Do Cats Sleep With Their Eyes Open? All You Need To Know

Do cats sleep with their eyes open when they sleep? Find out if this is a characteristic of cats, what it might signify, and whether it should be a reason for concern.

Seeing your paw friend sleep with open eyes may make you wonder and feel strange. You might have felt spooky and might have wondered why it is sleeping with opened eyes? Is he sick? Does he have any medical problems? Is this common, or is it unique to my cat? Then your surprises and numerous questions should be ending here. Here we have covered the reason and other details associated with this phenomenon. Keep reading to find out amazing facts and solutions.

How Do Cats Sleep?

Cats are the cutest creatures. The majority of people adore these cute creatures. Well, you might have seen your cat sleeping always. And wonder is cat a nocturnal animal. Cats sleep more than humans. They sleep more in a day.

You can always see them sleeping. They are highly active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. The sleep schedules of cats are complex like a human. They sleep on the excellent part of the day.

On average, they sleep for 12 hours to 16 hours a day. Older cats sleep much more than kittens. They sleep for more than 18 hours. Also, cats sleep in many different positions.

That makes us feel uneasy. Their sleep positions are very different. They are twitched style, curled up, paws across face styles.

Do Cats Sleep with Their Eyes Open?

There is no need to get scared if you have come across a cat sleeping with eyes open. Cats want to be aware of the environment. They are constantly looking for ways to be alerted. Cats, like humans, go through various stages and cycles of sleep.

Do Cats Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

And, in the early stages of sleep, they may experience light sleep, during which they tend to sleep with their eyes open. It is to be alert and aware of the surrounding. And wants to know what’s going on.

While sleeping, you may have noticed cats twitching their ears towards the source of the sound. This, at least, explains it. However, most cats close their eyes during the deep sleep stage, i.e., the REM sleep cycle.

However, some cats still sleep with their eyes open during the REM stage as well.

Can cats sleep with their eyes open?

Cats are well known for doing unusual things. They do lots of creepiest things. One of the things is sleeping with eyes open. Yes, it is normal for a cat or kitten to sleep with their eyes open. Most of the cats sleep with their eyes open during lighter sleep.

In that period, a little noise might also wake it up. They sleep with their eyes open to be aware of their surrounding. But sometimes, sleeping with eyes open may indicate some disorder.

If its third eyelid is injured, has a dry eye problem, or something like sharp objects or other objects become lodged in its eye, it is likely to sleep with its eyes open because its vision is irritated.

So keep an eye on your cat even though sleeping with eyes open is a normal function of a cat.

Cat Sleep Stages

Even cats go through different sleep cycles or sleep stages while sleeping. It is nearly identical to a human. They go through the same sleep stages. And during these stages, they perform a variety of functions. The following are the most common known sleep stages. They are,

Slow-Wave Sleep

During slow-wave sleep, cats aren’t fully slept or in a deep sleep. They are aware of their surroundings and what’s going on around them. And also, during this stage, their eyes might be open.

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Have you ever seen a cat napping and being woken up by a minor stroke? So that explains it. A gentle touch or a loud noise will startle them awake during this stage because they aren’t completely asleep.

REM stage

This is the stage at which the cats have dreams, nightmares, and so on. Cats enter a deeper sleep stage after rapid eye movement sleep. Dreams happen during REM. After 90 minutes of slow-wave sleep, rapid eye movement sleep occurs.

During this stage, you may notice them twitching, moving their arms, and so on. During this stage, their heart rate increases, as do the speeds of their other activities. Their eyelids move in both directions, horizontally and vertically.

During this stage, you may see them twitching, moving arms, etc. During this stage, their heart beats fast. Their eyelids move horizontally and vertically.

How Much Do Cats Sleep And When?

Cats are different from humans. Humans are conditioned to sleep at night and to be awake during day time. Well, here, cats differ. They only sleep at twilight hours.

Their activities are at their peak during dawn and dusk. This is why you see them always sleeping during the daytime. They are crepuscular.

Cats sleeping pattern is also linked with its feeding time. Cats sleep a lot. They sleep for an average of 15 hours. Some cats sleep for 20 hours in a 24 hours day period.

They are highly active during the twilight hours, and in the daytime, you can see them dozing off often with their eyes open. Because they always take naps. They are hardwired to preserve their energy.

Sleeping Positions Of Cats

Cats sleep in different positions, which makes it uncomfortable for us to see. We wonder how do they sleep like this. Don’t they get backaches? Also, they are seen as sleeping always.

On top of the fridge, inside the wheel, on the bed, on the carpet. Well, what makes them extraordinary is their different sleeping positions. Let’s have a small lookout at the most common sleeping position of the cat.

Paws Across Their Face

Cat Licking Its Paw

They are commonly seen as sleeping with their paws across their face. You may wonder about this behavior. Why is my cat covering the face? Then here is the answer. Cats always like to sleep in a safe, clean place. Cats are both predators and prey as well.

To protect themselves from predators, they keep their paws across their faces. This gives them a safe feeling; they feel protected when covering their faces, and nobody can see them.

Also, keeping paws across their face is to protect themselves from the rays of the sun. While sleeping, they prefer to sleep in a shady cozy area. And when there is sunlight, it blocks their sleep.

So to stay away from sunlight, they keep their paws across their face. Also, it is to keep their nose warm. They like to keep their nose warm. To do that, they keep their paws across their face. Also, it gives them a comfortable feeling.

On Their Side

If your cat is sleeping like this, it means that your cat feels very safe. It feels like it is in a secure, safe environment. Typically, a cats’ belly can be seen a little and stretches its limbs in this position.

Also, it means that the cat is in a deep sleep and isn’t worried about getting preyed on, and it feels very safe and relaxed.

Curled Up In A Ball

White and Brown Long Coated Cat Lying on White Textile

Cats usually sleep in this position. It is to preserve the warmth and to protect themselves. They like to be warm and maintain the heat they sleep in curled up in a ball position.

This is how they feel like they are protected. They can conserve the warmth, and they feel secure in this position.

In what way Can You Help Your Cat Sleep Better?

You can train and support your cat to sleep better by practicing few techniques. It will make them feel relaxed, and they will even sleep better.

If you want to know what those techniques are and how they would make your kitty pal sleep better. Then keep reading. Here are a few suggestions that would aid in providing your kitty a better sleep.

Feed Your Cat At Night

Feeding your cat at night would, of course, give them a better sleep. Cats tend to sleep after mealtime. So instead of providing in the evening, feed before going to bed. It will give them a night of better sleep. They will sleep after having food.

Also, feed them frequently during the daytime with smaller parts. It will make them active.

Also, if you provide something like a raw chicken wing at night, they would sleep fast because chewing consumes energy, and chewing the wing would make them expend their energy, and hence they would be asleep quickly.

Feeding time and feeding type have a lot of influence on getting better sleep. Also, automatic feeding devices are beneficial in feeding if it gets awake at midnight.

Ignore Your Cats Pawing

Ignore your cat’s pawing to help your cats sleep better. Cats naturally tend to paw. So leaving it to be in its natural self and allowing them to paw would make them achieve a better good night’s sleep. Because it will tire them out.

Happy young woman laughing while sitting on floor with cat

Play with your cat

Play with your cat an hour and a half before bedtime. Play with cats using their favorite activities such as hunting, searching, etc. Playing with them will make them match your energy level, and hence when you go to bed, they will also go to bed.

Playing with them will also make them feel relaxed; it will tire them out, and they will lose the energy, and hence they will fall asleep quickly and get a better good night’s sleep.

Feed A Healthy Diet

Good food is like a good friend. So when you are feeding your kitty, make sure that you are following a healthy diet. Health wellbeing is necessary. If it’s healthy and fit, then sleep will follow him effortlessly.

He will be experiencing a good sleep if he is in taking a portion of good food. So make sure to feed a healthy diet to your paw mate. A healthy diet includes food that includes amino acids and protein.

Various veggies and dairy products, fruits are also helpful in maintaining a healthy diet. Cats mainly need amino acids and protein, which they get from meat and seafood. Also, food should be wet food.

Because cats generally drink less amount of water. So to protect them from getting hydrated, it’s better to feed them wet food. Also, if the food is healthy, then he will be able to sleep peacefully.

What could happen if cats sleep with their eyes open?

You might feel spooky if you come across a cat sleeping with its eyes open. But it is normal for a cat to sleep with its eyes wide awake. It is a common thing in a cat. Older cats do this much. Also, it is not the same with all cats.

Some cats do it all the time, and some may not. But if your cat starts to sleep with its eyes open, then there is no need to worry about it as it is perfectly normal. But sometimes, keep an eye out because it might be an indicator of some disorder.

If the cat is experiencing epilepsy or its third eyelid has got injured, it might start sleeping with its eyes open. So check out for any unusual symptoms.

How Much Do Kittens Sleep?

Cats sleep for almost the whole day. A newborn kitten sleeps for about 22 hours. The average sleeping hour of a cat is 15 hours. But also, it may differ from cat to cat depending on its age and other factors.

Also, some cats sleep for about 20 hours per day. Kittens sleep a lot. Even when it is six months old, they sleep from 18-20 hours. Sleep is necessary for them to restore their energy. You can see your kittens taking naps always.

When Do Kittens Start Walking?

A Tabby Cat Walking on the Floor

It takes almost four weeks for a kitten to start walking from its birth. Even though it learns to walk, there won’t be stability, and it won’t learn balancing. So it takes four weeks for a kitten to learn all aspects of walking and walk without limping or any difficulty.

When Do Kitten’s Eyes Open?

It depends from kitten to kitten. However, a healthy kitten takes about 7 to 10 days to open its eyes. But some kittens may not open early and take time. But it is normal.

It takes two weeks for a kittens’ eyes to get dilated. And also, during the birth and early stages, kittens’ eyes are found blue. But their actual eye color won’t get developed until it is eight weeks old.

What Shots Do Kittens Need?

Immunization is required for a cat to protect him from uninvited disease vaccines and become immune to viruses or diseases.

As a result, vaccinating your paw mate is needed. Immunizations begin at 6-8 weeks of age and are repeated every 3-4 weeks until the kitten reaches the age of 4 months.

Routine vaccinations will protect your kitten against the following diseases: feline distemper (panleukopenia), feline viral rhinotracheitis (feline herpesvirus 1), and rabies.

These are included in a combination vaccine administered every three to four weeks until the kitten is 16 weeks old. The rabies vaccine is typically administered once between the ages of 12 and 16 weeks.

Does Sleeping with Eyes Open Mean My Cat Is Sick?

No, cats sleep with their eyes open. It is an everyday activity. But in certain situations, it is not a healthy activity. It might indicate that your cat is sick. If its eyelids get injured, or something gets in its eyes. It might start to sleep with its eyes open.

Also, if it’s experiencing some disorder like epilepsy, it might start to sleep with its eyes open and begin to twitch often while sleeping. So it is advised to check up on your cat frequently, and if any abnormal gets detected, it is better to visit the veterinarian.

Is It Bad for a Cat to Sleep with Their Eyes Open?

No, it is not bad for a cat to sleep with its eyes open. Almost every cat sleep with their eyes open. It is one of its defense mechanisms.

They sleep with their eyes open to protect themselves from getting preyed on. And by sleeping with eyes open, they know their surroundings and would be awarded if anything unusual happens.

Why Do Cats Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

Cats sleep with their eyes open because cats are scared of their predators. To maintain the secure feeling, they tend to sleep with their eyes open. And hence by doing it, they know what’s going around.

And if something, some little noise or touch, happens, they get awake. They mainly do this to protect themselves. They always look out for safeties. And they can’t guarantee what would happen during their sleep. So to protect themselves, they do this activity.

Can Cats Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

Yes. It feels like it is a weird thing. You might have wondered why it is partially opening its eyes while sleeping. You might feel creepy and spooky. But yes, cats can sleep with their eyes open. This is what almost every cat does.

But some signs should be looked out for. If your cat is showing any unusual symptoms, there is something medical issue that should be treated. If your cat is twitching in between its sleep, then there is something wrong with it.

It might be experiencing epilepsy. So yes, cats can sleep with their eyes open. However, old cats do this much compared to younger kittens. But check out for unusual Symptoms and get it treated.

Do Cats Die With Their Eyes Open?

Yes, cats die with their eyes open. Because there is no muscle control, cats need muscle control to keep their eyes closed. So if it does, its eyes will stay open.

Also, if the pupil appears to be larger than usual and there is no reactivity for light, it indicates that your cat is dead.

Why Do Cats Cover Their Eyes?

Cats cover their eyes to protect themselves from sunlight. They need to sleep in darker areas. Sunlight blocks them from sleeping. So to get a relaxed sleep, they cover their eyes.

Also, cats always like to be protected, and while sleeping, they fear that what if someone attacks them.

So to protect them, they cover their eyes by thinking that no one would be able to see them. Also, they do this to keep their nose warm.

Do Blind Cats Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

White and Black Cat Lying on Brown Wooden Fence

Some cats sleep with their eyes open. And some not. It depends. When cats get injured to their eyelid, they start to sleep with their eyes open. And due to this blind cat may sleep with its eyes open.

Why Do Older Cats Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

Older cats sleep much often with their eyes open than younger ones. Cats usually sleep with their eyes open during the NREM sleep cycle.

It is the light sleep stage, and they are almost aware of their surrounding. To be conscious and aware of their environment, they tend to sleep with their eyes open. Hence, making them feel safer and protecting themselves.


Cats are the cutest pet to have. They are adorable creatures. But some activities some behaviors of cats leave us surprised as well as leaving a weird feeling. Well, one of the things is cats sleeping with their eyes open.

We may feel shocked as well worried. Thinking why my cat is sleeping with its eyes open. But yes, there is no need to get worried about your kittens sleeping with their eyes open. It’s normal for them.

Cats love sleeping, and they are always seen as sleeping. And if you wonder why its eyes are partially open while sleeping, do not worry about it. And also, check out for any unusual symptoms.


Should you touch a sleeping cat?

Yes, you can pet your sleep while sleeping. Petting will reduce anxiety, and the bond will get increased. But do not annoy or touch hardly and destroy its sleep. It will annoy them and make them fuzzy.

Where should cats sleep at night?

Your cat should sleep in a warmer, cozy place. Cats love to sleep in a more hospitable place. Give a spare cat bed to your cat. Also, leave the water and a small food near to it. In case if it gets awake, it will get access to food and water.

What is the best way to detect if a cat is truly sleeping?

When your cat moves from light sleep to deep sleep, it starts to get relaxed and stretch its legs without any worries. Cats sleep with their eyes open. But if you see your cat twitching and moving ears, it means that the cat is aware of its surroundings and not fully asleep.

How does a cat decide where to sleep?

Cats sleep in a warm area. So when it decides on a spot to sleep, it checks if the ground is warm. Also, they are clean, tidy creatures, so they always look out for the sterile area. Also, cats are very alert and conscious about their environment. So when they try to sleep, they search for a safe environment.

About the author

I'm Gulshan, a passionate pet enthusiast. Dive into my world where I share tips, stories, and snapshots of my animal adventures. Here, pets are more than just animals; they're heartbeats that enrich our lives. Join our journey!