What do cats dream about?

What do cats dream about? veterinary neurologist Adrian Morrison has said that cats often move their head a bit during twitching. It means they are watching or following something during a dream. Maybe they are staying in a hunting position then. 

Another statistic of USA research has said that cats can see a dream about the past of their life. And also, they can see the childhood of their life. Besides, they can dream about passing time with you or another pet cat or dog. 

Do cats have nightmares?

There is no proof that cats have a nightmare. But many cat owners have noticed that cats awake from sleep with a lot of fear, wider eyes. They can wake up suddenly with a roaring sound, or they can jump or get sad for a long time. All of these symptoms have said that cats can have a nightmare. 

Twitches or seizures?

Do you notice cat twitching in sleep or seizure? generally, cats can have twitches in sleep, and seizures can rarely happen. If it is a normal twitch, then there is nothing to be afraid of. You can notice the behavior of your cat to know the seizures or twitches. 

If a cat has seizures, then it might see a nightmare and wake up suddenly with fear. Sometimes, they can wake up with confusion. Although regular twitching is not a serious factor, a seizure is very harmful to the cat. So, you should contact a vet. 


  1. Do cats have seizures in their sleep?

Cats can often have seizures in their sleep, and it would happen because of the change in brain activity. Besides, it happens when a cat gets very excited, afraid or sick. It is also known as a disease of the brain front part. And it needs treatment. 

  1. Why is my cat trembling while sleeping?

A cat can be trembling due to the pain, fear, anxiety, nerves and getting too cold, hot or sick. It is called the endocrine disorder of Addison’s disease. Addison’s affected cat required treatment. Otherwise, this disease can cause extensive shivering. 

  1. Should I wake my cat up if he’s twitching?

It is advised by Harmen not to wake up a cat when they are twitching in sleep. In this stage, a cat stays in the REM sleeping phase that is helpful for its health and brain. They can grow their bodies. So, let them sleep properly then. 

Final Words:

Cat twitching in sleep is a very common issue for a cat throughout their whole life. It happens because of the transmitting brain signal in the REM sleeping position. So, don’t worry about cat twitching. However, it would help if you were concerned cat twitching in sleep hard to wake up. Because it can cause of seizure. So, go to a vet for medication. If this guide seems informative to you then share it with others. 

About the author

Megan D

This is Megan D, the loving mom of all cats. She has been working with cat well fair organization as a cat lover since last few years. Personally, she has ownership of a cat shelter for helpless stray cats. Megan loves to research on all breeds of cat and fond of sharing all experience with the worldwide cat-loving human.

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